Media features and reviews reflect the scope and depth of Pittsburgh Festival Opera events and programs. Here's what the media are writing about Pittsburgh Festival Opera in previews, reviews, and news.
July 22, 2017
REVIEW: Intermezzo, Pittsburgh in the Round
Pittsburgh Festival Opera continues to make good on its promise of producing Richard Strauss rarities, and for the fourth consecutive summer has revived one of the composer’s lesser known works...Intermezzo (another Pennsylvania first) was a quite excellent evening of majestic music and comedy.
July 20, 2017
PREVIEW: WVU lends talents to Pittsburgh Festival Opera for summer, West Virginia University
“One of the unique qualities we have at PFO is a festival rotation of many productions, where the artists are challenged by a diverse repertoire,” Chafin said. “It’s challenging, but extremely valuable not only to our students but to our faculty to have the opportunity to be part of such an outstanding company in our own backyard.”
July 17, 2017
PREVIEW: Things get personal in 'Intermezzo,' a Pennsylvania premiere, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Intermezzo” may be a minor work in the Strauss oeuvre, but it’s one of his most entertaining and also most personal, shedding light on the composer’s innermost feelings.
July 15, 2017
REVIEW: Cross-dressing and miscommunications abound in Pittsburgh Festival Opera's "Xerxes", Pittsburgh Post Gazette
" The opera, translated from the original Italian, deals with questions about love and loyalty, but it mixes those serious topics with comical elements — confusion caused by the characters’ miscommunications and predilections for cross-dressing."
July 15, 2017
REVIEW: XERXES, Pittsburgh in the Round
"Pittsburgh Festival Opera gave the first of three performances of Händel’s Xerxes last night, and it was a delightfully rare opportunity to hear this seldom performed “Baroque” music."
July 14, 2017
PREVIEW: Pittsburgh Festival Opera opens Handel's Opera XERXES, 'Burgh Vivant
"With a period orchestra, Handel’s glorious music and a cast of exceptional singers including two of the nation’s most respected countertenors, Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s “Xerxes” is a not-to-be-missed production."
July 13, 2017
PREVIEW: Anna Singer- Vocalist, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, 'Burgh Vivant
"The delightful Anna Singer pays a visit to ‘Burgh Vivant in the middle of her run as Mrs. Lovett in SWEENEY TODD..."
July 12, 2017
REVIEW: Sweeney Todd at Pittsburgh Festival Opera, this is a gloriously sung production., City Paper
"As befits an opera company, the performers are mostly singers who act (rather than actors who sing). And this is a gloriously sung production — gorgeous voices coming at us without the interference of amplification."
July 9, 2017
REVIEW: "Sweeney Todd" at Pittsburgh Festival Opera, The Pittsburgh Tatler
"The Pittsburgh Festival Opera lacks the resources to recreate the original musical’s spectacle; nevertheless, it has produced a very fine chamber version of this whackily macabre show. Its pared-down rendition puts focus on the music and vocal performers..."
July, 8, 2017
REVIEW: Scarlet Billows- a review of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street", 'Burgh Vivant
"Where will the loathsome tale end? If you guessed in “blood and gore,” you’ve won the big money prize! Luckily, director Tome Cousin handles the carnage artfully. When Todd slices a throat, scarlet billows forth from the victim's neck like an explosion of rose petals. It is beautiful and macabre."
July 8, 2017
REVIEW: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Pittsburgh In The Round
"Stephen Sondheim’s musical adaptation of Sweeney Todd has been entertaining audiences for nearly forty years, and last night’s performance of the work by Pittsburgh Festival Opera did much to explain the show’s enduring popularity."
June 29, 2017
PREVIEW: "If I Loved You"- Pittsburgh Festival Opera's New Revue, Pittsburgh In The Round
In keeping with its long, distinguished and successful history of world premieres and making old music new again, Pittsburgh Festival Opera this summer is producing If I Loved You… – a revue featuring the best of Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s prolific output of memorable Broadway blockbusters.
June 28, 2017
REVIEW: A Gathering of Sons at Pittsburgh Festival Opera, City Paper
“We Are One,” the triumphal march that solidifies the theme of A Gathering of Sons, leaves the audience thrilled in their bones.
June 26, 2017
PREVIEW: Hansel & Gretel featured in Next top ten things for kids, Next Pittsburgh
Introduce your child to the magic of opera with the fantastical production of Hansel and Gretel.
June 26, 2017
REVIEW: A Gathering of Sons, Three Rivers Community Foundation
I’ve watched Tosca throw herself off of the parapet. I’ve watched Mimi linger and die. I’ve witnessed Carmen’s heartbreak, and the Flying Dutchman’s torment. I’ve seen dozens of tragic operas. None have ever moved me to tears. I openly cried more than once during A Gathering of Sons.
June 25, 2017
REVIEW: Pittsburgh Festival Opera's 'A Gathering of Sons' is powerful musical theater, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Terrific...riveting...It deals with the spiritual aspects of justice and retribution in a nation where the balance between the races may be inherently unfair.
June 22, 2017
PREVIEW: 'A Gathering of Sons' expands notions of Black music, Pittsburgh Courier
It will not be performed Downtown or on a college campus; it will be performed where it may have taken place—Oakland, Larimer and the Hill District.
June 18, 2017
PREVIEW: Pittsburgh Festival Opera- A Summer Six-Week Opera Festival Happening Now, OperaGene
PFO maintains the same commitment to engaging Pittsburgh audiences broadly in intimate settings presenting American works, reinterpretations of older works, and new works involving themes of contemporary interest; it plans to continue its signature series of rarely performed Richard Strauss operas and its presentations of Handel operas.
June 17, 2017
REVIEW: 'A Gathering of Sons' at Pittsburgh Festival Opera, The Pittsburgh Tatler
The new opera A Gathering of Sons, which is having its world premiere at Pittsburgh Festival Opera under the direction of Mark Clayton-Southers, addresses one of the most pressing issues of our current moment: the tragedy of police violence against African-American men.
June 16, 2017
REVIEW: A Gathering of Sons - World Premiere, Pittsburgh In the Round
A word to future audiences who might shy away because they don’t particularly care for opera: the influences of jazz, R & B and gospel make this work stand apart from the stereotyped conception of that genre of music.
June 15, 2017
PREVIEW: Pittsburgh Festival Opera's 'Gathering of Sons' looks at white officer's shooting of a black man, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In a field that produces too few works by people of color, the company deserves praise for assembling a group of African-American artists.
June 13, 2017
For the past six years, the Pittsburgh Festival Opera has produced an extended summer festival, blending genres and theatrical forms in intimate venues around the city, all sung in English.
June 12, 2017
PREVIEW: Snuggery Farm in Bell Acres to host Rodgers & Hammerstein revue show, Trib Live
The Pittsburgh Festival Opera's “If I Loved You … Rodgers & Hammerstein Revue” promises outdoors, barbecue, music, and (for one evening) vintage cars.
May 29, 2017
PREVIEW: Music that Matters- A Gathering of Sons, Pittsburgh Festival Opera's World Premiere, Pittsburgh in the Round
Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s 40th season will launch with an extraordinary opener as the company presents the world premiere of its commissioned jazz opera A Gathering of Sons.
May 29, 2017
PREVIEW: Everything Old is New Again – Pittsburgh Festival Opera Coming Soon!, Pittsburgh in the Round
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the ambitious Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has rebranded as “Pittsburgh Festival Opera,” and will continue to offer musical innovations and rarities that have been steadily growing in quality over the past "few summers." This summer’s performances start June 15, and will run through the greater part of July, so the company’s capacity for work hasn’t diminished, and there is every reason to believe that the quality of its work will equal or surpass what it has offered for a number of years.
May 18, 2017
PREVIEW: Summer classical music lineup features lots of new music, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
There’s a new normal in Pittsburgh’s summertime classical music scene. The new normal is, well, new: new music, new ways of presenting familiar music, even a brand-new name. The organization formerly known as Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has a new name, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and a new opera to go along with it. The company will present the world premiere of “A Gathering of Sons,” an opera about racial conflict by composer Dwayne Fulton and librettist Tameka Cage Conley.
