Music on the Edge presents the music of Burr Van Nostrand

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Music on the Edge has gathered an all-star lineup of performers to present three works by the underappreciated avant-garde composer Burr Van Nostrand. The program takes place on Saturday, February 22, 8 Bellefield Hall Auditorium on the University of Pittsburgh Campus.

Burr Van Nostrand combines detailed graphic notation with conventional notation in his compositions. Because of the difficulty of his works, they received very few performances. While he received a good deal of recognition in the 1970s, including a four-year residency at Gaudeamus Foundation and several awards, his work had since fallen into obscurity. Happily, that situation has been changing in recent years. Due to the efforts of NEC student Jason Belcher and pianist/composer Anthony Coleman, a New World Records recording of Van Nostrands’s music has sparked renewed interest in his work; Music on the Edge codirector Mathew Rosenblum has also played a significant role in that trend.  Rosenblum provided extensive liner notes for that CD and has been one of the main catalysts for the Pittsburgh concert that seeks to build on the success of the recording project.

Three stalwarts of Pittsburgh’s contemporary music scene will bring Van Nostrand’s Fantasy Manual for Urban Survival to life. The trio will comprise flutist Lindsey Goodman, best known locally for her stellar performances with Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Attack Theatre Music Director Dave Eggar on cello, and Pitt faculty composer Eric Moe on the piano.

Many of the same artists who participated in the landmark New World recording will reprise their performances in Pittsburgh. Pianist/conductor Anthony Coleman will lead the New England Conservatory Chamber Ensemble in Van Nostrand’s Voyage in a White Building 1 and violinist Paul Severtson will perform Phaedra Antinomaes.

Tickets for the Music of Burr Van Nostrand are available through the University of Pittsburgh Stages Box Office, by calling 412-624-7529, or visiting Tickets in advance: general admission is $15; students and seniors are $10. At the door: general admission is $20; students and seniors are $15. Pitt students are free with valid ID.

Music on the Edge will present two additional events featuring Anthony Coleman. Coleman will give a free lecture about his music on Friday, February 21, 4 p.m. at Pitt’s Music Building. In addition, Coleman will perform a solo piano concert on Friday, February 21 at 8 p.m. at First Unitarian Church in Shadyside. Admission is $10 at the door. Anthony Coleman’s solo performance is co-presented by Music on the Edge and the Consortium. Bassist Jason Ajemian will open the evening.

Freya Performers Explore ROOTS at Carnegie Music Hall

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The Freya String Quartet’s performance at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall will be a musical exploration of the sights and sounds that shaped the ensemble’s musicians.  Roots will be performed on Monday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m.

The program opens with a set of folk songs from cellist Katya Janpoladyan’s native Armenia.  These tuneful and rhythmically driven pieces evoke the rich musical traditions of a culture dating back nearly 2,500 years.

Spanning thousands of miles, Freya will also perform a work composed expressly for the group by Swedish-American composer Matthew Peterson.  The eponymously named Badlands’ sweeping musical lines and colorful intonations are inspired by rugged beauty of North Dakota’s famous geological marvel.  Both Jason Neukom (composer and violinist) and Jason Hohn (viola) are North Dakota natives.

The program will conclude with Edvard Grieg’s String Quartet in G Minor.  This work of passionate lyricism was an early favorite of violinist Ashley Buck, indeed of each member of the ensemble.  Freya’s musicians credit Grieg’s composition with instilling a love of performing chamber music and exploring its vast repertoire.

Founded in 2009, the Freya String Quartet is dedicated to performing a wide range of music, advocating artistic evolution, and teaching the importance of classical music in the Pittsburgh area.  The ensemble is deeply committed to reaching new audiences by breaking the boundaries of classical music conventions. Freya’s repertoire spans composers from Shostakovich to Glass and Beethoven to Radiohead.  Members of the ensemble have performed throughout the US, Asia, South America and Europe.  To further advance its passion for live performance, innovation, education and collaboration Freya String Quartet helped create Symbiotic Collusion in 2011.

A project on the near horizon is the release of the album Snapshots, featuring nine short “character” pieces composed for Freya by Sean Neukom and Richard Neukom.  The Neukoms are a musical family!

The February 24 concert is the fourth in the ACFL&MH’s Listen Locally chamber music series.  Freya performed the series premiere concert in 2012.  “We’re thrilled to be returning to the Listen Locally series,” says violist Jason Hohn.  “It’s truly a wonderful venue that’s been lovingly restored and is a joy to perform in.”

