Staff Picks categorized 'classical'

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Holding on to the American Dream

Where do you place the blame when your job is taken away? Pittsburgh Opera continues its 2019-2020 season with the Pittsburgh premiere of The Last American Hammer. The opera, by the creative team of Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi, tells the story of Milcom Negley, a man who has lost his job in a hammer factory. Milcom is also a “Thirteenther,” a conspiracy theorist who…
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Falling Under Her Spell

Is it love or just an illusion? Pittsburgh Opera continues its 2019-2020 season with Handel’s Baroque masterpiece, Alcina. The opera, from a libretto by A. Marchi adapted from Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, tells the story of Alcina, a sorceress who lives on an enchanted island with her sister, Morgana. Alcina uses her magical powers to trick men into falling in love with her but is easily bored with the men she seduces. Once boredom sets in,…
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The Dark Side of Charm

Did you ever want the bad boy to pay for his misdeeds? Pittsburgh Opera opens its 2019-2020 season with Mozart's Don Giovanni. The title character has a bad reputation. In the first act he seduces a noblewoman, kills her father, runs into one of his many ex-girlfriends and attempts to seduce another man’s fiancée! Despite all this, he is quite charming and sings in a…
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It All Works Out for the Best

Sometimes an old dog can learn new tricks. Pittsburgh Opera concludes its 2018-2019 season with Donizetti’s comic masterpiece, Don Pasquale. Don Pasquale, an old and wealthy bachelor, wants to arrange a marriage for his nephew, Ernesto, to secure the young man’s future. Ernesto is already in love with the young widow, Norina, but Don Pasquale does not approve. Don Pasquale decides to get married himself and disown his nephew.…
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Bohemian Rhapsody

Only death can end their passionate love affair. Pittsburgh Opera continues its 2018-2019 season with Puccini’s masterpiece, La Bohème. The story of Rodolfo, Mimì and their bohemian artist friends is one of the most popular operas of all time. This timeless tale of love and friendship is brought to life by the gorgeous music of Puccini. He really knows how to pull our heartstrings. Explore more about La…
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An Unwelcome War Hero

What happens when you come home from war and nothing is the same? Pittsburgh Opera continues its 2018-2019 season with Tom Cipullo’s opera Glory Denied. Based on a book by Tom Philpott, the performances mark the Pittsburgh premiere of the opera and feature the resident artists of Pittsburgh Opera’s training program for young singers. The opera tells the story of Colonel Jim Thompson, the longest-held prisoner of war in U.S. Military history. After suffering for nine years in…
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Love Among the Ruins

The plot: Boy rescues Girl from a shipwreck and they begin to fall in love.  A few complications - the boy, Idamante, is the son of the King of Crete and the girl, Ilia, is the Princess of Troy. The Trojan War has just ended, so this boy and girl are supposed enemies.  King Idomeneo has sworn to kill the one who rescued the princess, not knowing the…
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Dad always said, “Don’t go into the woods!”

Scary woods, a house made of candy and a witch? Sounds like the perfect recipe for a Halloween treat! Pittsburgh Opera continues its 2018-2019 season with Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. Humperdinck’s compositional style is influenced by Richard Wagner and his colorful orchestrations definitely showcase Wagner’s impact. Humperdinck called his work a Märchenoper or fairy-tale opera, appropriate as its source material is the story by the Brothers Grimm. This opera…
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All for Love

Would you sacrifice everything for love, a love that ultimately ends in betrayal? Pittsburgh Opera opens its 2018-2019 season with Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. I have to admit that I have a love-hate relationship with this opera. I do not like the character of Pinkerton, the brash American naval officer who promises love to Cio-Cio San, but does not truly share the deep feelings she…