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St. Louis students to compete for $12,000 in scholarships in Annual Spring Recital

Opera Theatre’s Monsanto Artists-in-Training Program will hold annual recital on

Sunday, April 21 at the Sheldon Concert Hall


WHAT:          The 23 talented high school singers in the Monsanto Artists-in-Training program will perform in their final recital of the year, competing for $12,000 in scholarships. Erie Mills, renowned Metropolitan Opera soprano and OTSL English Diction Specialist, will adjudicate the competition. Ruth Ezell, of the Nine Network, will serve as host.


WHEN:          3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 21, 2013


WHERE:        Sheldon Concert Hall at Grand Center

3648 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108


COST:            Free and open to the public


About Opera Theatre’s Monsanto Artists-in-Training Program

Opera Theatre’s Monsanto Artists-in-Training program offers nine months of college-level voice lessons on university campuses to twenty-three high school students in the St. Louis community. The program was recognized as one of ten outstanding programs for youth in the nation by the President’s Committee for the Arts and the Humanities at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C. Four alumni of the AIT program are in the midst of professional singing careers which have taken them to performing venues throughout the U.S. and overseas.  They include tenor Jermaine Smith (1991), mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen (1994), baritone Robert McNichols (1995), and soprano Jennifer Sheehan (2003).  Last season, alumna Kendall Gladen made OTSL history by being the first AIT graduate to sing a title role on Opera Theatre’s main stage in a production of Carmen. Artists-in-Training is supported by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, which has been the principal underwriter since the program’s inception.


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 early opportunities 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


About Monsanto Fund


The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a not–for–profit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at


Opera Theatre gratefully acknowledges 2013 season presenting sponsor Wells Fargo Advisors

Opera Theatre is a sustaining member of the Arts & 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.