CLO History

CLO Melody TentOn 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.”

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
1972  Pittsburgh CLO moves to the beautifully renovated Heinz Hall
1985  The Gallery of Heroes program is established
1988  Pittsburgh CLO moves to its current home in the Benedum Center
1989  The doors open at the Pittsburgh 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  The CLO/CMU New Works Project is established to encourage the development of new works
2004  Pittsburgh CLO introduces year-round entertainment with the opening of the CLO Cabaret
2005  Pittsburgh CLO helps form Elephant Eye Theatricals as a member of 5 Cent Productions
2009  Pittsburgh CLO is co-founder of The National High School Musical Theatre Awards
2010  Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 20 years of the Gene Kelly Awards
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 in Paris
2015  Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 25 years of the Gene Kelly Awards, 25 years of the CLO Academy, 30 years of Gallery of Heroes. An American in Paris debuts on Broadway
2016 Pittsburgh CLO celebrates 25 years of A Musical Christmas Carol at the Byham Theater