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Pittsburgh Festival Opera Announces UNSTAGED: Pandemic Season Festival

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Pittsburgh Festival Opera Announces UNSTAGED: Pandemic Season Festival

Bringing the power, beauty and storytelling of opera to life during a global pandemic - while public gatherings are verboten - is no easy task. So, the region's small but mighty Pittsburgh Festival Opera, under the artistic direction of acclaimed Mezzo Soprano Marianne Cornetti, got creative and reimagined a season that combines classic arias, innovative interviews and the fresh faces of opera's future performing wildly original works.

UNSTAGED: Pittsburgh Festival Opera Pandemic Season runs online from July 10 through 26 at and includes a wide array of never-seen-before performances and insider views into the world of opera, along with the makings of the digital festival.

"We were disappointed that the pandemic upended our fabulous planned season," said Artistic Director Marianne Cornetti. "While we've moved some of the productions to later in the year and next season, we wanted to bring the majesty of opera, the beauty of the human voice, and the fresh works that mean it's summer festival season to Pittsburgh opera fans. This is a year like no other, so our team worked hard to put together a festival like no other."

UNSTAGED: Pittsburgh Festival Opera Pandemic Season

Cornetti's Candid Concert and LIVE Afterparty Friday, July 10, 7 pm From Verdi to Broadway, Marianne Cornetti performs the music she loves, accompanied by pianist Walter Morales, followed by a LIVE candid conversation with WQED-FM's Anna Singer.

Marianne Unstaged Saturdays, 7 pm

wildly popular pandemic social media sensation, Cornetti's Candid Corona Conversations, inspires this series of lively chats with movers and shakers in the opera world, featuring previously untold stories from opera stars of today and tomorrow. July 11: Carl Tanner and Danielle Pastin July 18: Rob Frankenberry, Rob Chafin, Nancy Maultsby, and Maria Spacagna July 25: Christine Goerke and Alexandra Loutsion

Crew: Singer-Free Sundays Sundays, 2 pm Singers have the day off while the talented tsburgh Festival Opera Orchestra presents three gorgeous chamber music concerts in the privacy of your own home.

July 12: BEO String Quartet

July 19: PianOpera featuring Young Artist Sky Lee, Young Artists Program Director Rob Frankenberry, Conductor Walter Morales, and Young Artists Program alum Ruiran Xun

July 26: Flautist Lindsey Goodman and Young Artists Program Director Rob Frankenberry

I, Too, Sing Friday, July 17, 7 pm I, Too, Sing: A Celebration of the Lives and Works of Classical Vocal Composers of the African Diaspora is an innovative, engaging panel discussion aimed at initiating a series of discussions and recitals about the gap of representation in classical vocal literature by African-descended composers. Internationally recognized performers, scholars and authors include Scholar-in-Residence of the Seattle Opera Naomi André, author of Black Opera: History Power Engagement, Pittsburgh's own award-winning poet, educator and blogger Cameron Barnett, author of The Drowning Boy's Guide to Water, Conductor and Artistic Director of the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh and Director of Opera Studies at Carnegie Mellon University Thomas W. Douglas, Director of Programs at Pittsburgh's Arts Education Collaborative and Performing Artist, Anqwenique Kinsel, and International Opera Singer, Kevin Short. Hosted, created, and moderated by Teaching Artist Candace Burgess, this kicks off a seven-performance recital series being produced by Pittsburgh Festival Opera between August 2020 and February 2021.

Rusalka: A Mermaid's Tale Saturday, July 18, 11 am Our beloved children's opera, performed enthusiastically for hundreds of Pittsburgh Public School children this year, moves to the virtual world. Recommended for kids from K - 5.

Composer Spotlight: Mark Adamo Thursday, July 23, 7 pm While Mark Adamo's comedic opera gem Lysistrata, has been rescheduled for the 2021 Festival, fans get a preview into the imaginative production, as Marianne Cornetti interviews the prolific composer along with Director Derrick R. Brown and Conductor Robert Frankenberry.

Putting It Together: PFO's Online Young Artists Program Friday, July 24, 7 pm What does it take to reimagine an entire opera festival? What happens behind the scenes when a full cast of singers and directors are suddenly working hand-in-hand with
... an iPhone? In a preview for the August centerpiece of UNSTAGED, viewers go behind the scenes into online voice lessons and coaching to experience how the PFO team worked together to create the Online Young Artists Program.

Festival Finale Sunday, July 26, 7 pm Concert, cocktails and conversation mark the culminating event of UNSTAGED, our pandemic season, as hosts Anna Singer and Robert Frankenberry send off Pittsburgh Festival Opera's virtual season in style, live, raising funds to support the artists and the art of the opera.

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