April 24, 2017
EVENT COVERAGE: Gala Cubana! raises funds for Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pittsburgh Festival Opera (formerly known as the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh) welcomed more than 150 guests to a Cuba-inspired fundraiser. Guests enjoyed a VIP rum tasting featuring Maggie's Farm Rum before digging into fish wrapped in banana leaves and other Cuban delicacies prepared by chef Mike Wagner.
March 10, 2017
Event Coverage: Workshop performances of new opera about police brutality continue tonight at Pittsburgh's First United Methodist Church, Pittsburgh City Paper
A Gathering of Sons examines police brutality and racial conflict in America... [and] was commissioned as part of the Pittsburgh Festival Opera's series Music That Matters, aiding creation of operas that speak to present-day issues.
February 27, 2017
FEATURE: Pittsburgh Festival Opera Raises Community Voices in Upcoming Production, Pittsburgh in the Round
During a community workshop for what will become the jazz opera A Gathering of Sons, baritone Miles Wilson-Toliver is playing the part of Victor, a young black man who is about to be shot and killed by a white police office in a senseless act of violence. His voice is clear and full, almost soothing, as he defiantly sings “you descend from murderers.”
February 11, 2017
NEWS: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh rebrands as Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The summertime opera company, which has been known as Opera Theater SummerFest since 2012, has been rebranded as Pittsburgh Festival Opera. The company’s main programming will still take place during the summer.
July 25, 2016
OVERVIEW: Memories of OTP’s “SummerFest” 2016, Pittsburgh in the Round
It’s all over now, and truth be told, I miss it already. The season was extended this year, but somehow seemed shorter than previous ones. This is easily explained by the fact that each summer’s offerings have managed to top those of the previous one’s, without taking anything away from the worth of the prior productions. This ambitious company is to be commended for the work they have accomplished, because much of it was quite good, and the city is lucky to have a group with such pluck and artistic direction.
July 23, 2016
REVIEW: Summerfest's 'Silent Woman' humorous and human, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The special joy of experiencing an artistic injustice corrected made SummerFest's production of Richard Strauss' neglected comic opera “The Silent Woman” a triumphant revelation on July 22 at the Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside. The only other chance to see it is at the matinee on July 24.
REVIEW: The Silent Woman, Pittsburgh in the Round
Richard Strauss’ rarely heard Die schweigsame Frau (“The Silent Woman”), received the first of two performances at the Falk Auditorium of Winchester Thurston last night, as Opera Theater of Pittsburgh continues its mission of presenting the famous composer’s lesser known works. Much was expected of this rare treat, and those expectations were fully met. A brief description of the plot was included in our preview, but a short history of the opera is in order before discussing the musical magic that rolled from the stage last night.
REVIEW: ‘Night Caps’ by Opera Theater Of Pittsburgh at Hilda Willis Room, Winchester Thurston School, PA Theatre Guide
While a typical opera is designed like a banquet, offering its courses as multiple acts, the Opera Theater this time has presented us with a flight of night caps. Night Caps is a compilation of short 10-15 minute one-act operas. Featuring music composed by several friends and colleagues of the Opera Theater, and all librettos by Robert Handel, Night Caps is both a tradition and an experiment with every season.
July 22, 2016
REVIEW: Night Caps, Pittsburgh in the Round
As Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s “SummerFest” performances draw to a close, Night Caps, a series of five mini-operas that – combined – run for but an hour or so, received the first of only two performances last night in the Hilda Willis Room of Winchester Thurston. All with text written by Rob Handel, head of Carnegie Mellon University’s dramatic writing program, the five comic and dramatic “suites” are accompanied by the music of as many composers, and received a good deal of acclaim when the first four debuted in the first “SummerFest” in 2012, and when the fifth was first heard the following year.
July 21, 2016
PREVIEW: Opera Theater offers rare chance to see Strauss' minor masterpiece 'The Silent Woman', Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
This weekend, thanks to underwriting by retired Duquesne University professor and inveterate Strauss lover Jerry Clack, Pittsburgh’s Opera Theater SummerFest will offer two performances on Friday and Sunday of this sparkling comedy. Judging by a dress rehearsal on Wednesday in Winchester Thurston School’s comfortable, sleek Falk Auditorium in Shadyside, this Pennsylvania premiere, in a clear, succinct English translation derived from the Glyndebourne Festival, is a singular opportunity to see an unjustly neglected minor masterpiece.
July 19, 2016
PREVIEW: Strauss' 'Silent Woman' is deeper than a 'talky comedy,' conductor says, Tribune-Review
Conductors are paid to notice many things, from how the overall flow of a piece is going to all those technical details that must be brought together. Something else has struck Brent McMunn as he's been preparing the performers for Summerfest's production of “The Silent Woman” by Richard Strauss. The opera is very rarely performed and will probably be receiving its Pittsburgh premiere. McMunn has never done it before. Neither has stage director Jonathan Eaton, nor any of the cast or orchestra members.
INTERVIEW: Dimitrie Lazich and “The Silent Woman”, Pittsburgh in the Round
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dimitrie Lazich about this year’s “SummerFest.” The gifted young baritone has proven to be a comic and vocal delight as the slightly buffoonish “Gangster,” who clearly takes his lead from the equally entertaining Valerie Hosler, in this year’s productions of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate, and he will perform the role of Barber Schneidebart in The Silent Woman, Richard Strauss’ super-rarity, which will receive two performances only at the Falk Auditorium of Winchester Thurston this Friday, July 22, at 7:30, and Sunday, July 24, at the 2:00 matinee.
July 17, 2016
REVIEW: Consider Summerfest's 'Caesar' a conquering hero, Tribune-Review
Cheering broke out repeatedly during and at the end of SummerFest's presentation of “Julius Caesar” on July 15, the first of three performances of George Frideric Handel's operatic masterpiece. Spectacular singing and smart modern staging, which provided much unexpected fun, were combined with dramatically astute orchestral contributions for nearly total success.
July 16, 2016
REVIEW: Nothing old-fashioned about Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's 'Julius Caesar', Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Handel’s “Julius Caesar” is a baroque opera seria first performed in London in 1732, but there’s nothing musty or old-fashioned about Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s must-see Summerfest production that opened Friday evening in Winchester Thurston School’s Falk Auditorium. Taking a cue from (but not imitating) the much-lauded David McVicar production that was shown Live in HD from the Met in 2013, resourceful director Dan Rigazzi, who is on the Met’s staging staff, has imbued this work with modern-day relevance, vitality, humor and more than a touch of Broadway pizzazz.
REVIEW: ‘Julius Caesar’ by Opera Theater Of Pittsburgh at Falk Auditorium, PA Theatre Guide
From the moment I pulled up to the Falk Auditorium Friday night to attend the opening of Julius Caesar, it was clear we were in for one heck of a toga party. Literally, as the ushers, box office, and even the director Dan Rigazzi, had dressed themselves up in the traditional garment. This simple touch set the tone of the evening perfectly, as Handel’s Julius Caesar is a production full of fun, laughs, and heartfelt appreciation for the material.
REVIEW: Julius Caesar, Pittsburgh in the Round
Last night Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s “SummerFest” gave the first of three performances of Georg Friedrich Händel’s Giulio Cesare, presented in English, as is customary with the company, as Julius Caesar. The first thing said before an analysis of the performance must be that such beautiful singing and virtuoso conducting has not been heard in this city in quite a while, and left a spellbound audience applauding and shouting with a bravado very rarely demonstrated here.
PREVIEW: Chatham Baroque Joins Summerfest for Staging of Handel's "Julius Caesar", Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh stages Handel’s JULIUS CAESAR, one of the greatest love stories in all of history! Passion and politics collide in the timeless tales of Caesar (Andrey Nemzer) and Cleopatra (Lara Lynn McGill). The three roles written by Handel for superstar castrati are sung by three fantastic countertenors: Mr. Nemzer, Min Sang Kim, and Zachary Wood.
