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Opera Theatre Announces Casting Change for 2011 Production of Pelléas and Mélisande

for immediate release — February 23, 2011

Contacts: Linda Schulte, Manager for Media Relations,, (314) 963-4225
Maggie Stearns, National Press Representative,


St. Louis, MO — Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has announced that soprano Kelly Kaduce will not perform as scheduled in the title role of the June 2011 production of Pelléas and Mélisande because she and her husband, baritone Lee Gregory, are expecting their first child in early July.  Pelléas and Mélisande runs for six performances from June 5 to June 24.  Opera Theatre’s management and Ms. Kaduce decided together that it is not possible to incorporate such a late stage of pregnancy into the production, given the nearness of the performances to her due date.

“Kelly is about the most courageous artist in the world,” said Timothy O’Leary, Opera Theatre’s General Director, “so I know that she was game to take on this very physically demanding role even into the final month of her pregnancy!  When we talked it through with the stage director adn Kelly, though, it just didn’t seem like it would be worth the potential risks.”

“It is with both joy and sadness that I must withdraw from Pelléas and Mélisande due to the happy event of my pregnancy,” Kaduce said, “I was looking forward to returning to St. Louis in this role, one that I have wanted to sing for several years.  I’m sorry to miss out on the chance to perform for St. Louis fans this spring and I look forward to returning in future seasons.”

Ms. Kaduce has become a favorite of St. Louis audiences in recent seasons through sell-out performances in the title roles of Salome, Madame Butterfly, Anna Karenina, and several others.  Other credits include acclaimed performances in New York, Santa Fe, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Miami, Denver, Malmö, Santiago, and many more.  She is scheduled to appear in both the 2013 and 2014 seasons at Opera Theatre.  Mr. Gregory has also appeared in recent Opera Theatre seasons, most recently as Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm in the 2010 production of A Little Night Music. 

“We are thrilled for Kelly and Lee,” said Timothy O’Leary, “even as we are heartbroken that we’ll now have to wait until 2013 to experience another of Kelly’s unforgettable performances.  It was, in fact, her breathtaking portrayal in Salome that inspired us to plan this production of Pelléas.  The main thing, though, is that this is such a happy event for two extraordinary and wonderful people.  We can’t wait to meet their new addition, who will have enviable genes.”

An announcement of the new casting for Mélisande along with further details on Opera Theatre’s production will be forthcoming.  Ms. Kaduce had also planned to appear in a concert for the Missouri Chamber Music Festival in June, new casting for which will also be announced shortly. 

Wells Fargo Advisors is the presenting sponsor of Opera Theatre’s 2011 season.
Opera Theatre is a sustaining member of the Arts and Education Council of Greater Saint Louis, and receives major support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Missouri Arts Council.