Forget all of your prejudices about "stodgy" operatic productions and enjoy Spring in St. Louis!

ST. LOUIS, MO. If you’ve never been to Opera Theatre in St. Louis, get ready for a surprise! In St. Louis, opera isn’t old-style opera in huge theaters and foreign languages - you’ll hear wonderful music sung in English by a new crop of young Americans; you’ll see exciting all-new productions in a small theater that brings the audience close to the action.

Join them for a spring festival season featuring "the best and brightest American talent" in fresh new productions accompanied by members of the famed Saint Louis Symphony. Enjoy picnics in the gardens around the theater, and meet the artists in the tent after performances.

The 2003 season leads off with the blazing drama of Tosca, one of Puccini's all-time successes, followed by Mozart's brilliant comedy The Abduction From The Seraglio, then the first US performances of Jonathan Dove's acclaimed Flight, and finally the mysteries of the Orient in Massenet's melodious Thaïs (pronounced tie-yees).

If you've never been to Opera Theatre before, you are in for a treat. Newcomers are essential to this company, and "newcomers discounts" on the May 29, 31, June 4, 7, 21, and 25 performances make a wonderful introduction. Details on this and group sales discounts can be foujnd on the website, Above all, act quickly, and you'll find tickets available to all performances. They do sell out, but not until late in the season. See you at the opera!

Spring Festival Season
May 24 - June 29, 2003

"Opera theatre is like an exotic flower that blossoms in the spring. The theatre has an intimate quality, so the performances have an immediacy which makes opera here seem more a living theatrical tradition than a museum culture."

The New York Times

TOSCA - May 24, 28 and 30, June 5 - 28. Floria Tosca, a famous singer, is passionately in love with a young artist during the dangerous summer of 1800, when Rome’s sinister chief of police hunts down conspirators with Napoleon and the armies of France. Puccini’s riveting melodrama has been at the top of the opera repertory for more than a hundred years, keeping audiences on the edges of their seats and sending them home with music which stays in the memory forever. Stephen Lord and Neil Peter Jampolis are conductor and director; soprano Cynthia Lawrence makes her OTSL debut in the title role.



THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO - May 29 and 31, June 4 - 29. Soprano Jennifer Welch-Babidge and tenor Gregory Turay return as the young lovers with Kevin Short as the villainous Osmin in a new production of Mozart’s enchanting comedy, which has not been seen at Opera Theatre since 1986. Director Elkhanah Pulitzer and conductor Graeme Jenkins, music director of The Dallas Opera, are making OTSL debuts; the opera will be designed by OTSL’s longtime lighting designer, Christopher Akerlind.

FLIGHT - June 8 - 27. This is the U.S. premiere of Jonathan Dove's story telling of ten travelers stranded at an airport for one agonizingly long night, during which their lives are turned upside down. Commissioned for the Glyndebourne Opera, FLIGHT received “a wildly enthusiastic reception,” at its world premiere in England. Directed by Colin Graham and conducted by William Lumpkin, the production is designed by Jerome Sirlin and Jane Greenwood, both distinguished artists making OTSL debuts.

The Evening Standard (London): “Flight is that rarest thing: a popular new comic opera with music that is instantly graspable and often beautiful. Optimistic yet poignant, it indulges sentimentality along with laughs. What matters is that Dove’s music flies, the opera is fun, and people are going to love it.”

THAIS - June 18 - 28. And finally the glorious soprano Mary Dunleavy, who brought audiences to their feet in La traviata two years ago, returns as yet another beautiful courtesan in the title role of Massenet's Thaïs.

This is one of the great examples of 19th-century European fascination with the exotic East. Set in Egypt, it is the story of a handsome young monk who succeeds in converting a beautiful Egyptian courtesan to his religion, only to discover too late that he is passionately in love with her. The famous “Meditation” is one of the many rewards of the opera’s lush and colorful score; conductor George Manahan, Canadian director Renaud Doucet and designer André Barbe make OTSL debuts.



From some previous productions:

Images in this page are from the Opera Theatre of St. Louis webpage

In addition to the performances in its regular Season, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis will host the OPERA CONFERENCE 2003, held in conjunction with the annual conference of Opera Volunteers International June 14-18, 2003

OPERA America is the national organization linking professional opera producers, artists, trustees and audiences across the U.S. and Canada, including several in Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America. The conference will assemble the administrations, boards and staffs of the 143 Professional Company and 300 Affiliate and Business Members of OPERA America, with additional conferees from Opera Europa and Opera Volunteers International.

The conference is a major undertaking for Opera Theatre; it is the first ever to be hosted by a company that presents a festival season. OTSL subscribers for 2003 will be encouraged to exchange their June 14-18 tickets so that we can accommodate more of our conference colleagues!

Conference information will be available in the next few weeks on OTSL’s website: and the OPERA America website: Write to OPERA America at 1156 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005 or call (202) 293-4466.


Praise from critics all over the world for the St. Louis Opera Theatre:

"Nowhere is opera-going a more pleasant total experience than at Opera Theatre.With the aura of civilized relaxation, it's no wonder patrons this year are coming from 40 states and several foreign countries."
Dallas Morning News

"It's like Glyndebourne without the snobbery."
The Sunday Times, London

"GRAND WITHOUT GRANDEUR. In St. Louis, adventure, tradition and freshness lock hands. Forget any sense of routine... an operatic visit to St. Louis can only instill optimism about the art form. Treated with such vibrancy and intelligence, opera puts on no airs. It is entertainment of unparalleled richness"
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

Do you enjoy live theater and music?Here are just a few of the many opportunities available to you:

Theater in Atlanta, Georgia

Spotlight on Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana

Theater in Florida

Flat Rock Playhouse, North Carolina

Or explore some other musical options on the Music Section front page


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