Western Pennsylvania’s Shirley Jones to receive Pittsburgh Opera honor | TribLIVE.com
Theater & Arts

Western Pennsylvania’s Shirley Jones to receive Pittsburgh Opera honor

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
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Courtesy of Shirley Jones
Shirley Jones, a Charleroi native and former Smithton resident, will be recognized for her dedication to the arts with the Renaissance Award on May 18 at the Pittsburgh Opera’s 35th annual Maecenas Gala at the Benedum Center in Downtown Pittsburgh.
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Pittsburgh Opera
The Pittsburgh Opera’s 35th annual Maecenas Gala will be held May 18 at the Benedum Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. This scene is from last year’s event.

Shirley Jones has dedicated her life to the arts.

The Pittsburgh Opera will honor Jones’ devotion on May 18 when it presents the Charleroi native and former Smithton resident with a Renaissance Award at the 35th annual Maecenas Gala at Downtown’s Benedum Center.

“I’m thrilled to be receiving the Renaissance Award from the Pittsburgh Opera,” Jones said in a statement. “As a little girl growing up in Western Pennsylvania, I often traveled with my parents to see Pittsburgh Opera Society productions at Carnegie Music Hall. So many of these great performances inspired me to become a singer and pursue my own career in motion picture musicals. I’m truly humbled and grateful for this honor.”

The event celebrates the successful conclusion of the opera’s 80th season with the special theme of “Black, White + Blush,” according to a news release.

Jones, 85, was named after child star Shirley Temple and started singing at age 6. Winner of the Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in “Elmer Gantry” in 1960, her career has spanned six decades. In addition to her starring roles in hit musical films such as “Oklahoma!’ “Carousel” and “The Music Man,” for many she is best known for her role as Shirley Partridge, the mother in the popular musical sitcom TV series “The Partridge Family.”

She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986.

Jones is a true cultural icon and Pittsburgh daughter, event chair Dr. Lisa Cibik said in a statement.

“She has delighted audiences for generations, and is a stellar example of a local-girl-makes-good,” Cibik said.

The event is named after Gaius Maecenas, an ancient Roman who was a patron to artists of his time such as Horace and Virgil. It will raise money to help the Pittsburgh Opera keep live opera productions and educational programs financially accessible to all audiences, while training the next generation of great American singers, according to a news release.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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