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Fanfare's Best Parties of 2016: Number 3: Maecenas XXXII

| Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, 11:39 a.m.
Pittsburgh Pirates Chairman of the Board and honoree Bob Nutting was more than a face in the crowd during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the  Strip District. May 14, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Pittsburgh Pirates Chairman of the Board and honoree Bob Nutting was more than a face in the crowd during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the Strip District. May 14, 2016.
Joyce D. Ellis joined Sean Gibson in fron of a photo of his great grandfather Josh Gibson during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the  Strip District. May 14, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Joyce D. Ellis joined Sean Gibson in fron of a photo of his great grandfather Josh Gibson during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the Strip District. May 14, 2016.
David McAdams joined Michele Fabrizi and Gene Welsh during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the  Strip District. May 14, 2016.
John Altdorfer
David McAdams joined Michele Fabrizi and Gene Welsh during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the Strip District. May 14, 2016.
Melanie Crockard wore shoes made with recycled baseball hides during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the  Strip District. May 14, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Melanie Crockard wore shoes made with recycled baseball hides during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the Strip District. May 14, 2016.
Opera resident artist Adam Bonanni crooned during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the  Strip District. May 14, 2016.
John Altdorfer
Opera resident artist Adam Bonanni crooned during Maecenas XXXII, the Pittsburgh Opera Gala, at the Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters in the Strip District. May 14, 2016.

Maecenas XXXII

May 14, 2016

Beneficiary: The Pittsburgh Opera

It isn't every day that opera and baseball occupy the same universe, but on May 14, worlds collided with the announcement that the Pittsburgh Opera would be making the world premiere of “Summer King: The Josh Gibson Story” in April 2017.

“Both sports and arts have been a cornerstone of Pittsburgh for so many years,” said General Director Christopher Hahn. “It's a source of civic pride.”

“When I first got the call, I was surprised,” said Sean Gibson, great grandson of the legendary Hall of Famer. “But you have an African American story, a baseball story, and a Pittsburgh story, so it all ties together.”

Following cocktails, guests were whisked back in time to a dining area reminiscent of the Hill District's legendary club, The Crawford Grill, where jazz giants Art Blakey, Max Roach, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane once frequented.

“To pay homage to them and that period, we're actually not going to sing any opera,” Hahn said. “I hope no one is cheering over there!”

From there, resident artists Adam Bonanni, Claudia Rosenthal, Matthew Scollin, Laurel Semerdjian, Corrie Stallings, and Brian Vu endeared with a performance that began with the “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and ended with a rousing applause.

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