BU Today

Arts & Entertainment

In Concert: Taste, Sight, and Sound

Free music on Thursdays in the North End throughout July


Boston’s North End is one of the city’s most popular summer destinations, with its various feast day festivals and vast number of Italian eateries. Starting tonight, there’s yet another reason to find yourself in the neighborhood. The North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC) is hosting its annual free Summer Concert Series, which takes place every Thursday evening at the Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park throughout July. Featuring local New England bands, musicians, and NEMPAC faculty, the weekly concert series showcases a mix of musical genres—everything from swing to blues to Italian opera. The series is sponsored by the Mayor’s Office of Special Events; Prezza, a North End restaurant; and Northendboston.com.

Tonight’s concert, Happy 450th Birthday Shakespeare!, is a musical and dramatic celebration of the Bard’s life and work. The concert will include selections from Gounod’s opera, Romeo and Juliet, based on one of the playwright’s most famous tragedies, and the “Letter Aria” from Verdi’s opera Lady Macbeth, as well as numbers from the Broadway musicals West Side Story and Kiss Me Kate, inspired, respectively, by Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew. Next week’s concert, titled Eight to the Bar, will feature New Orleans–inspired blues, jazz, and swing. The final Thursday night concert in the series, on July 31, will feature selections from popular Italian operas.

In conjunction with the concert series, Prezza, an Old World–style restaurant in the North End, is offering a three-course prix fixe menu before and after each performance for $40. Concert-goers can choose from three options for each course, including roasted figs wrapped in prosciutto, homemade meatballs, and a tiramisu parfait. Reservations are required in advance.

So indulge your senses: enjoy an evening of delicious food, live music, and stunning harbor views.

The North End Music and Performing Arts Center Summer Concert Series takes place every Thursday night throughout July (July 17, 24, and 31) on the main stage at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park, 105 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The concerts are free and open to the public. In the event of rain, the concerts will be rescheduled for August 7 and/or Aug 14.

Prezza, 24 Fleet Street, Boston, is offering a $40 prix fixe special from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursdays during the concert series. Reservations must be made in advance by calling 617-227-1577.

To get to the North End by public transportation, take an MBTA Green Line trolley to Haymarket Station. To get to the concert, turn right onto John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road and then turn left onto Christopher Columbus Park Path until you reach the park. To get to Prezza, turn right onto John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road, turn left onto Hanover Street, and right onto Fleet Street.

Irene Berman-Vaporis can be reached at imbv@bu.edu.

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