The remaining two concerts this season’s series are:

March 31 Ferla-Marcinizyn Guitar Duo with contralto Daphne Alderson

April 28 Matt Murchison Mutiny (euphonium, flute, piano, bass, drums)

Tickets for the Listen Locally are $15 and may be purchased in advance at the ACFL&MH during library hours or at the box office the night of the concert.  A reception with the musicians follows the concert.  Please contact Lynne Cochran, Music Hall Director at 412-276-3456 ext. 7 for more information.  All performances take place on Mondays at 7:30 p.m.

The “Buzz” from Buzzelli: Pittsburgh’s Top To-Do’s THIS WEEKEND (2/14 – 2/16)

Mike BuzzelliThe Shaker

Spirited Away

Start your weekend on Wednesday and join Edible Allegheny Magazine  and sample some of the best restaurants in Pittsburgh at the James Gallery in the West End. Beat the winter blues and Lift Your Spirits (no, seriously, Lift Your Spirits is the name of the event).

You can taste some small bites from Spoon, Lidia’s Italy Pittsburgh, Six Penn Kitchen, and Superior Motors.

Lift Your Spirits, 6:00 to 8:30 at the James Gallery, 413 S. Main Street, Pittsburgh. You can get tickets here;


Let’s get Tropical

Every Sunday in February the Tropical Sands Steel Band is playing at Phipps Conservatory for Tropical Sundays from 1 -3. They have tropical fruit tastings, an Orchid and Tropical Bonsai show to go with it. If you wear a Hawaiian shirt you get in for half price.  Go island hoping right in your own back yard at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh.

For more information, go here;


No Tails

It’s your last weekend to see “Heads.”  Four hostages in a war zone are forced to make difficult choices to survive their dire situation in “Heads.” Playwright E.M. Lewis brings a heart-wrenching tale of war to the Pittsburgh Playhouse.  Studio Theater, Thursdays, Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m. and Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through Feb. 16.  412-392-8000



One weekend…four shows only!
Award-winning NYC singer-actors Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley don’t just perform “stripped down” arrangements of distinctive mash-ups and originals; they literally strip down to their underwear to play cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, and melodica. The New York Post calls this undie-rock, comedy-pop duo’s show “a mash-up of all things sultry.” Expect a hilarious evening of genre-hopping pop perfection with local special guests!  At City Theatre, Feb 13-15.


Here Comes the Rain Again

barebones productions presents A STEADY RAIN, by Keith Huff, directed by Melissa Martin, and featuring David Whalen and Patrick Jordan

Joey and Denny have been best friends since kindergarten, and after working together for several years as policemen in Chicago, they are practically family: Joey helps out with Denny’s wife and kids; Denny keeps Joey away from the bottle. But when a domestic disturbance call takes a turn for the worse, their friendship is put on the line. The result is a harrowing journey into a moral gray area where trust and loyalty struggle for survival against a sobering backdrop of pimps, prostitutes, and criminal lowlifes.


Bonus Round (A Sixth Thing)


Off The Wall Theatre in Carnegie presents the first in an ongoing cabaret series, just in time for a night out this Valentine’s Day Weekend – whether hitting the town with your honey, or flying solo.  The cabaret will feature performances by Hotep the Artist (pantomime and spoken word), Vocalist Rebecca Covert, comedian Derek Minto, and Off The Wall’s new resident company fireWALL Dance Theater, hosted by ‘Burgh Vivant’s own Brian Edward.  Performance dates are Friday, February 14th at 7:00pm, and Saturday, February 15th at 8:00pm, at Off The Wall Theater, 25 West Main Street, Carnegie, PA.  Ample free parking is available.  Tickets may be purchased HERE. 


– MB.

Excitement builds for “ROGER HUMPHRIES Pass it On” premiere

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by ‘Burgh Vivant Michael Buzzelli

Local jazz legend and educator Roger Humphries was honored at the Savoy Restaurant on Thursday, February 06, 2014. Humphries is the subject of a new documentary, “Roger Humphries: Pass it on,” directed by Billy Jackson.

The Savoy was hopping with local luminaries such as WQED’s Chris Moore, KDKA’s Lynn Hayes Freeland, KQV’s Elaine Effort, and sculptor Thad Mosley. They were mingling at the Savoy’s upstairs bar and snacked on some excellent hors d’oeuvres provided by Savoy’s star chef, Kevin Watson.