July 13, 2016
PREVIEW: Opera Theater makes Handel's 'Julius Caesar' its own, Tribune-Review
The rediscovery of baroque opera a half-century ago, after more than two centuries of neglect, has brought many and varied masterpieces to light. None shines more brightly or is more frequently performed in our time than George Frideric Handel's “Julius Caesar,” which New York City Opera revived in 1966. Handel is best known for his oratorio “Messiah.” But the German-born composer made his name and became the dominant composer in 18th-century London writing Italian opera. Opera Theater's SummerFest will present Handel's “Julius Caesar” on July 15, 17 and 23 at Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside.
INTERVIEW: Daphne Alderson Performs at SummerFest, Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
As part of Summerfest 2016, chanteuse Daphne Alderson is slated to perform as iconic French songstress Edith Piaff in a concert ironically scheduled for Bastille Day, Thursday, July 14 at the Winchester Thurston School, 555 Morewood Avenue in Shadyside. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and tickets may be reserved by phoning 412-326-9687or online at otsummerfest.org.
July 10, 2016
REVEIW: SummerFest stages 'Kiss Me, Kate', PA Theatre Guide
The truest shrew in William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew is not its lead character Katherine. It’s the wildly misogynistic subject matter that is most in need of taming. Various attempts to do so have come in the form of bold adaptations of the 16th century play including the 1999 film 10 Things I Hate About You, the recent all female production by the Public Theater in New York City, and, of course, Sam and Bella Spewack and Cole Porter’s 1948 musical Kiss Me, Kate. It was my pleasure to laugh and hum along with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s admirable production of this classic romp, which opened last Friday night at the Falk Auditorium as a part of their 2016 Summerfest.
REVEIW: ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ by Opera Theatre Of Pittsburgh at Falk Auditorium, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Dueling lovers, a pair of gangsters and more Shakespeare than your average musical — “Kiss Me, Kate,” which received the first ever Tony Award for Best Musical, has all that and more. On Sunday at Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh put on a light and accessible production of the Cole Porter classic, arguably the composer’s finest work, at its annual SummerFest. Directed and choreographed by Mark Lamanna, the company’s interpretation of “Kiss Me, Kate” hews to conventional staging while also setting itself apart with its more operatic singing.
July 9, 2016
REVEIW: Kiss Me, Kate, Pittsburgh in the Round
There was much that was “new” in the air last night, when Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s “SummerFest” presented Cole Porter’s 1949 Broadway hit, Kiss Me, Kate – some new singers (one making his professional debut in a lead role), a new venue (the Falk Auditorium at Winchester Thurston in Shadyside), and what appeared to be a favorably increased audience appreciation of the work this festival has so successfully offered for this and the past four summers.
July 8, 2016
INTERVIEW: Voice of the Arts, WQED
Jim Cunningham interviews Mildred Miller Posvar and Kara Cornell
July 7, 2016
PREVIEW: Opera Theater's SummerFest shows off its diva side, Herald-Standard
Opera Theater (OT) of Pittsburgh offers up SummerFest as the company shows off its diva side with productions about strong women “Kiss Me, Kate,” “Julius Caesar” and "Silent Woman," on stage at Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside now through July 24.
July 6, 2016
PREVIEW: Opera Theater Summerfest reenvisions 'Kiss Me Kate', Tribune-Review
After two weeks presenting “Carmen the Gypsy” as a road show around town, Opera Theater SummerFest is settling into its new performance home at the Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside, where it will present two dozen shows over the next three weeks.
July 5, 2016
FEATURE: Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh program awards $204,000, Next Pittsburgh
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh¸ $15,000, to support the creation of a new opera with residency artists Tameka Cage Conley, Dwayne Fulton, and Mark Clayton Southers.
July 3, 2016
INTERVIEW: Opera Theater SummerFest, Two Rivers, 30 Minutes
A podcast interview with Jonathan Eaton, Artistic & General Director of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh: What is opera? How does it differ from musical theater? Why is it important to our cultural literacy? How does the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh make it more affordable and accessible for audiences, including children?
July 1, 2016
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh Stages a "Carmen on the Move", Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
Opera Theater’s Carmen the Gypsy is a bold reimagining of Bizet’s masterpiece of passion and fate, set in a gypsy tavern with reduced orchestration for guitar, accordion, and flute.
June 30, 2016
FEATURE: Foundations' Black Arts program awards more than $200K for Pittsburgh projects, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh grants program, a partnership between The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments, has awarded $204,480 in grants to support art rooted in the black experience. Opera Theater of Pittsburgh was awarded $15,000 to support a new opera with residency artists Tameka Cage Conley, Dwayne Fulton, and Mark Clayton Southers.
June 29, 2016
REVIEW: Carmen the Gypsy at Opera Theater SummerFest, Pittsburgh City Paper
Some people I know spend a lot of time thinking about how to keep theater relevant in the new millennium. That’s kid stuff compared to opera. Opera Theater of Pittsburgh gives it a try by remounting its 2012 Carmen the Gypsy.
June 24, 2016
REVIEW: Opera Review: ‘Carmen the Gypsy’ at Sphinx Cafe, PA Theatre Guide
First things first, let’s get to the stars of this production, billed just below the title: “A hookah bar,” “A Persian rug emporium,” “A historic barn.” The kickoff to Opera Theater’s SummerFest is a touring production taking Pittsburgh by storm from Oakland to Sewickley and back again with an iconic diva at the center.
June 23, 2016
REVIEW: SummerFest's Tour of "Carmen the Gypsy" is On!, Pittsburgh in the Round
And it’s “on” in more ways than one. The reworking of Bizet’s classic (a success during the “SummerFest” of 2012, but new to the writer) had its first performance Wednesday night, at The Sphinx Café in Oakland, and clearly pleased the number of patrons that could be packed into the small venue.
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s SummerFest will happen in unusual places, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
After three seasons at the Twentieth Century Club, the summertime opera company will present its annual SummerFest at Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside.
PREVIEW: Opera Theater SummerFest, Pittsburgh Magazine
Intimate. Innovative. Opera Theater SummerFest productions are visceral in a way that can't be achieved in a big opera house.
June 8, 2016
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh Sets 2016 SummerFest Season, Broadway World
Strong women are in the spotlight as Opera Theater of Pittsburgh announces its 2016 SummerFest season of opera, musical theater, concerts and cabarets, June 22-July 24.
PREVIEW: Classical Music Takes over on June 11, Tribune-Review
“Little Red Riding Hood” will be presented at 5 p.m. by Opera Theater Summerfest at the Stanwix Stage at Gateway Center.
PREVIEW: Fifth Annual Opera Theater SummerFest Celebrates Divas, Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
Celebrating its fifth SummerFest season and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s 38th year, the festival begins with Carmen the Gypsy in a revival of the company’s acclaimed flamenco-style adaptation of the Bizet opera by Jonathan Eaton and Robert Frankenberry.
May 31, 2016
PREVIEW: "SummerFest" Is In the Air!, Pittsburgh in the Round
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s 5th annual “SummerFest” is coming soon, and promises many musical treats – and the innovative company has a standing track record of making good on its promises.
May 19, 2016
PREVIEW: The classics in music, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is on the move again, making its new home at Winchester Thurston School in Shadyside.
May 16, 2016
PREVIEW: Pittsburgh offers classical performances throughout summer, Tribune-Review
The heart of the Summerfest season, which runs from June 22 to July 24, is five staged productions — two operas, another opera in a cabaret adaptation, a children's opera and a classic musical.
November 11, 2015
PREVIEW: Detroit soprano wins Miller Voice Competition, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh held the annual Mildred Miller International Voice Competition last weekend at the Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze.
July 26, 2015
REVIEW: Opera Theater Summerfest continues to impress with 'Capriccio', Tribune-Review
Once again, opera lovers are in debt to Opera Theater Summerfest for presenting a great but neglected opera in a persuasive performance. Summerfest's staging of Capriccio by Richard Strauss, seen July 25 at the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland, was probably its Pittsburgh premiere.
