Season Opus: Opera Edwardsville’s joyous future
Jill Moon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer7 April 2020
EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville (OE) consistently and professionally has proved its chops, putting world-class talent together each season, for dedicated opera fans and the curious alike.
Opera Edwardsville’s third season is no exception.
Discover Illinois’ Newest Opera Company — Opera Edwardsville
Michael San Gabino, WFMT27 March 2020
CHICAGO — A four-hour drive southwest from Chicago and just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis sits Edwardsville, Illinois. It’s a town that takes on many roles. A college town (the home of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville); a charming town (with a thriving Main Street filled with businesses and restaurants); and, ultimately, an oasis from bustling city life.
This dynamism for a relatively small city has inspired Chase Hopkins to share his passion for opera with his hometown in the form of a new company: Opera Edwardsville...
‘Tis the season for classical music with Opera Edwardsville’s ‘Christmas at The Wildey’
Jill Moon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer19 December 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — For the second annual “Christmas at The Wildey: A Wagnerian Christmas,” Opera Edwardsville welcomes new and international performers to the historic theater’s stage.
“From Christmas trees to Krampus and gingerbread witches to Christmas presents, this concert draws upon the music of Wagner, Humperdinck, Rossini and the Germanic Christmas tradition for a fun and festive, if not epic, musical program,” said Opera Edwardsville founder and Artistic Director Chase Henry Hopkins.
While not many would associate Richard Wagner with the holidays, this surprising program transports listeners to Lucerne, Switzerland, on Christmas Day in 1870. Wagner’s wife, Cosima, awoke that Christmas morning to the sounds of an orchestra playing “The Siegfried Idyll” on the front steps of their villa...
The Best Things to Do in St. Louis in December
Paul Friswold, The Riverfront Times19 December 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — Although known more for his large-scale operas than for Christmas music, Richard Wagner was German, which means he loved the holiday. His wife, Cosima, was born on December 24 but always celebrated her birthday on Christmas; in 1870, Richard surprised her with a symphonic poem that incorporated references to their son, Siegfried, and daughter, Eva. The "Siegfried Idyll," as it became known, remains a popular piece today. Opera Edwardsville performs the family gift as part of its Wagnerian Christmas concert. Sopranos Julie Tabash-Kelsheimer and Brittney Yarbrough are joined by mezzo-soprano Penelope Cousland and tenor Chase Henry Hopkins for the performance, which also includes the Persied String Quartet and the Clarion Brass Quintet.
Opera Edwardsville's outreach program is a home run
Julia Biggs, The Edwardsville Intelligencer13 November 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — The Edwardsville/Glen Carbon community is showing its support once again for Opera Edwardsville (OE). After receiving an overwhelmingly positive response to registration for OE’s children’s outreach performance of Pinocchio that was initially scheduled to take place at the Edwardsville Library, the production was moved to the much larger Wildey Theatre, a venue which is also now nearly sold out.
This free performance of Pinocchio, which takes place Saturday, is an opera for children that has been produced by Opera Edwardsville in coordination with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Vocal Department. Generously funded by the Meridian Society, the performance was developed as a way to support arts education in schools.
“The Edwardsville Public Library is excited to help Opera Edwardsville introduce opera to a new audience,” Jill Schardt, Edwardsville Public Library Director said. “We originally planned to have this library program in our building, but after we saw the demand, we decided we needed a larger space. As a result, the library program has been moved to the Wildey Theatre, where we were able to re-open registration" ...
Pinocchio live on FOX 2!
Fox 2 9AM14 November 2019
The cast of Pinocchio was featured on the 9am news segment for Fox 2. Watch both videos to see a preview for "Pinocchio: An Opera for Kids!" Presented by Opera Edwardsville, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Edwardsville Public Library, and the SIUE Meridian Society.
Opera Edwardsville’s ‘Opera for Kids’ pits Pinocchio against operatic villain
Jill Moon, 'The Edge'31 October 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — Anticipation grows to see the classic fable’s Pinocchio come face-to-face with an operatic villain in “Pinocchio: An Opera for Kids.”
In this operatic adaptation of “Pinocchio,” presented to promote arts education, by Opera Edwardsville (OE), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and SIUE’s Meridian Society, the naive and trusting Pinocchio — a wooden puppet brought to life when Geppetto wishes upon a star — comes face to face with a villain, Dr. Dulcamara, and his traveling puppet show. When Pinocchio falls in love with the singing mechanical toy, Olympia, Dr. Dulcamara threatens to tear them apart — literally! Pinocchio finds a way to save the day, and learns the valuable lesson of telling the truth.
As part of Opera Edwardsville’s focus on arts education, “Pinocchio: An Opera for Kids” will tour elementary schools in Edwardsville District 7, providing exposure not only to operatic performance, but to vocal performance and musical theater, in general...
