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WQED The Summer King

Monday, August 03, 2020 7pm - 10pm
Location: WQED-FM or 89.3 FM

​Tune in to WQED-FM this Monday, August 3rd for a rebroadcast of Pittsburgh Opera’s May 2017 world premiere production of The Summer King – The Josh Gibson Story. Hosted by Anna Singer, this "Concert at Home" features the artistry of Alfred Walker, Sean Panikkar, and Denyce Graves. 

The Summer King tells the story of baseball legend Josh Gibson. Josh went from the sandlots of Pittsburgh’s North Side to the pinnacle of greatness in the Negro Leagues, before ultimately being enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. 

The Summer King follows Josh (sung by Alfred Walker) at key points in his life. The robust supporting characters include his wife Helen (Jacqueline Echols), who dies in childbirth, his girlfriend Grace (sung by the legendary Denyce Graves in her Pittsburgh Opera debut) and teammates such as Sam Bankhead (Kenneth Kellogg) and Cool Papa Bell (Phillip Gay). Also featured in prominent roles are the gregarious Gus Greenlee (Norman Shankle), who owned the legendary Crawford Grill in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, and Wendell Smith (Sean Pannikar), an intrepid reporter for the celebrated African American newspaper The Pittsburgh Courier. 

Special thanks to all participating artists and AGMA.