Kang Wang, Nathan Gunn & Leah Crocetto Highlight Pittsburgh Opera’s 2019-20 Season

By Nicole Kuchta

Pittsburgh Opera has announced its 2019-20 season!

This will be the company’s 81st season and will encompass four operas produced at the Benedum Center, a Baroque chamber opera at Pittsburgh CAPA School Theater, and a production by the Second Stage Project at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, as well as a multitude of other events.

The season opens with a period production of Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” directed by Kristine McIntyre. Pittsburgh Opera Resident Alumn Craig Verm stars in the title role, alongside Kang Wang as Don Ottavio, Brian Kontes as Commendatore, Corrie Stallings as Donna Elvira, Musa Ngqungwana as Leporello, Tyler Zimmerman as Masetto, and Antonia Botti-Lodovico as Zerlina. Music Director Antony Walker will conduct.

Performance Dates: Oct. 12 – 20, 2019

Next in the lineup is Daniel Catán’s opera “Florencia en el Amazonas,” which tells the story of Florencia Grimaldi, an opera singer, traveling to Brazil to perform while hoping to find her long-lost lover. Alexandra Loutsion stars as Florencia. Also featured in the cast are Natasha Wilson as Rosalba, Craig Verm as Riolobo, Nathan Gunn as Alvaro, Sandra Piques Eddy as Paula, and Brian Kontes as Capitán. Anthony Walker will conduct.

Performance Dates: Nov. 9 – 17, 2019

Garnett Bruce will direct Bizet’s “Carmen,” starring Zanda Svede in the title role alongside Michael Todd Simpson as Escamillo, Danielle Pastin as Michaela, Natasha Wilson as Frasquita, Antonia Botti-Lodovico as Mercedes, Terrence Chin-Loy as Remendado, Tyler Zimmerman as Zuniga, and Yazid Gray as Morales. Timothy Myers will conduct.

Performance Dates: Mar. 28 – Apr. 5, 2020

The final of the four Benedum Center operas will be Bellini’s classic “Norma,” directed by Crystal Manich. Leah Crocetto takes on the challenging title role while Jennifer Johnson Cano is Adalgisa. Anthony Walker will conduct.

Performance Dates: Apr. 25 – May 3, 2020

The CAPA Theater will put on a production of Handel’s baroque masterpiece “Alcina” – the story of the wicked sorceress who lures men to her island. Featured on stage will be Caitlin Gotimer in the title role, Antonia Botti-Lodovico as Ruggiero, Laurel Semerdjian as Bradamante, Natasha Wilson as Morgana, Terrence Chin-Loy as Oronte, and Tyler Zimmerman as Melisso.

Performance Dates: Jan 25 – Feb. 2, 2020

The Second Stage Project will present performances of Peter Hilliard’s “The Last American Hammer,” commissioned by Urban Arias with generous support from Dan and Gloria Logan, as well as an anonymous donor in honor of Deborah Brewer. The cast includes Caitlin Gotimer as Tink Enraught, Yazid Gray as Milcolm Negley, and Antonia Botti-Lodovico as DeeDee Reyes.

Performance Dates: Feb. 22 – Mar. 1, 2020

This season the Pittsburg Opera will also host two special events – the 65th Annual Diamond Horseshoe Ball on Sept. 28, 2019, and the Maecenas Ball XXXVI on May 9, 2020.

A series of free and low cost talks, concerts, and programs will also take place, including: Pre Opera Talks, Meet the Artists, a Rising Stars Concert, Brown Bag Concerts, Art Song Recitals, Opera Up Close, FRIENDS of Pittsburgh Opera events, Pittsburgh Opera New Guard events, and WQED previews and broadcasts.