Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh's SummerFest to Feature World Premiere, & More
PITTSBURGH, PA (July 6, 2015) - The world premiere 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 a libretto by award-winning Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan.
Operas by Strauss and Mozart sung in English, a beloved Broadway musical, family fare, recitals, late-night cabaret, and much more fill the calendar for Western Pennsylvania's only classical-music based festival, all performed in the beautiful and historic Twentieth Century Club, 4201 Bigelow Blvd, Pittsburgh (15213). Order tickets online at otsummerfest.org or by phone at 412-386-9687.
Jonathan Eaton, artistic director, enters his 15th season with Opera Theater.
"As we expand SummerFest from three to four weeks in 2015," says Eaton, "We aim to provide the region with more opera, musical theater, and vocal music for our broad audience. We created SummerFest to fill a void in the summer arts landscape and are thrilled that audiences and critics agreed it was a bold and valuable addition to the cultural calendar."
SummerFest returns to The Twentieth Century Club for four weeks of productions designed to appeal to all ages of music and theater lovers, in intimate spaces seating no more than 200 to 400 audience members:
A NEW KIND OF FALLOUT WORLD PREMIERE! When a young wife expecting her first child reads Rachel Carson's Silent Spring she is faced with a life-changing choice: answer the call to action to preserve the world in which her child will live or to support her husband in his work for the very company manufacturing poisonous pesticides. This new American opera revisits the concerns of Pennsylvania's own Rachel Carson in a story about personal integrity and societal ethics. Music by noted New York- based composer Gilda Lyons (Night Caps: Moonlight Suite from 2012) and libretto by Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan, whose works have been staged throughout the US. Regional stars Lara Lynn Cottrill, Christopher Scott, and Daphne Alderson are among artists creating lead roles.
Music Director and conductor Robert Frankenberry describes the score as "beautiful, breathtaking, moving, and powerful in a way that will simultaneously seduce and challenge, not unlike Carson's Silent Spring did in 1962."
Directed by Jonathan Eaton. Sat., July 18 and Fri., July 24 at 7:30 pm; Sat., July 26 at 2 pm
DAMN YANKEES Women take over this baseball-themed all-American musical Damn Yankees and knock out some of Broadway's most beloved tunes out of the park. When a struggling team considers a Faustian solution for its losing streak, anything can happen as SummerFest puts a unique twist on this devilish story staged in the thick of the summer baseball season. The women of the company are "playing" the men, the men are "playing" the women, and the Washington Senators are playing those "damn Yankees" in a race for the pennant. Audiences should expect some fun innovations, ballpark-style refreshments, and more!
Featured songs include: Heart (You Gotta Have Heart) and Whatever Lola Wants, and more.
Directed by Scott Wise
Sat., July 11 at 7:30 pm; Sun., July 12 at 2 pm; Thurs., July 16 at 7:30 pm;
Fri., July 17 at 7:30 pm; Sat., July 25 at 2 pm; Sat., August 1 at 2 pm
THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Mozart's classic comic masterpiece, sung in English, conjures up Downton Abbey in our lively new production. This Marriage doesn't miss a beat - musically or emotionally. A sparkling overture, the greatest ensembles ever written, and divine arias tell a witty tale of the tensions between love and lust, servant and master, wife and lover. The Count has his eye on his valet's fiancée, who happens to be his wife's chambermaid. Meanwhile, the Countess is pursued by the charming Cherubino - a pageboy disguised as a girl! Upstairs meets downstairs in this glorious romp.
Directed by Jonathan Eaton
Sat., July 25 at 7:30 pm; Fri., July 31 at 7:30 pm; Sun., August 2 at 2 pm
FIGARO REDUX Fresh. Edgy. Mobile. Sung in English. Figaro Redux is a slightly shorter, modern-dress version of The Marriage of Figaro. Audiences follow the cast through varied spaces of the Twentieth Century Club with each act set in a different space in our spectacular venue. Audiences sit with Susanna and Figaro in their connubial bedroom then brush elbows with the Countess in her dayroom. A comedy all about sex and class, Figaro was banned when first written (Napoleon called it "the first canon shot of the French Revolution"). This updated "moving" production is just as radical, subversive, and entertaining today as it was back then.