Edwardsville select restaurants offer Opera Edwardsville ‘Pre-Opera Menus’
Jill Moon, 'The Edge'18 July 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville’s restaurant partners — 1818 Chophouse, Bigelo’s Bistro, Cleveland Heath, Mike Shannon’s Bar and Grill, Bin 51 Wine & Spirits and Recess Brewing Co. — are taking farm-to-table to the opera, offering “Pre-Opera Menus” before each of Opera Edwardsville’s season concerts.
Special items, signature dish discounts, customized cocktails and more will be included on the respective Pre-Opera Menus — for which Bin 51 and Recess Brewing will have their own offerings in beer, wine, liquor and spirits specials. Think post-show nightcap!
“The Pre-Opera Menus are like a wine pairing: Great food to go with great opera and classical music,” said Opera Edwardsville (OE) founder and Artistic Director Chase Hopkins, of Edwardsville, Illinois...
Classic 107.3 Radio Arts Foundation welcomes Opera Edwardsville
Kathy Lawton Brown, Radio Arts Foundation16 July 2019
CLAYTON - The Radio Arts Foundation (Classic 107.3) invited OE Artistic Director, Chase Hopkins for an interview with radio broadcaster Kathy Lawton Brow. For full interview audio, listen below:
Opera Edwardsville’s Hopkins talks ‘history in the making’ ahead of winter concerts
Julia Biggs, The Edwardsville Intelligencer21 April 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — General admission tickets for Opera Edwardsville’s (OE) Sept. 7 and Dec. 20 shows at the Wildey Theatre will go on sale July 15. Tickets are expected to sell out as they did for its inaugural season.
Opera Edwardsville’s Artistic Director Chase Hopkins noted that the Sept. 7 show is “history in the making.”
SIUE, Opera Edwardsville to collaborate on youth program
Julia Biggs, The Edwardsville Intelligencer30 April 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville and the SIUE Vocal Department have solidified a partnership to develop and conduct a youth program specifically for children.
Made possible by a grant awarded by the SIUE Meridian Society, under the direction of Dr. Marc Schapman, the collaboration will involve the development of an opera program performed next fall...
Opera Edwardsville honors city, theatre with commemorative poster
Charles Bolinger, The Edwardsville Intelligencer17 April 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — The city of Edwardsville and the Wildey Theatre received a token of appreciation from Opera Edwardsville Tuesday following the organization’s inaugural season.
“It was a pleasure to present the gift of a framed Opera Edwardsville (OE) poster to the Wildey Theatre as a token of appreciation and a symbol of our friendship,” OE founder Chase Hopkins said during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
“The poster was designed by Jim Harper and featured at our inaugural event last December. As every arts organization must find its home, I feel lucky that Opera Edwardsville has found both this community and the Wildey Theatre. I’m grateful for the vision and hard work behind the Wildey Theatre’s restoration and to the city of Edwardsville who act as the steward of the historic theater. I am also grateful to the Wildey’s Director, Al Canal, and his team for welcoming Opera Edwardsville to the Wildey’s stage. As a community, we are fortunate to have this space and I hope to see many more OE performances at the Wildey Theatre,” Hopkins said.
Opera Edwardsville enters momentous second season
Jill Moon, 'The Edge' and the Alton Telegraph11 April 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — Still riding a momentous wave from its sold out inaugural concert at the Wildey Theatre, Opera Edwardsville continues the buzz surrounding the region’s newest nonprofit arts organization with the announcement of its 2019 season.
“Only months since our 2018 launch, Opera Edwardsville has gained unbelievable momentum. I am proud to be announcing a 2019 season that welcomes top talent and renowned vocal educators to Edwardsville,” Opera Edwardsville’s founder and Artistic Director Chase Hopkins told The Edge. “I am grateful for the enthusiasm and support from our community, and look forward to welcoming artists and audiences from near and far to be part of Opera Edwardsville.”
Opera Edwardsville’s mission is to provide musical excellence, education outreach, community development, an artistic platform and cultural enrichment for the benefit of Edwardsville and the region. In January, the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau of Southwest Illinois honored the nonprofit arts organization as the “Best Addition.”
Inspired by the centuries-old artform of opera, Hopkins, of Edwardsville, an operatic tenor, returned last year to his hometown to share his passion for opera with the city that he loves. Opera Edwardsville joins a community steeped in a tradition of promoting the arts in Madison County, Illinois, such as the 175-year-old Edwardsville Municipal Band, the iconic Mississippi River Festival and the Edwardsville Art Center’s annual Art Fair, to name just a few that Hopkins referenced...