REVIEW: Opera Theater takes on 'Capriccio', Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Capriccio, the last opera by Richard Strauss, is an opera about writing an opera, but it's no mere intellectual exercise. The very literate libretto by conductor Clemens Krauss transforms the quandary of words vs. music into a human dilemma: The glamorous Parisian countess Madeleine must choose between two rival suitors, a poet and a musician.
REVIEW: "SummerFest" Crowns Season With a Richard Strauss Rarity, Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
Saturday night's performance of the rarely heard Capriccio was the best work the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has done this year, which is saying much, since "SummerFest" has been a series of successes. The size of the audience seemed to be somewhat affected by the stifling weather, Pittsburgh's apparent and baffling hesitancy over German opera, or both, but the listeners made up in enthusiasm what they lacked slightly in numbers.
July 23, 2015
PREVIEW: Summerfest brings Strauss romantic opera 'Capriccio' to Pittsburgh, Tribune-Review
In Pittsburgh, we encounter the music of Richard Strauss almost exclusively in the concert hall, especially his tone poems, such as "Ein Heldenleben" or "Also sprach Zarathustra." But when U.S. troops came to his home in southern Germany near the end of World War II, the composer identified himself by an opera, "Richard Strauss, composer of Der Rosenkavalier."
REVIEW: "A New Kind of Fallout" at Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, The Pittsburgh Tatler
Readers who have taken the time to google my web bio on the CMU Drama website will know that I have, for several years, taken a particular interest in finding, researching, and promoting theater and performance that deals with ecological issues.
July 22, 2015
REVIEW: A New Kind of Fallout at Opera Theater: A new opera inspired by the work of Rachel Carson is frequently powerful, Pittsburgh City Paper
A New Kind of Fallout grew from an Opera Theater of Pittsburgh commission to celebrate the life and work of Rachel Carson. Because Carson's estate is protective of her biography, the opera's creators instead crafted a fictional story about a woman whose life is changed by Carson's book Silent Spring, which launched the contemporary environmental movement.
July 20, 2015
REVIEW: A New Kind of Fallout, Opera Theater SummerFest, 'Burgh Vivant
Burgh Vivant Nancy Mimless falls for A New Kind of Fallout world premiere production by Opera Theater SummerFest, music by Gilda Lyons, libretto by Tammy Ryan, directed by Jonathan Eaton, playing through July 26th, 2015 at the Art Deco Theater of The Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. Watch the review now!
July 19, 2015
REVIEW: SummerFest Commissions a "Powerful Mix" in "A New Kind of Fallout", Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
Dating as far back as the 17th century, women have composed many operas - but today, virtually all are unknown and underperformed - if not lost altogether. Even at the Met, only Ethel Smyth's Der Wald ("The Forest"), has been given two poorly received performances - in 1903! - but this dubious record will be broken during the 2016-17 season, when that world renowned company will finally present another opera by a female composer, L'amour de Loin, by Kaija Saariaho.
REVIEW: Compelling new opera, 'Fallout,' revisits 1960s, dangers of pesticides, Tribune-Review
Summerfest launched its ambitious new series of operas with contemporary relevance on July 19 with a powerful environmental statement called "A New Kind of Fallout." The opera is a tribute to the pioneering work of Rachel Carson. It is set in 1962, the year her book "Silent Spring" was published. The piece dramatizes the impact of Carson's call for awareness of the dangers of pesticides.
REVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh draws powerful connections and contrasts in eco-opera inspired by 'Silent Spring', Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, which programs an array of activities during its annual SummerFest, has embarked on an admirable project to premiere operas about hot-button issues in alternate years. On Saturday night at the Twentieth Century Club, the company introduced the effort with "A New Kind of Fallout," an opera inspired by Rachel Carson's seminal book, "Silent Spring."
July 17, 2015
PREVIEW: "Eco Opera" about Rachel Carson Premieres in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Front
This week, a new opera based on the life and work of environmentalist Rachel Carson is making its world premiere. Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, which commissioned the work, is calling it the world's first "eco opera." Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring, which raised the alarm about the effects of the pesticide DDT, is the inspiration for the work.
July 16, 2015
REVIEW: Switch-hitting 'Damn Yankees' scores, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Summer means baseball. But it also means Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, which covered a lot of its own bases when it produced the musical "Damn Yankees," a homespun, heartwarming take on the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil. Where have you heard that before? Oh, yes, in one of the most famous operas, "Faust."
July 15, 2015
REVIEW: Opera Theater scores majorly with 'Damn Yankees' switchup, Tribune-Review
You may have seen "Damn Yankees" before. Since its 1955 Broadway debut, it has become a high-school musical staple, a 1958 movie and a 1995 Broadway revival. Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera has done it three times. But it's highly unlikely you've seen a "Damn Yankees" like the one by Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
REVIEW: A Review of "Damn Yankees" at Opera Theater SummerFest, Pittsburgh City Paper
SummerFest's production of this baseball-themed Broadway classic hits it out of the park, but while wearing uniforms you wouldn't expect. The story's the same: After Faust, a rabid Washington Senators fan sells his soul to the devil who'll help his club finally the defeat the despised New York Yanks. But cleverly, and somewhat cheekily, this incarnation of the 1955 Adler and Ross musical is cast so all the men's roles are played by women, and all the women's roles by men (with one notable exception).
PREVIEW: 'Fallout brings 'Music that Matters' to Oakland's Twentieth Century Club, Tribune-Review
Opera directors often look for ways to make old works relevant to our times. Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's Summerfest has taken the more holistic approach to relevance by commissioning a new work inspired by pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson.
July 14, 2015
REVIEW: DAMN YANKEES, Opera Theater Summerfest, 'Burgh Vivant
'Burgh Vivant and staunch Pittsburgh Pirates fan Nancy Mimless reviews Opera Theater Summerfest's Damn Yankees, directed by Scott Wise. Get the play by play here, plus - which Pittsburgh Pirate has the best singing voice? Watch the review now!
July 13, 2015
PREVIEW: World premiere eco-opera: A New Kind of Fallout, Next Pittsburgh
It's been 53 years since the publication of Rachel Carson's game-changing Silent Spring, but the themes and insights of her seminal book remain as relevant and as powerful today. This month, a new eco-opera making its world premiere right here in Pittsburgh is bringing Carson's pioneering work to life in powerful and relevant new ways.
July 12, 2015
REVIEW: Summerfest's 'Marriage of Figaro' satisfying production, Tribune-Review
The fourth season of SummerFest opened July 10 at Oakland's Twentieth Century Club with a joyous production of "The Marriage of Figaro." The opera is a miracle of felicitous invention that, in a worthy production such as SummerFest is presenting, tickles the spirits and warms the hearts of listeners.
REVIEW: "SummerFest" Gender-Bends a Broadway Classic, Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
Adler and Ross' Damn Yankees, which ran over 1,000 performances and won seven Tony Awards during its original Broadway success of nearly six decades ago, was brought out of the local bull-pen last night by Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. It had been there since CLO last produced the show in 1976. The popular musical threw quite a curve ball at the audience, for in his version, director Scott Wise has the male roles acted and sung by female members of the company, and vice versa.
July 11, 2015
REVIEW: "SummerFest" Opens With Mozart and Success, Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
Even Albert Einstein was awed by Mozart's compositions. "Beethoven created his music," he once wrote, "but the music of Mozart is of such purity and beauty that one feels he merely found it - that is has always existed as part of the inner beauty of the universe waiting to be revealed."
July 10, 2015
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh: SummerFest 2015, Wonderaddo
I've lived in Pittsburgh for more than ten years now and I just recently discovered Opera Theater of Pittsburgh (not to be confused with the Pittsburgh Opera) and I'm so glad I did. I like the organization's approach - they want to break away from any stereotypes that opera might have as being "stuffy" or "too formal" or "outdated in today's world" and make it as accessible and engaging as it can be to a wide audience, including even preschool children.
July 9, 2015
PREVIEW: Opera Theater's SummerFest offers unusual productions to attract new audiences, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
As Opera Theater of Pittsburgh continues to shape its artistic vision and grow in ambition, it also hopes to cultivate new opera audiences by focusing on issues that matter to them - and on unusual ways of experiencing the art form. On Friday, Opera Theater's annual SummerFest opens with a company-record six productions over four weekends, including the world premiere of an "eco-opera" that was two years in the making.
