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Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Unveils Milestone 50th Season in 2025, Including the Company’s 44th World Premiere

ST. LOUIS, June 11, 2024 – Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) announced repertory and celebrations for a landmark 50th season in 2025, celebrating five decades of artistic innovation and discovery since the company’s founding in 1976.

OTSL’s 50th Festival Season officially kicks off on May 8, 2025 with a Spring Gala chaired by Noémi K. Neidorff. The event, hosted on the grounds of the Sally S. Levy Opera Center, will celebrate all those who have shaped the first 50 years of OTSL, including a special posthumous tribute to founding general director, Richard Gaddes. Following that event, the annual free concert Our Songs invites the St. Louis community to join the anniversary celebration. Led by and featuring artists of the 2025 Festival Season, this concert celebrates diverse musical lineages and transcends genres to embrace deeper connection and inspiration.

The 2025 Festival Season opens on May 24, 2025 with Johann Strauss II’s effervescent Die Fledermaus, which has not been seen at Opera Theatre since 1989. The season continues with the company’s 44th world premiere, This House, with music by Ricky Ian Gordon and libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage and her daughter Ruby Aiyo Gerber. Next, Opera Theatre will present an all-new staging of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale — the very first opera that the company ever performed. Britten’s enchanting adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream rounds out the season. In addition to four mainstage productions, Opera Theatre will continue to present the annual young artist showcase, Center Stage. This concert shines a spotlight on the members of OTSL’s highly selective Young Artist Programs, accompanied onstage by members of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights include:

  • Spring Gala celebrating OTSL’s 50th Anniversary and Founding General Director Richard Gaddes
  • This House Opera Theatre’s 44th world premiere, with music by Ricky Ian Gordon and libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage and Ruby Aiyo Gerber
  • Our Songs an artist-led concert
  • Year-round events celebrating special partnerships across the St. Louis region
  • 2025 Season Lineup

Opera Theatre’s celebration of its 50th anniversary will continue beyond the 2025 Festival Season, with a year of programming that will highlight the invaluable community partnerships that have been key to OTSL’s success. Never a company to stick to tradition, Opera Theatre’s long list of collaborators includes not only other regional arts leaders (such as the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jazz St. Louis, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, Saint Louis Dance Theatre, Saint Louis Art Museum, and CAM) but also a wide range of civic institutions that contribute to the vitality of St. Louis (including Webster University, Arts & Faith St. Louis, OCA, Washington University, the Urban League, the Diversity Awareness Partnership, and Missouri History Museum).

“We’re so excited to be celebrating Opera Theatre’s 50th season,” said General Director Andrew Jorgensen. This is an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on all that we have accomplished in our first fifty years, from bringing dozens of new operas to the stage, launching hundreds of careers, and impacting countless lives through the power of opera — and to celebrate everyone in our community who has been part of this journey and made our work possible. As we mark this moment, we’re also looking forward to our next fifty years and to a bright future. We have a great lineup planned for our 50th season, and we’re making exciting artistic plans that we can’t wait to share with our community. Even as we celebrate our first fifty years, I truly believe that the best is yet to come.”

2025 Spring Gala
Thursday, May 8, 2025 

 Opera Theatre’s Spring Gala will take place on the grounds of the Sally S. Levy Opera Center on May 8, 2025, chaired by Noémi Neidorff. This annual event raises funds in support of accessible arts experiences for all ages, living wages for artists in the OTSL community, and OTSL performances that consistently bring acclaim to St. Louis. This special evening will honor Opera Theatre’s founders, particularly the company’s first General Director Richard Gaddes, and will feature musical performances by artists from the 2025 Festival Season. 

Our Songs
Saturday, May 10, 2025 

 The community concert Our Songs returns on May 10, 2025 at Third Baptist Church in Grand Center. A regular part of OTSL’s Festival Season since 2021, Our Songs centers artist-driven programming by selecting a guest curator to craft a musical homage to the people and stories that have shaped them. Previous artist-curators have included baritone Will Liverman, soprano Nicole Cabell, singer and writer Adrienne Danrich, composer Damien Sneed, and baritone Justin Austin, with themes spanning Juneteenth to the Freedom Riders to the melting pot of America.  