2019 Meridian Award Recipient
Joint grant awarded to Opera Edwardsville and the SIUE Opera Theatre by the Meridian Society10 April 2019
Opera Edwardsville and the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville have been awarded a joint grant from the Meridian Society to produce an opera which will be performed by student singers in the SIUE Vocal Department for elementary student audiences at schools, hospitals and community organizations.
An auxiliary organization of the SIUE Foundation, the Meridian Society promotes women's leadership and invests in SIUE-community based projects.
Opera Edwardsville announces Top Talent for its 2019 Season
Julia Biggs, The Edwardsville Intelligencer09 April 2019
EDWARDSVILLE — After an inaugural run of shows, Opera Edwardsville has announced its second season featuring world-renowned opera singers and several community-outreach programs...
Northwestern University 'Fanfare'
Northwestern University, Bienen School of Music publicationSpring 2019 Edition
Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music has featured three of Opera Edwardsville's artists in their seasonal publication highlighting faculty, alumni and students.
The feature includes Founder & Artistic Director, Chase Hopkins, baritone Evan Bravos who performed as part of OE's inaugural concert in December 2018, and renowned voice teacher, Karen Brunssen who will join in 2019 for a two-part Masterclass Series.
OTSL Alumni Profile: Chase Hopkins, Opera Edwardsville Artistic Director and Tenor
Opera Theatre of St. Louis7 March 2019
In the 10 years since graduating from Opera Theatre of St. Louis' Artists-in-Training Program, alumnus Chase Henry Hopkins has been busy. He's earned degrees from Northwestern University, trained and performed in Europe, and started his own nonprofit — Opera Edwardsville!...
"Best Tourism Addition" from the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau
Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Summit17 January 2019
Opera Edwardsville is grateful to have been awarded "Best Tourism Addition" by the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau.
OE was awarded among other area organizations that enhance the community including the Alton Little Theater, Edwardsville Rotary Criterium, and Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site.
Opera Edwardsville gears up for inaugural holiday concert
Julia Biggs, The Edwardsville Intelligencer09 December 2018
Only a few tickets remain for “Christmas at the Wildey,” Opera Edwardsville’s inaugural holiday concert that takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville. The event features three internationally-renowned professional opera performers — Evan Bravos, Sofia Troncoso and Edwardsville’s own Chase Hopkins...
Community welcomes Opera Edwardsville
Jill Moon, The Telegraph06 December 2018
Opera Edwardsville, a new nonprofit arts organization, joins a community steeped in a tradition of promoting the arts in Madison County, Illinois. Hopkins, 29, founded and created Opera Edwardsville this year. Its inaugural event, “Opera Edwardsville presents Christmas at the Wildey,” introduces audiences to the world of opera in a celebration of the holiday season with traditional carols, hymns and majestic classical music, from Handel, Purcell, Vivaldi and Tchaikovsky...
Erin Bode, Ozark Mountain Daredevils among Wildey concerts for December
Scott Marion, The Edwardsville Intelligencer30 November 2018
Musical diversity is the theme for December as the Wildey Theatre wraps up another memorable year of concerts and other events.
“It’s been a great year at the Wildey and we totally exceeded our expectations,” Wildey manager Al Canal said. “We couldn’t do that without the support of the community...
Chasing operatic visions with Hopkins
Julia Biggs, The Edwardsville Intelligencer25 November 2018
When Chase Hopkins, a 2008 Edwardsville High School graduate and professional opera singer, was home for the holidays last Christmas, he organized a free Christmas concert for the community. After receiving a lot of positive feedback from that concert, Hopkins recently formed Opera Edwardsville and looks to celebrate with an inaugural concert.
“My experience in Europe as a professional opera singer has revealed the excitement, inspiration, and impact that opera festivals have on the communities in which they are rooted,” he said. “My passion for this art form, along with my love for this community has inspired me to found and create Opera Edwardsville.
Opera Edwardsville presents ‘Christmas at the Wildey’
The Edwardsville Intelligencer02 November 2018
World-class music comes to Edwardsville when Opera Edwardsville debuts its first-ever performance, “Christmas at the Wildey,” 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 22 at the Wildey Theatre, 252 N. Main St., Edwardsville.
Three internationally renowned professional opera performers, accompanied by a quartet of St. Louis musicians, will present an evening of classical music and Christmas favorites during this inaugural performance by Opera Edwardsville, the region’s newest arts organization. The concert will feature music by Handel, Purcell, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky as well as traditional Christmas carols.
Concert to mark singer’s homecoming
Julia Biggs, The Edwardsville Intelligencer15 December 2017
It’s been almost 10 years since Chase Hopkins, a 2008 Edwardsville High School graduate, sang in Edwardsville.
After spending six of those 10 years abroad studying opera and classical music, Hopkins is returning home for the holidays and is inviting the public to kick off the Christmas weekend with him during a free Christmas Concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Edwardsville.