Pittsburgh Opera Announces a Gift from Francois Bitz

By Dejan Vukosavljevic
(Credit: Pittsburgh Opera official website)

The Pittsburgh Opera has announced the largest individual gift in the company’s 83-year history, a $5MM sum being donated by tech entrepreneur and real estate developer Francois Bitz.

Bitz’s gift is part of Pittsburgh Opera’s $50MM Comprehensive Campaign under the name Forever, with the objectives to promote Pittsburgh Opera’s cornerstones of Art, Community, and Resilience; make Pittsburgh Opera a model of entrepreneurship and inclusion; and secure Pittsburgh Opera’s place as a cultural treasure for future generations.

“A gift of this magnitude has transformational implications for Pittsburgh Opera,” said General Director Christopher Hahn. “In recognition and deep appreciation, we are naming our Strip District headquarters the Bitz Opera Factory. The new name nicely refers to the building’s past life as the Westinghouse Air Brake Factory while acknowledging its present role as a vibrant center for the creation of opera.”

“I have always been inspired and intrigued by the power opera has to bring great stories and great music together,” said Bitz, who is also a Pittsburgh Opera Board Member. “My hope is that my gift will encourage others to follow my example to strongly support this world-class organization. Pittsburgh Opera adds immeasurably to our region’s famous quality of life and helps to attract the many talented and creative workers the city needs to continue to progress and thrive,” added Bitz.