Exceptional Musical Theater for More Than Half a Century
On February 20, 1946, the Civic Light Opera Association held a press luncheon to announce its very first season. Immediately, talk of a new era in Pittsburgh’s cultural life made a huge splash in all three of the city’s daily newspapers. In fact, the Sun Telegraph predicted that “the CLO will inaugurate a cycle in the city’s musical history that will outlive us all.”
How right they were!
1946 Civic Light Opera premieres at Pitt Stadium
1955 The Civic Light Opera Guild is established
1959 Civic Light Opera moves to the Melody Tent
1962 The Civic Arena is built for the CLO displaying the world’s first retractable roof. Audiences enjoy musical theater “under the stars” Pittsburgh CLO Melody Tent
1972 Pittsburgh CLO moves to the beautifully renovated Heinz Hall
1985 The Gallery of Heroes program is established
1988 Pittsburgh CLO expands to their current home in the Benedum Center
1989 The doors open at the CLO Academy of Musical Theater
1991 The premiere of the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater
1992 A Musical Christmas Carol opens at the Byham Theater
2001 CLO/CMU New Works Project, a collaborative effort, is established to encourage the development and refinement of new works of the American musical theater
2004 Pittsburgh CLO introduces year-round entertainment with the opening of The CLO Cabaret at Theater Square
2005 Pittsburgh CLO helps form Elephant Eye Theatricals as a member of 5 Cent Productions to find new and innovative ways to develop material to play not only in Pittsburgh but also on the world stage
2009 Pittsburgh CLO and Nederlander Alliances, LLC establish The National High School Musical Theater Awards and present the first annual Jimmy Awards in New York City on June 29, 2009
2010 Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 20 years of the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater
2011 Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 20 years of A Musical Christmas Carol at the Byham Theater
2014 Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 10 years of the CLO Cabaret. An American in Paris debuts at the Théâtre du Châlelet in Paris, France.
2015 Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 25 years of the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater and 25 years of the Pittsburgh CLO Academy. Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 30 years of Gallery of Heroes. An American in Paris debuts on Broadway at the Palace Theatre.