July 8, 2015
PREVIEW: Opera Theater's SummerFest features Rachel Carson-inspired work, Pittsburgh City Paper
Given that he heads Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, it's no surprise that Jonathan Eaton loves classical opera. Listen to him gush about The Marriage of Figaro, which he calls (only half-jokingly) "the high point of Western Civilization" and (not jokingly at all) "Mozart at his very, very best."
PREVIEW: SummerFest Opens Season Friday Evening with Four Week Long Menu of Music, Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
For lovers of music, there will be plenty to choose from starting this Friday evening when Opera Theater launches SummerFest, a four week long run of opera, musical theater, a family opera, a world premier, recitals, late night cabarets, and production forums. SummerFest opens with a classic - Mozart's comic masterpiece The Marriage of Figaro, sung in English and directed by Opera Theater artistic director, Jonathan Eaton.
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's SummerFest to Feature World Premiere, & More, Broadway World
The world premiere of A New Kind of Fallout is showcased in Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's fourth SummerFest season. Inspired by environmentalist Rachel Carson (a native of Springdale, Pa.), the new opera features music by acclaimed New York-based composer Gilda Lyons and libretto by award-winning Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan.
July 4, 2015
PREVIEW: Opera Theater's SummerFest ranges from classics to world premiere, Tribune-Review
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's reinvention of itself as a summer festival in 2011 brought new dimensions to the city's musical life. Now classical music's off-season has been reduced to August. SummerFest offers a flurry of events over itself nearly monthlong run, including many stage productions and concerts designed for wide appeal, including ones for children.
July 2, 2015
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's "SummerFest" Opens July 10, Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh (now in its 38th year) will begin its fourth "SummerFest" on July 10, at the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. First up will be that evening's production of Mozart's perennial The Marriage of Figaro, which has been charming audiences since 1786. Like all "SummerFest" productions, the work will be given in English, but this year the innovation of subtitles projected above the stage has been added.
June 30, 2015
FEATURE: Robert Frankenberry - Music Director, Vocalist, Composer, Pianist, Conductor, 'Burgh Vivant
A lively cocktail conversation with the musically masterful Rob Frankenberry! Hear the trouble with tenors, if capes will come back in style, and what's on Rob's bucket list. Watch the interview now!
June 29, 2015
FEATURE: Top family adventures this July in Pittsburgh, Next Pittsburgh
July marks the beginning of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's SummerFest, which will offer a children's opera called The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. With a kid-friendly 40-minute running time (no intermission) and post-show activities, this event provides the perfect opportunity to introduce your children to opera.
June 27, 2015
FEATURE: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Saturday Light Brigade
Dennis Robinson (director), Karen Jeng Lin (pianist/conductor), and Zachary Luchetti (Big Bad Wolf) previewing the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh production of The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Saturdays at 11 am, 7/11 to 8/1, Twentieth Century Club, Oakland.
June 24, 2015
FEATURE: Short List: June 24 - July 2, Pittsburgh City Paper
A new opera inspired by Rachel Carson has been getting workshop performances around town. And in July, A New Kind of Fallout receives its world premiere as part of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's SummerFest.
June 16, 2015
FEATURE: Tammy Ryan - Playwright, 'Burgh Vivant
Prolific Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan joins host Brian Edward for cocktails on 'Burgh Vivant and delights with tales of family, her first great success, and her approach to writing her first opera libretto premiering at this year's Opera Theater SummerFest! Watch the interview now!
June 10, 2015
FEATURE: Carrie Furnace to Host Opera Theater Summerfest Eco-opera Workshop, 6/27, Broadway World
Music and theater lovers can step out at the Carrie Furnace on Sat. July 27 and into the creative process during a festive evening centered around a free workshop of Opera Theater's commissioned Eco-Opera, A New Kind of Fallout, with music by composer Gilda Lyons and libretto by Tammy Ryan.
June 3, 2015
FEATURE: 10 Can't Miss Local Summer Music Events in Pittsburgh, Nak You Out
In an effort to cater to the widest possible audience, The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's summer lineup, which takes place at the Twentieth Century Club, includes classics like Damn Yankees, a late night cabaret, a children's show, and a world-premiere "Eco-Opera".
February 27, 2015
FEATURE: Using Rachel Carson to Address Ecological Issues Through Opera, WESA-FM
In an attempt to both re-brand what opera can offer and what it can teach, the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is developing an opera its dubbed an, Eco-Opera. "This whole notion that opera, sometimes is branded as an elitist art form, and very often the subject matter, and the medium, look back into old European works and there's a strong sense of visiting a sort of musical theatrical museum when you go to the opera. That's not the way we want it to be," said the company's artistic and general director Jonathan Eaton.
February 15, 2015
FEATURE: Opera Theater's A New Kind of Fallout is based on the work by Rachel Carson, The Examiner
Everything's going green. Even opera. Opera Theater has commissioned a new "Eco-Opera" for its Fourth SummerFest season: A New Kind of Fallout is inspired by the environmental advocacy of Rachel Carson, perhaps more famous for the ground-breaking Silent Spring than being a lesbian. The new opera, whose title is from Carson's 1963 Congressional testimony, is a collaboration between composer Gilda Lyons and librettist Tammy Ryan, a Pittsburgh-based Pittsburgh [sic].
December 16, 2014
FEATURE: Holiday Cabaret Celebrates Life of One of Pittsburgh’s Great Divas, Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
If the Holiday Cabaret planned for this Friday evening is anything like the ones that followed the mainstage productions of the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s Summerfest, Pittsburgh audiences are in for a rare treat.
October 30, 2014
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh vocal competition's not over until best voice sings, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Discovering a new delight is one of life's great experiences. For opera fans, discovering new voices has the added physical thrill of the sound of the voices themselves.
October 27, 2014
FEATURE: Mildred Miller Posvar - Founder, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, 'Burgh Vivant
The charming, delightful, legendary mezzo-soprano Mildred Miller Posvar joins us for cocktail hour to discuss her renowned career, her 23 consecutive seasons at The Metropolitan Opera, and her founding of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. Watch the interview now!
August 5, 2014
FEATURE: Unexpected in Pittsburgh, US Airways Magazine
Pittsburgh's cultural corridor in Oakland bustles with "eds and meds" in the shadow of the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning. Every summer, the Art Deco spaces of the Twentieth Century Club are enlivened by Opera Theater SummerFest.
July 30, 2014
FEATURE: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh SummerFest, The Opera Critic
July 26, 2014
REVIEW: Opera Theater Summerfest concert fitting honor for founder, Tribune-Review
Opera Theater Summerfest celebrated its founder Mildred Miller Posvar on July 23 with the best form of tribute — a concert devoted to repertoire she made her own at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City and other major houses in Europe.
July 22, 2014
FEATURE: Jonathan Eaton-Executive and Artistic Director, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, 'Burgh Vivant
It’s cocktails at the Twentieth Century Club with Opera Theater Executive and Artistic Director Jonathan Eaton! Martinis and showtunes are bandied about in delightful excess as Mr. Eaton recounts his Swahili roots, identifies what makes Pittsburgh a thriving home for opera, and entertains with the details on why Opera Theater’s Summerfest is a steel city standout. Watch the interview now!
July 21, 2014
REVIEW: Happy Hour! Pop-Up Opera Hits Downtown, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Patrons were happily surprised by the funny, romantic, (and a little naughty) 5-minute performances by company’s 2014 young artists. Some took videos on their phones while others shouted “Aw, give him a kiss!” or “Have a Jack on the rocks!” after one performer was rejected by his online love match. “I thought it was awesome, just like my home life...except better,” laughed Robert Thomas at August Henry’s. Added Chuck Brannigan, “It was interesting! We weren’t expecting it!”
