Opera Cabaret at Union 50 returns


Indianapolis Opera General Director David Starkey is determined to make opera accessible to all.

The Opera Cabaret at Union 50 helps in that regard. The fundraiser is set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Union 50, 620 N. East St., Indianapolis. Indianapolis Opera resident artists will perform an intimate cabaret-style program that will showcase opera favorites, musical theater hits and American Songbook gems.

ND INDY OPERA 0214 Starkey head shot

“We’ll be singing selections from ‘The Magic Flute,’ our May show,” Starkey said. “We’ll be singing music from our March opera workshop show.”

There will be a tribute to Ned Rorem, a prolific contemporary classical music composer who was born in Richmond and died in November 2022 at age 99.

A multi-course meal will include a complimentary glass of wine.

“Last year’s Opera Cabaret at Union 50 was an extension of all the neighborhood concerts and different food events that we did in 2020 and 2021,” Starkey said. “It was a large mixture of whatever we could do to serve the community. Those two years we were singing all over the city. We learned a lot, not only about our neighbors, but also how much food and fine drink were a part of people’s gatherings, so we wanted to continue that in a more formal way.”

Starkey said Union 50 has phenomenal food and a great cabaret music stage in a big, open room.

“It’s an ideal experience for an evening for a gathering with friends and to help raise money, Starkey said. “At the same time, we are still doing these activities in neighborhoods that may not have the same economic capabilities. We want to give back. Not everybody can come to a fundraiser at Union 50, but there are some that can do that and help us raise money. Some of the money helps us go into the communities that can’t afford us at normal prices.”

Starkey said last year’s Union 50 fundraiser was successful in raising dollars for the education department to sing throughout the entire community.

For more, visit indyopera.org.