Everyone came out to celebrate Humphries illustrious career and to see a short preview of the film.

Jackson, the film director and producer, chose Humphries as a subject primarily because of Humphries’ altruistic outlook on developing and nurturing young talent. Jackson said, “Roger is a musical icon, yet accessible and down to earth. His humble spirit and commitment to ‘Passing it On,’ is inspiring and unique given his stature and years in the music business.”

“Roger Humphries: Pass It On” premieres February 22 at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild at a red carpet event. The film premiere is a fundraiser for four Pittsburgh non-profits who educate musically gifted youth; The Afro-American Music Institute, The Roger L. Humphries Music Scholarship Fund, The Jazz Workshop of Homewood and Lighthouse Arts, Inc.

Don’t pass up, “Roger Humphries: Passing It On.” You can join the fun February 22 at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, 1815 Metropolitan Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233. For pricing and additional information, go to or

DSCN0034WQED’s Chris Moore with Roger Humphries.


DSCN0039ROGER HUMPHRIES Pass It On” director, Billy Jackson.


DSCN0050‘Burgh Vivant Lonnie “The Theatre Lady” chats with Pamela Collier.


DSCN0047Roger Humphries, sculptor Thad Mosley, Dr. Harry Clark, and Dr. Curtiss Porter.


DSCN0051 2KQV’s Elaine Effort with husband Edmund Effort.  Photobomb: Chris Moore.






Point Park’s Conservatory Theatre Company presents rock musical ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’

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Directed by Michael McKelvey, the show previews Feb. 20, runs Feb. 21-March 2 at Pittsburgh Playhouse

PITTSBURGH – Point Park University’s Conservatory Theatre Company presents Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a raucous and unique rock musical that reinvents America’s seventh president as a contemporary rock star.

Directed by Michael McKelvey, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson opens Friday, Feb. 21, and runs through Sunday, March 2, with a preview on Thursday, Feb. 20, in the Rockwell Theatre at the Pittsburgh Playhouse. Performances will be at 8 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets range from $18 to $20 and can be purchased by calling the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412.392.8000, or at

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson gives a modern spin to the founding of the Democratic Party, Jackson’s life and his relationship with his wife, Rachel Jackson.

McKelvey directs Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, with choreography by Cassidy Adkins, scenic design by Michael Thomas Essad, costume design by Michael Montgomery, lighting design by Andrew David Ostrowski, and sound design by Kristopher Buggey. Layden Jenson-Bunch is stage manager.

Director McKelvey’s Pittsburgh Playhouse credits include Honk Jr. (stage/music director), Oklahoma! and A Chorus Line (music director).  Recent regional directing credits include Swing! Legally Blonde, Sweeney Todd, Oklahoma! A Year with Frog and Toad (SSA), Les Misérables (Interlakes), Chess (Austin Playhouse); A Minister’s Wife, I Love You Because,  john & jen, The Last Five Years (Penfold); Footloose, Annie (Zilker Theatre); City of Angels, Carousel, The Pajama Game (Mary Moody Northen);  Reefer Madness, Company, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Evil Dead (DMP).  At Point Park, McKelvey is the coordinator of private voice, an instructor of musical theatre, and is part of the NYC Showcase production staff.  He is the artistic director of SummerStock Austin and Doctuh Mistuh Productions in Austin, Texas, and is the recipient of multiple B. Iden Payne and Austin Critics’ Table Awards as a stage director, music director, and producer.  In March, he is slated to direct the musical, Ordinary Days.

‘Burgh Vivant host Brian Edward to emcee cabaret at Off The Wall

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CARNEGIE, PA – This Valentine’s weekend, ‘Burgh Vivant host Brian Edward will emcee the first in a series of variety cabarets sporting acts of music, comedy, dance, poetry, and more, produced by Off The Wall Productions.

The cabaret will feature performances by Hotep the Artist (pantomime and spoken word), Vocalist Rebecca Covert, comedian Derek Minto, and Off The Wall’s new resident company fireWALL Dance Theater.  Performance dates are Friday, February 14th at 7:00pm, and Saturday, February 15th at 8:00pm, at Off The Wall Theater, 25 West Main Street, Carnegie, PA.  Ample free parking is available.  Tickets may be purchased HERE.

