Multiple Grammy Award-winning composer TERENCE BLANCHARD and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright MICHAEL CRISTOFER have teamed up to create Champion, a new opera starring DENYCE GRAVES that will premiere in St. Louis next month. Champion, which blends American jazz with opera, is based on the story of prizefighter Emile Griffith. The work is a co-commission with OPERA THEATRE OF SAINT LOUIS and JAZZ ST. LOUIS and will receive its world premiere June 15 through 30 as part of Opera Theatre’s 2013 Festival Season.
The ARTS AND EDUCATION COUNCIL has announced its 2013 St. Louis Arts Awards honorees. They are: CHUCK BERRY (Lifetime Achievement), PNC BANK (Corporate Support), JUDY and JERRY KENT (Excellence in Philanthropy), OPERA THEATRE (Excellence in the Arts), MICHAEL UTHOFF (Excellence in the Arts), ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO (Champion of the Arts) and DUANE FOSTER (Art Educator of the Year). The honorees will be fêted at a Jan. 21 dinner and awards program at The Chase Park Plaza.
Nice move… Congratulations to Grandmaster HIKARU NAKAMURA of St. Louis, who recently clinched his third U.S. Championship title during tournament play at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in St. Louis this month. Nakamura is the No. 1-ranked chess player in the country, and sixth best worldwide.
As you may have heard, it was a big year for Ladue Hockey. The LADUE HORTON WATKINS H.S. Rams varsity ice hockey team won the Founder’s Cup in February, beating St. Mary’s 6-4 in the final game. The title marks the first time Ladue capture the state championship since the 1993-94 season. We’re told the team recently received their tournament rings. Congratulations once again to Coach JON HODGINS and the rest of the team!
For the second consecutive year, VAKKAR HAIR SALON in Ladue is offering free services for breast cancer patients and survivors. Appointments are required to take advantage of the free services, which include haircut and style, along with make-up application, portrait and goodie bags. The salon is accepting appointments for Monday, June 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 991-1616.
CLAYTON EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER, a new nonprofit early education facility, will open its doors on Monday, June 4. The center will be located at 1 Oak Knoll Park in Clayton, home to the former Clayton Child Center, which closed its doors this month. Officials say the new center, formed in February, is a partnership between parents and teachers who wanted a place for families and teachers to work together to support children’s health, happiness, development and learning.
There’s great news for your recent college grad: CareerBliss.com has named St. Louis the No. 1 Happiest City for college graduates seeking a high-paying, satisfying career. The survey is based on data from employees, including their relationships with bosses and co-workers, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities and work environment. The results also show that the average cost-of-living adjusted salary in St. Louis is $50,900. Rounding out the top five on the list are Salt Lake City, Jacksonville, Fl., Memphis, Houston and Birmingham, Ala.