March 16, 2022
Chris Cox, Director of Marketing and Communications
412-281-0912 ext. 217
Contact via email
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Pittsburgh Opera presents the gripping Blue, April 23-May 1 at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center
Photo credit: Karli Cadel Photography
Reflective of an all-too-familiar American headline, Blue centers on the hopes and fears of a young Black couple as they raise their son.
As the boy grows into a young man, he becomes a student artist and activist. His mother worries for his future, while his father tries to prepare him for the harsh realities of 21st-century America. The father also wrestles with his own identity as a police officer, a "Black man in blue", and the friction that causes within the family.
When their deepest fears come true, the grieving parents must navigate the turbulent waters of loss at the hands of police, while seeking answers and support from their church and community.
Tony Award®–winning composer Jeanine Tesori and NAACP Theatre Award–winning librettist Tazewell Thompson’s new opera is inspired by contemporary events and Black literature. Exploring race, violence, and reconciliation, Blue places timely issues at the forefront of modern opera and invites audiences to the emotional epicenter of their impact.
Besides its traditional four-performance schedule, Pittsburgh Opera is adding a special student/community matinee as a fifth performance at 10:00AM on Thursday, April 28th. To bring your school or community group to this performance, please contact Pittsburgh Opera’s Wendy Parkulo at 412-281-0912, ext. 213.
In addition, Pittsburgh Opera is hosting Opera Up Close: A Community Conversation at 2:00PM on Sunday, April 10th. This special virtual event with community leaders and Blue’s librettist and stage director Tazewell Thompson will discuss the opera’s major themes–fatherhood, motherhood, religious support, and police perspective, all from the perspective of the Black community. Participating in this panel discussion will be:
- Josiah Gilliam, Special Initiatives Coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh and formerly Coordinator and Program Manager for My Brother’s Keeper
- April Jackson from Open Up Pittsburgh
- Minister Dwayne Fulton, Minister of Music and Fine Arts at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church
- Blue librettist and stage director Tazewell Thompson
- Additional panelist(s) to be announced
Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions of all the panelists. Registration for this powerful conversation is free, and available online.
All performances take place at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC), 980 Liberty Ave., in downtown Pittsburgh.
- Sat., April 23, 2022 * 8:00 PM
- Tues., April 26, 2022 * 7:00 PM
- Thurs., April 28, 2022 * 10:00AM Special Student/Community Matinee
- Fri., April 29, 2022 * 7:30 PM
- Sun., May 1, 2022 * 3:00 PM
Length: 2 hours with one intermission
Sung in English with English supertitles projected above the stage
The Full Dress Rehearsal is Thursday, April 21st, 7:00 PM at the AWAACC. Please contact Chris Cox for reservations.
- Blue composer Jeanine Tesori is “the most prolific and honored female theatrical composer in history, with five Broadway musicals and five Tony Award nominations”, including Twelfth Night (1999), Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002), Caroline, or Change (2004), Shrek the Musical (2009), and Fun Home, for which she won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Original Score Written for the Theatre.
- Primary cast members Briana Elyse Hunter and Gordon Hawkins are making their Pittsburgh Opera debuts, while Kenneth Kellogg (The Summer King–the Josh Gibson Story), Aaron Crouch (Semele) and Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist Andrew Turner (The Magic Flute, The Rose Elf, In a Grove) have all previously sung with Pittsburgh Opera.
- These will be Pittsburgh Opera’s first performances at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center.
Per the AWAACC's COVID protocols, proof of vaccination is required for all patrons including children. No exceptions to the vaccine requirement will be allowed.
Masks are mandatory, and “the only approved masks are N95 & kN95 masks. Individuals who cannot wear a mask are asked not to visit at this time."
See the AWAACC's COVID protocols webpage for full details.
Single tickets for adults start at $15; tickets for kids and teens ages 6–18 are half-price. For tickets call 412-456-6666, visit the Box Office at Theater Square, or online at pittsburghopera.org/tickets or CulturalDistrict.org.
Group discounts, including student discounts, are available. For more information about group ticket services and discounts for groups of six or more people, contact Wendy Parkulo at 412-281-0912, ext. 213 or via email.
Pittsburgh Opera has a no-hassle refund policy for all 2021–22 operas so patrons can purchase their tickets with confidence.
See the Blue webpage for the full Cast and Artistic Team
See the Blue webpage for a synopsis of the opera
- PNC is the 2021—22 Pittsburgh Opera Season Sponsor.
- Ambridge Regional Distribution and Manufacturing Center is the Tuesday Performance Sponsor.
- WQED-FM is Pittsburgh Opera’s Media Sponsor.