Brian Edward is the host and executive producer of ‘Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh’s cultural talk magazine.  He has worked in the theatre in the capacity of actor, director, playwright, and comedian, with local credits including Pittsburgh Opera, Arcade Comedy Theater, and The REP.  Brian was named among the top supporting actors in Pittsburgh by the Post Gazette in 2001, and among the top leading actors in 2002.  He is also the creator of the musical comedy Amish Burlesque.  He has emceed numerous charitable events and film festivals, is frequently quoted in print and radio, and has been a recurrent guest on the CBS-KDKA morning show, Pittsburgh LIVE Today.

Off The Wall is a Pittsburgh theatre production company whose mission is to enrich, enliven, educate, amaze and entertain its audiences, and to help create a more conscious and compassionate community while increasing the public knowledge and appreciation of theater in South Western Pennsylvania.  Off The Wall aims to encourage and support the admiration of all arts and artists by providing a home in which live theater, dance, music, and comedy can be presented, and to nurture, challenge, inspire and empower women theater artists from the Pittsburgh region and beyond to collaborate as playwrights, directors, technicians, and actors, explore new ideas, and develop new works.  Off The Wall’s 96 – seat house offers an intimate environment, allowing performers to have close interaction with their audience.

WATCH/LISTEN:  ‘Burgh Vivant’s guest Virginia Wall Gruenert – Artistic Director of Off The Wall Productions.

WATCH/LISTEN:  ‘Burgh Vivant’s guest Kim El – poet, actor, writer, director, now performing her original show STRAIGHTENING COMBS in repertory at Off The Wall Theatre.


The “Buzz” from Buzzelli: Pittsburgh’s Top-5 To-Do’s THIS WEEKEND (2/6 – 2/9)

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Every week we find Five Fun Things to do in Pittsburgh. If you want to plan your weekend, here are some suggestions on how to spend it.


Laugh Locally, Support Globally

“Local People for Global Causes” will be raising money for an organization called Clash International which will sponsor an upcoming reading of a play by Matt Henderson titled, “A Long Walk on the Beach.” The Improv troupe “Yeah, Those Guys,” will also be performing at the event. Clash’s goal is, “to facilitate community-driven and capacity-building agricultural and business education programs for farmers in Ghana’s rural communities.”

You might as well laugh locally, while you’re supporting a global cause.

Help yourself and the world with a good time at the Grey Box Theater, 3595 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201. For more information, go to


It Ain’t Easy Being Green

An ogre, with the aid of his trusty, talkative donkey, rescues a beautiful princess with a secret in “Shrek the Musical.” This fractured fairy tale has fun, laughs and good times with 19 new songs.

Laugh as the tallest man in theater (Tim Hartman) plays the diminutive Lord Farquaad.

Shrek the Musical opens February 6 and runs to February 16 at the Byham Theater, 101 6th Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222.

For more information, check out


Under Where?

A reclusive Dutch librarian (played by film, television and theater actor Randy Kovitz) discovers a travel guide that has been returned 113 years overdue. His obsession with finding the person responsible takes him out of his insular world and on a globe-trotting quest. As he follows a chain of clues that go back thousands of years, he finds connections to ancient myths and kindles his own dormant spirit in Glen Berger’s “Underneath The Lintel.”

“Under” opens Wednesday February 5, 2014 at the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre 937 Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

For more information, go to


Deadbeat Club

Comedian Bubbs Harris from Florida and JC Ratliff from Tennessee form a group called the Deadbeats of Comedy. They will be performing with local comedians John Dick Winters, Ed Bailey and Day Bracey, and, frankly, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Be cautious and prepare to laugh on Saturday February 8.

The Deadbeats will tell tall tales at the Rock Club, 1054 Herron Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.

For more information, go to the Facebook events page at

About the Exhibit:

Most of the artwork in this exhibition was created by Florence Sarah Winship, while her name may not be immediately recognizable, she was a prolific illustrator creating hundreds of children’s books and coloring books for Western and Whitman Publishing.

Featuring iconic celebrities of the day such as Dinah Shore and Doris Day as well as scenes from daily life, coloring books are a snapshot of a time gone by, and a chance to view a generation through the rose colored glasses of their childhood.

The festivities begin at 7pm on February 7th at the ToonSeum. Tickets will be available online for $15.00 or $20.00 at the door.About the Exhibit:

Most of the artwork in this exhibition was created by Florence Sarah Winship, while her name may not be immediately recognizable, she was a prolific illustrator creating hundreds of children’s books and coloring books for Western and Whitman Publishing.

