Pittsburgh Festival Opera presents innovative opera, producing American works, reinterpretations of older works, and new works, for the widest possible audience. The company focuses on diversity in programming and casting, on crossing boundaries and bringing together talents from all the arts, on encouraging new talent, and on broadening audiences through outreach and education, to create a body of work that is original, entertaining, contemporary, and relevant.

Pittsburgh Festival Opera brings the power of world-class performances to humanize, energize and re-define opera as an experience that is up-close and personal, approachable, and relevant to today’s audiences. We break boundaries in the arts, bringing together audiences and artists of all backgrounds to engage in experiences that inspire and enthrall.

Our goals are:

Artistic Excellence

  • A summer festival season: presenting a uniquely wide range of opera as theater, and theater as opera, in a festival that includes three fully-staged operas, a classic musical, concerts, lectures and cabarets, in a vibrant social context.
  • New works: commissioning new music dramas for new audiences exploring themes of real contemporary interest and importance, keeping opera alive, relevant and entertaining now, while helping to build a legacy for future generations.
  • Originality and quality: earning regional and national recognition for award-winning work and innovative programming.
  • Creative collaboration: working with a wealth of creative talent from across the arts to keep programming alive and exciting to contemporary audiences, building a reputation that is endorsed by partnerships with other performing arts organizations in Pittsburgh and around the country.
  • Developing new talent: giving performance opportunities and training to help develop emerging young professional artists through the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition and our Young Professional Artist Program, and casting them in appropriate roles alongside established local and nationally renowned professional artists.


  • Opera for everyone: a commitment to developing new audiences through diverse repertoire appealing to a wide range of different constituencies.
  • Singing opera in the language of our audience: English!
  • Affordable ticket pricing: providing many free events during the year and the summer festival, with festival ticket prices starting at $5.

Civic Impact

  • Touring: taking one production a year to non-traditional local and regional venues.
  • Education and outreach: serving younger communities year-round with educational programs from pre-school to high-school, focusing on underprivileged areas in and around Pittsburgh; and providing high-quality, year-round community programming at no cost for a wide variety of events.
  • Strengthening the economy of the region: offering employment opportunities to local artists, technicians, musicians and administrators, and supporting local businesses.
  • Pittsburgh as a tourist destination: initiating a new marketing campaign to promote the summer festival and Pittsburgh nationally and internationally as a go-to destination.

Inclusiveness and Diversity

  • Programming and casting: presenting works and artists that embrace and celebrate diversity, enhancing the vitality and connectedness of our communities.
  • Reflecting the diversity of our community: in our casts, staff, board, volunteers and audiences, fostering respect and common purpose.