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Pittsburgh Opera is an American opera company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Cultural District. It is one of two opera companies in the city, the other being Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Opera gives performances in several venues, primarily at the Benedum Center, with further performances at the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School Theater.

Pittsburgh Opera was established in 1939 as the Pittsburgh Opera Company and is the eighth-oldest opera company in the United States. The company was founded by five women who established the Pittsburgh Opera Society in 1939, making possible the inaugural performance of Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the Carnegie Music Hall in March, 1940.[1] The first director of the company was Richard Karp, from 1942 to 1977. His daughter Barbara Karp took over her father's duties during his final illness. James DeBlasis then served as interim artistic director after the resignation of Barbara Karp. In 1983, Tito Capoblanco became Pittsburgh Opera's general director, holding this position until 1997.[2] From 1997 to 2000, Capoblanco was the company's artistic director, before leaving in 2000.[3]

Mark Weinstein became general director of Pittsburgh Opera in 1999, after starting as executive director in 1997.[2] During his tenure, he has presided over an increase in the company's endowment from US $4 million to US $16 million, as well as the retirement of US $2.5 million in debt.[4] Weinstein also presided over the addition of an extra production during the company season, 5 productions as opposed to 4, from the 2001-2002 season to the 2003-2004 season.[5] In October 2007, Weinstein announced his resignation as Pittsburgh Opera's general director to become executive director at Washington National Opera, effective 1 February 2008.[6]

Since 2000, Christopher Hahn has been the company's artistic director. John Mauceri was Music Director of Pittsburgh Opera from 2000 until his sudden resignation in 2006, to take up an academic post in North Carolina.[7] In October 2006, Antony Walker was named the next Music Director of Pittsburgh Opera, and assumed the post immediately.[8] Walker's initial contract is for 3 years.[9] On April 1, 2008, in a performance of Verdi's "Aida" at the Benedum Center, the music director, Antony Walker stepped in to sing the role of Radames in the final act of the opera at the same time as conducting while the tenor acted the role on stage.[10]

Music Directors

  • Theo Alcantara
  • John Mauceri (2000-2006)
  • Antony Walker (2006-present)

References

  1. ^ Pittsburgh Opera
  2. ^ a b Robert Croan (4 May 1999). "Weinstein to take helm at Opera". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/magazine/19990504opera6.asp. Retrieved 2007-12-05.  
  3. ^ Robert Croan (9 October 2005). "'The Illustrated History of Opera in Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Opera Story' by Hax McCullough". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05282/584613-148.stm. Retrieved 2007-10-06.  
  4. ^ Mark Kanny (23 March 2007). "RiverParc development will force relocation of opera". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/living/arts/opera/s_499095.html. Retrieved 2007-10-06.  
  5. ^ Mark Kanny (11 November 2007). "Leadership changes may take opera to its next step". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/living/arts/opera/s_537217.html. Retrieved 2007-12-05.  
  6. ^ Andrew Druckenbrod (29 October 2007). "Pittsburgh Opera's chief leaving for D.C.". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07302/829345-388.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-05.  
  7. ^ Robert Croan (13 May 2006). "Opera's music director to lead North Carolina School of the Arts". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06133/689693-42.stm. Retrieved 2007-10-06.  
  8. ^ Mark Kanny (12 October 2006). "Pittsburgh Opera names music director". Pittsburgh Tribune Review. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/living/arts/opera/s_474523.html. Retrieved 2007-10-06.  
  9. ^ Andrew Druckenbrod (12 October 2006). "Pittsburgh Opera welcomes young Aussie as its new music director". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06285/729338-42.stm. Retrieved 2007-10-06.  
  10. ^ Andrew Druckenbrod (2 April 2008). "Conductor does double duty as tenor loses voice". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08093/869798-388.stm. Retrieved 2008-04-02.  

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