REVIEW: SummerFest's 'Ariadne' Rides Crest of Superbly Blended Talents, Tribune-Review
The Opera Theater SummerFest performance of “Ariadne auf Naxos” by Richard Strauss on July 18 featured outstanding vocal performances, insightful staging and excellent conducting. But the ways those elements blended — casting fresh light on and strengthening each of the components — created the magic of opera one always hopes to experience.
July 20, 2014
REVIEW: Summerfest’s “Ariadne on Naxos” excells at operatic fun, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
It’s hard to convey just how much fun, what an exhilarating theatrical experience is Summerfest’s “Ariadne on Naxos” at the 20th Century Club in Oakland. Jonathan Eaton’s lively, resourceful staging and Brent McMunn’s expert musical direction of the 20-piece orchestra brings Richard Strauss’s all-too-rarely heard operatic masterpiece vividly to life. Opera Theater’s English-language production is an extraordinary accomplishment for a small company with limited financial and stage resources.
REVIEW:OTP’s “SummerFest” Gives Pittsburgh a Rare Hearing of German Grand Opera, Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
Pittsburgh music-lovers were out in full force at the Twentieth Century Club on Friday evening, July 18, when “SummerFest” gave them a taste of grand opera by a German composer – a treat they get only a couple of times each decade. Richard Strauss’s music was more than welcomed by a good-sized throng, who gave the piece one of the most demonstrative receptions the writer has heard a Pittsburgh audience bestow on an operatic performance in quite some time.
REVIEW: "Ariadne" the essence of divine music, Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
Size does matter, and, in the case of this production, small and intimate wins out over large and grandiose. It’s amazing what can be done on a space-limited stage and with minimal set resources but with a fine cast of singers and a scaled down, but lush-sounding and expressive orchestra under the masterful baton of conductor Brent McMunn.
July 17, 2014
PREVIEW: Opera Theater honors Strauss milestone with 'Ariadne', Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The SummerFest production of 'Ariadne' has been underwritten by Jerry Clack, a retired classics professor at Duquesne University and a lifelong Strauss fan who has one of the largest collections in Pittsburgh of opera CDs and DVDs. "Opera in Pittsburgh has been stuck in the 19th century," Mr. Clack says. "It's time we examined more of the masterpieces of the 20th century, and Strauss is one of the mose accessible 20th century composers."
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's 'Ariadne' promises lots of excitement, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“Of all the Strauss operas, 'Ariadne auf Naxos' is perhaps the most inviting and manageable,” says artistic director Jonathan Eaton. “It is very inviting because there's a lot of comedy in it, which is wonderful for a summer festival. It is a German opera which is still all about love and death, but has a humorous — rather than the stodgy — look one so often gets in German romantic operas.”
July 16, 2014
REVIEW: SummerFest serves up a more operatic Fantasticks, Pittsburgh City Paper
Opera Theater SummerFest's staging in a converted ballroom is larger than the original, but some of the intimacy survives. The secret is director/choreographer Peter Kope, best known as the producing artistic director and co-founder of exploratory dance company Attack Theatre.
July 15, 2014
REVIEW: 'Fantasticks' remains simple delight with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"Try to Remember," Sean Cooper's narrator implores us in the opening moments of "The Fantasticks." This Opera Theater of Pittsburgh production makes that easy to do. Once a staple of the summer-theater season, "The Fantasticks" is now seldom performed. So, it's nice to see it return as part of Opera Theater's SummerFest with delightfully tuneful performances of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones' score by a well-voiced cast and quartet of musicians.
July 14, 2014
REVIEW: Divas please at Opera Theater's SummerFest, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Two Pittsburgh divas pleased local fans in the opening weekend of Opera Theater's three-week-long SummerFest. Performing in the 20th Century Club in Oakland, Marianne Cornetti inaugurated the events Thursday evening with a recital that included opera arias accompanied on the piano by Brent McMunn, followed by lighter music on the second half.
July 14, 2014
Now I can take my place among the thousands who have enjoyed the interactions of El Gallo (Sean Cooper), Matt(Adam Hill), Luisa (Rachel Eve Holmes), Hucklebee (Brian Hupp), Bellomy (James Critchfield), Henry (Martin Giles), Mortimer (Daniel Arnaldos), and The Mute (or The Wall, if you may, Dane Toney).
July 13, 2014
FEATURE: 2DO This Week, July 13-20: Cultural Events around Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's SummerFest continues with productions of "Ariadne on Naxos," "The Fantasticks" and "The Merry Widow," a master class by Pittsburgh native and mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti, vocal recitals and more.
July 13, 2014
REVIEW: Opera Theater's Summerfest starts off rough with 'Merry Widow', Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Productions are the heart of Summerfest, which is presenting a host of other musical events during July at the Twentieth Century club in Oakland. Summerfest's production was uneven at its opening on July 14, though it did rise to sustained beauty for the show's hit song, "Vilja."
July 12, 2014
REVIEW:Opera Theater's "SummerFest" and Attack Theater Join to Add a New Look to an Old Classic, Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
Those who attended this "SummerFest's" first performance of the musical[The Fantasticks] on the evening of July 12 left the Twentieth Century Club with a new appreciation of the piece, as quite a few audience members confessed to having seen the show on a number of occasions.
July 11, 2014
REVIEW: Opera Theater's "SummerFest" a Pleasant July Breeze, Pittsburgh Stage Magazine
On Friday evening, July 11, its first performance of Franz Lehár’s perennial opperetta, "The Merry Widow," pleased what should have been a capacity audience.
July 11, 2014
REVIEW: Cornetti justifies warm welcome on return, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
There may have been a few people at the packed opening concert of SummerFest on July 10 who wondered why the singer was greeted as a returning hero even before she reached the stage. The extended cheering and applause was the warmest possible welcome for a performer.
July 6, 2014
FEATURE: Summerest 2014-An Exciting Mix of Musical Entertainment, Pittsburgh Owl Scribe
In the short span of 17 days, Pittsburgh audiences can immerse themselves in a wide range of musical entertainment set in the gorgeous Art Deco ambiance of the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. The third annual installment of SummerFest, which runs from July 10-27, features three main stage productions, an opera especially written for children, a commissioned opera inspired by the work and life of ecologist pioneer, Rachel CArson, numerous recital, post-performance cabarets and more.
July 3, 2014
FEATURE: You Should Know: Tammy Ryan, Pittsburgh Magazine
Tammy Ryan initially wanted to be on the stage, but her career path took her behind the curtain instead. She says she's fine with that-she wanted to be involved in the process of watching words come to life before an audience.
March 16, 2014
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh announces SummerFest lineup, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's SummerFest is so close you can taste it. Or maybe that's the beer you'll be drinking during of the company's pop-up operas, set to appear randomly in Pittsburgh's bars this summer. In any case, the festival's full plate of operas, recitals and smaller events is sure to satisfy all your operatic cravings.
March 15, 2014
PREVIEW: Opera Theater's performance-filled Summerfest has international flair, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The third season of Opera Theater's Summerfest, which runs July 10 to 27 in Oakland, will offer four staged works, including a childrens opera along with vocal recitals, happy hours, late-night cabarets and other special events.
October 30, 2013
PREVIEW: Opera Theater sings praises of voice competition
Competitions haven't always been a central part of musical life, particularly in opera. Nowadays, they can be critical to starting a career. There's plenty of drama in the final rounds of competitions as singers fight their nerves and strive to sing the best they ever have. That's why the public-performance portions of competitions can be exciting for audiences. The final rounds of the 2013 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition take place Nov. 2 and 3 in Oakland and are open to the public.
September 13, 2013
FEATURE: Opera Theater’s SummerFest: Bringing opera to the masses, festival style, New Pittsburgh Courier
For more than three decades, Opera Theater Pittsburgh has showcased the best opera performers the world has to offer in a festival-style atmosphere. And its warm-weather component, SummerFest, showcases the best up-and-coming opera singers the world has to offer.