Featuring iconic celebrities of the day such as Dinah Shore and Doris Day as well as scenes from daily life, coloring books are a snapshot of a time gone by, and a chance to view a generation through the rose colored glasses of their childhood.

The festivities begin at 7pm on February 7th at the ToonSeum. Tickets will be available online for $15.00 or $20.00 at the door.Return to the nostalgic era of the 50s with an exhibition of original coloring book art from Western Publishing with the ToonSeum. But wait, there’s more. They’ve added a modern, comic twist to the exhibit, “Color Me Happy.”

Executive Director Joe Wos said, “The ToonSeum has invited some of Pittsburgh brightest and funniest comedic minds to create their own captions for the artwork on display!”

Jimmy Krenn, Rick Sebak, Terry Jones, Gab Bonesso, Rob Rogers, Aaron Kleiber, Eric Heyl, Mike Buzzelli (ring any bells?), and those wacky people from the Arcade Comedy Theater have supplied captions for the exhibit.

You can be part of the opening reception Friday, February 7, 2014. Come down and create your own caption for the show! The ToonSeum is at 945 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA. For more information, click here

Phipps Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini Receives Carnegie Science Award

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Sustainability leader honored with Catalyst Award for innovations in green building and operations.

Pittsburgh, Pa. As the visionary behind Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ innovative Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL), Executive Director Richard V. Piacentini has been named as the recipient of a Catalyst Award — one of more than 20 honors bestowed upon individuals and organizations in western Pa. who have distinguished themselves by making unparalleled contributions to science and technology in various disciplines through the 2014 Carnegie Science Awards.

Since his tenure began in 1994, Piacentini has not only made great strides to revitalize Phipps but he has also taken the lead on its transformation into a global model of sustainability with the building of the first LEED®-certified visitor center in a public garden, the first LEED-certified greenhouses, and the Tropical Forest Conservatory, the most energy-efficient structure of its kind in the world when it opened in 2006. Phipps’ latest accomplishment under his leadership is the CSL, a net-zero energy and net-zero water facility that has been designed to meet the progressive Living Building Challenge™. Already a recipient of LEED Platinum and Four Stars SITES™ certification from the Sustainable Sites Initiative™, it is also expected to be the first building anywhere to achieve all three of these rigorous standards.

“In a time when many of the environmental problems we face can be attributed to the fact that we are not only disconnected from nature but also live in a society that values the importance of ‘me’ over ‘we,’ it is not enough to simply build greener,” says Piacentini. “With the CSL, we hope to push the envelope even further, inspiring transformative experiences in the space as we celebrate our innate bonds to nature, and illuminate the many possibilities of sustainable building and landscaping. I am truly honored to have received the Catalyst Award in recognition of this work, which will benefit generations to come.”

To be presented to Piacentini at a ceremony held at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on May 9, the Catalyst Award recognizes individuals or organizations who have come to exemplify an area of science because of the actions that they have taken to create public awareness over a broad swath of society, pioneered by people like Rachel Carson in the environment, Red Whittaker in robotics, and Alan Russell in regenerative medicine. Now in its 18th year, the Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of 400 plus awardees who have improved the lives of others through their work.

About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, Pa. is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Learn more:

Pittsburgh Opera presents Gregory Spears’s PAUL’S CASE

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A new production, based on Willa Cather’s 1905 story of a Pittsburgh boy

Pittsburgh, PA… Pittsburgh Opera continues its 75th anniversary season with Gregory Spears’s PAUL’S CASE, a new opera with a Pittsburgh connection, starring the Resident Artists of Pittsburgh Opera’s acclaimed singer training program. The second work in Pittsburgh Opera’s American Opera Series,* PAUL’S CASE is on stage at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters February 22 – March 2, as the company’s 2013-14 Second Stage Project. Based on Willa Cather’s short story of the same name, PAUL’S CASE is the story of a high school “dandy” who yearns for a more exciting life away from gritty, industrial Pittsburgh. Paul’s fantasies have been fed by the glamorous musical performances he witnesses as an usher at Carnegie Music Hall. When Paul is suspended from school, he steals money and flees to New York City. After a stay in the Waldorf-Astoria, a shopping spree, and a fling with a Yale freshman, Paul’s escape is discovered by his father and by the media. Paul’s ambitions come crashing down in a wrenching finale.

