Pittsburgh Opera, Inc.

Pittsburgh, PA   |


Pittsburgh Opera enriches Pittsburgh and the tri-state area, and draws national and international attention to the region by: creating live opera at the highest standards of artistic excellence;making opera intellectually and financially accessible to a diverse audience;developing young American singers into tomorrow's artists;ensuring the future through responsible fiscal management.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Mr. Christopher Hahn

Main address

2425 Liberty Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15222 USA

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NTEE code info

Opera (A6A)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Mainstage Productions –

As western Pennsylvania's largest producer and presenter of operatic programming, Pittsburgh Opera produces five operas for four perfomances each: four are presented in Pittsburgh's historic Benedum Center and the fifth is a fully-staged production by our Resident Artists (see below) at the theatre in the Pittsburgh's High School for the Creative and Performing Arts. The Company's season attracts more than 30,000 audience members each year. Pittsburgh Opera produces works drawn from the art form's diverse canon, complementing mainstays of grand opera with contemporary and/or infrequently performed repertoire. This varied repertoire of world-renowned work includes Verdi's La traviata and Puccini's Tosca as well as works like Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio that haven't been performed in Pittsburgh for nearly 30 years.

Population(s) Served

Pittsburgh Opera's Resident Artist Program annually attracts more than 600 national and international applicants for fewer than 10 available positions. During what is typically a two-year residency, Resident Artists perform principal roles in one fully-staged production each season, as well as cover principal roles and perform secondary roles alongside internationally-acclaimed artists in mainstage productions. In addition, these artists receive intensive training from resident and guest instructors in all facets of opera (languages, diction, voice, acting, movement, etc.). The 2011-2012 Resident Artists production will feature Humperdinck's Hansel & Gretel, a darkly beautiful interpretation of the Grimm brothers' fairy tale. Alumni are competitive in international vocal competitions and perform at some of the world's most renowned opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala.

Population(s) Served

Pittsburgh Opera maintains a portfolio of education programs which: offer professional development opportunities for educators of all subjects and all grade levels; provide student experiences and materials which correlate to national and state curriculum guidelines; utilize partnerships with organizations in underserved communities to offer opera-related experiences for students and families. Current opera patrons have access to an array of activities surrounding each production to maximize the experience of attending the opera. These include: Sitzproben, the first full run-through of a complete opera with orchestra and mainstage artists; Opera Up Close presentations offering musical analysis by the Company's Music Director and a panel discussion with artists and director; Pre-Opera Talks providing back ground information and insights pertaining to each production; and Meet the Artist events at which General Director Christopher Hahn interviews the cast of each production and invites questions from the audience.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of free performances given

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The 2020-2021 season, Pittsburgh Opera presented live performances with limited in-person audience and offered free livestream artistic and education programs, reaching an audience of 120,000.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

- Provide audiences with opportunities to experience the full range of operatic and vocal repertoire
- Sustain accessibility and affordability of Pittsburgh Opera’s programs
- Expand Pittsburgh Opera’s civic impact in our region
- Support careers of emerging opera professionals

- Programming seasons that include popular works alongside contemporary American operas, including world and regional premieres
- Presenting additional concerts at Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters and locations throughout the region to expand the range of vocal repertoire presented in live performances
- Continued livestreaming to sustain engagement with audiences who might be cautious about returning to large performing venues or who live outside of Pittsburgh Opera’s immediate geographic area
- Strengthening community connections with programs of civic significance and new partnerships in the area of inclusion, diversity, and equity
- Expanding the Resident Artist program to create opportunities in the areas of production and artistic management

Pittsburgh Opera is recognized regionally and nationally for increasing the range of repertoire; for providing important professional growth opportunities to performers, directors, and designers; and for its commitment to expanding the impact of each production to the widest audience possible with programs that meet the diverse needs of our community. The world premiere of The Summer King in spring 2017 defined the company’s vision for success in the 21st century with renewed commitment to artistic growth and exploration, deep community connections, and strong civic engagement. Pittsburgh Opera’s efforts to create opera-based programs that engage a diverse audience have been recognized by the 2019 International Opera Awards, which chose Pittsburgh Opera as the only American opera company finalist in the Education & Outreach category.

