Opera Theater of Pittsburgh (now in its 38th year) will begin its fourth “SummerFest” on Friday, July 10, at the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. First up will be that evening’s production of Mozart’s perennial The Marriage of Figaro, which has been charming audiences since 1786. Like all “SummerFest” productions, the work will be given in English, but this year the innovation of subtitles projected above the stage has been added. The performance begins at 7:30, and will be repeated on Sunday, July 19 (a 2 p.m. matinee), and Saturday evening, August 1, again at 7:30.
Saturday, July 11, the company will present (at an 11 a.m. matinee) De Pue’s children’s opera, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, followed that evening at 7:30 by the first performance of the season of Damn Yankees, Adler and Ross’ 1955 Broadway musical hit. “You Gotta Have Heart” and “Whatever Lola Wants” are among the numbers which have given the musical its enduring popularity.
Damn Yankees will be repeated at a 2 p.m. matinee performances on Sunday, July 12, Saturday, July 25 and Saturday, August 1, with 7:30 evening repetitions on Thursday and Friday, July 16 and 17.
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs will be repeated at 11:00 a.m. matinees on Saturdays, July 18, 25, and August 1. To keep the kiddies’ attention, the piece runs 40 minutes, and should provide a popularly priced musical prelude to afternoons of exploring other Oakland attractions.
The season’s first performance of A New Kind of Fallout will take place on Saturday evening, July 18, at 7:30. It will be the world premiere of the new “Eco-Opera,” inspired by Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring.” With music by New York-based composer Gilda Lyons, and a libretto by Pittsburgh playwright Tammy Ryan, A New Kind of Fallout is an ambitious undertaking not to be missed. The work will be repeated at 7:30 on the evening of Friday, July 24, and on Sunday, July 26, at a 2 p.m. matinee.
Figaro Redux will be performed at 7:30 on the Thursday evenings of July 23 and 30. This interesting spin on Mozart’s classic is a “slightly shorter, edgier modern-dress version” of The Marriage of Figaro. The audiences will follow the cast around the building (cocktails in hand, if desired), with each act set in a different area of Twentieth Century Club. The production sounds like especial fun for those who may never have tried opera, as well as an entertaining twist for the “aficionado.”
Richard Strauss’ final completed opera, Capriccio, will receive its first performance at 7:30 on the evening of Saturday, July 18, and will be repeated at the same time on Friday, July 31, and at a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, August 2. The work contains, especially in the last scene, perhaps some of the most exquisitely beautiful music ever to flow from any composer’s pen. It follows last year’s performances of the same master’s Ariadne auf Naxos, with productions of his lesser-known works promised for the next two SummerFests.
An “International Recital Series” will be another attractive feature of this summer’s offerings from Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. Countertenor Andrey Nemzer, winner of the 2012 Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, will sing selections from the Russian repertory at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 12. American composers will receive a hearing, delivered by members of the company’s “Young Artist Program,” at 7:30 on Wednesday, July 15. Belgium will be represented at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 19. Daphne Alderson will sing a program of songs associated with the famous French chanteuse, Edith Piaf, at 7:30 on Wednesday, July 22. “Young Artist Program” members will offer Italian operatic arias and duets at 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 26, and complete the series with German art songs by Franz Schubert at 7:30 on Wednesday, July 29.
“Late Night Cabarets,” at which audiences are invited to enjoy Broadway favorites, jazz standards, and operatic arias (as well as a cash bar), will follow the July 17 performance of Damn Yankees, July 24’s A New Kind of Fallout, July 31’s Capriccio and August 1’s The Marriage of Figaro.
Visit http://otsummerfest.org/ for ticket information, production details, cast information and much more.
Stay tuned for our reviews of this year’s SummerFest in the coming weeks. For more updates, find us on Facebook and Twitter!