Pittsburgh Opera’s new production of PAUL’S CASE features its Resident Artists. Daniel Curran is Paul; Alex DeSocio is Paul’s father. Phillip Gay performs the dual roles of Principal and Waldorf-Astoria Bell Boy. Resident Artist Samantha Korbey and Rebecca Belczyk (Dark Sisters, 2014) take on triple roles, as teachers, singers, and maids, while Nicole Rodin portrays a teacher and a maid. Christopher Toeller (The Magic Flute, 2013) is the Yale Freshman. Resident Artist George Cederquist is the stage director for PAUL’S CASE. Head of Music Glenn Lewis conducts.

Composer Gregory Spears is expected to participate in Opera Up Close February 16 [see “related events”] and will attend the opening night performance.

* Pittsburgh Opera’s American Opera Series is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and includes PAUL’S CASE (Jan. 25 – Feb. 2), PAUL’S CASE (Feb. 22 – Mar. 2) and ORPHÉE (Apr. 26 – May 4). 

Facts about the opera and the composer

PAUL’s CASE premiered in April 2013 at Urban Arias in Washington, DC, and was developed by American Opera Projects. The work blends minimalist and Baroque stylings to create a unique new chamber opera sound.

PAUL’S CASE received excellent reviews both from The Washington Post at its world premiere in April 2013, and from the New York Times, from the Prototype Festival in January 2014.

Gregory Spears and librettist Kathryn Walat took a fresh look at Willa Cather’s 1905 story, and drew timeless parallels from Paul’s character when they created the opera. To quote Gregory Spears, “he [Paul] seems to be saying ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to life throughout this piece. He’s so full of life, and a fascinating character, yet at the same time, he ultimately says ‘no’…. There’s something about that paradoxical feel of him…so fascinated by the world, and at the same time, feeling as if he needs to reject it – this powers the enigma that’s at the core of the Cather story.” See more remarks from Gregory Spears and Kathryn Walat here.


The story, in brief

Pittsburgh, 1906. Paul appeals his suspension in front of three teachers and the high school principal. The teachers are infuriated by his dandyish behavior and appearance, epitomized by the red carnation he wears. Paul is dismissed; he bows gracefully and exits.

Later that evening, Paul’s father is calculating figures at his desk, while Paul changes into a uniform – he works as an usher at Carnegie Music Hall. The father decries his son’s disdain for middle-class values, while Paul tells of his love for all things exotic and theatrical. Paul’s English teacher arrives unexpectedly at the Music Hall with two tickets given to her by a steel magnate. Waiting for the show to begin, the English teacher recounts a life full of disappointments. Two opera singers take the stage; Paul and the English teacher are enchanted. Paul’s father, still simmering at home, warns that this will be Paul’s last night working at the theater, on account of his recent suspension from school.

Paul’s father sends him to work as a cash-boy clerk. Distraught, Paul describes his contempt for the banalities of workaday life in Pittsburgh. He steals the firm’s weekend deposit and catches the next train to New York City.

Three hotel maids prepare a sumptuous suite at New York’s Waldorf Astoria. Paul enters triumphantly, and smugly catalogs his purchases from an afternoon shopping spree. At dinner in the Waldorf Astoria’s dining room, he encounters a Yale freshman in town for a weekend visit, and the two join up for a drunken night on the town.

Waking with a hangover the next day, Paul asks for the Pittsburgh newspapers, in which the maids read of his theft. Paul discovers that he has been spotted at a New York hotel and that his father is coming to take him back home. He then unwraps his final purchase, a shiny revolver, and contemplates his final actions. He puts the revolver away, and heads for the Newark train yard.

Arriving on an embankment overlooking railroad tracks, Paul buries a red carnation in the snow. He falls asleep and is later awakened by a distant train whistle. As the locomotive approaches, he leaps in front of it. Paul’s teachers and father lament Paul’s death as he dissolves into the landscape.

Tickets to PAUL’S CASE are $40, with all performances at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue, in the Strip District. For additional information, videos, photos, musical samples, cast biographies, and the full story of PAUL’S CASE, visit To purchase tickets, call 412-456-6666 or visit

The 2013-14 Pittsburgh Opera season is generously supported by PNC.
Paul’s Case is generously sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Filstrup and the Filstrup Foundation.
The National Endowment for the Arts provides project support for Pittsburgh Opera’s

2014 American Opera Series.

Giant Eagle Foundation is the Resident Artist Program Sponsor.