2025 Festival Season

May 24 – June 29, 2025


OTSL’s 2025 Festival Season will run from May 24 – June 29, 2025 at Webster University’s Loretto-Hilton Center, which has been the company’s home since 1976. Every opera will be accompanied by members of the Grammy Award-winning St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in the 48th year of this landmark partnership between two leading St. Louis arts institutions. As always, patrons will be invited to enjoy the vibrant social atmosphere that OTSL is known for, from pre-show picnics in the lush David W. Mesker Gardens to complimentary champagne toasts in the company’s iconic green-and-white tents after each show’s opening night, where audience members and artists alike can gather to mingle and celebrate.

Johann Strauss II
May 24, 30, June 4, 7 (mat), 15, 19, 28


Prince Orlofsky is throwing the costume party of the century, and everyone is determined to be there. Dr. Falke invites his friend Eisenstein for a gentleman’s night out on the town. Little do they know that Eisenstein’s wife, Rosalinde, and her maid, Adele, each have their own mischievous plans. What starts as a harmless prank soon escalates into an epic battle of the sexes, filled with disguises, flirtations, and comedic deceptions. No matter how the evening ends, one thing is for sure you can blame it on the champagne!


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Conductor: George Manahan
Stage Director: Shawna Lucey
Set and Costume Designer: Robert Innes Hopkins
Lighting Designer: Eric Southern


Rosalinde: Sara Gartland
Adele: Deanna Breiwick
Prince Orlofsky: Kelsey Lauritano
Alfred: Joshua Blue
Eisenstein: Edward Nelson
Dr. Falke: Johnathan McCullough

Ricky Ian Gordon, Lynn Nottage, and Ruby Aiyo Gerber 
May 31, June 5, 11, 13, 21 (mat), 29 


A house is more than four walls and a roof — it is a keeper of memories and a witness to legacy. The Walker family has lived in the same Harlem brownstone since the 1920s, and they have fought hard to keep what they have. When Zoe returns home after many years away, she asks her mother Ida and her brother Lindon to let her renovate the dilapidated building. But Ida and Lindon cannot let go of the past. The house is their whole world, and every room is full of ghostly voices and painful memories. As hidden truths about the family’s legacy come to light, Zoe begins to realize that the secrets harbored within these walls are deeper and more profound than she ever dared to imagine.


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Conductor: Daniela Candillari 
Stage Director: James Robinson
Set Designer: Allen Moyer
Costume Designer: Montana Levi Blanco

Video Designer: Greg Emetaz
Lighting Designer: Marcus Doshi


Zoe: Briana Hunter
Ida: Adrienne Danrich
Lindon: Justin Austin
Thomas: Christian Pursell
Milton: Sankara Harouna
Lucy: Aundi Marie Moore
Uncle Percy: Christian Mark Gibbs
Young Ida: Brandie Inez Sutton
Beulah: Krysty Swann

Leadership support for This House comes from the Whitaker Foundation.

This House is made possible in part by the Fred M. Saigh Endowment at Opera Theatre.

Daniela Candillari’s engagement is made possible with generous support from Kim & Tim Eberlein.

Gaetano Donizetti
June 8, 12, 14 (mat), 21, 25, 27


Lifelong bachelor Don Pasquale is livid when his heir, Ernesto, falls for a penniless widow. Determined to teach him a lesson, Don Pasquale decides to disown Ernesto, marry, and produce a new heir himself. Enter Norina, Ernesto’s love, and her crafty friend Dr. Malatesta. They trick Pasquale into a fake marriage, with Norina posing as the picture-perfect bride. But before the ink on the marriage contract is even dry, Norina unleashes her inner spitfire, turning Pasquale’s tidy world riotously upside down.


