Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis is a seasonal opera festival. The festival primarily operates during the summer season, with concerts and productions running between May and July. Now in its 41st year, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis draws in a large crowd each season for entertaining, spectacular works of art, including many world premieres and new artists.
Since its inception, the Opera Theatre of St. Louis has presented 27 world premieres and 27 American premieres while bringing in visitors from nearly 45 states and 12 foreign countries, generating over $17 million in revenue for the St. Louis region. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra accompanies each production.
History of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis
The Opera Theatre of St. Louis was originally founded in the spring of 1976. With a group of opera fanatics aimed at bringing their art form to the region at a festival-quality level, the idea was born. At its start, the team behind the Opera Theatre of St. Louis had a budget of only $135,000. From that, they were able to put on a season of 11 performances, both of common and unconventional operas. The operas were sung by some amazing artists, all in English. Among the 11 operas presented were Britten’s Albert Herring, Mozart’s The Impresario, Menotti’s The Medium, and Donizetti’s Don Pasquale. Two of the most notable singers of the season were Sheri Greenawald and Vinson Cole.
Since the first season in 1976, the company has grown tremendously while sticking to its mission to bring high-quality productions to St. Louis. Among the many heads of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis are founding general director Richard Gaddes, General Director Charles MacKay, Artistic Director Colin Graham, Music Director Stephen Lord, General Director Timothy O’Leary, and Artistic Director James Robinson.
Tickets are currently on sale for the upcoming season of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. The first production will be Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata. It tells the story of Violetta, a Parisian courtesan who is unexpectedly swept off her feet by Alfredo. The romantic opera follows the relationship between the two as Violetta must decide whether or not to make an unthinkable sacrifice.
The second production of the season is Marc Blitzstein’s Regina. Based on Lillian Hellman’s play The Little Foxes, the opera is set amongst a Southern backdrop of spirituals, jazz, and ragtime. Regina Giddens does anything to satisfy her ambition, whether theft, blackmail, or even murder.
The third production of the season is Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang’s An American Soldier. The production is another world premiere for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as this new two-act opera has yet to be revealed to public audiences. It follows the story of Danny Chen, a proud American son of Chinese immigrants, as he joins the Army. Based on a true story, the opera follows Chen as he embarks on Afghanistan and witnesses military hazing that soon turns deadly.
The fourth production of the season Christoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo & Euridice. It follows Orfeo as he is determined to get back his soul mate, which ultimately means traveling to the underworld. He must overcome many challenges, braving each one with his music, love, and passion. His passion, however, becomes his greatest obstacle.
Location: 210 Hazel Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63119