The Organ Concerts in Balboa Park (www.sosorgan.com) provide a unique, free live music experience that all visitors and locals can enjoy. Every week of the year for almost a century, the Spreckels Organ has serenaded the park with beautiful music. Concerts happen on Sundays 2–3 p.m., and on Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. in the summertime. Come out, take a seat on a park bench, and relax as the music washes over you.
If you love opera, be sure to get tickets to the San Diego Opera (box office 619/533-7000, www.sdopera.com, Mon.–Fri. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) during your visit. Originally created to produce San Francisco Opera productions in the 1950s, the San Diego Opera quickly grew into an independent production company to rival even its famed neighbor to the north.
In addition to the regular season filled with original productions of famous operas, you’ll find the San Diego Opera hosting international stars at special concerts, and presenting a variety of musicales to the San Diego community.
All regular Opera performances take place at the Civic Theatre (Third Ave. and B St.). You’ll find several parking structures and surface lots nearby—parking usually starts at $10 and goes up on concert nights. The MTS trolley stops right behind the Theatre entrance, and is a great option if you’re staying anywhere near the trolley line or are taking the train into the Santa Fe station.<
If you’re coming from the North County for a night of culture, check the Opera’s website for information about the San Diego Opera Caravan, a pay bus service to and from Carlsbad to the Civic Theatre.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition