Welcome to Opera Edwardsville

2022 PERFORMANCES ANNOUNCED!

5th Anniversary Season

July 9, 2022

Goldilocks and the Three Singing Bears | A free opera for kids!

Presented at the Edwardsville Public Library


The music of Mozart and Offenbach meet the magic of children's theatre for this operatic adaptation of the classic fable, Goldilocks and the Singing Three Bears. This 40-minute opera features music from famous operas with silly new words and fun dialogue, presented in English, and perfect for the entertainment of our youngest audiences (and their parents too!). Thanks to donors and sponsors, this program is free for the entire family to enjoy at no cost. Warning, audience participation is likely!


Join before the performance when the City of Edwarsdville Arts in the Park series will be making crafts. Then, enjoy the performance in the main reading room of the Edwardsville Public Library at 10am.


The story: Goldilocks doesn’t just like bugs – she loves them. When a beautiful butterfly flutters off into the woods, she chases it, forgetting a promise made to her mom to stay close to home. Trying to find her way home after eating soup that doesn’t belong to her, Goldie meets Peek, a little bear. Peek confides to Goldie that a sneaky robber snuck into his family’s house that very morning, licked his spoon and ate his soup. Goldie is horrified, for she knows, of course, that she’s the sneaky soup robber. What should she do? Should she risk getting in trouble by telling the truth? Should she be dishonest and hope to avoid being punished?


This event is free for the entire public to enjoy thanks to OE's 2022 Season Sponsors and Donors. OE would like to recognize 2022 presenting Sponsors: The Rotary Club of Edwardsville, the City of Edwardsville, the Schmidt and Barton Family Fund, Lewis Rice, and Stifel. This program is presented in partnership with the Edwardsville Public Library, the City of Edwarsdville’s Arts in the Park program and the Edwardsville Arts Center.


Featuring:

Ty'Ria Rounds, Soprano Goldilocks, a little girl who loves bugs

Spencer Domer, Tenor Peek, a little bear and ambitious cub scout

Jacob Lassetter, Baritone Papa Bear, Peeks father and an avid gardener

Amy Prince, Soprano Mama Bear, Peeks mother and an amazing cook

September 30, 2022

Opera Edwardsville at Edwardsville City Park | A free community concert

Presented outdoors at the Edwardsville City Park


Following a spectacular debut outdoors in 2021, Opera Edwardsville makes a return to its new summer stage for a second outdoor concert at Edwardsville City Park on September 30, 2022 at 7:30pm. A sensational line up of guest artists will perform operatic highlights and Broadway favorites --Bring your lawn chairs, tables, and picnics to enjoy opera under the starry night sky and the dazzling spotlights! Who knows, maybe the cicadas will join in chorus again this year!


With voices that shine as bright as the iconic spotlights, OE welcomes sopranos Emily Birsan and Sofia Troncoso, mezzo-soprano Emily Fons, and tenor Eric Ferring, with accompaniment from pianist and OE Artist-in-Residence, Joseph Welch. To celebrate OE's 5th Anniversary, Grammy Award-winning soprano and OE Artistic Advisor Christine Brewer makes a special guest appearance.


This event will feature state-of-the-art amplification provided by Chicago’s Aphorism Studios, led by audio engineer Dan Nichols, names Person of the Year by the Chicago Tribune in 2021 for Classical Music.


A post-concert champagne reception is planned at the Edwardsville Public Library for OE Season Sponsors and Donors, with a 5th Anniversary toast and artist meet-and-greet.


Featuring:

Emily Birsan, Soprano "Bright and glittering" Opera News

Sofia Troncoso, Soprano "Sofia Troncoso’s delightful soprano is worth waiting for" The Times

Emily Fons, Mezzo-soprano Grammy nominated and lauded by Opera News as a "Rising Star"

Eric Ferring, Tenor "An emerging tenor of considerable promise" —Chicago Tribune

Joseph Welch, Piano


With special guest appearance:

Christine Brewer, Grammy Award-winning soprano and OE Artistic Advisor

Emily Birsan

Eric Ferring

Sofia Troncoso

Joseph Welch

Emily Fons

Christine Brewer

DECEMBER 3, 2022

Opera Edwardsville at Dunham Hall | OE's Signature Ticketed December Concert

Presented by SIUE Arts & Issues at Dunham Hall


Opera Edwardsville is thrilled to be invited back to perform as part of the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville's Arts & Issues Series. OE made history as the first local organization presented as part of the series, joining illustrious past guests including Maya Angelou, Ken Burns, George Winston, and more.


