In the winter of 2015, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh commissioned a new opera as part of an ongoing series called "Music That Matters." Following in the footsteps of our previous "eco-opera," A New Kind of Fallout with music by Gilda Lyons to a libretto by Tammy Ryan, we seek to facilitate the creation of opera that speaks to the issues of the present. This is a part of our effort to keep opera relevant, and create stages where all communities can see their lives, their experiences, their hopes, and their joys reflected onstage. With this commission, we are creating a new work on racial conflict in America, seen through the lens of police brutality. The piece is called A Gathering of Sons.

Another Black man is shot by a white police officer, and we ask what comes next? How do we heal? How do we protect our children?

A Gathering of Sons takes us on a journey through the lives of a young Black man, a White police officer, a pair of Black parents, and a collection of spirits who watch over the world. The words express an experience of both loss and gain, and an understanding of the beautiful life flowing within all of us. It is a confrontation with history, and the way it breathes through the present. It is a conversation on our biases, and how we heal after tragedy. It is an eye towards freedom, and the work we need to reach it. It is full of magic. It is full of fear. It is full of hope, of pain, and still, an even more powerful love.

Join us at workshops for this engaging new work. At each event, you'll get to see performances of selected scenes from the opera, and then engage in a discussion about the work with panels comprised of community leaders, activists, and other artists. Expect also a Q&A session and refreshments at each event. After the workshop, you can complete a short feedback form to receive a 40% discount off tickets for the world premiere production of A Gathering of Sons during our 2017 summer season!


The workshop process for the creation of A Gathering of Sons is now complete. (See the list of workshops held throughout the city in 2016 and 2017.) We hope you will join us at one of the full performances of the final work.