July 23, 2013
FEATURE: Taking Coworking to a Whole New Level, The Beauty Shoppe
For some small Pittsburgh companies, coworking means having access to affordable office space. For New Place Collaborations, a dynamic marketing agency of two, it means having access to a place they can call headquarters, while working elsewhere when they need to. For the past few weeks, Beauty Shoppers Yvonne Hudson and Lynette Asson have been onsite at the posh Twentieth Century Club in Oakland, working with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh on Summerfest 2013, three weeks of opera and events.
July 17, 2013
REVIEW: Wrap-up of Opera Summer Fest in Pittsburgh, OperaPulse
Hold on… let me catch my breath. Okay, I’m good now, having just run an operatic marathon with an immeasurable host of talented individuals assembled within the Rococo walls of Pittsburgh’s Twentieth Century Club during this year’s Summer Fest, presented by Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
July 13, 2013
REVIEW: Opera review: 'Brow' a shining drama; 'Music' less successful, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has two diverse examples of American musical theater in this year's SummerFest: Daron Hagen's "Shining Brow" -- an operatic telling of scandal and tragedy in the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright -- and Stephen Sondheim's Broadway classic "A Little Night Music."
July 12, 2013
REVIEW: Summerfest’s ‘Shining Brow’ is a very impressive achievement, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
A great building may need a solid foundation, but people often achieve greatness with feet of clay. The beautiful and moving opera “Shining Brow,” which Summerfest presented Thursday night, looks beyond the brilliance of Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture to the messiness of his personal life.
July 12, 2013
PREVIEW: It's an Opera Night (And Weekend) in Pittsburgh, WESA-FM
It will be a weekend full of opera performances in Pittsburgh, but they will be far from the grand Eurocentric affairs you might imagine.
July 10, 2013
REVIEW: Opera Theater's A Little Night Music, Pittsburgh City Paper
While musical comedy doesn't come naturally to opera singers, the tremendous upside is these glorious voices singing this mesmerizing music.
July 10, 2013
REVIEW: Photo Flash: First Look at Anna Singer, Daniel Teadt and More in Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, Broadway World
Stephen Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC opened in Pittsburgh this past Sunday as part of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's second-annual SummerFest. SummerFest is a three-week artistic celebration that "brings together a pack of independently-spirited, joyfully unconventional people to celebrate community as well as cultural values" through the presentation of six distinct operas for theatergoers of all ages and interests.
July 9, 2013
REVIEW: ‘Night Music’ makes good use of setting, winning cast, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Academics and pedants can talk themselves into a frenzy arguing whether Stephen Sondheim's “A Little Night Music” is a musical or an opera.The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh production that opened July 7 (and repeats July 12 and 20) seems content to split the difference with a production that should offer satisfaction to both groups.
July 8, 2013
REVIEW: New take on 'Tales of Hoffmann', Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, which has never lacked boldness, opened its second summer season Saturday night with with a radical new version of "The Tales of Hoffmann," the tuneful opera by Jacques Offenbach which Pittsburgh Opera last presented a quarter century ago.
July 8, 2013
REVIEW: 'Hoffmann' excels at opera SummerFest, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Company director Jonathan Eaton's limitless imagination made grand theater on the small theater's modest stage, with his own reworking of Offenbach's ebullient and melodious "The Tales of Hoffmann -- Retold." One of the most delightful operas in the repertory, an amalgam of the comic, the sentimental and the bizarre,"Hoffmann" was left unfinished at the composer's death. There's no authentic version, so it is hardly disrespectful for Mr. Eaton to incorporate music by the real E.T.A. Hoffmann, a writer and composer as well as a romantic hero in the early 19th century.
July 4, 2013
PREVIEW: Opera Theater starts season in a new home, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has never been one to shy away from doing things a little differently, and this season is no exception.
July 4, 2013
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s SummerFest moves into 20th Century, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Last season, the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh reinvented itself as a summer music festival. SummerFest was a bold venture in its first year, offering three staged productions, an extravagant array of concerts, short operas called Night Caps International, cabaret performances, chamber music concerts and a Mozart camp.
July 03, 2013
PREVIEW: Theater's SummerFest is back, this time at Oakland's landmark Twentieth Century Club., Pittsburgh City Paper
Last year, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh remade itself as a 17-day summer festival at Fox Chapel's Shady Side Academy. The result was the 35-year-old company's most financially successful season. Now Summer Fest returns, at a notable in-city venue.
July 3, 2013
PREVIEW: A Weekend in the Country with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, Broadway World
Stephen Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC—which contestably features his most well-known hit, "Send in the Clowns"—opens in Pittsburgh this Sunday as part of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's second-annual SummerFest. SummerFest is a three-week artistic celebration that "brings together a pack of independently-spirited, joyfully unconventional people to celebrate community as well as cultural values" through the presentation of six distinct operas for theatergoers of all ages and interests.
June 18, 2013
PREVIEW: This year, it's summer in the city for Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
In 2012, the 35-year old ensemble managed to transpose its traditional goal of presenting small-scale, mostly English-language opera to a different key, staging a summer season on the Fox Chapel campus of Shady Side Academy. While the decision helped double the small company’s audience, artistic director Jonathan Eaton has decided to take the group in a different direction this year: back to town.
June 15, 2013
REVIEW: A new chamber version of Daron Hagen’s Shining Brow staged at Wright’s masterpiece home Fallingwater
The opera tells the story of Wright (baritone Kevin Kees); his mentor, Louis Sullivan (tenor James Flora); his lover, Mamah Borthwick Cheney (soprano Lara Lynn Cottrill); her husband, Edwin Cheney (bass-baritone Dimitrie Lazich); and Wright’s wife Catherine (soprano Kara Cornell).
It spans the years 1903–1914, which cover Wright’s commission to build a home for the Cheneys, his break with Sullivan, his liaison and elopement to Europe with Mamah, his breakup with Catherine, and the murder and fire at Taliesin that leave Mamah dead and Wright bereft. The role of a maid who brings the angry, disillusioned Sullivan his drinks is sung by soprano Anna McTiernan.
June 9, 2013
REVIEW: Shining Brow: My Evening with Frank Lloyd Wright
Last night, my husband and I had the amazing good fortune (and foresight of planning on our cross-country road trip) to celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s birthday at his masterpiece, Fallingwater. The brilliance of our planning is completely overshadowed, not only by the place, but by the shear genius of the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh in producing an opera about Mr. Wright, and staging it at Fallingwater, on the day of his birthday!
June 8, 2013
PREVIEW: Opera rings out at Fallingwater, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Edwin Cheney, played by Dimitrie Lazich, hugs his wife, Mamah Cheney, played by Lara Lynn Cottrill, during dress rehearsal for "Shining Brow," performed by the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh at Fallingwater in Mill Run, Fayette County, Wednesday.
The opera, composed by Daron Hagen with a libretto by Paul Muldoon, is based on the life of Fallingwater's architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The performance, the first opera at the house, ran Friday and will also run today.
June 6, 2013
PREVIEW: Opera Theater and Fallingwater: Two Worlds Making Beautiful Music Together, WESA-FM
Celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright once drew up plans for the area occupied by Point State Park. While those plans didn’t come to fruition, the area is proud to boast two homes designed by the visionary architect – Kentuck Knob and the iconic Fallingwater. This weekend, which would have been Frank Lloyd Wright’s 146th birthday, the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, in conjunction with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, will present Shining Brow, an opera covering eleven years in the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, performed on the exterior terraces of Fallingwater.
June 5, 2013
PREVIEW: Shining Brow—an opera about Frank Lloyd Wright
If there was ever a life that should be made into an opera it is that of America's greatest architect Frank Lloyd Wright. For after all, operas are nothing but drama of great proportions with scandalous goings on in-between.
June 5, 2013
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh to perform at Fallingwater, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Adultery, betrayal, murder, fire, devastation—it's all there in "Shining Brow," an opera composed by Daron Hagen with a libretto by Northern Irish poet laureate Paul Muldoon. On Friday and Saturday, it will be performed on the outdoor terraces at Fallingwater by the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh as part of its SummerFest. It's the first time this opera has been staged at one of the architect's houses and the first time any opera has been performed at this house.