General Ticket Sales: Tickets will be sold by the SIUE Arts & Issues box office. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in the autumn of 2022. More information to be released soon. A post-concert champagne reception to celebrate OE's 5th Anniversary celebration is included in every ticket.


Complimentary Tickets for Sponsors and Donors: Complimentary tickets are offered to all 2022 OE Season Business Sponsors and Donors. Sponsors and donors should review the number of tickets they are entitled to and RSVP to operaedwardsville@gmail.com. All OE Season Sponsors and Donors are invited to join for a champagne reception with toast and artist-meet-and-greet following the performance.


A spectacular line-up of guest soloists will be presented at this concert as the culmination to OE's 5th Anniversary Season, including soprano Amanda Majeski, mezzo-soprano Emily Fons, tenor Jonathan Johnson accompanied by OE's pianist and Artist-in-Residence, Joseph Welch. OE founder and tenor Chase Hopkins makes a special guest appearance in celebration of OE's 5th Anniversary celebration.


Featuring:

Amanda Majeski, Soprano “...a star turn worth celebrating from Amanda Majeski...exquisite singing” —The Telegraph

Emily Fons, Mezzo-soprano The radiant beauty of her voice combined seamlessly with the depth of expression —Operawire

Jonathan Johnson, Tenor

Joseph Welch, Piano

Amanda Majeski

Emily Fons

Jonathan Johnson

Joseph Welch

December 12-23, 2022

The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville | A free online series

Presented online, via eblast, facebook, and instagram.


Building on the success of our virtual season in 2020 and 2021, Opera Edwardsville will again present its popular online series The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville, a digital series presented online for free that has reached over 80,000 viewers in past years. The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville will be filmed on the stage of the historic Wildey Theatre, with film and audio produced by St. Louis production company Once Films.

Special thanks to our 2022 Sponsors & Donors

OE's 2022 season would not have been possible without the support of donors and sponsors who help to make arts education accessible to kids and families, support professional development and create opportunities for university singers, and connect over 80,000 members of the community with the arts though OE's in-person and online programs.

OE's 5th Anniversary Season is presented by the Rotary Club of Edwardsville, City of Edwardsville, the Schmidt and Barton Family Fund, Lewis Rice, and Stifel. Additional sponsorship comes from 222 Artisan Bakery, Bank of Madison County, Hortica, Friends of the Wildey Theatre, and the SIYAO Vocal Competition. Special thanks to the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau, Once Films, Scott Evers Photography, the SIUE Arts & Issues Series, and the many individual donors who have supported our 2022 season.

Support OE: The generosity of donors and sponsors will enable 3 of the 4 programs in OE’s 5th Anniversary Season to be presented free of charge. To support cultural enrichment and arts education, become a sponsor or donor with exciting benefits: www.operaedwardsville.org/donate. OE is a registered 501(c)(3) and donations are tax deductible.

PRESENTING SPONSORS

Sponsorships of $2,500 or more.

PATRON SPONSORS

Business sponsorships of $500 or more.

SPONSORS

Business sponsorships of $300 or more.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

PIANIST Joseph Welch Named OE Artist-in-Residence

Pianist Joseph Welch with guest artists in 2021 at Dunham Hall. Photo: Scott Evers

Opera Edwardsville is proud to recognize the incredible talent and contribution of pianist Dr. Joseph Welch through the creation of a new role within the organization.

Joseph has been named the company's first Artist-in-Residence, a designation that includes involvement within all 2022 season events and acknowledges OE's deep appreciation for the talent and expertise that Joseph brings to performances and rehearsals. This new season-long designation has been underwritten by an anonymous donor. OE's ability to welcome world-class singers to Edwarsdville is possible knowing that performances will be in collaboration with a pianist of Joseph's calibre.

Joseph serves as a Professor of Music at Blackburn College. An advocate for the vocal and keyboard arts, Dr. Welch is the Founder and Artistic Director of St. Louis Art Song, which recently hosted Libby Larsen in a weekend residency. He coaches studios in the Opera Theatre of St. Louis Artists-in-Training program and is the Director of Music at First Congregational Church in Bunker Hill, IL. He is the Assistant Music Director for Variety Theatre in St. Louis.

