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Franco Harris to play ceremonial role in opera's 'Aida'

“At the time, that play didn’t hold any significance to me,” Franco Harris says of the Immaculate Reception. “I tell people that we really didn’t reflect on it during that decade. It just wasn’t at the top of your mind because we were doing so many other great things.' Reuters

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Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 2:39 p.m.

Pittsburgh Opera's season opening production of Giuseppe Verdi's “Aida,” which starts Oct. 12, will include singers, dancers, chorus, orchestra and one football legend.

Franco Harris will be “Champion of Champions,” a silent, ceremonial role, on Oct. 18 in the opera's Triumphal Scene in Act II, long a vehicle for opera companies to mount the biggest spectacle they can. In 2008, Pittsburgh Opera presented wrestler Bruno Sammartino in the same role.

The opera's production features three principal singers who have performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City: Latonia Moore as Ethipian princes Aida, Carl Tanner as her lover Egyptian general Radames, and Elizabeth Bishop as Egyptian princess Amneris, who loves Radames. Music director Anthony Walker will conduct.

Performances start at 8 p.m. Oct 12, 7 p.m. Oct. 15, 8 p.m. Oct. 18 and 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Benedum Center, Downtown. Admission is $12.75 to $155.75

Details: 412-456-6666 or

— Mark Kanny

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