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MUSIC

MassOpera uses a pickup truck for new roving concert series

Pier Lamia Porter, Abigail Whitney Smith, and Daniel P. Ryan first hit the road for MassOpera July Fourth.
Pier Lamia Porter, Abigail Whitney Smith, and Daniel P. Ryan first hit the road for MassOpera July Fourth.KAT WATERMAN

This Labor Day, MassOpera will take its show on the road in the most literal sense. In the company’s Social DistanSing concert series, a festively decorated pickup truck bed is the stage, and residents at local public housing complexes are the audience. Using a PA system powered by a lawn mower battery, local singers Carley DeFranco and Katrina Holden-Buckley will treat residents (and anyone who happens to wander by) to opera, art songs, and Broadway favorites.

A flatbed pickup truck doubles as a stage for MassOpera's Social DistanSing project.
A flatbed pickup truck doubles as a stage for MassOpera's Social DistanSing project.KAT WATERMAN

This series is one of the first MassOpera endeavors for co-artistic director Dan Ryan, who assumed the role near the beginning of the coronavirus-related lockdown. He was inspired to launch the traveling concert series by a similar project that Opera Memphis did, as well as a suggestion from his father about doing a patriotic show for July Fourth. Given the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody, Ryan decided to take a different tack: “We programmed music that wasn’t so much ’Americana’ as it was singing hope and care, into all the diverse communities we stopped at,” Ryan explained in a Twitter message about the July Fourth concert.

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To avoid drawing crowds to venues with vulnerable populations, locations for Monday’s performances are not being publicized in advance. All sets will be streamed to the public via MassOpera’s Facebook page.

MASS OPERA SOCIAL DISTANSING

Various locations, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday. Watch at www.facebook.com/massopera