A couple weeks back, I was hyping Eugene Onegin, a performance that showed at the Pittsburgh Opera House through Oct. 4.
I was lucky enough to catch it last Tuesday (no small feat considering my schedule nowadays), and watching it, I realized just how far Pittsburgh has come. Pittsburgh was — and still is — thought of as a working-class, hard-times town, complete with bad air, broken factories, and the like; not necessarily the place you’d expect to find great opera, dance, classical music, or other “high culture” things.
But with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh Opera, and other world-class cultural institutions, it’s a great time for the arts in Pittsburgh.
With the economic rebound comes a greater rebound in culture, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, along with smaller arts institutions, has been a major part of this rebound.
Not only do we get the popular musicians of the day, but we have a wide variety of international artists coming through. Just this past March, Portuguese superstar Mariza was at the Benedum Center, part of a line of artists brought to the Byham Theater.
Starring in Onegin was Anna Samuil, a rising Russian opera star, along with Dwayne Croft and Suzanne Mentzer, both mainstays at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
The Pittsburgh Symphony has a world-renowned conductor in Austrian Manfred Honeck, and its Pops wing has the great Marvin Hamlisch, one of only two people to have won an Emmy, an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, a Golden Globe Award, and a Pulitzer Prize.
Broadway musicals routinely come through Pittsburgh on tour, with performances of Rent and Fiddler on the Roof featuring original cast members headlining shows in recent months.
Pittsburgh has also been the host of a dancing explosion, with many new experimental and modern dance troupes springing up.
So go out, see a show, catch a concert, or watch a dance performance, and remind yourself how lucky you are to be going to school in a city that is blossoming culturally.