Opera Edwardsville at Dunham Hall | Arts & Issues
December 18, 2021
Opera Edwardsville was honored to be invited to perform as part of the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville's Arts & Issues Series. OE is proud to be the first local organization presented as part the University's series, joining illustrious past guests including Maya Angelou, Ken Burns, George Winston, and more. OE's signature holiday concert debuted with Arts & Issues on December 18, 2021 at Dunham Hall.
A spectacular line-up of guest soloists included sopranos Mathilda Edge and Liv Redpath, contralto Lauren Decker, tenor Jonathan Johnson, baritones Evan Bravos and student spotlight Miles Wadlington, harpist Caroline Robinson, and pianist Joseph Welch. OE’s annual December concert will featured operatic highlights by French composers Gounod, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Offenbach, and more, alongside festive selections from the timeless classic, White Christmas.
The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville
December 1-12, 2021
Building on the success of our virtual season in 2020, Opera Edwardsville presented an online series The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville, a digital series presented online for free that reached over 40,000 viewers. The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville was filmed on the stage of the historic Wildey Theatre, with film and audio produced by St. Louis production company Once Films.
The series featured artists from Illinois communities including Lebanon, Bunker Hill, Belleville, Glen Carbon, Edwardsville and St. Louis, Missouri. Performers include OE artistic advisor and Grammy Award-winning soprano, Christine Brewer, sopranos Angel Azzarra, Karen Kanakis, Julie Kelsheimer, and Amy Prince, tenor Marc Schapman, baritone Jacob Lassetter, and pianist Joseph Welch. Soprano Delaney Holliday was featured as a student spotlight on the series. The musical program included 12 performances of cherished holiday carols and classical Christmas favorites.
Opera Edwardsville at Edwardsville City Park
September 10, 2021
Following an entirely virtual season in 2020, Opera Edwardsville made a triumphant return to live performance on September 10th when OE performed its first-ever outdoor concert at Edwardsville City Park.
Guest artists included sopranos Angel Azzarra and Katherine Weber, mezzo-soprano Lindsay Metzger, tenor Alex McKissick, baritone Schyler Vargas, and pianist Joseph Welch. Soprano Delaney Holliday, who starred as Jack in OE’s 2021 opera for kids, joined as OE’s student spotlight. The musical program included operatic highlights and selections from the golden era of musical theatre by composers including Mozart, Rossini, Puccini, Verdi, Bernstein, Rogers, and more.
Jack and the Beanstalk | An Opera for Kids!
July 10-11, 2021
The world famous tunes of Gilbert and Sullivan ring out in this operatic adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk that is brimming with fun and laughs for kids and the whole family! Join Jack B. Nimble, along with a Giant or two, as he learns the importance of the golden rule: "Treat others as you wish to be treated!"
Over three years, OE has built a portfolio of educational programs that reach a range of students. The opera for kids has been presented in a range of formats and has reached over 3,500 kids through school tours, free community performances, and a filmed presentation and virtual field trip offered online. In 2021, three performances of Jack and the Beanstalk were presented at two locations, including a packed house at the Edwardsville Public Library and the St. Louis City Museum, on July 10 and 11, 2021.
The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville
These performances honor what would have been Opera Edwardsville’s 3rd annual holiday event, cancelled due to the global pandemic. OE partnered with Once Films, a St. Louis-based video production company to film 12 performances on the stage of the historic Wildey Theater in downtown Edwardsville to be shared for free as an online series with the entire community. The series reached over 41,000 views across facebook, instagram, and YouTube in 2020.
The Three Little Pigs | An Opera for Kids
The world famous melodies of Mozart ring out in this operatic adaptation of "The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf" that is brimming with fun and laughs! Join Despina, her silly brothers, and that sneaky wolf as they discover why reading is fundamental!
While we're sad OE’s opera for kids is unable to perform live on tour to schools, we're thrilled to be able to present this digital version of The Three Little Pigs! We hope you'll share this colorful and interactive performance with friends and family so they too can experience this delightful children's opera filled with catchy tunes, fun characters and valuable lessons!
Christmas at the Wildey
December 20, 2019
For our second annual holiday concert at the Wildey Theatre, Opera Edwardsville is proud to welcome St. Louis' beloved soprano, Julie Tabash Kelsheimer, and Scottish mezzo Penelope Cousland (who will make her US debut) alongside OE Founder & Artistic Director, Chase Henry Hopkins. The musical program will feature the music of Wagner, Humperdinck and Rossini. To capture the thrill of this repertoire, we welcome St. Louis' premier brass ensemble, Clarion Brass, led by Mary Weber, and the Persied String Quartet.
"Composer Spotlight Series" at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis
December 12, 2019
Opera Edwardsville was invited to perform as part of the Composer Spotlight Series at the World Chess Hall of Fame. The musical program featured Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and the Wesendonck Lieder. OE presented guest soloist and mezzo-soprano, Penelope Cousland, the Persied String Quartet, and pianist Dr. Joseph Welch for this special performance.
An Opera for Kids: "Pinocchio"
For our youngest audience members, “Pinocchio” toured to eight District 7 elementary schools and presented a free public 40-minute performance to a packed Wildey Theatre. The program was generously funded by the SIUE Meridian Society and reached over a thousand students. Seven SIUE student musicians were featured. OE also facilitated a mentor session for guest soloist Mathilda Edge with OE’s Artistic Advisor, Christine Brewer.
2019 Masterclasses for University and High School Students
September + December 2019
For advanced singers, OE presented five free masterclasses to three area universities including Webster, UMSL, and SIUE. Over 150 students benefited from sessions with voice teacher Karen Brunssen, on faculty at Northwestern University and President of the National Association for Teachers of Singing.
Public Masterclasses offer young singers access to top performers and technicians in order to further their craft and performance skills. These Masterclasses offer audiences insight into the process of building a voice.
Christine Brewer and Craig Terry in Concert
September 7, 2019
A monumental concert opened OE’s 2019 season with legendary Grammy award-winning soprano Christine Brewer and renowned pianist Craig Terry. Brewer presented a program of her favorites, beginning with Wagner and Mozart, a dramatic song cycle of WWII letters set to music by Alan Smith, and concluded with a set of songs collected to pay homage to Brewer's predecessors: Encores presented by four sopranos from the 20th century noted for a similar vocal quality to Brewer's. The performance was followed by a Champagne reception at which audience members could meet and greet these guests artists.
Edwardsville House Concert Presenting Mathilda Edge
House concerts provided a small event to thank top OE sponsors. In 2019, OE presented soprano Mathilda Edge from the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Friends of Chicago Cocktail Party
Board members Bob and Mary LaRose welcomed friends of Opera Edwardsville to their home in Chicago for cocktails to learn about OE's mission and progress in the Edwardsville community.
Inaugural Event: Christmas at the Wildey
December 22, 2018
Inaugural Concert and Launch, featuring 6 St. Louis area musicians alongside guest soloists baritone Evan Bravos and soprano Sofia Troncoso in a special evening of holiday classics and classical favorites.
2018 Masterclasses in Edwardsville and Webster Groves for High School Students
Masterclasses were held at Edwardsville High School and Webster Groves High School to support vocal training and arts in high school music and choral programs.
Edwardsville House Concert Presenting Julie Tabash Kelsheimer
House concerts provided a small event to thank top OE sponsors. In 2018, OE welcomed soprano Julie Tabash Kelsheimer from St. Louis.