Pittsburgh Festival Opera's Board of Directors Appoints Marianne Cornetti as New Artistic Director

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Pittsburgh Festival Opera's Board of Directors Appoints Marianne Cornetti as New Artistic Director

Pittsburgh Festival Opera's Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of internationally recognized mezzo-soprano Marianne Cornetti as its new Artistic Director. Founded in 1978 by another famous mezzo-soprano, Mildred Miller Posvar, Pittsburgh Festival Opera is excited to welcome a new artistic vision grounded in Cornetti's 30-plus years as a performer in the world's leading opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, and Deutsche Oper Berlin among many others.

"Pittsburgh Festival Opera is thrilled to welcome the world renowned mezzo soprano Marianne Cornetti as its new Artistic Director," said Dr. Eugene N. Myers, President of Pittsburgh Festival Opera's Board of Directors. "Marianne is a native of the Pittsburgh area and is excited to be back home surrounded by her family and her devoted fans. She is following in the footsteps of two famous opera stars, Mildred Miller Posvar and Beverly Sills, who transitioned from full-time singing careers to opera company leadership roles. We can already feel her energy, experience and imagination that will enhance the image of Pittsburgh Festival Opera as one of the leading opera companies in the US.

Marianne Cornetti is internationally recognized as a leading Verdiana, who for 30 years has owned both Verdi's prime roles for mezzo-soprano, Amneris in Aida and Azucena in Il Trovatore. She has also portrayed iconic leading Verdi roles including Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, and Princess Eboli in Don Carlos. Known as a Falcone who can soar into roles often played by sopranos, Cornetti's versatility has also led her to perform Abigaille in Nabucco and the title role in La Gioconda. Seen and Heard International has called Cornetti's voice "a miracle of power and flexibility from top to bottom," and praised her for "imbuing each [role] with an emotional force all its own." Cornetti's recent engagements include singing Il Trovatore at The National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China and Aida with The Royal Opera Wallonie in Liege, Belgium and Hansel & Gretel with Pittsburgh Opera. Her upcoming engagements include The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at Teatro Regio in Parma, Italy. Marianne's complete bio and further information can be found at www.mariannecornetti.com.

Christopher Hahn, General Director of Pittsburgh Opera said, "I am thrilled for Marianne as she takes this next logical step in her storied career. I look forward to a warm relationship between our two companies as we serve the community in our different ways. Of course, she will continue to sing on our stage where she recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of her debut. Now she can explore new ways to contribute to the world of opera. I am so happy for her!"

"Having the opportunity to share my career experiences with Pittsburgh Festival Opera is yet another dream come true for me," said Cornetti about her acceptance of the position. "To be able to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together on stage and have it be a success will certainly have almost the same sense of exhilaration as I get from singing a nearly perfect performance."

Cornetti's work with Pittsburgh Festival Opera will focus on long-term artistic planning, artistic leadership for the current season, board development and fundraising, and collaborating with Executive Director Christopher Powell, who joined the company earlier this year, to plan and steward the mission and vision of the company. Together, Cornetti and Powell offer nearly 60 combined years of national and international performance and opera administrative experience. Both also have western Pennsylvania family roots. Cornetti, a native of Butler County, PA and Powell, a native of Mt. Lebanon, PA, return home to lead Pittsburgh Festival Opera towards its approaching half-century anniversary of innovative, intimate opera theater performances held annually during its summer festival each July.

Pittsburgh Festival Opera's upcoming season runs July 10 through 26, 2020 at several venues throughout the City of Pittsburgh. More information, season subscriptions, and single tickets will become available in the coming months and can soon be purchased at www.pittsburghfestivalopera.org, or by calling the Festival Box Office at 412-326-9687.

Approaching its 43rd season, Pittsburgh Festival Opera is dedicated to presenting innovative opera, including American works, reinterpretations of older works, and new works, for the widest possible audience, focusing on diversity in programming and casting, crossing boundaries and bringing together talents from all the arts, encouraging new talent, and broadening audiences through outreach and education to create a body of work that is original, entertaining, contemporary and relevant.

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