Workshop performances of new opera about police brutality continue tonight at Pittsburgh's First United Methodist Church | Blogh

Friday, March 10, 2017

Workshop performances of new opera about police brutality continue tonight at Pittsburgh's First United Methodist Church

Posted By on Fri, Mar 10, 2017 at 10:27 AM

Another workshop for A Gathering of Sons, commissioned by Pittsburgh Festival Opera, is tonight at this Shadyside church.

click to enlarge Librettist Tameka Cage Conley
Librettist Tameka Cage Conley

Gathering of Sons examines police brutality and racial conflict in America through the lives of a young black man, a white police officer, a pair of black parents, and their guardian angels. It was commissioned as part of the Pittsburgh Festival Opera's series Music That Matters, aiding creation of operas that speak to present-day issues.

Attendees at  workshops view selected scenes, and then engage in a discussion about the work with panels comprised of community leaders, activists and artists. Audience feedback informs development of the piece and of future programs. Workshops for the show began in December. All of the workshops are free and open to the public.

Dwayne Fulton, the minister for music at Larimer's Mt. Ararat

Baptist Church, is composer and conductor for this project. The libretto is written by Pittsburgh-based poet and playwright Tameka Cage Conley. Mark Clayton Southers, artistic director of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Co., is stage director and one of the featured discussion moderators.

A Gathering of Sons follows 2015's A New Kind of Fallout, the first opera commissioned for the series, inspired by the work of famed Pittsburgh-born environmentalist Rachel Carson.

click to enlarge Composer Dwayne Fulton
Composer Dwayne Fulton
Pittsburgh Festival Opera was formerly known as Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.

Attendees at Gathering of Sons workshops can complete a short feedback form to receive a 40 percent discount on tickets to performances in the show's premiere run, June 15-July 8. 

Workshops will be held at 7 p.m. nightly at the following venues:

Fri., March 10, at First United Methodist Church, 5401 Centre Ave., Shadyside.

Wed., March 15, at Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, 810 Penn Ave., No. 600, Downtown.

Wed., March 29, at Kaufmann Auditorium, 1825 Centre Ave., Hill District.

Wed., April 12, at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Homewood, 7101 Hamilton Ave., Homewood.

Reservations can be made by calling 412-326-9687. or online at

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