Dr. Tim Eberlein, Chairman, Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine/ Director, Siteman Cancer Center: I love attending and taking residents, faculty and friends to the St. Louis Symphony and to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. They occur at complimentary times of the year, so we can take advantage of two world-class arts organizations and enjoy a phenomenal symphony and an opera company that has gained an international reputation for terrific performances and premieres. Not only can we all enjoy the performances; here in St. Louis, you can get to know the artists! That puts it over the top!
Miran Halen, Soprano, St. Louis Symphony: There have been so many wonderful events in St. Louis this past year that it is impossible to choose only one. The St. Louis Symphony Red Velvet Gala featured Itzhak Perlman, the legendary violinist who is inspirational to audiences and fellow musicians. It was an incredible evening, especially when he returned to the stage for his encore, the theme to the film, Schindler�s List. It was an unforgettable performance and an incomparable event. The Titanic Centennial Weekend was truly an event to remember. The attention to detail by Mary Strauss and her team was amazing�from the actors who portrayed actual guests to the wait-staff in costume. A memorable night! Finally, I enjoyed my second rock �n� roll concert, Sting, at the Fox Theatre. He was phenomenal; I found myself rocking to the music!
Joe Genovese, President, Genovese Jewelers: The grand opening of the Peabody Opera House was an impressive event. Even though the entertainment was great, I was much more impressed with the venue itself. From the marble floors to the grand staircases, I could not shake the feeling that I had gone back in time. Plus, I love the fact that it was done by local developers and not some huge, out-of-state company.
Joan Quicksilver, Owner, The Quicksilver Company: A musical theater devotee for a lifetime, I was profoundly affected this year by the gripping coming-of-age drama about a young son of a poor English miner who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer. Billy Elliot: The Musical, which played the Fox Theatre, was a joyous celebration of a boy�s journey to make his dreams come true. Not only was it a terpsichorean masterpiece, but the plot gave the audience an insight into the clash between a father who expects his son to remain in the harsh world of the mining community and the yearning of Billy to move onward to another destiny. Elton John�s score is electric! The evening was one of humor, heart and passion. This 2009 Tony Award-winning musical was not only my favorite production of the year, but one of the most cogent and eloquent theater shows ever for me.
Mary Pillsbury Wainwright, President, Mary Pillsbury Company: Winter Opera Saint Louis� performance of La Boh�me by composer Giacomo Puccini was my favorite performance. The voices were excellent, and it was done in Italian�like it should be done. It was beautiful.