Pittsburgh Opera’s response to the public health requirements of the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrated the value and importance of cultivating a robust Resident Artist program. During the months of strict regulations on public gatherings, our resident artists sustained the company’s artistic voice and carried the full load of all productions and numerous additional performances in our redesigned season. In an effort to create conditions that support greater participation of BIPOC individuals in the arts institutions at all levels of artistic and management operations, Pittsburgh Opera is planning an expansion of the Resident Artist program to establish a Resident Artist position in the Production Department that would be targeted to attract BIPOC applicants.

Pittsburgh Opera’s response to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates the company’s ability to create innovative artistic programs, transition its education and engagement programs for virtual delivery, and develop innovative approaches for sustaining engagement of our patrons and donors. The wide reach of Pittsburgh Opera’s digital offerings, the sold-out performances with in-person audiences of our production of Così fan tutte in October 2021, and the enthusiastic participation in our education and engagement programs indicate that there is a strong demand for opera performances and opera-related program in our community. The strategies that supported Pittsburgh Opera as one of the few arts organizations to continue producing new artistic programs and contributed to the success of our fundraising activities during the period of tight restrictions on in-person experiences will help advance our commitment to artistic excellence and community engagement next season.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Each season, nearly 60,000 individuals participate in Pittsburgh Opera programming, with almost a third of our audiences participating in education and community engagement programs designed for both students and life-long learners. Our audiences include families and students from economically underserved areas of our region (including schools with over 90% of students qualifying for free and reduced fee lunches), students from southwestern Pennsylvania colleges and universities, individuals with hearing impairments, educators who participate in professional learning opportunities, as well as thousands of individuals who explore our work on our website and social media sites and tune in to Pittsburgh Opera previews and opera broadcasts on the radio.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In shaping our appeal messaging at the start of the 2021-2022 season, Pittsburgh Opera solicited feedback from the Development Committee for feedback at the start of this season. As a result of the Committee's suggestions, we reshaped our appeal messaging to focus on coming back together with friends and the collective experience of gathering.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Sharing feedback with Pittsburgh Opera has allowed our constituents to significantly impact the decisions on the use of the resources in determining the content and format of the company's programming. Most recently, Pittsburgh Opera responded to the requests from the region's educators by expanding its Opera Trunks program, which delivers collections of resource materials directly to the classrooms in colorfully decorated steamer trunk, to include two new series of trunks designed for preschoolers and teenagers.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,


Pittsburgh Opera, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Pittsburgh Opera, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Michele Fabrizi

James Agras

Michele Atkins

Francois Bitz

Nadine Bognar

Kenneth Brand

Robert Brand

Robert Brown

Marilyn Bruschi

Maryann Burnett

Virginia DiPucci

Michele Fabrizi

Alvin Filstrup

Frank Fischer

Peter Germain

Charles Harff

Jean Anne Hattler

Natalie Hoffman

Clyde Jones

Marshall Katz

Franklin Kelly

Arthur Kerr

Jane Love

Robert Lowenstein

Steve Mosites

Jill Ondos

Richard Pagliari

Mary Anne Papale

Demetrios Patrinos

Claudia Pinza

Patrick Ritchey

Robert Sclabassi

David Smith

Gene Smith

Manny Smith

Jack Stabile

Saundra Stout

William Swartz

Dorothea Thompson

John Tippins

John Traina

H. Turner

Ann Dugan

Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence

Anna Futrell

Sy Holzer

PNC Bank

Morgan O'Brien

Peoples Natural Gas

Dan Sandman

U.S. Steel Corporation

Lowell Steinbrenner

Gene Welsh

Lisa Cibik

James Frey

I. Oliver

Scott Westwood

Rose Kutsenkow

Roseanne Wholey

Christopher Hahn

Nancy Traina

Community Volunteer

Donald Fischer


Hilda Fu

Community Volunteer

Rick Gabbianelli

Westinghouse, Inc.

Robert Hanson

American Eagle Outfitters

Laura Kronk

Community Volunteer

Susan Loutsion

Community Volunteer

Gabriela Porges

Community Volunteer

Mildred Posvar

Carnegie Mellon University

Diana Reid


Anthony Sciullo

Sciullo Insurance and Financial Services, Inc.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/16/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Decline to state
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/10/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.