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Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Announces 2nd Annual Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation Prize

St. Louis, MO – Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is pleased to announce that baritone Aubrey Allicock will be this year’s recipient of the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation Prize, which recognizes extraordinary artistic potential in early-career artists and provides support for their continued artistic and professional development. Mr. Allicock was selected by a committee of Opera Theatre’s leadership as the artist from the 2012 Season with the greatest potential to make a significant contribution to the art form of opera. He receives a $10,000 cash prize, which may be applied to expenses that will further his artistic and professional growth.

The award is a key component of the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation Young Artist Education and Development Programs at OTSL, which were named in recognition of a $2 million gift from The Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation in 2010. This gift helps endow OTSL’s acclaimed commitment to nurturing the careers of “stars of tomorrow,” both on stage and off stage, through professional development programs. Opera Theatre counts among its alumni some of the most celebrated names in opera internationally, including singers Christine Brewer, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, Patricia Racette, Thomas Hampson, Jerry Hadley, Dawn Upshaw, Sylvia McNair, Erie Mills, Dwayne Croft, Kelly Kaduce, and Lawrence Brownlee.

The Foundation’s gift helps support the Gerdine Young Artist program, which offers training and experience to early-career singers, as well as the Emerson Behind the Curtain program, which offers similar opportunities to backstage artisans. More than 60 of the country’s finest emerging singers, technicians, and administrators participate in these OTSL professional development programs, among several others, each year.

“Aubrey Allicock is an artist with a gorgeous voice and rare dramatic gifts. His first season with Opera Theatre was my first as general director, so it’s been a thrill to watch him grow from a Gerdine Young Artist in our chorus to become a leading baritone at our company and elsewhere. He has a big future ahead, and we are privileged to help him achieve it thanks to the generosity of the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation.”

Mr. O’Leary awarded The Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation Prize to Mr. Allicock at a luncheon that took place at the Sally S. Levy Opera Center on February 22, 2013.

About the Mabel Dorn Reeder Foundation 

Mabel L. Purkerson, MD., Trustee.Mabel Dorn Reeder (1908-2007) was committed to creating a better world for future generations, by giving financially to worthy causes. From McCormick, South Carolina, she was the daughter of a prominent businessman and state senator. Her background enabled her to attend Greenville Women’s College and pursue graduate studies at Columbia University. “She was my namesake and role model because she embodied many of the things I thought I’d like to do in life,” explains Mabel L. Purkerson, M.D., professor emerita of medicine and the niece of Ms. Reeder. Dr. Purkerson is co-trustee of the Foundation and makes allocations honoring Ms. Reeder’s passion for music, education, photography, animals, travel, and history.

About Aubrey Allicock

Aubrey Allicock began his professional operatic career in 2009 as a member of Opera Theatre’s Gerdine Young Artist program. In 2010, he joined the roster at the Metropolitan Opera, covering the roles of Astarotte in Armida and Marullo in Rigoletto, and he returned to the Gerdine Young Artist program, singing Zaretsky in Eugene Onegin. He joined Opera Theatre as a principal artist in 2011, singing the role of Mamoud in The Death of Klinghoffer, a performance hailed by the New York Times as ‘striking’ and ‘riveting,’ and has since performed with the company as the Mad Hatter in the American premiere of Alice in Wonderland in 2012. Mr. Allicock is currently an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student at the Juilliard School and is the recipient of the Richard Gaddes Fund for Young Singers as well as a Sullivan Foundation Grant winner. A native of Tuscon, Arizona, he received his Bachelors of Music from Grand Canyon University in 2006, and his Masters of Music from Indiana University in 2009.

About Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is one of the leading American opera companies, known for a spring festival of inventive new productions, sung in English, featuring the finest American singers and accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony. As of 2012 Opera Theatre has presented 22 world premieres and 23 American premieres – which may be the highest percentage of new work in the repertory of any U.S. company. Described by The Sunday Times of London as “one of the few American companies worth the transatlantic fare,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis annually welcomes visitors from nearly every state and close to a dozen foreign countries. Although the size of the theater typically limits box office income to less than a quarter of the budget, the company has consistently produced work of the highest quality while never accumulating a deficit.

Opera Theatre also has a long tradition of discovering and promoting the careers of the finest operatic artists of the current generation. Among the artists who had important earlyopportunities at Opera Theatre are Christine Brewer, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, Patricia Racette, Thomas Hampson, Jerry Hadley, Dawn Upshaw, Sylvia McNair, Erie Mills, Dwayne Croft, Kelly Kaduce, and Lawrence Brownlee. Opera Theatre has always been known for distinguished leadership: founding general director Richard Gaddes was succeeded in 1985 by general director Charles MacKay, with famed British stage director Colin Graham as artistic director and Stephen Lord (1992 – present) as music director. Timothy O’Leary was named general director in October 2008 with acclaimed stage director James Robinson succeeding Colin Graham. For more information, visit


 Opera Theatre gratefully acknowledges season presenting sponsor Wells Fargo Advisors.


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.