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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.
Play: “The Memory of Water”
Opera is full of unexpected plot twists, and so is the story of how a former business major, Gina Galati, became an opera singer. “I flunked an economics course when I was 19,” recalls Galati, artistic director of Winter Opera Saint Louis (formerly New Opera St. Louis). “I was at loose ends until my mom said, ‘You’ve always loved music. Why not switch majors?’ ” Mom was right: Galati went on to earn a master’s degree in opera, then studied in Italy. Soon, she was performing in operas here and abroad.
10/31 THE LAST BROADCAST John Borroughs School hosts a reception for ‘The Last Broadcast,’ a series of drawings inspired by the Northwestern landscape, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Bonsack Gallery.
The Volunteer Service Council (VSC) hosted nearly 100 guests for a delectable brunch and elegant style show in The Zodiac at Neiman Marcus. An independent service organization, VSC is run by 100 women who assist several charitable agencies each year through volunteer service and fund-raising projects.