Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (St. Louis, MO)


      Looking down from a great height on the audience and stage during a performance

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, 2010. Photo by Ken Howard

Since its first season in 1976, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) has produced 19 world premieres and 22 U.S. premieres, maintaining a commitment to the discovery, development, and promotion of young American artists. Each season, four operas enliven the St. Louis area in a festival of familiar, contemporary, and newly developed productions, all accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and performed in English. Under the direction of General Director Tim O’Leary, Music Director Stephen Lord, and Artistic Director James Robinson, OTSL most recently staged the world premiere of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket during its 2010 festival season.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis's 2010 world premiere production of The Golden Ticket. Photo by Ken Howard

Next up on Opera Theatre’s extensive premiere list is a jazz opera to be produced in partnership with Jazz St. Louis. A $25,000 NEA Access to Artistic Excellence grant will support the commission of the score and libretto for a new work by a nationally recognized composer and playwright. The grant will also support a workshop and the completion of musical materials for this inter-genre performance.

The intersection of jazz and opera reflects a unique collaboration, which seems fitting for such a story. “Both genres make deep, emotional connections to their audiences,” notes Robinson. “We expect that our partnership with Jazz St. Louis will serve as a possible model for jazz/opera partnerships in other cities where the opera will be produced, helping to expand the audience for opera nationally.”