Story: In part three of Richard Wagner’s mythical tetralogy, The Ring Cycle, the hero Siegfried spends his days cajoling Mime, the Nibelung dwarf and brother of Alberich who raised Siegfried after the deaths of his parents, Siegmund and his sister Sieglinde. For his part, Mime hopes to manipulate Siegfried so that he can possess the fabled Ring.
Story: Blanche DuBois travels from her native Mississippi to the Elysian Fields area of New Orleans and the home of her married sister, Stella Kowalski. Stella is surprised at Blanche’s arrival but makes her feel at home. Quickly, though, Stella learns that Blanche has lost the beloved family estate, Belle Reve, and has packed all of her worldly possessions into her suitcases.
Stage stars, music legends and acclaimed artists—oh my! Local arts institutions unveil this fall’s slate of creative new exhibitions and show-stopping live performances you won’t want to miss.
As the summer winds down, many of St. Louis’ top arts organizations are ramping up a new season. We asked in-the-know arts professionals what they’re most looking forward to in the world of visual and performing arts.
Story: A young man named Alfredo Germont is introduced to a popular, partying courtesan, Violetta Valery, and falls in love with her. Improbably, when Alfredo proposes that Violetta move from Paris to live with him in the countryside, she accepts. Fearful that she is dying from her fast living, she thinks that this might offer her a saving option.
Story: Life in the 1930s is hard for the African-American residents of Catfish Row, an impoverished area of Charleston, South Carolina that survives on fishing, picking cotton and other hardscrabble means of subsistence.
From Tony Award-winning musicals and Grammy Award-winning performers to classic and contemporary art, take a first glimpse into St. Louis’ fall entertainment season.
Story: Wotan, ruler of the gods, conceives a plan to restore his power following the loss of the Ring of the Nibelung to the dwarf Alberich. Through his relationship with the goddess Erda he has fathered several warrior daughters known as the Walkures (Valkyries), who collect slain soldiers from battlefields to guard Valhalla, the home of the gods.
Story: B.F. Pinkerton, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy stationed in Japan in the early 20th century, leases a house in Nagasaki from a marriage broker named Goro. Through Goro he also enters into a marital agreement, which can be renewed monthly, with a 15-year-old geisha girl, Cio-Cio-San (“Butterfly”). Sharpless, the American counsul, advises Pinkerton that Cio-Cio-San may take the arrangement more seriously than Pinkerton, who considers Cio-Cio-San merely a dalliance until he marries a “real” American wife.
Union Avenue Opera will present Madama Butterfly in July.
Union Avenue Opera's 2012 production of Das Rheingold. The company will perform the second chapter in Wagner's Ring cycle--Die Walküre--in August.
Union Avenue Opera (UAO) is heating up the summer with two emotive classics: Puccini’s heart-wrenching Madama Butterfly and Wagner’s embattled Die Walküre. Artistic director and conductor Scott Schoonover recently spoke with LN about the productions and also gave us a glimpse into next year’s 20th anniversary season.
Story: Sam and Dinah are a young married couple living the good life in suburbia. Sam is a businessman who commutes by day to his job in the city, while homemaker Dinah tends to chores around the house and caring for their son, Junior.
Union Avenue Opera will hold its 2012 Gala Concert and Reception at 8 p.m. Nov. 3.
Grammy Award-winning musicians, Tony Award-winning theater and never-before-seen art will highlight St. Louis’ fall season. Here’s a first look:
Story: Deep in the Rhine River, three maidens guard the immeasurably valuable Rhinegold. The gold can be taken and forged into a ring that will give its owner immense power, but only at the expense of forsaking love, which the maidens say is one emotion no one can truly renounce with any happiness. Nonetheless, a Nibelung dwarf named Alberich, spurned by the maidens, steals the gold.
Story: Riccardo, Count of Warwick and Governor of Boston in the late 17th century, is secretly in love with Amelia, wife of his secretary, best friend and confidant Renato. So, the governor is delighted when he learns that Amelia’s name is on the guest list for an upcoming masked ball. When Renato tells him about a conspiracy to have him murdered, Riccardo dismisses the danger. Instead, he decides to follow up on information obtained by his page Oscar and pay a visit incognito to a fortune teller named Ulrica, who has been condemned to death.
Back in 1994, Scott Schoonover launched a daring initiative: His Union Avenue Opera (UAO) was founded to bring affordable, professional, original-language opera to St. Louis. UAO has thrived in the last 18 years, and continues to build its loyal following. This season’s schedule of three works begins with George Frideric Handel’s Acis and Galatea, which will be performed on April 27, 28 and 29 at UAO’s performance space in the sanctuary of Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 N. Union Blvd in the Central West End.
The year 2011 yielded an abundance of significant news in local theater. Eleven presentations stood out above the rest. In ascending order, here’s a list of the year’s best productions:
Dead Man Walking the opera is making its St. Louis debut, and with it comes SR. HELEN PREJEAN, who will be in attendance for the Aug. 19 opening night performance at Union Avenue Opera (UAO). Based on Prejean’s novel of the same name, the opera brings to stage her modern-day journey as spiritual advisor to a Louisiana death row inmate. As a nod to the nun’s home state, a fundraising dinner for UAO with Prejean is planned before the performance and will feature Louisianainspired cuisine. For more information on the event or show tickets, call 361-2881 or visit unionavenueopera.org.
Renowned social justice crusader Sr. Helen Prejean is spending the weekend in St. Louis to attend the premiere of Dead Man Walking, an opera based on her book of the same name. Her Aug. 19 appearance at Union Avenue Opera begins with a dinner where guests will have an opportunity to speak with the nun, and concludes with a post-performance book signing. For more information, call 361-2881 or visit unionavenueopera.org.
STORY: Sr. Helen Prejean tells her colleague, Sr. Rose, that she has been contacted by her penpal, a convict named Joseph de Rocher. The Louisiana State Penitentiary inmate has asked Sr. Helen to be his spiritual advisor. De Rocher, who with his brother Anthony was convicted in the deaths of two teenagers, is sentenced to die for his crime. Sr. Helen and De Rocher get off to a rocky start in their relationship, but she tells him that she will be his advisor.
Here’s a ‘happy’ thought…The 28th season of PARTIES IN THE PARK, one of the area’s original outdoor happy hour events, is coming soon! But there’s a big change this year: The event is moving out of Shaw Park onto the streets of downtown Clayton. The new setting on Meramec Avenue between Forsyth Boulevard and Maryland Avenue will include a live music stage, lounge furniture, drinks and food offerings from area restaurants. Parties in the Park begins May 11, and will be held every second Wednesday of the month through September.