His previous music direction credits include Opera Edwardsville, SIUE's Summer Showbiz, Marble City Opera, Midwest Institute of Opera, and many summer programs. Joseph frequently works with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra. As choral accompanist, he plays for the St. Louis Children's Choirs’ Young Men's Chorus and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Festival Chorus. Dr. Welch serves on the boards of the Southern Illinois Young Artist Organization and the Bunker Hill Education Foundation. Recent awards include Member of the Year for the Illinois State Music Teachers Association - Gateway Arch East Chapter and Adjunct Instructor of the Year at Blackburn College. Dr. Welch enjoys studying genealogy, gardening, photography, farming, and home remodeling in his free time.

Joseph's new role with Opera Edwarsdville comes as part of our 5th Anniversary Season. In the past four years, Joseph has been a part of over 15 OE events. Looking ahead, OE's future is all the brighter with Joseph's growing involvement within the company.

2022 OE POSter Art


Our 2022 Season Poster features original art by local artist, John DenHouter in a poster designed by Clayton Hopkins.

© Opera Edwardsville 2022



Artist’s Biography

John DenHouter is a professor of art at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville teaching design, drawing, and painting for twenty- five years. He holds Master of Fine Arts degrees in Medical Illustration from the University of Michigan as well as oil painting from Eastern Michigan University. His artistic practice involves painting the local landscape “en plein aire” (on location) as well as producing still lifes and surrealistic landscape paintings in his studio.


Parallels Between the Visual and Performing Arts

The need to express oneself seems to be a universal desire and can encompass a wide variety of fields and activities. This is perhaps nowhere as prevalent as in the arts. Whether performing on stage in front of an audience or presenting paintings at a public exhibition, the tremendous satisfaction that results from having composed and performed a well composed song, dance, or strong visual image is one and the same. However, perhaps even more exhilarating, is the pursuit of practicing one’s artistic vision either in isolation or in collaboration. The never- ending quest to improve and excel in terms of concept and craft is a journey taken by all artists regardless of their artistic field or form of expression and can be truly intoxicating!


Edwardsville and the Arts

Edwardsville has a long and robust tradition of supporting the arts whether they be visual, performing, or dramatic. The community has shown its enthusiasm for the arts by attending events at the Edwardsville Arts Center,The Wildey Theatre, SIUE’s Arts and Issues Series, The Edwardsville Municipal Band concerts, and Curtains Up Theatrical productions to mention just a few. The citizens of Edwardsville and the Metro East are the beneficiaries of the work of many creative artists and administrators who have dedicated much time and effort to establish, enrich, and nourish the cultural life of the city.


Thoughts about the Opera Edwardsville Image

Regarding my painting, I was inspired by the inviting atmosphere that can be created by a nocturnal performance. Sitting under the stars and moon on a summer evening surrounded by likewise minded people can be a magical experience. I channeled my memories of going to night baseball games during my youth with friends and family and feeling my excitement and anticipation grow as game time approached and the artificial lights became stronger and stronger illuminating the night- time sky. I hope this image captures this feeling as much as the physical setting of City Park.


John DenHouter

A Note From the Founder

Welcome to Opera Edwardsville, where the history and charm of Edwardsville meet the power and beauty of Opera.

Our mission is to develop an arts organization for the benefit of Edwardsville, Illinois and the St. Louis Metro-East community with the goals of providing musical excellence, educational outreach, community development, an artistic platform, and cultural enrichment.

Music is an important part of Edwardsville’s history, with a 175-year-old Municipal Band, the iconic Mississippi River Festival, and now Opera Edwardsville. We use a European model to make OE a unique musical experience. Seeing the impact of these model opera festivals both large and small on the communities in which they are rooted inspired the creation of our organization. Through concerts, lectures, recitals, operas, masterclasses, and educational outreach programs, OE exposes audiences to bold artistic ideas, powerful dramas, fascinating history, global perspectives, and beautiful music through the shared experience of live opera.

Sharing the music I love with my hometown is an absolute joy. I am grateful for the support, enthusiasm and momentum behind Opera Edwardsville and consider it a great privilege to be contributing to the arts community in Edwardsville. I am so grateful for the many individuals, organizations, and businesses who support OE.

Thank you,

Chase Hopkins