Like Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Sesto in La Clamenza di Tito, and other "trouser roles," Cherubino is usually portrayed by a woman, although the mezzo-soprano part has occasionally been sung by a male countertenor. But Maniaci is the first male soprano to portray the love-obsessed page in the United States, according to the opera company.
Maniaci was also the first male soprano to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, which he did in 2003. Last season, he appeared at Glimmerglass Opera as Tirinto in Handel's Imeneo, and at Cleveland Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. He debuts with Santa Fe Opera and the Royal Danish Opera next year.
Pittsburgh Opera's Figaro also includes Richard Bernstein in the title role and Isabel Bayrakdarian as Susanna. John Mauceri is the conductor; the staging, directed by Christopher Alden, premiered at Dallas Opera in 2002. The production returns on November 16, 19, and 21.