Thank you! OE is proud to have presented three major events as part of our 2019 Season:

Christine Brewer & Craig Terry in Concert

On September 7th, OE welcomed two world renowned performers to kick off our 2019 season. Brewer and Terry can be heard in performance around the world, and we were incredibly fortunate to welcome them to the Wildey Theatre.

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!

Karen Brunssen Masterclass Series

On September 5-6, Opera Edwardsville was able to offer three masterclasses with renowned voice teacher, Karen Brunssen. Brunssen presented to more than 150 local students in masterclasses at Webster University, UMSL, and Sothern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Brunssen teaches on faculty at Northwestern University and serves as the President of the National Association for Teachers of Singing.

Brunssen returns in December to present three more masterclass sessions.

Pinocchio: An Opera for Kids!

On November 16, Opera Edwardsville teamed up with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to produce a 40-minute operatic version of Pinocchio which repurposed famous arias from operas and featured student singers from the SIUE vocal department. This free performance was presetned at the Wildey Theater in a series of performances on tour at District 7 Elementary schools. The project is generously funded by the Meridian Society as a way to support arts education in schools.


December 12, 2019

The World Chess Hall of Fame welcomes Opera Edwardsville in concert

Opera Edwardsville has been invited to perform as part of the Composer Spotlight Series at the World Chess Hall of Fame. Opera Edwardsville will present a musical program which highlights the music of Richard Wagner, with surprising links to the holidays and the germanic Christmas tradition.

The musical program will feature Wagner's Siegfried Idyll and the Wesendonck Lieder. Opera Edwardsville presents guest soloist and mezzo-soprano, Penelope Cousland, the Persied String Quartet, and pianist Dr. Joseph Welch for this special performance.

Learn more about:

Penelope Cousland, Mezzo-Soprano

Persied String Quartet

December 20, 2019

Opera Edwardsville presents "Christmas at the Wildey: A Wagnerian Christmas"

Presenting Sponsor: Stifel

Join us for our second annual performance 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.

Learn more about:

Julie Tabash Kelsheimer, Soprano

Penelope Cousland, Mezzo-Soprano

Clarion Brass

Persied String Quartet

December 19 & 20, 2019

Opera Edwardsville presents the Karen Brunssen Masterclass Series

Opera Edwardsville welcomes Northwestern University Professor of Voice, Karen Brunssen for a two-part masterclass series which will be offered to singers at area universities and high schools. Ms. Brunssen presents lectures and masterclasses around the world and currently serves at the President of the National Association for Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Portions of these Masterclasses will be open to the public. 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.

Learn more about Karen Brunssen.

More information to come.

A Note From the Founder

Thanks to the support from our gorgeous community, we have launched Opera Edwardsville and are excited for 2019.

With the help of many generous and dedicated music lovers and community leaders, we are bringing world-class music to Edwardsville. From house concerts, programs at the High School, and performances at the Wildey in 2018, we are just getting started.

Opera Edwardsville seeks to empower audiences through exposure to bold new ideas, relevant reminders from history, foreign perspectives, and a way to connect with each other through the shared experience of live classical music.

Our first performance took place on December 22, 2018 at the Wildey Theatre. Thank you to the 350+ people who spent their evening with us, we hope you enjoyed the program.

2019 promises even more.

In June, Opera Edwardsville will be in residence at Edwardsville High School for a week-long opera workshop. It's a joy to work with young singers and I look forward to providing private voice lessons, repertoire coaching, and stagecraft with EHS Choral Director, Emily Ottwein, and pianist Dr. Joseph Welch.

In September, I'm thrilled to announce Opera Edwardsville will present a special concert with our Artistic Advisor, Christine Brewer, and pianist, Craig Terry, from the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ms. Brewer has been a great supporter of Opera Edwardsville and we are fortunate to have her as an Artistic Advisor. We are even more fortunate be presenting Ms. Brewer in recital. Based just up the road from Edwardsville in Lebanon, Illinois, Ms. Brewer has gained international acclaim for her gorgeous soprano voice. She is a Grammy Award winner, and BBC Music named her one of the top 20 sopranos of all time. Alongside this legendary soprano, we welcome Craig Terry, a pianist who can be heard in recitals around the world in collaboration with Opera's best and brightest stars. This concert is not to be missed!

In December, Opera Edwardsville will return to the Wildey Theatre for our second-annual "Christmas at the Wildey." Following the fun and success of our inaugural holiday concert in 2018, we are pleased to keep the program as a signature event in the Opera Edwardsville season. I've invited two of my best friends to join me on the stage, both incredibly talented performers and gorgeous people who you need to know and hear. Opera Edwardsville welcomes St. Louis' beloved, Julie Tabash Kelsheimer, a soprano who has dazzled audiences at Union Avenue Opera as Gretel in 'Hansel und Gretel' and has been marked as a 'Standout' by the Chicago Tribune. We also welcome Scottish Mezzo-soprano, Penelope Cousland, who will make her US debut with Opera Edwardsville. The repertoire for this concert will feature the music of Wagner, Humperdinck, and Rossini - a big contrast to the Handel-based program last year! I've named the concert "A Wagnerian Christmas" and can not wait for you to hear the music selected. Few people think of Wagner and Christmas together, but you may surprised! This concert undoubtably promises another memorable "Christmas at the Wildey" - I hope to see you there!

I'm also excited to announce a two part masterclass series as the main component of OE's educational programming. Opera Edwardsville welcomes Northwestern University Professor of Voice and President of the National Association for Teachers of Singing, Karen Brunssen. Ms. Brunssen will work for 4 days with area university and high school singers, bringing her knowledge and experience as a vocal teacher who is celebrated for her Masteclasses and lectures around the world. We are fortunate to welcome Ms. Brunssen in both September and December. Details are in the works, but will be open to the public. Come along if you're interested to know how an operatic voice is developed.

I am so grateful for the many individuals, organizations, and businesses who sponsored us in 2018, and are excited about what's in store for 2019. Stay tuned!

Thank you,

Chase Hopkins

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Special Thanks to Our 2019 Sponsors and Patrons