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Fall Arts: Pittsburgh Opera's productions range from classic 'Tosca' to modern 'Moby Dick'

| Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 9:00 p.m.
Mark Delavan as Scarpia in Act I of Puccini’s Tosca, which he’ll perform with Pittsburgh Opera Oct. 7-15 at the Benedum Center, Downtown.
David Bachman
Mark Delavan as Scarpia in Act I of Puccini’s Tosca, which he’ll perform with Pittsburgh Opera Oct. 7-15 at the Benedum Center, Downtown.

Opera as an artform can boast more than 400 years of active repertoire. Pittsburgh Opera's six productions in the 2017-18 season will be evenly balanced between old and new, and be supplemented for opera fans by several other appealing productions at local universities.

The compact intensity of Giacomo Puccini's melodically memorable “Tosca” opens the season, Oct. 7-15, with soprano Leah Crocetto in the title role, tenor Thiago Arancam as her political dissident lover, and baritone Mark Delavan as the lecherous chief of police, Scarpia. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's “The Marriage of Figaro,” Nov. 4-12, contains some of his most sublime music in a witty romantic comedy with laugh out loud moments.

Pittsburgh Opera's three contemporary works will be Jeremy Beck's “The Long Walk,” Jan. 20-28, 2018, about a soldier facing difficult readjustment to domestic life after serving in a bomb disposal unit in Iraq; the world premiere of Douglas Cuomo's “Ashes and Snow,” Feb. 17-25, which reflects on life's experiences; and Jake Hegge's “Moby Dick,” March 17-25. The season concludes with Gaetano Donizetti's comic opera “The Elixir of Love,” April 21-29.

At Carnegie Mellon University, Oakland, the theater and music departments will team up for three operas: Mozart's “The Magic Flute,” Oct. 25-30, Domenico Cimarosa's “The Secret Marriage,” Jan. 25-28, and Leonard Bernstein's “Trouble in Tahiti,” April 11-14. Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, will offer George Frideric Handel's “Alexander's Feast, Feb. 9-10.

Mark Kanny is Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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