Opera Edwardsville's 'Little Red Riding Hood' delights kids, adults alike

Charles Bolinger, The Edwardsville Intelligencer

13 July 2024

EDWARDSVILLE —  If Opera Edwardsville continues offering free children's concerts at the Edwardsville Public Library, they should consider adding a third performance. Children and parents packed the library's reading room just before lunchtime on July 13 to see the opera group's thoroughly modern interpretation of "Little Red Riding Hood." There were two free shows, one at 9:30 a.m. and the other at 11:30 a.m.


Free Opera Edwardsville event set September 8th

Jill Moon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer & Alton Telegraph

22 August 2023

EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville returns to its summer stage at Edwardsville City Park at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, at Edwardsville City Park for a free community concert of world-class opera. 


Schedule is out for Opera Edwardsville 2023

Jill Moon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer

6 April 2023

EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville's (OE) sixth season is approaching and organizers are asking patrons to save the dates.

"Opera Edwardsville’s 2023 season could be its most spectacular yet," said Chase Hopkins,  OE founder and artistic director. "We have our most ambitious season planned yet."

OE once again will present world-class talent in performance and offer a number of free programs the entire family can enjoy.  


Opera for Kids Packs Edwardsville Library

Jill Moon, The Alton Telegraph & Edwardsville Intelligencer

11 July 2022

EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville on Saturday njoyed another huge turnout for its Opera for Kids, now in its fourth year.

The free public performance took place Saturday at the Edwardsville Public Library. Over the past three years the opera has reached more than 5,000 children.

The cast represented artists from all throughout the Metro East including Alton, Collinsville, Bunker Hill, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, and Belleville, as well as St. Louis. Alton's Spencer Domer played Baby Bear in this year's Opera for Kids' "Goldilocks and the Three Singing Bears."


Tim's Travels: Opera Edwardsville

Tim Ezell, Fox2Now Morning Show

8 July 2022

ST. LOUIS – Normally, I would not consider Tim Ezell a singer, but perhaps he just hasn’t found the right genre for his voice.

He gave opera a try Friday morning at Opera Edwardsville with Founder and Artistic Director Chase Hopkins, ahead of performances of OE's 2022 opera for kids, Goldilocks and the Three Singing Bears...


Opera Edwardsville Turns 5

Jill Moon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer & Alton Telegraph

14 March 2022

EDWARDSVILLE — Despite a pandemic, despite being an artform thought outside of the arts' popular lexicon, Opera Edwardsville (OE) has thrived and grown, now celebrating its fifth year as a cultural and nonprofit arts organization. 

Opera Edwardsville consistently and professionally has proved its chops, putting world-class talent together each season, for dedicated opera fans and the curious alike. Through its education program, OE has opened the doors to a whole new artist world of young performers. 


Chase Hopkins on 'The Segue'

Kim Sletten, The Edwardsville Intelligencer

3 December 2021

EDWARDSVILLE — On this week’s episode of Segue, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s weekly radio program exploring the lives and work of the people on campus and beyond, College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Dean Kevin Leonard, PhD, interviews Chase Hopkins, founding artistic director of Opera Edwardsville and general director of Chicago’s Haymarket Opera Company.


Opera Edwardsville to Perform for SIUE Arts & Issues Series

Advantage News

3 December 2021

EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville is the first local organization invited onto the series, which has welcomed illustrious speakers and artists including Maya Angelou, Ken Burns, George Winston and more.


Home for the Holidays

Jill Moon, The Alton Telegraph

16 November 2021

EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville (OE) now has the distinction of being the first local organization to be invited to debut the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Arts and Issues series, with “Opera Edwardsville at Dunham Hall.” 


On the Road with Great Rivers and Routes

Chelsea Haynes, Fox2Now 

9 September 2021

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Our friend Tim Ezell was in Edwardsville, Illinois this morning and Chelsea also got the opportunity to be out on the road to visit Edwardsville with our sponsor, Great Rivers and Routes. They are the tourism bureau representing Madison, Macoupin, Montgomery, Jersey, Calhoun, and Greene counties, and the city of East St. Louis, and St. Clair County in southwest Illinois!


Tim Ezell's Travels: Free Concert from Opera Edwardsville 

Tim Ezell, Fox2Now Morning Show

9 September 2021

EDWARDSVILLE It’s great to have live music again, and that includes opera. Tim Ezell is in Edwardsville. Where they are celebrating the occasion with an outdoor performance.


Opera Edwardsville Plans Free Outdoor Show

Jill Moon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer

3 August 2021

EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville (OE) has announced its return to live performance with its first ever free outdoor performance to be presented at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Edwardsville City Park.

The celebratory concert will feature top talent performing operatic highlights. The outdoor concert will build upon the success of OE’s 2020 virtual season that reached more than 40,000 views, as well as 2018 and 2019 events that were performed to sold-out audiences.


Opera Edwardsville Plans Sensational First-Ever Live Outdoor Performance

Dan Brannan, The River Bender

29 July 2021

EDWARDSVILLE - Opera Edwardsville today announced its first-ever live outdoor performance at Edwardsville City Park for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10. A wide array of sensational talent will be showcased at the free event.


Opera Edwardsville to Open Auditions

Jill Moon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer

21 May 2021

EDWARDSVILLE — Opera Edwardsville will hold its first general audition, seeking to hear professional singers located in the St. Louis area. The audition panel will include Opera Edwardsville founder and Artistic Director Chase Hopkins, and soprano and Opera Edwardsville Artistic Advisor Christine Brewer. Live auditions will be accompanied by pianist Joseph Welch.


‘Each day through Christmas OE virtually gave to me’

Jill Moon, The Alton Telegraph, Edge, and Edwardsville Intelligencer

17 December 2020

EDWARDSVILLE — “The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville” puts the listener — and viewer — directly into the orchestra pit for world-class operatic holiday performances, of which anyone can feel the joy this season.

Nearly 1,000 people to Opera Edwardsville’s (OE) Facebook event for “The 12 Days of Opera Edwardsville” have responded via social media to the free virtual performance series of filmed holiday concerts, which began live Dec. 12. But the obvious beauty of these virtual seasonal holiday concerts is, they can be enjoyed by anyone, anywhere, throughout the season and the world.


On with the show: Opera Edwardsville adds digital performances for 3rd season

Jill Moon, The "Edge" & Alton Telegraph

8 October 2020

EDWARDSVILLE — As the famous saying goes, “The show must go on!,” and Opera Edwardsville adopted the saying as its mantra for its upcoming season.

Opera Edwardsville’s third season is set with a continued commitment to serve the community through cultural enrichment and arts education with a revised 2020 season that will feature two of Opera Edwardsville’s most beloved signature events. And indeed, the show will go on — online and on film!


Season Opus: Opera Edwardsville’s joyous future

Jill Moon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer 

7 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, WFMT 

27 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 Intelligencer 

19 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 Times

19 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 Intelligencer

13 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 9AM

14 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 Foundation

16 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: 

Sound on for audio. 

Opera Edwardsville’s Hopkins talks ‘history in the making’ ahead of winter concerts

Julia Biggs, The Edwardsville Intelligencer

21 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 Intelligencer

30 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 Intelligencer

17 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 Telegraph 

11 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 Society

10 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 Intelligencer 

09 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 publication 

Spring 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. Louis

7 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 Summit

17 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 Intelligencer

09 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 Telegraph

06 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 Intelligencer

30 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 Intelligencer

25 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 Intelligencer

02 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 Intelligencer

15 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.