Friday, 3/31/2017 at 7:30 PM
Venue: Benedum Center
The Stanley Theater was built in 1927 at a cost of $3 million and opened on February 27, 1928. James Bly Clark, an early theater tycoon who assisted in the founding of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, financed its creation. The Stanley was billed as “Pittsburgh’s Palace of Amusement.” In attendence on opening night were Governor John S. Fisher, Mayor Charles H. Kline and Adolph Zukor, president of Paramount Studios. Regular admission cost 65 cents – 25 cents if you came before noon – and performances provided a welcome lift of spirits during the Great Depression. The theater was purchased and remodeled by the Cinemette Corporation in 1976, and in 1977, DiCesare Engler Productions bought the Stanley to present rock and roll concerts through 1982. The late H.J. Heinz II focused his attention on the historic restoration of the Stanley Theater, and as a result, this became The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s first project after its founding in 1984.The $43 million dollar restoration would take approximately two years, faithfully restoring the Benedum Center to look as the Stanley did on opening night in 1928. By following the very strict restoration standards set by the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Commonwealth Bureau of Historic Preservation and the Historic Review Commission of Pennsylvania, the building is registered with the National Register of Historic Places.
Pittsburgh Opera premieres a never-before-seen production of Puccini’s opera Turandot in 4 performances at the Benedum Center, March 26 through April 3. With its dazzling sets and costumes, large orchestra and cast, and even Puccini’s original gongs, Pittsburgh Opera’s Turandot promises to be an intoxicating opera experience, showcasing spectacular production elements by the French-Canadian production team Renaud Doucet and Andre Barbe. Featuring the famous arias “Nessun dorma” and “In questa reggia”, all performances of Turandot take place at the Benedum Center in downtown Pittsburgh March 26, March 29, April 1 and April 3. Music Director Antony Walker conducts, returning to the U.S. after garnering enthusiastic reviews conducting The Barber of Seville at the Sydney Opera House.