May 2, 5, 7
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 Opera, The 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.