Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) produced the world premiere of nationally acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally's Golden Age, a backstage period work about opera composer Vincenzo Bellini and the opening of his final opera, I Puritani, in 1835. Golden Age represents a departure from the contemporary settings of McNally's best-known works. Despite the play's period setting, McNally attempts to make the subject matter accessible to an audience that may be unfamiliar with the creative process of bringing an opera to life. Variety dubbed Golden Age a "ballad of petulance, egomania and insecurity that clashes vividly with the exquisite music being performed out front."
PTC has a long-standing relationship with playwright McNally. The theater also produced the world premieres of four of McNally's smaller-scale plays, including Master Class, which later won the Tony Award for Best Play. This production of Golden Age traveled to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. following its premiere in Philadelphia. The play was mounted separately in 2012 by the Manhattan Theatre Club.