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Conductor: Kensho Watanabe
Stage Director: Christopher Alden
Set and Costume Designer: Marsha Ginsberg
Lighting Designer: Eric Southern


Don Pasquale: Patrick Carfizzi
Norina: Sydney Mancasola
Ernesto: Charles Sy
Dr. Malatesta: Kyle Miller

Benjamin Britten
June 14, 18, 20, 22, 26, 28 (mat) 


When fairies and mortals cross paths, mayhem is sure to follow. Fairy king Oberon and his queen Tytania are locked in a quarrel when a group of unhappy young lovers wanders into their forest. Oberon dispatches the mischievous sprite Puck to resolve the young lovers’ strife with the help of a magical elixir… but when Puck applies that elixir to the wrong people, chaos erupts across the forest. The young paramours enter a dark and surreal dream world where plans of revenge go hand-in-hand with seduction. Britten’s hypnotizing score sets the perfect atmosphere for this journey into love’s absurdities.


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Conductor: Leonard Slatkin
Stage Director: Tim Albery
Set and Costume Designer: Emma Kingsbury
Lighting Designer: Marcus Doshi


Tytania: Jana McIntyre
Helena: Teresa Perrotta
Hermia: Jennifer Johnson Cano
Demetrius: Ian Rucker
Bottom: Ben Brady

A Young Artist Showcase
June 24 


This sensational event shines a spotlight on Opera Theatre’s Richard Gaddes Festival Artist and Gerdine Young Artist Programs, as these rising opera stars perform iconic melodies from opera’s greatest hits and cherished rarities. Center Stage is curated by famed soprano Patricia Racette, who has also served as Opera Theatre’s Artistic Director of Young Artist Programs since 2019. Opera Theatre is known for launching the careers of many major opera stars, including Jamie Barton, Lawrence Brownlee, Christine Goerke, Erin Morley, Paula Murrihy, Matthew Polenzani, Morris Robinson, Michael Spyres, Russell Thomas, and many more. 


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Conductor: Daniela Candillari
Curator: Patricia Racette

Patricia Racette’s engagement is made possible with generous support from Tim & Robin Wentworth.


Season subscriptions for the 2025 Festival Season are now available and offer savings of up to 15% off regular tickets, in addition to other exclusive benefits!

Regular tickets for individual performances will go on sale October 28.

Order a Season Package

To learn more, call the OTSL Box Office at (314) 961-0644.

About Opera Theatre of Saint Louis 

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is a spring festival featuring casts of exciting, rising opera singers accompanied by the acclaimed St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Each season, OTSL presents four compelling new productions in English during the months of May and June. In addition to staging innovative interpretations of classics, OTSL is also committed to premiering new and reviving relevant operas by prominent composers; by the company’s 50th season, Opera Theatre will have staged 44 world premieres. The company’s competitive young artist programs foster the next generation of emerging singers; these programs have been a springboard for countless artists to launch international careers. Beyond its Festival Season, Opera Theatre provides year-round programming and educational initiatives that reach over 80,000 people in St. Louis and beyond annually. OTSL is led by General Director Andrew Jorgensen and Artistic Director James Robinson, in collaboration with Artistic Director of Young Artist Programs Patricia Racette and Principal Conductor Daniela Candillari.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, and the Regional Arts Commission. Opera Theatre gratefully acknowledges Webster University for its sustaining partnership.


About the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra 

Celebrated as a leading American orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra is the second-oldest orchestra in the country, marking its 145th year with the 2024/2025 season and its sixth with Music Director Stéphane Denève. The SLSO maintains its commitment to artistic excellence, educational impact, and community collaborations, honoring its mission of enriching lives through the power of music. The SLSO has served as the resident orchestra for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for more than 45 years and enjoys a long history of robust and enduring artistic collaborations with individuals and organizations locally and around the world.      

The SLSO serves as a convener of individuals, creators, and ideas, and is committed to building community through compelling and inclusive musical experiences. As it continues its longstanding focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, and access, the SLSO embraces its strengths as a responsive, nimble organization, while investing in partnerships locally and elevating its presence globally. For more information, visit