Winter Opera St Louis
Past Seasons

Past Seasons

Season 15

Broadway World – Steve Callahan

“Such astonishing voices! Winter Opera, in St. Louis, has been offering splendid singers for 15 seasons now. But I’ve never heard more brilliant voices than those flourished by the cast in Winter Opera’s latest production, Giacomo Puccini’s MADAMA BUTTERFLY. These are of truly Olympian quality.”

St. Louis Post Dispatch – Fred Blumenthal

“Among the singers, the two male protagonists stood out: Pinkereton, sung by tenor Jonathan Kaufman, and Sharpless, the US Counsel, sung by baritone Michael Nansel. Both had magnificent voices and more than enough power to be understood by the orchestra. Kaufman, with his girth and great skill in long-held highs, is reminiscent of Luciano Pavarotti.”


Broadway World – Steve Callahan

“The level of excellence is so uniform that it’s hard to pick favorites, but I must especially commend Tyler Putnam (Grand Inquisitor), Priscilla Salisbury (Casilda) and Angela Christine Smith (the Duchess).Andrew Pardini and Alexander Scheurmann do splendid work as the two brother gondoliers, as do Holly Janz and Lauren Nash Silberstein as their brides. Gary Moss (a St. Louis favorite) makes the Duke a comic gem, and Clark Sturdevant is excellent (as always) as Luiz (the true Crown Prince). Every supporting role is filled with solid talent: Alexandra Billhartz, Janelle Pierce, Emily Moore are peasant girls, Thomas Taylor, Joel Rogier and Jason Mallory are gondoliers, and Stephanie Mossinghoff is the old nurse who knows the critical secret. (Miss Billhartz, by the way, has the very face of a G&S maiden: lofted delicate brows that express a perpetual delighted surprise.)”


Winter Opera’s 15th Season begins with the first annual Holiday Extravaganza on December 4. This holiday celebration welcomes in the festive winter season with holiday classics and opera favorites, including selections from The Nutcracker and Act II of La Bohème, from baritone Michael Nansel and soprano Megan Barrera. A local children’s chorus adds angelic voices to the sounds of the season and Ballet 314 will take the stage for a memorable ballet performance. Scott Schoonover, a St. Louis native and Winter Opera veteran, will conduct. The season begins with the Winter Opera’s first annual Holiday Extravaganza on December 4. This holiday celebration welcomes in the festive winter season with holiday classics and opera favorites, including selections from The Nutcracker and Act II of La Bohème, from baritone Michael Nansel and soprano Megan Barrera. A local children’s chorus adds angelic voices to the sounds of the season and Ballet 314 will take the stage for a memorable ballet performance. Scott Schoonover, a St. Louis native and Winter Opera veteran, will conduct.

Season 14

Ladue News – Mark Bretz

Stage director Galati moved her baker’s dozen of performers deftly during the 45-minute work, highlighted by Karen Kanakis, whose soaring soprano took advantage of the new building’s acoustics to deliver an affecting performance in the title role. Kanakis not only demonstrated her beautiful voice but also handled the acting elements of the tragedy with aplomb. There also was superb work by Nora Teipen as the Princess and Erin Haupt as the Abbess, each of whom richly showcased their own vocal talents. The all-St. Louis and all-female cast included Emily Moore, Sarah Pistorius, Kat Rubush, Holley Sherwood, Journee Carter, Alexandra Billhartz, Marguerite Lally, Janelle Pierce, Lauren Smith Bearden and Josie Moser.

 

Season 13

Ladue News – Mark Bretz

Conductor Scott Schoonover and director John Stephens merged their artistic talents together to deliver an easy-going, entertaining production strong on comedy as well as an inspired reading of Sullivan’s score by Schoonover and the accomplished Winter Opera orchestra. Friedlander has an impressive soprano voice which superbly shaped several numbers in the show. Of course, the highlight of Pirates frequently is I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General, which requires a singer to not only hit all the right notes but also knock off W.S. Gilbert’s complicated, witty and topical (for their day) lyrics in proper patter fashion, something Gary Moss handled with aplomb as the stiff-upper-lip English military man.


Broadway World – Steve Callahan

“Winter Opera, under the leadership of Gina Galati, has become a true treasure in St. Louis and it is set like a jewel in the elegant, comfortable Viragh Center…”

[Isaac Frishman’s] “a sweet-voiced tenor who is utterly undaunted by this role which includes an aria that’s been called “the Everest of tenor arias”–it has eight high C’s!”

“Once again scene designer Scott Loebl astonishes us with an awe-inspiring sky-scape… Costumes, by Felia Davenport, are perfect.”


Post Dispatch – Eric Meyer

“Winter Opera St. Louis clinched its 13th season this weekend with a riveting production and local debut of Giacomo Puccini’s Wild West opera, “The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West)”” The three leading roles in particular were suitably cast. Soprano Karen Kanakis as Minnie handled the expressive swings the part demands with skill and grace; in the second act she reveals to Johnson her vulnerabilities with vocal charisma, yet by the end of the scene after she beats Sheriff Rance in the ultra-high stakes card game, her powerful voice renders the emotional growth of her character, easily penetrating the incredible wall of sound generated by conductor Dario Salvi and the orchestra.” “Tenor Jorge Pita Carreras as Dick Johnson (aka the bandit Ramerrez) brought to his part the crucial vocal flexibility needed for the wide-ranging emotional requirements of his dual nature.”

Season 12

Season 11

Season 10

Season 9

Season 8

  

Season 7

 

 

 

Season 6

 

 

 

Season 5

 

Season 4

 

Season 3

 Season 2

Season 1