Eating at the opera might seem to be incongruous, but for years, Pittsburgh Opera’s Resident Artists have entertained audiences during their December Brown Bag concert.
Debra Bell, Marketing Director for the Opera, said the concerts have been going on for a long time.
“While we were located in the cultural district proper, they were weekday concerts, very informal affairs where people would come in and have 45 minutes to an hour’s worth of great singing by our Resident Artists and then bring their lunches, and then enjoy the rest of their days because they’ve had a great break at lunch time,” she said.
The Opera moved its offices and rehearsal space to the Strip District (2425 Liberty Avenue) four years ago and lunchtime concerts were moved to Saturday afternoons to reflect the increased traffic the Strip gets during the weekend.
Bell said a variety of music will be performed.
“There’s a big splashy arrangement of ‘O Holy Night,’ there’s also stuff for the adults like ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, ‘It Must’ve Been The Mistletoe, and then there’s a set from ‘White Christmas,’” she said. “So it’s a nice mix of old and new, sacred and secular, and fun and serious.”
While eating at an opera might not be conventional, Bell said it helps to make the Opera more accessible.
“We wanted the concerts to sort of have a casual feel to them to break down the barrier of formality that people often associate with opera,” Bell said.
Doors open at 11:30 Saturday the 8th, and the performance will be from noon to one. Audience members are encouraged to bring their lunches and eat while they watch. No reservations, save for handicapped parking requests, are required.