Pittsburgh Opera Preview

Madama Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly”

Saturday September 29, 2018 at 12:30pm and Friday October 5, 2018 at 7pm

The Story:

Set in 1904 Japan, “Madama Butterfly” follows the tragic love story of the innocent, naïve geisha Cio-Cio San and Pinkerton, a callous US naval officer.  Cio-Cio San, will still a teenager, forsakes her family, heritage, and religion for Pinkerton.  But what she considers to be true love, he considers a casual fling.   Cio-Cio San clings to the increasingly unrealistic belief that Pinkerton will return to her. 

The Cast

Cio-Cio San – Dina Kuznetsova
Pinkerton – Cody Austin
Sharpless – Michael Mayes
Suzuki – Laurel Semerdjian


Hansel and Gretel


Engelbert Humperdinck’s  “Hansel and Gretel”

Saturday October 27, 2018 at 12:30pm and Friday November 2, 2018 at 7pm

The Story:

Siblings Hansel and Gretel are poor peasants. In a major parenting fail, their mother sends them to forage for strawberries in a haunted forest. They get lost and spend the night in the woods. The next morning, they stumble upon a gingerbread house inhabited by a witch who imprisons them. It will take all their wits to escape before she eats them!

The Cast

Hansel – Corey Stallings
Gretel – Ashley Fabian
The Witch – Marianne Cornetti
Mother – Leah Heater




Saturday January 19, 2019 at 12pm and Friday January 25, 2019 at 7pm

The Story:

afterWARds is set on the island of Crete immediately after the Trojan War. Idomeneo is the King of Crete. Idamante is his son. Ilia is the Princess of Troy and enemy of Crete, who Idamante rescues from a shipwreck. King Idomeneo promises to kill the “traitor” who rescued Ilia, not realizing it was his son. Meanwhile, Ilia and Idamante begin to fall in love with each other, which infuriates Elettra, the Princess of Argos, who loves Idamante as well. These four star-crossed characters are caught in a whirlwind of love, betrayal, loyalty, and family as they seek to rebuild their lives.

The Cast

Idomeneo – Terrance Chin-Loy
Ilia – Ashley Fabian
Idamante – Antonia Botti-Lodovico
Electra – Caitlin Gotimer


Glory Denied

Tom Cipullo’s “Glory Denied”

Saturday February 16, 2019 at 12:30pm and Friday February 22, 2019 at 7pm

The Story:

Based on a book by Tom Philpott, Glory Denied tells the true story of Colonel Jim Thompson, America’s longest-held prisoner of war. The opera deals not only with Thompson’s suffering in the jungle of southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, but also the tragic aftermath that followed his liberation.  Colonel Thompson endured his brutal captivity by doggedly clinging to memories of his loving wife Alyce and their children. Alyce, however, believed Jim was dead. She and her children moved to Massachusetts with another man, leading to a painful reunion after Jim’s release.

The Cast

Younger Thompson – Terrance Chin-Loy
Older Thompson – Ben Taylor

Younger Alyce – Ashley Fabian
Older Alyce – Caitlin Gotimer


La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme”

Saturday March 23, 2019 at 12:30pm and Friday March 29, 2019 at 7pm

The Story:

Set against the backdrop of 1830’s Paris, La bohème follows four impoverished artists surviving with little more than friendship, passion, and their love for their art. When Roldolfo, a poet, and Mimi, a young seamstress, meet, the two are drawn into a tumultuous and passionate affair with a love that can only be broken by death.

The Cast

Mimi – Nicole Cabell
Rodolfo – Sean Pannikar
Marcello – Craig Verm
Musetta – Sari Gruber


Don Pasquale

Gaetano Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale”

Saturday April 20, 2019 at 12:30pm and Friday April 26, 2019 at 7pm

The Story:

Pasquale attempts to secure Ernesto’s future by arranging a marriage between Ernesto and a “proper” girl. However, Ernesto is in love with the young widow Norina, and refuses to marry Pasquale’s suggested bride. With the help of their friend Dr. Malatesta, Ernesto and Norina set out to trick Don Pasquale into letting them marry after all.  Dr. Malatesta has Norina impersonate his sweet, innocent sister and marry Pasquale in a fake wedding. She then drives Pasquale up the wall with a series of outrageous antics until he is at her mercy and will agree to anything to get rid of her.

The Cast

Don Pasquale – Kevin Glavin
Norina – Lisette Oropesa
Ernesto – Javier Abreu
Malatesta – Joshua Hopkins

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