About the Benedum Center
The shows of La Boheme are expected to take place at the Benedum Center. Located on the 719 Liberty Avenue, the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts is a part of the Cultural District. Founded in 1928, the facility was initially named the Stanley Theater and was built with the purpose of serving as a deluxe movie palace.
Designed by Hoffman and Henon the seating capacity at the time of its inauguration was 2885. It was in 1987 when the Stanley Theater was renovated and restored and reopened as a top notch performing arts facility. Costing over 43 million dollars, the venue’s name was changed to the Benedum Center. Seating capacity remained the same even though architectural and interior changes were made. Currently the center serves as home to Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Pittsburgh Opera.This season the Pittsburgh Opera is bringing forth the recreation of one of Giuseppe Giacosa’s operas.
Pittsburgh Opera’s History
The Pittsburgh Opera is a well renowned American opera company that has its roots based in Pittsburgh. The facility is known to hold shows at various venues such as the Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts School Theatre and Benedum Center. With its headquarters based in the Strip District where formerly the George Westinghouse Air Brake Factory was located, the Pittsburgh Opera was awarded the “LEED Silver Certification” award for being the very first “green” opera company. This award was presented by the US Green Building Council.
Inaugurated in 1939 the opera company is ranked as the eighth-oldest opera organization in America. Founded by a group of five women, the organization was initially named “Pittsburgh Opera Society.” The debut show held by this society was a reinvention of Offenbach’s opera “Contes d’Hoffmann.” The show took place in 1940 at the Carnegie Music Hall. In 1942 the first director of the Pittsburgh Opera was appointed and the position was filled by Richard Karp. With a tenure that lasted for 35 years, after his retirement, Richard’s place was taken by his daughter, Barbara Karp. In 1997 Mark Weinstein was appointed the general director of the institution and during his tenure the Pittsburgh Opera’s endowment increased from 4 million dollars to a whopping 16 million dollars. After his resignation in 2008, Christopher Hahn took over and still acts as the Pittsburgh Opera’s general director as well as the artistic director.
Pittsburgh Opera’s Repertory
Since 1940, the Pittsburgh Opera has presented operas, productions and presentations that have earned international repute. The repertory of the opera house consists of the Flying Dutchman, Romeo et Juliette, Otello, Il Trovatore, Madama Butterfly, the Bartered Bride, the Elixir of Love, Carmen, the Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Macbeth, Hamlet, the Barber of Seville and Cinderella, to name a few. Over the years the opera has presented more than a hundred productions of some classic operas. This time, the Pittsburgh Opera is presenting shows of La Boheme.
Forthcoming Production of La Boheme
La Boheme is a four act opera created by Giacomo Puccini that was first presented in 1896. The show was held at the Teatro Regio and was presented by conductor Arturo Toscanini. The story of the opera is about two friends Rodolfo and Marcello and two women, Musetta and Mimi and their relationships. Initially they are shown as two happy couples but as the opera goes on they are faced with difficulties of real life which make them come to terms with their insecurities.