Union Avenue Opera’s 2016 Festival Season FY18 Missouri Arts Council Grant Submission — ADS00081

“The Mikado”

July 8, 9, 15 & 16

“[A] sparkling production…featuring superb singing, solid comic acting, and eye-pleasing sets and costumes…very polished and tremendously entertaining take on one of the classics of comic opera.” — KDHX.org
Upper — Drake Dantzler (Naki-Poo) and E. Scott Levin (Pooh-Bah); Lower Left — Gina Malone (Peep-Bo), Elise LaBarge (Pitti-Sing), and Karina Brazas (Yum-Yum); Lower Right — The bride and bridesmaids
“This is certainly one of the finest — if not the finest — of the many beautiful productions I’ve enjoyed at Union Avenue over the past twenty-one years. Excellence pervades all aspects of the show-from beautiful voices and orchestra, to strong acting ability, to world-class comic talents; from its fine and detailed set to quite perfect period costumes and beautifully theatrical lighting. The production values in this Mikado are superb. Stage director Eric Gibson has done wonders in cleverly managing his large cast on this lovely set.” — BroadwayWorld.com
Melissa Parks (Katisha), Drake Dantzler (Nanki Poo)
“The best performance of the evening was mezzo-soprano Melissa Parks’ star turn as Katisha, the Mikado’s forbidding daughter-in-law-elect. Parks is a big woman with a big voice, great comic timing and spot-on diction. We’ll be hearing more from her.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Karina Brazas (Yum-Yum) and Drake Dantzler (Nanki-Poo)

“TOSCA”

July 29, 30, August 5 & 6

“…[A] powerful presentation of one of the world’s most popular music dramas. [Elena O’Connor as Tosca] filled the room with singing that was astonishing in its intensity.…The orchestra conducted by Stephen Hargreaves sounded especially lush and full-bodied.…” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Elena O'Connor (Tosca)
Mathew Edwardsen (Cavaradossi), Elena O'Connor (Tosca), Neil Nelson (Scarpia)
“[Elena O’Connor as Tosca] was a force to be reckoned with onstage.…While O’Connor was indeed the warranted main attraction of Union Avenue’s staging of Puccini’s seminal opera, the diversity represented in the production didn’t end with her. In fact, three of the four leading performers were minorities.” — STL American

Neil Nelson (Scarpia)

“Uniformity of achievement is the hallmark of Union Avenue Opera’s excellent staging of Tosca…a superbly dramatic production.” — Two on the Aisle

“Doubt”

August 19, 20, 26 & 27

Christine Brewer (Sister Aloysius) and Elise Quagliata (Sister James)

Debra Hillabrand (Mrs. Deakins), Wes Mason (Father Flynn)

“This production was music drama at its best” — Two on the Aisle
“Our beloved Union Avenue Opera has captured a lovely prize…. Scott Schoonover leads his large group of singers and musicians into a perfect performance of this most interesting new work….You will think about this opera and the dramatic questions it raises long after you leave the theater. It’s a compelling work.” — BroadwayWorld.com

Christine Brewer (Sister Aloysius)

“…[A] richly executed presentation led by internationally renowned soprano Christine Brewer in the pivotal role of Sister Aloysius. Tautly directed and wonderfully sung, Doubt is a rousing success that demonstrates Union Avenue Opera’s considerable depth and ability to take artistic risks under artistic director Scott Schoonover.” — Ladue News
Elise Quagliata (Sister James) and Christine Brewer (Sister Aloysius)
Upper Left — Elise Quagliata (Sister James) and Christine Brewer (Sister Aloysius); Melody Wilson (Mrs. Miller) and Christine Brewer (Sister Aloysius); Lower Photo — Wes Mason (Father Flynn)
“It’s one of the best things UAO has done.… Christine Brewer displayed commanding stage presence to go with one of the worlds greatest voices… Melody Wilson [as Mrs. Miller] has a rich voice and great acting chops…. Elise Quagliata brought her well-produced mezzo and formidable dramatic skills to the role of Sister James…. Wes Mason was winning and sang beautifully as Father Flynn…. Director Tim Ocel is a theatrical treasure…. Scott Schoonover led the musicians of the cast and orchestra with style, accuracy and élan.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Wes Mason (Father Flynn), Elise Quagliata (Sister James), Christine Brewer (Sister Aloysius)

Created By
O. Dan Smith
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