Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Announces 2023 Festival Season Repertory Which Includes a Rich Display of Diversity
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) announced an exciting slate of repertory for its 2023 Festival Season, which shines a spotlight on the stories of strong women and the ways in which narrative is influenced by gender roles – both through the stories we see onstage and through the artists who shape these operas. The 2023 Festival Season will continue the company’s long-standing commitment to supporting new music and reinterpretations of the classics with a world premiere, a company premiere, and two gripping new productions of Puccini and Mozart staples. The season will open with the world premiere of a new expanded version of Scott Joplin’s landmark opera Treemonisha, reimagined by composer Damien Sneed and librettist Karen Chilton. OTSL will also present its first-ever performances of Carlisle Floyd’s iconic American opera Susannah. Puccini’s gripping political drama Tosca and a new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte round out Opera Theatre’s mainstage season. Prior to OTSL’s season, the company will host a year-round slate of events that expands upon the themes of these four operas, offering the chance for dialogue and conversation in unexpected venues and formats.
“I am elated to present these fantastic works for our 48th season,” said General Director Andrew Jorgensen. “Joplin spent several years in St. Louis, and so we can’t wait to present Damien Sneed and Karen Chilton’s emotional new telling of his opera Treemonisha. Tosca is an important part of the repertoire, and we’re excited to bring it back to our stage after nearly 20 years. Così fan tutte blends one of Mozart’s most captivating scores with complex issues around societal and gender norms, and our intimate theater will provide the perfect setting to address that juxtaposition. We’re particularly thrilled about our final production, Susannah, which is one of the most frequently performed American operas. We’re delighted to finally bring this important work to our stage with such a phenomenal cast.”
In addition to four mainstage productions, Opera Theatre will continue to offer two annual concert events: a Black Music Month concert and the young artist showcase Center Stage. OTSL will celebrate and highlight Black artistry for its third annual Black Music Month Concert, with the date to be announced later this year. The 2023 event will be curated by composer, musician, and producer Damien Sneed, whose work spans multiple musical genres. On June 20th, OTSL will present Center Stage, a concert highlighting the talents of OTSL’s highly selective Young Artist Programs. In any given year, fewer than 35 singers are chosen from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants nationwide.
“These concerts are central to OTSL’s mission, and an absolute delight to present,” said Jorgensen. “It’s a joy to nurture the great opera stars of tomorrow, and to lift up and honor great Black artists and artistry.”
About OTSL’s 2023 Festival Season
Taking place at Webster University’s Loretto-Hilton Center, OTSL’s 2023 Festival Season will run from May 20 – June 25, 2023. Every opera will be accompanied live by members of the Grammy Award-winning St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in the 46th year of this landmark partnership between two leading St. Louis arts institutions. Propelled by its recent strategic plan, Opera Theatre continues to prioritize accessibility and access for all. In 2023, OTSL will once again present Phyllis’ Seats, a free ticket initiative that offers 50 free seats to members of the community at every performance. The company’s accessibility initiatives will also include audio description and American Sign Language interpretation services on select dates. Opera Theatre continues to be the only major opera company in the nation that presents every opera in English with projected English supertitles. Season subscriptions for the 2023 Festival Season are now available. Further information about casting will be announced in early 2023. To learn more, people may visit ExperienceOpera.org/2023 or call the OTSL Box Office at (314) 961-0644.
Scott Joplin Re-imagined by Damien Sneed & Karen Chilton May 20, 26, June 3, 6, 8, 11, 21, and 24 Conductor: George Manahan Director: Charlotte Brathwaite Scott Joplin/Remus: Justin Austin Freddie Alexander/Treemonisha: Brandie Sutton Monisha: Tichina Vaughn Ned: Norman Garrett
Sometimes out of the deepest tragedy springs the greatest hope. Embark on a life-affirming journey of love and creativity in Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha, re-imagined with a new prologue and epilogue by composer Damien Sneed and librettist Karen Chilton. As Joplin celebrates his wedding to his new bride, Freddie Alexander, he is inspired to write a masterpiece — with Freddie as his muse. His heroine will be called Treemonisha, and she will lead her community into a bright and bountiful future of education, opportunity, and prosperity.
Although Treemonisha was published in 1911, Joplin never lived to see a fully realized stage production. However, the legacy of his artistry only continued to grow through his final years and following his death. In 1976, Joplin posthumously received the Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to American music. This new edition of Treemonisha celebrates the strength, beauty, and wisdom of Black women and brings back to light a forgotten figure of history — Freddie Alexander Joplin. Leadership support for Treemonisha comes from the Whitaker Foundation. The production received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Fund.
To learn more, people may visit ExperienceOpera.org/2023
or call the OTSL Box Office at (314) 961-0644.
For more information click the link below.