Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Opera Theatre of St. Louis Prepares Season of Passions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Opera Theatre of St. Louis Prepares Season of Passions

Article excerpt

From inspired silliness to rough despair, fatal jealousy and principled maidenhood, the 2013 festival season at Opera Theatre of St. Louis runs the gamut of emotions.

That's as it should be: Opera, which encompasses all the arts, deals with words, music and passions.

This year's lineup begins with Gilbert and Sullivan's comic classic "The Pirates of Penzance," moves to a pair of one-act blood- and-guts tragedies, Puccini's "Il Tabarro (The Cloak)" and Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci (The Clowns)," presents a cutting-edge world premiere in Terence Blanchard's "Champion" and concludes with Smetana's sweetly melodic "The Kiss."

It's all accompanied by pre-opera picnics on the lawn and post- opera drinks with the artists under the stars. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is in the pit. There's no question: Opera Theatre is the best thing about June in St. Louis.

Timothy O'Leary, OTSL's general director, says, "I think it's a stunning range of what makes opera great, from the silly and sweet and romantic to the emotionally intense."

Artistic director James Robinson calls it "an amazingly well- balanced season." He's directing "Champion" with the same production team that undertook "The Death of Klinghoffer" in 2011 and "Alice in Wonderland" in 2012.

One member of the top troika is missing this year: Music director Stephen Lord is on sabbatical, taking a season off to conduct in Toronto and Santa Fe. He'll return in 2014. Meanwhile, chorusmaster Rob Ainsley has an additional title: head of music staff.

There are some outstanding performers to bring it all to life, many of them singers discovered and promoted by OTSL. Those include sopranos Kelly Kaduce, whose roles here include Butterfly and Salome; Deanna Breiwick, on the roster at the Metropolitan Opera and gaining national and international attention; and Corinne Winters, for whom English National Opera is now creating productions. The Y chromosome side includes baritones Aubrey Allicock, Bradley Smoak and Tim Mix, and tenor Garrett Sorenson. …

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