- Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera
Pittsburgh CLO stages productions of musical theater classics, drawing more than 200,000 patrons each year; its annual budget is nearly $10 million.
Established on 20 February 1946, it at premiered at
Pitt Stadium, where it offered outdoor performances until 1958. In 1961, the Civic Arena, now Mellon Arena, was built to house the CLO. The arena, now the home of the Pittsburgh Penguinshockey franchise, is covered by the world's first retractable roof, designed so that audiences might enjoy theater under the stars. The company moved to the Benedum Centerin 1988. CLO opened its newest venue in 2004, The CLO Cabaret at Theater Square.
Pittsburgh CLO's history began when Abraham Lewis Wolk, a Pittsburgh City Councilman, attended a performance of the
St. Louis Municipal Opera, the first American summertime musical theater. Wolk wanted to copy the idea, and after discussions with Pittsburgh retail magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann, who helped with financing, Pittsburgh CLO was established.
Pittsburgh CLO's numerous programs for students include the
Gene Kelly Awards, founded in 1990.
* [http://www.pittsburghclo.org/ Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera homepage]
PITTSBURGH CLO/Van Kaplan (Producer). Since 1946, Pittsburgh CLO has been dedicated to the preservation, creation and promotion of live musical theater. The CLO produces a Main Stage Season, A Musical Christmas Carol and operates the CLO Cabaret. Programs include the Academy, Mini Stars, the Richard Rodgers Award, the Gene Kelly Awards, the Construction Center for the Arts and being a partner in Elephant Eye Theatricals. National Touring includes Doctor Dolittle, Barry Manilow’s Copacabana and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. On Broadway CLO has participated in Legally Blonde, Curtains, Monty Python’s SPAMALOT, The Color Purple, Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Bombay Dreams, Flower Drum Song and Big River. www.pittsburghCLO.org
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