Winter Opera St. Louis is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide St. Louis with world-class operatic performances during the winter months. Our work features nationally and internationally known artists, performing classic operas in their original languages, with English supertitles. We also highlight local performers and strengthen the local artistic community year-round through community outreach programs and workshops. We are committed to enhancing public appreciation and support of opera in St. Louis and to preserving the beauty of this art form for generations to come.
Gina Galati, General Director
Gina Galati is the recent recipient of The Historical Society of St. Louis County’s James O’Flynn Community Service award for founding New Opera Saint Louis, now called Winter Opera St. Louis, where she serves as General Director. Gina received a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Music from Washington University and later received a Masters of Opera from the University of Kansas and earned an Artist Diploma from the Academia Verdiana in Bussetto, Italy. Ms. Galati has performed Rosina in The Barber of Seville with Winter Opera, Amici Opera and the Southern Illinois Music Festival, Musetta in La Bohéme with Witchita Grand Opera, and has performed frequently with the Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, singing Nedda in I Pagliacci, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Norina in Don Pasquale. Gina sang the role of Giorgetta in Union Avenue Opera’s production of Il Tabarro and made her Powell Symphony Hall debut in December 2008 as the soprano soloist in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the St. Louis Bach Society. Gina has performed the roles of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, Gilda in Rigoletto, Norina in Don Pasquale, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Violetta in La Traviata, Mimi in La Bohème, Baby Doe in The Ballad of Baby Doe, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor and Suzel in L’amico Fritz with Winter Opera St. Louis. In the summer of 2014, Gina sang Norina in Miami Lyric Opera’s Don Pasquale and Rosina in Opera Medellin’s Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Darwin Aquino, Music Director
Dominican conductor and composer, Mr. Aquino is seen internationally as one of the top rising Latin American artists, in both symphonic and opera fields. Aquino is enjoying a vibrant career after winning the prestigious Premio Soberano award as Successful Dominican Artist Abroad and been appointed music director for Winter Opera St. Louis. Other recent international activities includes guest conductor for the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz and Saarländisches Staatsorchester in Germany, Alfredo Saint Malo Festival in Panama and Camerata Washington Heights in New York. Aquino has been selected by the world famous Italian tenors “Il Volo” to conduct part of their Latin-American concert tour and is also music director of the Música Sacra concert series in the Dominican Republic. During the past years, Aquino has been invited to conduct the Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, FIU Opera Theater, Filarmónica Boca del Rio in Mexico, among others. Aquino also served as cover conductor for the Florida Grand Opera and Opera Naples (“Barber of Seville”, “Don Pasquale”, “Norma”, “Carmen”, “La Boheme”). The University of Missouri St. Louis has distinguished Aquino as their Director of Orchestral Studies and Washington University as their Conductor in Residence.
Gail Hintz, Collaborative Pianist
Gail Hintz holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Webster College, a master’s degree in vocal accompanying and coaching from the University of Illinois, and spent a year in Paris studying piano at the Ecole Normale de Musique. She then worked as a vocal coach/accompanist in New York City for several years, coaching singers and serving as music director/pianist for various regional opera and musical theatre companies and tours. Gail moved back to St. Louis in 1989, and currently coaches singers privately, accompanies rehearsals for the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus, plays for the Metropolitan Opera district/regional auditions in St. Louis, works on the music staff at Eliot Unitarian Chapel, and enjoys free-lance accompanying work at St. Joseph Academy, Winter Opera Saint Louis, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and The Muny. Gail’s older son, Alex, is a business major at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and younger son, Eric, is beginning his studies in paramedicine and fire science at Eastern Kentucky University.
Italian mezzo soprano Benedetta Orsi has been praised by Teresa Berganza as “perfect voice for belcanto”. She is one of the 2018 nominee for Outstanding Achievement in Opera by St. Louis Theater Circle for her Carmen at Winter Opera St. Louis, reviewed by Broadway Opera World: “Benedetta Orsi has a quite breathtakingly beautiful voice, full and rich, with such easily accessed resources of power. She gives us a simply perfect “Habanera”. Along with concert appearances at Carnegie Hall in NYC and throughout Italy, England, United States and Spain, Ms. Orsi’s performance credits include roles in Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux, Carmen, Rigoletto, Un Ballo in Maschera, Cavalleria Rusticana, L’Italiana in Algeri, La Sonnambula, Werther, Il Turco in Italia and Il Trovatore. Benedetta is excited to join Winter Opera St. Louis as chorus master for the season 2018-2019 and as Adalgisa in Norma. She’s been selected as one of the YA of Women’s Hope Chorale.
Sarah Browdy, Orchestra Personnel Manager
Sarah Browdy, a native St. Louisan, started her violin education at the age of five and ultimately earned a degree in music from the University of Missouri. She earned many accolades and scholarships along the way, gaining an extensive education in orchestral and small ensemble performance. Ms. Browdy maintains a violin studio at Teipen Performing Arts, where she focuses on the well-rounded education of her students. Sarah has performed with many organizations including the Illinois Symphony, Owensboro Symphony, Chamber Project-St. Louis, The Fabulous Fox, in addition to numerous groups and orchestras. Ms. Browdy is the owner and contractor of Serenade St. Louis, a service that provides elegant music for many types of occasions. She has been managing and playing with the group since 2011. The Zafira Quartet is Ms. Browdy’s most recent team project. Founded in 2016, The Zafira Quartet is a dynamic and exploratory string ensemble that performs on electric and acoustic instruments. The group pushes the limits of the traditional string quartet by layering and sound sculpting with the use of electronic effects and genre-bending collaborations. You can find members of the quartet playing in the pit with Winter Opera. Sarah has been contracting and managing the Winter Opera orchestra since Season Six and performing since Season Four. Ms. Browdy believes in the rising potential of Winter Opera and is excited for the spectacular seasons to come.