Join us for the third SummerFest season during three weeks in July 2014! From July 11–27, you'll enjoy thrilling new productions, recitals, a first look at our newly commissioned opera on the life of Rachel Carson, dining, and cabaret, all at the lovely Twentieth Century Club in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. With its close proximity to parking, dining, cultural organizations, and public transportation, The Twentieth Century Club is a convenient location with dazzling Art Deco interiors.
And here's what we have in store for you:
The Merry Widow is arguably one of the most popular operas (or operettas) of all times. Since its premiere in Vienna in 1905, this Franz Lehar classic has been delighting audiences with its charming melodies and lavish party scenes. The libretto, by Viktor Léon and Leo Stein, follows Hanna, a rich widow, and her countrymen's attempt to keep her money in the principality by finding her the right husband.
SummerFest 2013 photo by Patty Brahim
Ariadne auf Naxos contains some of composer Richard Strauss' most ravishingly beautiful music. With an original German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Ariadne auf Naxos brings together slapstick comedy and consummately beautiful music in an exploration of the competition between high and low art for the public's attention. Opera fans (and first-timers!) will thrill to arias by the title character, Ariadne, and the spitfire Zerbinetta.
The Fantasticks invites audiences to travel on a journey of love discovered, lost, and then rediscovered, with humor and pathos and memorable melodies. But this production is not your mother's Fantasticks—our new production, in collaboration with the exciting dancers and choreographers of Attack Theatre, integrates movement and dance into the tale in a way you've never imagined! This is the legenrdary show that opened off-Broadway in 1960, and only closed after 42 years and 17,162 performances—the world's longest-running musical.
Happy Hour! takes you into the minds of average Pittsburghers as they contemplate, in musical fashion, a meet-up in a local bar. From first dates to break-ups, to drinks with the girls or guys' night out, we've commissioned this series of "bar arias" (barias?) to allow you to eavesdrop into the personal lives of the characters. Some will succeed, some may fail, but you'll be guaranteed laughs, fun situations, and a unique way to experience opera. We'll present the complete cycle of Happy Hour! at SummerFest, but we'll also be performing individual arias—two or three at a time—at various Pittsburgh bars during happy hour throughout the months of June and July. We'll try to let you know in advance where and when, but you'll never quite know...until the person next to you at the bar breaks out into song!
SummerFest 2013 photo by Amy Crawford
With The Company Wife, SummerFest offers you a wonderful opportunity to see a new opera in its early stage. With music by noted composer Gilda Lyons (Night Caps: Moonlight Suite from 2012) and a libretto by Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan, The Company Wife is an evening-length work touching on the life of Rachel Carson, the Pittsburgh-trained scientist and author whose seminal 1962 work, Silent Spring, helped launch the environmental movement in the United States. We'll present workshop performances of the work, with feedback sessions with the composer, librettist, and director, as part of the opera's ongoing development for a world premiere at SummerFest 2015.
Subscription packages and single tickets for all productions will go on sale in early 2014.