In The Motor City, A Drive-In Opera Parks Itself Downtown

Directed by new artistic director Yuval Sharon, the Michigan Opera Theatre is unveiling an adaptation of Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung” to an audience on four wheels.

This year, the arts world-at-large has had to reinvent its approach to live performance.

The Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT) in downtown Detroit has come up with a clever approach: A drive-in opera staged in the parking garage attached to their theatre.

“How do we shift our definitions about these art forms to allow for things to still continue?” — Yuval Sharon, artistic director for the Michigan Opera Theatre

Mitty Carter
Mitty Carter

Appointed in September, MOT artistic director Yuval Sharon has adapted and directed a site-specific version of Richard Wagner’s masterwork “Götterdämmerung.”

Entitled “Twilight: Gods,” the roughly hour-long performance utilizes multiple floors of a downtown parking garage to create mini-scenes from the original work, complete with live singers and instrumentation broadcast directly into the cars of the audience.

“Just because we’re not in the theater right now due to COVID does not mean that people’s creativity has died,” says Sharon during an interview on CultureShift on 101.9 WDET. 

“Everyone is so excited to be creating again, expressing themselves again because there’s so much to say and so much emotion that needs an outlet,” adds Sharon.

Click the audio player to hear how Michigan Opera Theatre’s Yuval Sharon is reimagining opera during a global pandemic:

According to the MOT, the original run of performances sold out in 32 hours. Two days of live screenings of the performance inside the Detroit Opera House have been added for October 20th and 21st. Tickets are free but need to be reserved in advance.

“Even if you’re not an opera lover, I hope something like this can get you close to what makes opera so special — connecting you to that most aspirational part of being human,” says Sharon.

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date

WDET is here to keep you informed on essential information, news and resources related to COVID-19.

This is a stressful, insecure time for many. So it’s more important than ever for you, our listeners and readers, who are able to donate to keep supporting WDET’s mission. Please make a gift today.

Donate today »


  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.