Tosca billboardKingston, N.Y. - Tickets are on sale now for the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice’s first-of-its-kind drive-in opera performance to be held August 29 at Kingston’s Tech City—available on a per-car basis online at 

The drive-in performance of Puccini’s Tosca, with world-class vocal soloists and chorus onstage, full orchestra, and all the pomp and pageantry that only grand opera can provide, will be staged at Kingston’s Tech City for an audience limited to guests in 600 cars. Ticket sales are per car, not per person, and cars will be meticulously socially-distanced for safety.

Four giant Jumbotrons, each 20 feet by 40 feet, will enhance the view of the stage for all vehicles on the large field, while a sound system being engineered specifically for the performance will guarantee no-lag listening for all, whether via car radio or through the car windows. You’ll hear every note perfectly.

As in every grand opera theater, there is a range of ticket prices depending on location. The top price—$350 per car—buys one space out of 117 available at dead center of the field in the first four rows of cars. General admission for 385 vehicles is priced at $150 per car, and while you might miss a bit of the stage, you’ll see every bit of the action on the Jumbotrons. An additional 97 car spaces are available at $50 per car in the back of the field but with full access to the Jumbotron performance. Call the different levels equivalent to the Met Opera’s Grand Tier, Dress Circle, and the Balcony—but at a less expensive per-person price.

And, as at the Met, wherever you are parked, the sound will reach you perfectly.


Online Purchases Urged

The Festival’s Barbara Kolb, in charge of the ticket operation, urges ticket-goers to purchase their tickets “now and online.” She reports that in the first hour of online sales, which began July 5, tickets were purchased in all three price categories.  Time may therefore be of the essence since, as Kolb suggests, “once we sell out online, you’re out of luck.” Moreover, purchasing a ticket the night of the performance will mean a longer line and a slower process to meet health and safety needs.

Online ticket purchasers, by contrast, will be able to print out their tickets on their home printer, bring it to Tech City the night of the performance, and be issued a color-coded card for their reserved section and space so that the parking guides can direct them right to it. Kolb adds that entry into each of the three sections of the site will be on a first come first served basis, so she advises “arriving early.”

Kolb urges that anyone with questions about tickets should phone her at 845 551-8601.

Safety First—Then, Enjoy

The site will open at 6:00 pm the night of the performance, and once in, for safety’s sake, opera goers must stay in their cars. Picnic in the car if you like, but “bring your own containers to take away any trash,” advises Festival Director Maria Todaro. And if and when you leave your car’s space to head for one of the bathroom facilities, you must wear a mask.

But it’s a night at the opera, so by all means dress up your car if you like—give it a wash, anyway—and if you’re a car collector, come in your most comfortable vehicle least likely to obstruct the view of others. Ticket holders will be given noisemakers to hang out their car window so they can express their appreciation of the performers—the Covid-19 equivalent of shouting “Bravo!”






Patty Hanson

Phone: (917) 733 - 4860