Pittsburgh Opera Season Promises Something for Every Taste and Budget

There is a misconception that opera is only for those with rarefied musical tastes and deep pockets.

Pittsburgh Opera will prove otherwise with offers in its 2022-23 season, according to general manager Christopher Hahn.

“We pursue the philosophy and mission of the Pittsburgh Opera to provide our audience with as wide a range of lyrical entertainment as possible,” he said. “We always try to avoid making popular pieces, but to make contemporary pieces. We want to expose the public to new ideas and also look at rare opportunities. »

The season includes operas previously staged in Pittsburgh and others that will be new to local audiences, staged at the Benedum Center in the Cultural District and other venues around the city. It also includes a number of free programs.

“The stereotype is ‘opera is so expensive I couldn’t afford to go,'” Hahn said. “Of course, the cheapest ticket is around $12, and we have loads of free events. Lots of people come to these and use it as a gateway to explore the music and get to know our young singers. .

“It’s then an easy step to buy a ticket, which doesn’t have to be expensive,” he said. “The Benedum Center is a big hall and you can get in at any cost.”

Operas on the 2022-23 program include:

• “Rusalka”, From September 17 to 25 at the Benedum Center — Music by Antonin Dvořák, to a libretto by Jaroslav Kvapil. Czech version of the fairy tale “The Little Mermaid”, Rusalka is a water sprite who falls in love with a human prince.

Courtesy of Dan Norman

Pittsburgh Opera will perform Dvorak’s “Rusalka” September 17-25 at the Benedum Center in the Cultural District.

• “The Marriage of Figaro”, From November 5 to 13 at the Benedum Center — Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte, a suite from “The Barber of Seville”. Figaro lost interest in his wife Rosina in this popular comic opera riddled with errors of identity and amorous subterfuges.

• “Ariodian”, From January 21 to 29, 2023, at Pittsburgh CAPA School Theater — Music by George Frideric Handel, with a libretto based on a work by Antonio Salvi. Set in medieval Scotland, this baroque opera shows Prince Ariodante being led to believe his fiancée has been unfaithful.

• “He trovers”, From March 15 to April 2, 2023, at the Center Benedum — Music by Giuseppe Verdi, to a libretto by Salvadore Cammarano. Brothers who don’t know they are brothers find themselves on opposite sides of a civil war in 1400s Spain and in love with the same woman.

• “Denis and Katya”, May 6-20, 2023, at Bitz Opera Factory — Music by Philip Venables, libretto by Ted Huffman. Based on the true story of two 15-year-old Russian youths who live-streamed the last hours of their lives during a clash with Russian special forces.

• “We will not be Moved,” From May 13 to 21, 2023, at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center — Music by Daniel Bernard Roumain, to a libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph. Five runaway teenagers find refuge in an abandoned home in West Philadelphia, the location that served as the headquarters of the MOVE organization, where a standoff with police in 1985 ended in a destroyed neighborhood and 11 people killed. Combines spoken word, contemporary movement and video projection with classical singing, R&B and jazz.

“The opera tries to explore man’s relationship with his universe, which is basically about looking at the social norms of the time and going deeper into them, pushing them back or trying to go beyond them,” Hahn said. “There have been very few works that have endured without being underpinned by really serious social issues.

“What’s great about opera is that in addition to immersing it, it offers incredible entertainment, delight in the joys of melody, voice and color,” a- he declared. “That’s why it’s always so fascinating – because it can be seen through so many prisms.”

The upcoming season’s free events will include pre-opera talks, one hour before each performance; Meet The Artists, after each Tuesday night performance; Rising Stars concert at the Bitz Opera Factory; and Brown Bag Concerts, select Saturdays at the Bitz Opera Factory.

Upcoming special events include the 67th Annual Diamond Horseshoe Ball, Sept. 30 at the Omni William Penn Hotel; a fashion show to be announced in February 2023 at Bitz Opera Factory; and Mécène Bal XXXVIII, on April 15, 2023, at the Bitz Opera Factory.

Season passes are now available. Subscriptions for the four main productions range from $53.25 to $609. Single ticket sales for “Rusalka” begin at the end of July, with single tickets for subsequent productions going on sale at the end of August.

For more information and tickets, call 412-281-0912 or visit pittsburghopera.org.

Shirley McMarlin is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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