Pittsinger assumes the role of French plantation owner Emile de Becque through Jan. 25, 2009, while Tony Award winner Paulo Szot fulfills his previously scheduled opera commitment in The Merry Widow for Opera Marseille. Szot returns Jan. 27, 2009.
(Szot, who earned a Best Actor Tony for his portrayal of South Pacific's romantic leading man, will also take leave from the production March 12-April 12, 2009 to perform Carmen for Opera Toulouse.)
Pittsinger made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Truelove in The Rake's Progress. He went on to appear in the MET productions of Don Carlo, La Boheme, Die Zauberflote and Giulio Cesare. Later this season he will also appear in the New York City Opera's concert performance of Antony and Cleopatra at Carnegie Hall.
Opening to a flurry of critical praise from major publications, Lincoln Center Theater announced April 4 that the musical would play an open-ended run at the Beaumont. South Pacific had originally been scheduled through June 22, 2008. Kelli O'Hara, last seen on the Beaumont stage in The Light in the Piazza, stars as nurse Nellie Forbush alongside Szot as de Becque. O'Hara's former Light in the Piazza onstage love interest, Matthew Morrison, is Lt. Cable.
South Pacific boasts a 30-piece orchestra conducted by Tony Award winner Ted Sperling and an expansive set by Tony Award-winning designer Michael Yeargan that features palm trees, endless beaches and a 1940s bomber plane.
Based on James Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories "Tales of the South Pacific," the musical focuses on de Becque and his love interest, Nellie Forbush, a naïve young nurse from Arkansas. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, South Pacific offers a lushly romantic score while challenging audiences with themes of racial intolerance and bigotry.
Tickets for the Lincoln Center Theater revival of South Pacific are available at the Vivian Beaumont box office (150 West 65th Street), at Telecharge.com or by visiting www.lct.org.