Pittsburgh Opera Presents Blue at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center


Reflective of an all-too-familiar American headline, Blue centers on the hopes and fears of a young Black couple as they raise their son.


As the boy grows into a young man, he becomes a student artist and activist. His mother worries for his future, while his father tries to prepare him for the harsh realities of 21st-century America. The father also wrestles with his own identity as a police officer, a "Black man in blue," and the friction that causes within the family.


When their deepest fears come true, the grieving parents must navigate the turbulent waters of loss at the hands of police, while seeking answers and support from their church and community.


Tony Award®–winning composer Jeanine Tesori and NAACP Theatre Award–winning librettist Tazewell Thompson’s new opera is inspired by contemporary events and Black literature. Exploring race, violence, and reconciliation, Blue places timely issues at the forefront of modern opera and invites audiences to the emotional epicenter of their impact.

Besides its traditional four-performance schedule, Pittsburgh Opera is adding a special student/community matinee as a fifth performance at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 28. Those interested in bringing school or community groups to this performance should contact Pittsburgh Opera’s Wendy Parkulo at 412-281-0912, ext. 213.


In addition, Pittsburgh Opera is hosting Opera Up Close: A Community Conversation at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 10. This special virtual event with community leaders and Blue’s librettist and stage director Tazewell Thompson will discuss the opera’s major themes—fatherhood, motherhood, religious support, and police perspective, all from the perspective of the Black community. Participating in this panel discussion will be:

  • Josiah Gilliam, special initiatives coordinator for the City of Pittsburgh and formerly coordinator and program manager for My Brother’s Keeper

  • April Jackson from Open Up Pittsburgh

  • Minister Dwayne Fulton, minister of music and fine arts at Mt. Ararat Baptist Church

  • Blue librettist and stage director Tazewell Thompson

  • Additional panelist(s) to be announced

Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions of all the panelists. Registration for this powerful conversation is free and available online.


Single tickets for adults start at $15; tickets for kids and teens ages 6–18 are half-price. Call 412-456-6666 or visit pittsburghopera.org/tickets. Group discounts, including student discounts, are available.


Per the AWAACC's COVID protocols, proof of vaccination is required for all patrons including children. No exceptions to the vaccine requirement will be allowed. Masks are mandatory, and the only approved masks are N95 & kN95 masks. Individuals who cannot wear a mask are asked not to visit at this time.

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