Opera Theatre of St. Louis Announces Their 50th Anniversary Festival Season

Check out the complete lineup!

By: Jun. 11, 2024
Opera Theatre of St. Louis Announces Their 50th Anniversary Festival Season
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Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) announced repertory and celebrations for a landmark 50th season in 2025, celebrating five decades of artistic innovation and discovery since the company’s founding in 1976.  

OTSL’s 50th Festival Season officially kicks off on May 8, 2025, with a Spring Gala chaired by Noémi K. Neidorff. The event, hosted on the grounds of the Sally S. Levy Opera Center, will celebrate all those who have shaped the first 50 years of OTSL, including a special posthumous tribute to founding general director, Richard Gaddes. Following that event, the annual free concert Our Songs invites the St. Louis community to join the anniversary celebration. Led by and featuring artists of the 2025 Festival Season, this concert celebrates diverse musical lineages and transcends genres to embrace deeper connection and inspiration. 

The 2025 Festival Season opens on May 24, 2025, with Johann Strauss (ii)’s effervescent Die Fledermaus, which has not been seen at Opera Theatre since 1989. The season continues with the company’s 44th world premiere, This House, with music by Ricky Ian Gordon and libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage and her daughter Ruby Aiyo Gerber. Next, Opera Theatre will present an all-new staging of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale — the very first opera that the company ever performed. Britten’s enchanting adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream rounds out the season. In addition to four mainstage productions, Opera Theatre will continue to present the annual young artist showcase, Center Stage. This concert shines a spotlight on the members of OTSL’s highly selective Young Artist Programs, accompanied onstage by members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, which has served as OTSL’s Festival Season orchestra since 1978.  

Opera Theatre’s celebration of its 50th anniversary will continue beyond the 2025 Festival Season, with a year of programming that will highlight the invaluable community partnerships that have been key to OTSL’s success. Never a company to stick to tradition, Opera Theatre’s long list of collaborators includes not only other regional arts leaders (such as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jazz St. Louis, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Saint Louis Dance Theatre, Saint Louis Art Museum, and CAM) but also a wide range of civic institutions that contribute to the vitality of St. Louis (including Webster University, Arts & Faith St. Louis, OCA, Washington University, the Urban League, the Diversity Awareness Partnership, and Missouri History Museum). 

“We’re so excited to be celebrating Opera Theatre’s 50th season,” said General Director Andrew Jorgensen. "This is an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on all that we have accomplished in our first fifty years, from bringing dozens of new operas to the stage, launching hundreds of careers, and impacting countless lives through the power of opera — and to celebrate everyone in our community who has been part of this journey and made our work possible. As we mark this moment, we’re also looking forward to our next fifty years and to a bright future. We have a great lineup planned for our 50th season, and we’re making exciting artistic plans that we can’t wait to share with our community. Even as we celebrate our first fifty years, I truly believe that the best is yet to come.” 

The 50th Anniversary Festival season will open with Johann Strauss (ii)’s Die Fledermaus will be performed on May 24, 30, June 4, 7, 15, 19, and 28 and conducted by George Manahan, and will feature Sara Gartland as Rosalind, Deanna Breiwick as Adele, Kelsey Lauritano as Prince Orlofsky, Joshua Blue as Alfred, Edward Nelson as Einstein, and Johnathan McCullough as Dr. Falke. Opera Theatre of St. Louis Announces Their 50th Anniversary Festival Season

About the Opera Die Fledermaus: Prince Orlofsky is throwing the costume party of the century, and everyone is determined to be there. Dr. Falke invites his friend Eisenstein for a gentleman’s night out on the town. Little do they know that Eisenstein’s wife, Rosalinde, and her maid, Adele, each have their own mischievous plans. What starts as a harmless prank soon escalates into an epic battle of the sexes, filled with disguises, flirtations, and comedic deceptions. No matter how the evening ends, one thing is for sure — you can blame it on the champagne! 

On May 31, June 5, 11, 13, 21, and 29, Opera Theatre of St. Louis will present the world premiere of This House, written by Ricky Ian Gordon, Lynn Nottage, and Ruby Aiyo Gerber, and conducted by Daniela Candillari. The featured singers will include Briana Hunter, Andrienne Danrich, Justin Austin Christian, Pursell Sankara Harouna, Aundi Marie Moore, Christian Mark Gibbs, Brandie Inez Sutton, and Krysty Swann. Opera Theatre of St. Louis Announces Their 50th Anniversary Festival Season     

About the opera This House: A house is more than four walls and a roof — it is a keeper of memories and a witness to legacy. The Walker family has lived in the same Harlem brownstone since the 1920s, and they have fought hard to keep what they have. When Zoe returns home after many years away, she asks her mother Ida and her brother Lindon to let her renovate the dilapidated building. But Ida and Lindon cannot let go of the past. The house is their whole world, and every room is full of ghostly voices and painful memories. As hidden truths about the family’s legacy come to light, Zoe begins to realize that the secrets harbored within these walls are deeper and more profound than she ever dared to imagine. 

Don Pasquale by Gaetano Donizetti will open on June 8, with subsequent productions on June 12, 14, 21, 25, and 27. It will be conducted by Kensho Watanabe. The featured performers will include Patrick Carfizzi as Don Pasquale, Syndey Mancasola as Norina, Charles Sy as Ernesto, and Kyle Miller as Dr. Malatesta. Opera Theatre of St. Louis Announces Their 50th Anniversary Festival Season

About the opera Don Pasquale: Lifelong bachelor Don Pasquale is livid when his heir, Ernesto, falls for a penniless widow. Determined to teach him a lesson, Don Pasquale decides to disown Ernesto, marry, and produce a new heir himself. Enter Norina, Ernesto’s love, and her crafty friend Dr. Malatesta. They trick Pasquale into a fake marriage, with Norina posing as the picture-perfect bride. But before the ink on the marriage contract is even dry, Norina unleashes her inner spitfire, turning Pasquale’s tidy world riotously upside down.  

Maestro Leonard Slatkin returns to St. Louis to conduct Benjamin Britten’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, presented on June 14, 18, 20, 22, 26, and 28. This production will feature the voices of Jana McIntyre, Teresa Perrotta, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Ian Rucker and Ben Brady.Opera Theatre of St. Louis Announces Their 50th Anniversary Festival Season  

About Benjamin Britten’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: When fairies and mortals cross paths, mayhem is sure to follow. Fairy king Oberon and his queen Tytania are locked in a quarrel when a group of unhappy young lovers wanders into their forest. Oberon dispatches the mischievous sprite Puck to resolve the young lovers’ strife with the help of a magical elixir…but when Puck applies that elixir to the wrong people, chaos erupts across the forest. The young paramours enter a dark and surreal dream world where plans of revenge go hand-in-hand with seduction. Britten’s hypnotizing score sets the perfect atmosphere for this journey into love’s absurdities. 

Click the link below for or more information about Opera Theatre of St. Louis and their upcoming 50th Anniversary Season.  


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