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Opera Theatre Subscription Sales Buck National Trends with 8.1% Growth in 2014

St. Louis, MO, June 17, 2014 – With two weeks remaining of the Wells Fargo Advisors 2014 Festival Season, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) reports a marked increase in subscription sales, in contrast to trends for classical music and opera around the country. Subscription revenue and attendance are both up 8.1%, making 2014 the company’s highest grossing subscription season in five years. With 17.5% of all subscriber households new in 2014, the volume of subscriptions from first-time subscribers is the company’s second highest in its recent history.

One of the key factors in this growth is Opera Theatre’s Young Friends program. Subscriptions to the program have grown 93% over the last two years. All four Young Friends events offered during the 2014 Season sold out, as did a pre-season event with Isaac Mizrahi held at the Contemporary Art Museum. The Young Friends events for The Magic Flute and “27” sold out exclusively through subscription purchases two months in advance of each performance. Further engagement with Generation X and Generation Y audiences continues to grow through Opera Theatre’s social media programs, including two “Tweet Seats” events offered earlier this season. On the day of the program for The Magic Flute, the volume of “live tweets” generated during the performance made the opera’s hashtag (#otslflute) the #3 trending topic on Twitter in the St. Louis region. In total, over 3 million potential Twitter impressions resulted from the two “Tweet Seats” performances. Recognizing the growing demand for subscriptions, Opera Theatre will expand the number of its subscription offerings in 2015, adding a four-opera Saturday matinee subscription series for the first time in the company’s history.

Opera Theatre is fortunate to be supported by a generous community and a gung-ho, adventurous audience,” said Opera Theatre’s general director Timothy O’Leary. “We are encouraged by the growth of subscription audiences, which represent the cornerstone of our support. We look forward to continuing to offer our audience a forward-looking mix of classics along with the new and unexpected, such as this season’s acclaimed world premiere, “27” by Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek. We are so grateful to our board and the devoted Opera Theatre family for making it all possible.”

Subscriptions and single tickets can still be purchased for the current critically-acclaimed season at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, featuring Isaac Mizrahi’s new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, the romantic comedy The Elixir of Love, the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s “27,” and the heartbreaking Dialogues of the Carmelites with a four-opera “compose your own” flex subscription. Two-opera matinee subscriptions are also available for Wednesdays or Saturdays at 1 p.m. Subscriptions to the 2015 Festival Season are also currently available at the Opera Theatre box office, including the new four-opera Saturday matinee series. All handling fees are waived on 2015 subscriptions purchased during the current season. Visit www.ExperienceOpera.org for more information or to purchase.

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.  With the launch of the 2014 season, Opera Theatre has presented 24 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, Lawrence Brownlee, Jamie Barton, Corinne Winters, Anthony Dean Griffey, and Christine Goerke.  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 ExperienceOpera.org.

 Opera Theatre gratefully acknowledges 2014 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.

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