January 7, 2021
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Pittsburgh Opera reschedules Semele from February to May 2021

In response to on-going COVID-19 concerns, including high cases in Allegheny County and the slower-than-hoped-for vaccine rollout, Pittsburgh Opera is delaying its upcoming production of George Frideric Handel’s Semele from February to May 2021. The cast and artistic team are remaining the same, only the dates are changing.

Semele’s new performance dates and times are:

  • Saturday, May 8th, 8:00PM
  • Tuesday, May 11th, 7:00PM
  • Friday, May 14th, 7:30PM
  • Sunday, May 16th, 2:00PM matinee
  • Tuesday, May 18th, 7:00PM
  • Thursday, May 20th, 7:30PM

The previously-scheduled performances of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters are unaffected. Its six performance dates remain April 10, 13, 16, 18, 20, and 22, 2021.

All performances of both operas will take place in the George R. White Opera Studio (“the GRW”) at Pittsburgh Opera’s headquarters at 2425 Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Strip District.

“By delaying these performances a few months, we believe we give our patrons a much better chance of being able to see Semele in person,” says Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn. “Many more people will have been vaccinated by then, and the post-holiday surge in cases will hopefully have drastically subsided.”

Pittsburgh Opera will continue to follow the rigid COVID safety protocols it successfully employed in October for its sold-out run of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. These include, but are not limited to:

  • In keeping with social distancing best practices, seating will be reconfigured to accommodate far fewer patrons based on the prevailing guidelines for gatherings at the time of the performances
  • Conducting health screenings and temperature checks for all patrons, artists, and staff
  • Requiring patrons and staff to wear masks
  • Professional cleaning of the Studio after every performance
  • Strict and structured audience traffic flows, including staggered arrival times

Semele is a Baroque gem by master composer George Frideric Handel. It is a timeless tale from Greek antiquity about the pitfalls of ambition, vanity, and making open-ended promises. These will be Pittsburgh Opera’s first-ever performances of Semele.

The Friday, May 14th Semele performance will be Livestreamed, for free, on both Pittsburgh Opera’s YouTube channel and Facebook page at 7:30PM EST, so that people who are unable to obtain tickets will still be able to experience it.

  • Patrons may sign up at pittsburghopera.org/SemeleRSVP to receive a reminder email one hour before the broadcast with links to view the livestream.
  • Patrons also have the option of unlocking premium content, including the official program book and the Pre-Opera talk podcast, by making a gift at pittsburghopera.org/SemeleUnlock.

Pittsburgh Opera’s popular Audio Commentary program for patrons with visual impairments is available at the Tuesday, May 18th performance.

All patrons who have already purchased tickets to Semele are guaranteed seats for a new performance date. Pittsburgh Opera will be contacting ticketholders starting today; ticketholders can call 412-281-0912 ext. 216 or email tickets@pittsburghopera.org with questions and requests. If ticketholders do not wish to convert their tickets to one of the new performance dates, they can leave the value as a credit on their account to be used toward a future opera, or donate it back to Pittsburgh Opera, or receive a full refund.