Open-Air Arias

One activist gives music to Coachella Valley's children

Opera festival kicks off in April

David Farrior Photography

Meeting Arlene Rosenthal is like having a personal audience with a hybrid of Janis Joplin and Oprah Winfrey. She’s a passionate champion for the arts, and determined to ensure that culture permeates the formative years of every child she encounters.

“Our kids need to know that even though life is unfair and terrible things happen, people do make it and they should never give up,” she says.

Rosenthal organizes Festival of Opera and Art at Palm Desert Civic Center Park. Join her and approximately 300 children from Salton Sea, Coachella, Indio, Palm Springs, and Desert Hot Springs on April 14 for an uplifting performance of classical singing. Rosenthal insists that exposing young people to the artistry of opera will engage them and expand their cultural horizons.

“Our theme is ‘Viva Verdi’, a celebration of his 200th birthday,” she says. “Six singers will don the stage, accompanied by an orchestra of 33. The first half of the program will present other Italian composers, and the second half excerpts from Verdi operas.”

Make a tax-deductible donation to Festival of Opera and Art: Opera Arts, P.O. Box 5433, Palm Springs, CA 92263. For more information, visit

Festival of Opera and Art
David Farrior Photography

Approximately 300 Coachella Valley children will participate.

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