The Summer King

Benedum Center
May 2, 5, 7
Various times

Now fans of America’s favorite pastime and opera alike will get to know pioneering athlete Josh Gibson in a dramatic new way.

Making its highly anticipated world premiere at Pittsburgh OperaThe Summer King tells the remarkable story of baseball legend Josh Gibson. Audiences will experience pivotal periods in Gibson’s life, such as his career in the Negro leagues, ties to Pittsburgh and the prejudice of the major leagues.

Gibson, whose family moved to Pittsburgh when he was 12, played for both the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays, and won the MVP award while on Mexico’s professional team, Veracruz Azules.

Starring as Gibson is acclaimed bass-baritone and New Orleans native Alfred Walker. Making her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Gibson’s girlfriend Grace is world-renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.

Also portrayed are iconic locals such as the charismatic Gus Greenlee—owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Crawford Grill—and Pittsburgh Courier reporter Wendell Smith.

The world premiere opera features music by Daniel Sonenberg and libretto by Sonenberg and Daniel Nester.

For more events, check out 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in April and Top 10 family events in Pittsburgh this April.

Jennifer BaronEvents & Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.