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Franco Harris to be honored by Pittsburgh Opera

Franco Harris is to be honored by the Pittsburgh Opera as the "Champion of Champions" in their Oct. 18 production of Aida. He will appear in that one performance.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Franco Harris is one of the biggest idols of Pittsburgh that has ever worn a Steelers jersey. This Fall, he will be given yet another honor.

This October, the Pittsburgh Opera plans to open its season with the classic Aida, the love story of an enslaved Ethiopian princess with an Egyptian military commander and their struggles amidst the harsh politics of the warring countries.

A normal ceremonial role of the production is a character known as the "Champion of Champions," who is a character without lines that is usually used as a ceremonial salute to an athlete by the production team in charge. The last time the Pittsburgh Opera performed Aida was in 2008, when they used wrestler Bruno Sammartino in the role.

The October 18 show will feature hall of fame running back Franco Harris in the role, as a salute to one of Pittsburgh's most celebrated individuals. The recognition continues a long line of tributes to the legendary Harris and his contributions to the city, both athletic and political.

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