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Pittsburgh Opera: A Model of Arts Accessiblity for People with Visual Impairments

In a wonderful example of arts accessibility the Pittsburgh Opera not only offers audio described performances of each of its productions but sensory tours of the sets, costumes and props. This additional sensory exposure allows people with visual impairments to gain a deeper appreciation of the artistry of the production. Three dimensional exposure to the set through a guided tour provides a deeper understanding of how the action unfolds during the performance while touching the props and costumes enhances the drama and emotion of the music.The sensory tours occur immediately after the opera’s regularly scheduled “Opera Up Close” events which give all patrons an opportunity to meet with the director and performers, hear their thoughts on the production and ask questions.
In addition to these tours, two performances of the Resident Artists at CAPA Theater production of Hansel and Gretel with be audio described by trained Pittsburgh Opera volunteers. These volunteers read an English translation of the lyrics and libretto and describe the on-stage action. Patrons with visual impairments listen to the description on headphones provided by the theater. For a person who is blind or has limited vision, the combined effect of the sensory tours and audio description is to create an experience equal in depth and artistic beauty to that experienced by a sighted patron. Tickets areĀ $10.00. For more information or to reserve your seat, call Randy at Pittsburgh Opera at 412-281-0912 extension 213.
Kudos to the Pittsburgh Opera, BOLD and BVRS for working together to create such wonderful opportunities for all.