Pittsburgh, PA
April 22, 2019
Chris Cox, Director of Marketing and Communications
Office: 412.281.0912 ext. 217
Mobile: 412.427.7088
Contact via email
Download this as a PDF

Pittsburgh Opera to honor Academy Award Winner Shirley Jones and Corporate Benefactor PNC at Maecenas gala


Pittsburgh Opera will honor Shirley Jones and PNC at its 35th annual Maecenas Gala on Saturday, May 18th at the Benedum Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The gala, "one of the most anticipated events of the year", will celebrate the successful conclusion of Pittsburgh Opera’s 80th season with the special theme of “Black, White, Blush”.  

Ms. Jones, a Charleroi, PA, native, will receive the organization’s Renaissance Award, given to a person who exemplifies a life devoted to the arts. PNC Bank and the PNC Foundation will be honored with Pittsburgh Opera’s Maecenas Award, which is bestowed upon benefactors whose exceptional dedication to Pittsburgh Opera ensures that live opera can thrive in Pittsburgh.

Ms. Jones was named after child star Shirley Temple, and started singing at the age of six. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Elmer Gantry (1960), her career has spanned six decades. In addition to her starring roles in hit musical films such as Oklahoma!, Carousel, and The Music Man, Ms. Jones is beloved as Shirley Partridge, the mother in the wildly popular musical sitcom TV series The Partridge Family. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986.

“I’m thrilled to be receiving the Renaissance Award from the Pittsburgh Opera,” said Ms. Jones. “As a little girl growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I often travelled with my parents to see Pittsburgh Opera Society productions at Carnegie Music Hall. So many of these great performances inspired me to become a singer and pursue my own career in motion picture musicals. I’m truly humbled and grateful for this honor.”

“We are excited to honor Shirley, a true cultural icon and Pittsburgh daughter,” says Event Chair Dr. Lisa Cibik. “She has delighted audiences for generations, and is a stellar example of a local-girl-makes-good.”

Headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, PNC has been a staunch Pittsburgh Opera corporate supporter for years. Accepting the Maecenas Award on behalf of PNC is Sally McCrady, chair and president, The PNC Foundation.

“Pittsburgh Opera is a vital component of the region’s performing arts scene, enriching the lives of residents and visitors, and one of the reasons Pittsburgh is consistently named to ‘most livable cities’ lists,” said McCrady. “The arts also are a significant economic contributor to our region. Event-related spending by audiences in our region is estimated to total more than $500 million dollars annually. There is no question that organizations like Pittsburgh Opera are essential to our city’s vitality and growth.”

Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn adds, “PNC recognizes that world-class cities sustain premiere arts organizations. We are grateful for their belief in our mission and faith in our organization.”

Guests at Maecenas will enjoy dinner by All in Good Taste Productions, including braised beef short ribs, ballotine of chicken with duck confit, and sautéed ricotta gnocchi. Entertainment will include a special performance by Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artists, as well as the high-energy Elite Show Band.

The event’s namesake Gaius Maecenas was a celebrated ancient Roman patron to Horace and Virgil. Today his name is synonymous with ‘patron of the arts.’  Maecenas XXXV will raise crucial funds to allow Pittsburgh Opera to keep live opera productions and educational programs financially accessible to all audiences, while training the next generation of great American singers. Few events have a more longstanding tradition of support and none rival its grandeur.

Sponsorship information is available on Pittsburgh Opera’s website. Individual tickets start at $550; VIP seating packages are available in groups of 4, 8, or 10 and start at $4,000. Members of Pittsburgh Opera’s New Guard, a Young Professionals Group, can purchase tickets for $250. All ticket and sponsorship levels can be reserved online. Inquiries may be directed to Pittsburgh Opera Development Associate for Special Events Rebekah Diaz at 412-281-0912 ext. 225.

About Pittsburgh Opera

About PNC