Cast and Artistic Team (cast is listed in order of vocal appearance)


Paul                                                                 Daniel Curran *

Principal/Bell Boy                                            Phillip Gay *

History Teacher/Opera Singer 1/Maid 1        Rebecca Belczyk

Drawing Teacher/Opera Singer 2/Maid 2      Samantha Korbey *

English Teacher/Maid 3                                  Nicole Rodin *

Father                                                              Alex DeSocio *

Boy (Yale Freshman)                                     Christopher Toeller

Conductor                                                       Glenn Lewis

Director                                                           George Cederquist *

Costume Designer                                          Antonia West

Lighting Designer                                            Jerry Sherk


Director of Musical Studies                            Mark Trawka

Assistant Conductor                                        James Lesniak

Hair & Makeup Designer                                Nicole Pagano

PAUL’s CASE is a new production by Pittsburgh Opera.
+    Pittsburgh Opera debut

*     Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist

**   Pittsburgh Opera Resident Artist alumni


Tickets and Group Discounts

Tickets for all performances of PAUL’S CASE are $40. Group discounts are available. For tickets, call (412) 456-6666 or visit For discounted group tickets (6 or more), contact Randy Adams at 412-281-0912, x 213.


Related Events


Brown Bag Concert
Saturday, February 8 – 12:00 p.m.

George R. White Opera Studio, Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters (2425 Liberty Avenue)

These casual, one-hour concerts feature our Resident Artists in the George R. White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters. Guests can meet the performers after the concert. Free and open to the public; no RSVP required. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. For more information, call (412) 281-0912 or visit


Opera Up Close: PAUL’S CASE

Sunday, February 16 – 2:00 p.m.

An in-depth look at the music and story of Gregory Spears’s PAUL’S CASE with singers and directors from the production, in the George R. White Opera Studio at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters. Panelists include PAUL’S CASE composer Gregory Spears; Willa Cather scholars Dr. Timothy Bintrim of St. Francis University and Dr. James Jaap of Penn State

New Kensington, Resident Artist stage director George Cederquist; and Pittsburgh Opera Director of Artistic Operations Bill Powers. Admission is $5; the event is free to members of FRIENDS of Pittsburgh Opera and donors at $50 and above. For more information, visit


PAUL’S CASE Previews on WQED-FM 89.3 and WQED.ORG

Saturday, February 15 – 12:30 p.m.; Friday, February 21 – 7:00 p.m.

Hosted by WQED’s Anna Singer, and broadcast over the airwaves as well as the WQED website, the PAUL’S CASE preview gives listeners an engaging introduction to the singers, music and story of the opera. For more information, visit

Audio Description: PAUL’S CASE
Tuesday, February 25

Ticketholders with visual impairments are invited to use Pittsburgh Opera’s Audio Description service at our Tuesday performances. Trained volunteers describe the scenery, costumes, and stage action via headphones. Those wishing to use Audio Description should reserve seats to the Tuesday, February 25 performance: call Randy Adams at 412-281-0912, ext. 213 or Braille and large-print opera programs are also available.

Meet the Artists of PAUL’S CASE

Tuesday, February 25

Immediately following the opera, in the George R. White Studio, Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters

Ticketholders for the Tuesday, February 25 performance of PAUL’S CASE are invited to remain in the George White Studio immediately following the performance for interviews with General Director Christopher Hahn and the stars of the opera. This event is free to all Tuesday performance ticketholders.

Pittsburgh Opera celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2013-14 with OPERA FOR A NEW AGE, a mix of long-beloved operas and new favorites. Established by five intrepid women in 1939, Pittsburgh Opera is viewed as one of the most vibrant opera organizations in the U.S., with a rich artistic tradition, outstanding educational programs, an acclaimed artist training program, and a progressive outlook toward the future. Its green initiative culminated in LEED® Silver certification for its Strip District headquarters, and its capacity as a true community partner has increased significantly under General Director Christopher Hahn’s leadership. Tickets for the 2013-2014 season start at just $12.

