Cincinnati Opera, partners work to ‘Get Paul (McCartney) to Music Hall’

Cincinnati Opera, city leaders and a range of community partners are joining forces over the next few weeks for a playful effort to convince Paul McCartney to visit town this July for the premiere of an operatic version of one of his works.

The “Come Together, Cincy! Get Paul to Music Hall!” campaign began Wednesday with a media event at Cincinnati Music Hall, which will host the world stage debut of “Liverpool Oratorio” on July 18-27.

Those in attendance for the kickoff event included Mayor Aftab Pureval and Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, each listing a variety of reasons why the Beatles icon should say “Yes!” to the invite.

However, events and promotions will take place all summer long. Visitors will see McCartney and opera-inspired displays everywhere – from Metro buses and Fountain Square to Cincinnati Reds and FC Cincinnati games.

‘Get Paul to Music Hall!’ partners

The idea for the promotion came from Regina Carswell Russo, a board member of both Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.

Formal activities begin this weekend during the annual Taste of Cincinnati along Fifth Street in downtown. 

Chris Milligan, general director and CEO of Cincinnati Opera, invited attendees to stop by the Opera booth and record a video tribute to Sir Paul by sharing a favorite memory or singing a snippet of a McCartney tune.

“Our region has so much to offer when it comes to unique attractions and experiences, and we’re tremendously grateful to Mayor Pureval, Vice Mayor Kearney, and our partners for embracing this moment with such an enthusiastic and collaborative spirit,” Milligan said.

A showcase for Liverpool and Cincinnati

“Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio” is a live album by McCartney and celebrated composer Carl Davis, released in 1991, as a musical tribute to his hometown in England. The work was McCartney’s first major foray into classical music.

Cincinnati Opera decided to rework the piece into a staged operata. Due to fan demand, the company is already planning to offer an additional performance – Thursday, July 25, 7:30 p.m.

McCartney endorsed this new production in a letter to Cincinnati Opera, saying, “I am writing to express my wholehearted support for this project. I believe that the Cincinnati Opera is uniquely positioned to bring this work to life in a new way, and I have no doubt that your production will be an inspiring experience for all who see it.”

Paul McCartney (Photo credit Mary McCartney)

Despite his support, it’s not yet clear if he’s planning to be in the Queen City for opening night on July 18 or for any of the performances.

As part of the sales job to McCartney, project partners are creating a series of events and activities that showcase Greater Cincinnati’s love of the Beatles, McCartney and opera, while also shining a bright light on what makes the region special.

The Cincinnati Opera and “Come Together, Cincy!” created a hype video for the cause. However, residents can also get in on the act by recording a video tribute to Sir Paul and posting it on social media using the hashtag #GetPaulToMusicHall. Cincinnati Opera will share those clips with McCartney’s team.

GetPaulToMusicHall.org features a calendar of events. Partners will update the calendar weekly.

Tickets to “Liverpool Oratorio” and official opening night after-party, “To Sir, With Love,” are available at cincinnatiopera.org.

“Let’s get Paul to Music Hall,” Milligan said.

Get Paul to Music Hall


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