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Blog Post: March 18, 2023

How to OTSL: A User’s Guide to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

A night at OTSL is so much more than just seeing a show! Whether you’re new to opera, or new to our festival, you will have a great time at these offerings before and after the show. Here are a few helpful tips on how to make the most of your visit. We hope you have a fabulous time!

Sip and Savor a Pre-Show Picnic

Enjoy open-air dining in our beautiful David W. Mesker Festival Gardens, surrounded by your fellow opera fans. Seating is first come, first served — no reservations required!

Pre-order one of our picnic boxes (prepared by Ces & Judy’s Catering) for a delicious meal waiting for you at the Gardens. Just visit or call the Box Office at (314) 961-0644 by 4:00 p.m. the day before your show to place an order. How easy is that? If you have the picnic thing down to an art, you’re also welcome to bring your own food and beverages!

The David W. Mesker Festival Gardens are made possible by the Gateway Foundation.


Prepare with Opera Previews

Do you love music and history as much as we do? One hour before every performance, a member of OTSL’s music staff delivers an informal 20-minute presentation on the opera you are about to see. These free previews are perfect for both the opera newcomer and the experienced veteran. Join us in the Community Music Hall just next to the theater! Check out the Opera Preview recording of our 2021 production of Highway 1, U.S.A.!

Previews are generously underwritten by Mary Susman & Tom Herm.

Enjoy Opera in English

No need to brush up on your German or Italian! Since our founding in 1976, all our operas have been performed in English. They’re also accompanied by projected supertitles, so you’ll never miss a second of the drama. Plus, in an intimate theater of just 987 seats, you’re never far away from the heart of the action.

Raise a Glass After the Performance

Meet the singers under the stars! After the performance is over, the entire audience is invited to join the cast for cocktails under the tent. Return to our candlelit gardens to meet your favorite singer, enjoy another round, and discuss the show with your friends. Everyone is welcome!