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2020 Festival Season

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis announces the complete repertory for the 2020 Festival Season, which will run May 23 – June 28, 2020. In addition to the previously announced world premiere of Tobias Picker and Aryeh Lev Stollman’s Awakenings, the season will also present three exciting new productions of celebrated operas: Bizet’s gripping opera Carmen, Strauss’ effervescent comedy Die Fledermaus, and the long-awaited company premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, which features the directorial return of Patricia Racette. The annual Center Stage concert — a one-night-only audience favorite — takes place on June 23, highlighting the talented singers in OTSL’s nationally lauded young artist programs.

The Grammy Award-winning St. Louis Symphony Orchestra joins Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as its resident orchestra, with the 2020 season marking the 43rd year of this partnership. All performances are sung in English with projected titles.

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May 23, 29, June 4, 6(m), 10, 14, 17(m), 24, 27

By Georges Bizet
Free, rebellious, and elusive to all admirers, Carmen is the most desired woman in Seville. When she sets her sights on the corporal Don José, a passionate love affair between the two is briefly ignited. But nothing can pin Carmen down for too long, and when she leaves José for the handsome toreador Escamillo, a twisted love triangle ensues that spells doom for the femme fatale. Carmen’s dark portrayal of love, jealousy, and freedom has cemented its place as one of the most performed operas in the canon.

Major production support is provided by the William T. Kemper Foundation and Commerce Trust Company.

Die Fledermaus

May 30, June 3, 12, 18, 20(m), 24(m), 28

By Johann Strauss II
Prince Orlovsky is holding the hottest party in town, and everyone is determined to get an invitation. Man-about-town Eisenstein sneaks out for one last hurrah before serving a short jail sentence, and his friend Falke uses the opportunity to get revenge for an old practical joke. However, Eisenstein’s wife Rosalinde and her maid Adele also have plans, and a harmless prank quickly turns into a series of mistaken identities, flubbed French, and over-the-top flirtations. However the evening ends, one thing’s for sure — you can blame it on the champagne!


June 7, 11, 13(m), 20, 26

WORLD PREMIERE from Tobias Picker & Aryeh Lev Stollman
Awakenings, based on the book by Dr. Oliver Sacks, tells the true story of his astounding treatment of survivors of the great sleeping-sickness pandemic, encephalitis lethargica, which swept across the globe in the early twentieth century. Thousands of victims lived on, left immobile like living statues. In the late 1960s, by experimenting with the drug L-DOPA used to treat Parkinson’s Disease, Dr. Sacks began to “awaken” these patients — men and women who had never stopped thinking or feeling — temporarily bringing them back to an active and engaged life.

Made possible in part by the Fred M. Saigh Endowment at Opera Theatre and by the Sally S. Levy Family Fund for New Works, which provides support for contemporary opera and related community engagement activities.

Leadership support comes from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the production is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Audience development programming for this project is made possible by PNC Arts Alive.


June 13, 17, 19, 21, 25, 27(m)

By Carlisle Floyd
Based on the apocryphal story of Susanna and the Elders in the biblical Book of Daniel, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah is one of the most celebrated American operas performed today. The young and beautiful Susannah lives with her brother in the small religious community of New Valley, Tennessee. Susannah is discovered bathing in a stream by church elders, who spread salacious rumors about her. As gossip circulates, the community ostracizes and abuses her, setting into action a series of events that shake the foundation of her world. Susannah tells a fraught and resonant coming-of-age story in the American Appalachia.

Made possible in part with a leadership gift from the Whitaker Foundation.

Center Stage Concert

June 23

A Young Artist Showcase
OTSL’s annual Center Stage concert returns for one night only, featuring the talents of the Gerdine Young Artists and Gaddes Festival Artists of the 2020 Festival Season. Among the most selective of young artist programs in the country, Opera Theatre handpicks these talented young singers from an annual pool of more than 1,000 applicants across the US.

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