- Aria Restaurants: What to eat when seeing opera at the ballpark? (Photo: TBD Staff)
The Washington National Opera announced that their annual “Opera in the Outfield” will be Sunday, Sept. 19. On that day, people who don’t usually go to the opera and people who don’t usually go to the ballpark will intermingle for perhaps the only time this year. Verdi’s Un Ballo Maschero, the WNO’s season-opener, will be simulcast from the Kennedy Center, and audience members can bring blankets to the outfield to lounge and watch the snow. Picnicking is permitted.
But theater and the ballpark brings together another type of disparate experience. Opera is an art form usually enjoyed after a prixe-fixe menu at 1789 or atop the Kennedy Center, not with a greasy plate of fries or a half-smoke in hand. This blend of high culture and low food works, insists the staff of the WNO, and they have opera-inspired, cholesterol-laden menu recommendations to prove it. Because they welcome a distraction from worrying about their tenuous financial future!
Michelle Pendoley, Media Relations Manager: “The Nats have a great gourmet coffee bar, Capital Café. Affogatto would be appropriate for Italian opera.”
Claire Blaustein, Communications Coordinator: “Ben's Chili Bowl half-smoke – a little saucy, a little spicy, with a lot of meat in the middle – just like great opera.”
Anna Russell, Marketing Manager: “Brats and Kraut go well with Wagner.”
Sam Nystrom, Special Events Associate: “Depends on the opera: I’d do pretzels or hotdogs with sauerkraut with Wagner and pizza with Puccini. This year, for A Masked Ball, gelato for Verdi?”
Chelsea Lett, Media Associate: “If we did Aida, I’d eat peanuts in honor of the elephants.”