Photo Flash: Inside Pittsburgh Opera's ASHES & SNOW

By: Feb. 16, 2018

Pittsburgh Opera is proud to produce our second world premiere in two years. Ashes & Snow, composed by Douglas J. Cuomo and directed by Jonathan Moore, will premiere in the intimate environs of Pittsburgh Opera's historic headquarters in Pittsburgh's Strip District in February, 2018.

Ashes & Snow is based on Wilhelm Müller's 24-poem cycle which was used as the text for Franz Schubert's famous Winterreise ("Winter Journey").

The 24 poems and songs of the Winterreise tell an anguished story of lost love, through what is essentially a single dramatic monologue, sung here by award-winning Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist tenor Eric Ferring.

Ashes & Snow is set in the present day, and unfolds in a run-down motel room in the desert of the American West. The protagonist must confront his demons and face up to everything he has done, and all he has lost, in his life. He is searching for forgiveness, enlightenment, and atonement.

Mr. Ferring will be accompanied by three on-stage musicians, led from the piano by Pittsburgh Opera Director of Musical Studies Mark Trawka. Also included is a trumpet, an electric guitar played by the composer himself, and electronic sound effects. The musical style is '21st century art-song,' infused with acid jazz and punk energy, to create a very raw and emotional experience.

Composer Douglas J. Cuomo is perhaps most well-known for his opera "Doubt", based on the play and movie of the same name, which premiered at Minnesota Opera in 2013.

Ashes & Snow is being developed in partnership with American Opera Projects (AOP). AOP is at the forefront of the contemporary opera movement, commissioning, developing, presenting, and producing opera and music theatre projects, collaborating with young, rising, and established artists.

Interesting facts about Ashes & Snow

Ashes & Snow composer Douglas J. Cuomo also composed the theme music for the hit TV show Sex and the City.

Tenor Eric Ferring was recently named one of Pittsburgh's "Who's Next in Music" by The Incline in October, where he was among a vibrant list of "21 young leaders defining the new Pittsburgh sound."

This will be the fourth Pittsburgh Opera project involving American Opera Projects (AOP), and the third in the past two years. The first three were Paul's Case (2014), As One (2017), and The Summer King (April, 2017), which was Pittsburgh Opera's first world premiere.

Performance Information

Four performances: Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 8:00 PM; Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 7:00 PM; Friday, February 23, 2018 - 7:30 PM; Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 2:00 PM

Sung in English with English texts projected above the stage

Tickets to all performances of Ashes & Snow start at $40

All performances are at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue, in the Strip District

To purchase tickets, call 412-456-6666, visit the Theatre Square Box Office, or buy online at

Group discounts are available. For discounted group tickets (6 or more), contact Regina Connolly at 412-281-0912, ext. 213.

Photo Credit: David Bachman Photography