Directed by Jonathan Eaton
Thurs., July 23 at 7:30 pm; Thurs., July 30 at 7:30 pm
CAPRICCIO Love the composer or love the poet? The gorgeous countess Madeleine is courted by both a writer and a composer as her home fills with birthday party-goers and beguiling melody. What happens when the poetry meets the music? Strauss' luminous final opera contains ravishing music that belies its composition in the midst of war in October 1942. Capriccio takes the stage after SummerFest's acclaimed 2014 production of Strauss' Ariadne on Naxos.
Directed by Gregory Lehane (SummerFest debut)
Sat., July 25 at 7:30 pm; Fri., July 31 at 7:30; Sun., August 2 at 2 pm
INTERNATIONAL RECITAL SERIES Continuing Opera Theater's tradition of sold-out recitals, SummerFest includes an expanded array of concerts, featuring world-class singers, emerging international talent, and special programs to celebrate music from around the world. A six-concert series kicks off with Andrey Nemzer in Recital on Sun., July 12 at 6 pm. The winner of the 2012 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, Pittsburgh's celebrated countertenor has wowed audiences regionally and at the Metropolitan Opera. Savor favorites drawn from the Russian repertoire. Daphne Alderson performs Piaf Under the Stars on Wed., July 22 at 7:30. The acclaimed chanteuse and her band of accordion, cello, and guitar enchant with songs of Edith Piaf - Leonard Cohen! Young Artists recitals take a tour around the globe, making stops in: the US, Wed. July 15 at 7:30 pm; Belgium, Sun. July 19 at 6 pm, featuring the winners of the SummerFest Europe's International Voice Competition; Italy, Sun., July 26 at 6 pm; and Germany, Wed., July 29 at 7:30 pm.
THE TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS Immerse the whole family in this delightful take on a classic story! So, did the wolf just get a bad rap? This musical adventure is a fast-paced, fun show and a great introduction to opera for children of all ages. With familiar characters (and some you didn't expect!), an up-close and casual performance space, and an attention-friendly 40-minute duration, this is the perfect opportunity for families to discover the joys of music drama together. After each performance, families stay to enjoy pig-themed crafts and activities, complimentary popcorn and lemonade, and Q&As and photo opps with cast members. Composer Wallace DePue will join audience members for the performance on July 25.
Directed by Dennis Robinson
Saturdays at 11 am on July 11, July 18, July 25, and August 1.
PRE SHOW TALKS AND CABARET In keeping with the festival spirit, SummerFest again features pre-show talks in the elegant Twentieth Century Club before performances, and free Late Night Cabaret after selected main stage productions. For each opening night, SummerFest provides a show and party package. For further details visit www.otsummerfest.org
TICKETS for all events start at $25, with Pigs tickets at $5-10
Groups of 8 or more save 10%. 20 or more save 20%.
Student Rush tickets (half price) available with a valid student ID an hour before each opera or musical performance. Students with ID are admitted to recitals at no charge.
ABOUT THE TWENTIETH CENTURY CLUB
The Twentieth Century Club, one of Pittsburgh's hidden jewels, features a glorious Art Deco auditorium along with its handsome ballroom and elegant dining space. It provides a singular environment for innovative and intimate performances, for which Opera Theater is known. The 121-year-old club is located in the heart of Oakland, adjacent to the University of Pittsburgh's campus near Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and convenient parking options.
THE OPERA THEATER SUMMERFEST COMPANY
SummerFest features a company of performers including top national and regional singers and rising stars from its Young Artist Program. Members of the six-week Young Artist Program are recruited from more than 300 candidates in auditions in Pittsburgh and six cities across the US. It combines performance opportunities for emerging professionals with a comprehensive training experience including coaching, master classes, and a variety of special events. Forty-six young artists, including singers, pianists and stage directors from the United States, South Korea, Belgium, Poland, Bulgaria, Indonesia, and France, take part in SummerFest 2015.
About Opera Theater of Pittsburgh
Over its first three seasons, SummerFest drew more than 25,000 people to operas, musicals, new works and recitals. Since its founding in 1978 by Mildred Miller Posvar, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has served a diverse market of music drama audiences in Western Pennsylvania. Jonathan Eaton has served as artistic and general director since 1999. By presenting high-quality productions of music drama not available elsewhere, the company works at the forefront of the genre. In its 38-year history, Opera Theater has presented more than
50 Pittsburgh premieres, many of them American operas that would not have been produced by other regional companies. Opera Theater reaches out across traditional lines of demarcation in the arts, presenting works which engage diverse, new and younger audiences, bringing in supporters of music, theater, dance and the visual arts.
Opera Theater of Pittsburgh is on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and at 412-326-9687 and otsummerfest.org.