“Benazir Bhutto—divisive former prime minister of Pakistan—was assassinated in 2007, and a new opera set to premiere in Pittsburgh next year will revisit her life and legacy,” writes Jeremy Reynolds in Monday’s (11/26) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pittsburgh Opera’s premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s opera about Bhutto, originally set for 2018, “is now expected to debut in the 2019-20 season. On Nov. 13, the artistic minds behind the new work visited Pittsburgh to workshop the opera with full orchestra and chorus…. Musicians, lead singers and soloists performed each act in its entirety…. A panel that included Pittsburgh Opera’s general director, the composer and librettist and others offered notes during intermission breaks…. ‘Who is Benazir Bhutto? It depends on who you ask,’ Mr. Fairouz said…. Mr. Fairouz co-wrote the libretto with Mohammed Hanif, an award-winning novelist, journalist, former pilot and a Pakistani native…. Mr. Hanif pointed out that current members of the Bhutto family are still active in Pakistani politics.” Hanif said, “It’s a family story that centers on power. It’s not intended to be divisive, but it’s political, so of course it will be. But that’s not a bad thing.”

Posted November 29, 2018