2013-14 Season
AIDA •• October 12 – 20, 2013
THE MAGIC FLUTE •• November 9 – 17, 2013

DARK SISTERS •• January 25 – February 2, 2014

SECOND STAGE PROJECT: PAUL’S CASE •• February 22 – March 2, 2014
LA BOHÈME •• March 26 – April 6, 2014
ORPHÉE •• April 26 – May 4, 2014
For ticket information visit our website or call (412) 281-0912


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Cohon and Nordenberg to Receive Chairman’s Award
PITTSBURGH, PA – January 30, 2014 – Today Carnegie Science Center announced the winners of its 2014 Carnegie Science Awards, sponsored by Eaton, at its annual Announcement Reception.

The program honors awardees from more than 20 categories, including Corporate Innovation, Emerging Female Scientist, Entrepreneur, Leadership in STEM Education, and others. These individuals and companies have distinguished themselves by making unparalleled contributions to science and technology in various disciplines.

This year, the Science Center is conferring its highest commendation, the Chairman’s Award, on Jared L. Cohon, former president of Carnegie Mellon University, and Mark A. Nordenberg, chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.

“These two individuals have had an unparalleled impact on our region’s scientific vitality,” said Ann Metzger, Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “As concurrent leaders of two great local universities, President Cohon and Chancellor Nordenberg forged an unprecedented relationship of mutual respect and collaboration, which has helped open the door to a new era of scientific exploration, entrepreneurial strength, and academic excellence in Pittsburgh.”

Carnegie Science Center established the Carnegie Science Awards program in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in  western Pennsylvania. Celebrating its 18th year, the Carnegie Science Awards have honored the accomplishments of more than 400 individuals and organizations that have improved lives through their commitment and contributions in science and technology.

“The Carnegie Science Awards spotlight some of the most innovative minds today,” said Ron Baillie, Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “These individuals are making a global impact starting with our own region. We know they are already inspiring a new generation of leaders. One of our central missions is to promote education in science, technology, engineering, and math–or STEM. The Carnegie Science Awards winners exemplify the highest levels of success in STEM fields and in STEM education. We are proud to recognize these outstanding awardees and look forward to their continued contributions.”

“Eaton has supported the Carnegie Science Awards through a premier sponsorship for the past 11 years and has seen remarkable leaders and organizations recognized for their contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math,” said Mark Horner, senior manager, Global Communications, Electrical Sector, Eaton. “We congratulate Carnegie Science Center, and all of the winners and nominees, for their commitment to discovery, innovation, and education.”

Awardees will be honored during a formal celebration at Carnegie Music Hall on Friday, May 9, 2014. Three student winners, who will be selected at the Science Center’s 75th annual Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair, also will be recognized.

WINNERS, in addition to Cohon and Nordenberg:

Advanced Manufacturing – Fred Patterson, Kennametal Inc.

Advanced Materials – Jay Whitacre, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University

Catalyst – Richard V. Piacentini, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden

Corporate Innovation – Center for Innovation in Restorative Medicine, UPMC

Elementary Educator – Danielle Kephart, Divine Redeemer School

Middle Level Educator David Andrews, Butler Area School District

High School Educator – Dale Moll and Tim Linkenheimer, Blackhawk High School

Leadership In STEM Education – Michael T. Lotze, PhD, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

University / Post-Secondary Educator – Thomas D Eatmon, Jr., Allegheny College

University/ Post-Secondary Student – Taylor D. Canady, Carnegie Mellon University

Emerging Female Scientist – Peijun Zhang, PhD, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Start-Up Entrepreneur – Don Charlton, The Resumator

Entrepreneur – Christine Robins, BodyMedia

Environmental – Xu Liang, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Information Technology – Ron Bianchini, PhD, Avere Systems

Life Sciences – Angela Gronenborn, PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Science Communicator – Elaine Vitone, Pitt Med magazine


Elementary Educator- Carol Fraser, Highlands School District

High School Educator – Brian E. Ludwig, Riverview School District

University/ Post-Secondary Educator- Steven Abramowitch, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Swanson School of Engineering

Start-Up Entrepreneur – Jay Whitacre, PhD, Carnegie Mellon University

Start-Up Entrepreneur – William J. Federspiel, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, McGowan Institute of Regenerative Medicine

Entrepreneur – Jesse Schell, Schell Games

Entrepreneur – Luis von Ahn, Duolingo

Environmental – Ravi Chidambaran, Aquatech International Corporation

Science Communicator – Mary Ann Thomas, Trib Total Media




About Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes and off-site education programs.


About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Annually, the museums reach more than 1.2 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities and special events.