From the Edwardsville Municipal Band to the legendary Mississippi River Festival, music is an integral part of Edwardsville’s legacy. Opera Edwardsville is building upon this rich history to bring world-class opera to the Southern Illinois region and Edwardsville community. 

Founded by Edwardsville-native & classical tenor  Chase Hopkins, Opera Edwardsville uses a European opera festival-model to create  a unique musical experience in the St. Louis area. 

Through concerts, lectures, recitals, operas, masterclasses, and educational outreach programs, Opera Edwardsville exposes audiences to bold artistic ideas, powerful drama, fascinating history, global perspectives, and beautiful music - all through the shared experience of live and digital 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.

Artistic Leadership

Chase Hopkins, Artistic Director, chasehenryhopkins.com 

Chase Hopkins is currently serving as the general director of Chicago’s acclaimed early music ensemble, Haymarket Opera Company, and the artistic director of Opera Edwardsville. Since 2020, Hopkins has led Haymarket through its 10th Anniversary Season featuring three innovative cinematic productions of Handel operas, receiving praise from international press as “an inspiring and relevant modern production” (Operawire) and “a superb document of a Handel opera” (Chicago Tribune). Under Hopkins’ leadership, performances have reached over 800,000 audiences, Haymarket’s foundational portfolio has grown to include support from the National Endowment for the Arts and gained recognition through national broadcasts on the WFMT summer opera series, alongside top opera companies around the world. Hopkins brings expertise to Haymarket as both a performer and creative producer. His own singing career included a strong focus on Baroque opera, and he has performed with distinguished conductors at festivals across Europe and the United States. On the operatic stage, Hopkins has been described as a “strong and convincing presence” (Opera Today) and has been praised for delivering “thoughtful and disciplined” performances (Operawire). He holds a bachelor’s degree in performance and arts administration from Northwestern University and a masters degree in performance from the Royal Northern College of Music in the United Kingdom. Hopkins is the founding artistic director of Opera Edwardsville (Illinois), a role he maintains while serving as Haymarket Opera Company’s general director. In the spring of 2022, Hopkins will pursue executive training at the Harvard Business School.

Christine Brewer, Artistic Advisor, christinebrewer.com

Grammy Award-winning American soprano Christine Brewer’s appearances in opera, concert, and recital are marked by her own unique timbre, at once warm and brilliant, combined with a vibrant personality and emotional honesty reminiscent of the great sopranos of the past. Named one of the top 20 sopranos of all time (BBC Music), her range, golden tone, boundless power, and control make her a favorite of the stage and a highly sought-after recording artist, one who is “in her prime and sounding glorious” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times).

Board of Directors

Brian Pezza, President 

Margaret Solon, Secretary 

Robert LaRose, Treasurer 

Kathryn Biarkis

Clayton Hopkins 

SJ Morrison

Suzanne Nevins

Marian Smithson

Margaret Vaught

A Land Acknowledgement

Opera Edwardsville recognizes the importance of perspective and acknowledges that Edwardsville exists on and serves a region that includes the traditional homelands of The Illinois Confederacy, including the Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Peoria, and Tamaroa; and the Kiikaapoi (Treaty of Edwardsville, 1819), Myaamia, Aakiiwaki (Sauk), Meskwaki (Fox), Ho-Chunk (Winnebago), Kaw, Missouria, Quapaw, Ponca, Omaha, Osage, Onödowáʼga (Seneca), and others. Through this acknowledgment, their contemporary and ancestral ties to the land and their contributions to our community are renewed and reaffirmed.