May 31, 2013
PREVIEW: Fallingwater Backdrop for Wright Opera, Herald-Standard, Uniontown, PA
Shining Brow will take stage at the world-known Fallingwater in Mill Run June 7 and 8. The event marks the first time composer Daren Hagen's opera will be held at one of the famed architect's buildings and the world premiere of Hagen's re-orchestration for chamber opera done specifically for the occasion.
May 25, 2013
PREVIEW: Architecture and Tragedy Inspire an Event, The Daily News, Huntingdon, PA
On June 7–8, this region will experience a singular convergence of art and architecture when Shining Brow is performed at Fallingwater.
April 16, 2013
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh to Performing 'Shining Brow' at Fallingwater, The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
Opera Theater’s Artistic Director Jonathan Eaton directs this production about Fallingwater’s creator and arguably America’s most famous architect and uses the house as its set. The piece captures the 11 most tumultuous years of Frank Lloyd Wright’s life.
July 16, 2012
REVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s ‘Candide’ Ends SummerFest on a High Note, Alexandra Strycula, BroadwayWorld.Com
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s SummerFest ended on a high note this Sunday with the festival’s pitch-perfect final showing of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide…This Candide’s standout performance is by far that of Pittsburgh native Abigail Dueppen, who dazzles with her performance as the ditzy-happy Cunegonde. Her rendition of “Glitter and Be Gay” quite literally stopped the show on Sunday with a prolonged – and fully merited – round of vigorous applause…
July 9, 2012
FEATURE: Teaching Voice from the Inside: UPMC and Opera Theater, Andrew Druckenbrod, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Opera singers get plenty of advice, but even the best voice teachers can’t see exactly how larynxes operate during arias and the like. Tomorrow the UPMC Voice Center will do just that when it offers free vocal cord endoscopies to the young singers performing in the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s Summerfest…
July 8, 2012
REVIEW: ‘Candide’ and More from Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Gordon Spencer, WRCT
You’ll hear and see what justifies the acclaim and reputation accorded this, given uniformly magnificent singing, several wonderful character interpretations, filling out plenty of zippy business directed by consistently locally admired Scott Wise and remarkably adept playing by a 12-member orchestra led by Brent McMunn…
July 8, 2012
REVIEW: Opera Theater’s ‘Candide’ has Ups and Downs, Mark Kanny, Tribune Review
Opera Theater’s SummerFest production of “Candide” opened Saturday night and…generated plenty of laughs at The Hillman Center for Performing Arts…FitzGerald’s [Dr. Pangloss]dramatic presence was strong…Daniel Teadt and Abigail Dueppen were appealing as Candide and his lady love Cunegonde…The evening’s standout performer was Andrey Nemzer as The Old Lady in drag and with a heavy Russian accent. His strongly sung portrayal was a hoot, deliciously campy without being overdone…
July 6, 2012
PREVIEW: Opera Theater’s SummerFest Brings ‘The Best of All Possible Worlds’ to Pittsburgh, Alexandra Strycula, BroadwayWorld.Com
Leonard Bernstein’s operetta Candide lands in Pittsburgh this Saturday as part of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s SummerFest, a three-week celebration of opera, music and live theater…look out for Countertenor Andrey Nemzer, who sings the role of The Old Lady, a character who accompanies Candide for much of his journey…Pittsburgh natives Daniel Teadt and Abigail Dueppen star as Candide and Cunegonde, respectively…
July 4, 2012
PREVIEW: SummerFest Hits a High Note with Classical Concerts, Tribune Review
Opera Theater SummerFest classical concerts start with countertenor Andrey Nemzer on Tuesday and the Pittsburgh Chamber Players on Wednesday…Nemzer will be giving his first solo concert in Pittsburgh since he was named one of five winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on March 18. Before winning at the Met, Nemzer won the 2011 Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, which was run the Opera Theater and named for its founder…
July 2, 2012
REVIEW: Inventive ‘Carmen’ Still True to Ideals, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
What made SummerFest’s “Carmen” successful was passionate singing matched by authentic emotion — the fundamentals of strong operatic performance…Whenever Carmen (Kara Cornell) came on stage, she might as well have licked her lips, hungry to command the other characters and mesmerize the audience (both of which she did successfully)…she kept the opera’s promise of sultriness…
July 2, 2012
REVIEW: Tough Luck Affects Enjoyable ‘Magic Flute’ , Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
[Papageno] Mr. Lazich was a marvel, the mix of silliness and strong singing that serves the ludicrous Papageno well. Sabrina Warren had a lovely, gentle texture throughout as Pamina. She channeled Lucia with a knife in her hand. The most intriguing casting was standout countertenor Andrey Nemzer as the despicable Monostatos. Not because of any shock value, at least not to me, but because it juxtaposed his timbre in the head voice compared to Ms. Salas’…
July 1, 2012
REVIEW: Second Performance of Eaton’s ‘Carmen’ is Not to be Missed, Tribune Review
Opera directors usually search for new perspectives when staging yet another performance of old masterpieces. Few are as radical or successful as Jonathan Eaton is in his new version of Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” called “Carmen – the Gypsy,” which made its debut Saturday at Opera Theater SummerFest…The production would be worth seeing for Kara Cornell’s portray of Carmen alone, but, in truth, the entire cast was outstanding and obviously well-rehearsed…Cornell reveled in Carmen’s earthiness as well as her personal strength and integrity…
June 30, 2012
REVIEW: ‘Magic Flute’ Mostly a Delight, Tribune Review
Artistic director Jonathan Eaton’s new staging of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” was a delight to encounter Friday night at The Hillman Center for Performing Arts at Shady Side Academy in Fox Chapel. Eaton found a different angle from which to approach the opera but one that was harmonious with the heart of “The Magic Flute.” He framed it as a dream and placed all the action in a single set, the dreamer Tamino’s bedroom…Beyond the many points of individual excellence, Summerfest’s “The Magic Flute” was an ensemble effort filled with Mozartean joy. The festival is off to a strong start…
June 29, 2012
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh Presents SummerFest 2012, Broadway World
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh raises the curtain on SummerFest, a three-week classical music festival new to Western Pennsylvania, on Fri., June 29. SummerFest features opera sung in English, concerts, recitals, cabaret, visual arts and the SummerFest Fringe, June 29–July 15, 2012, at The Hillman Center for Performing Arts, Shady Side Academy, 423 Fox Chapel Road, 15238. Music and theater lovers are invited to step into some beloved works, experience witty world-premiere music dramas and discover seldom-performed masterpieces. Free outdoor fringe performances and other visual and performing arts events add to the festivities…
June 27, 2012
PREVIEW: Opera Theater of Pittsburgh Reinvents Itself as a 17-day Summer Festival, Pittsburgh City Paper
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh occupies what might seem an unlikely headquarters: the third floor of Lawrenceville’s Stephen Foster Community Center, a hulking old brick building owned by the Catholic Youth Association. The ground floor houses a senior center and the second level is a day care. So while sopranos and tenors rehearse upstairs, toddlers scale the jungle gym and white-haired gents step outside to bemoan the humidity…
June 26, 2012
PREVIEW: Opera Theater SummerFest Gives Classical Feeling to Summer, Tribune Review
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is boldly reinventing itself this year by becoming a summer music festival…The schedule of events offers the extravagant range of choices one expects of a festival. There is a new production of The Magic Flute, a new version of Carmen and a revival of Candide, plus six world premieres of 10 to 15 minute operas called Night Caps, four concerts and a Mozart Camp. In addition, there are a wide array of Fringe events, which are free…
June 24, 2012
PREVIEW: SummerFest Set at Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
For nearly a decade, the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has been a roving band, a troupe seeking a different venue for every production…This summer, he [Director Jonathan Eaton] and Opera Theater will finally settle down…
January 1, 2012
Opera Theater director Jonathan Eaton outdid himself this time. He not only staged Ricky Ian Gordon’s touching song cycle “Orpheus and Euridice,” but he did so in the middle of the Allegheny Cemetery. The gravestones, mausoleums and monuments gave poignant meaning to the work written after Mr. Gordon’s partner died of AIDS…