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BR A N D AV E. ST U DIOS CON T EN T Opera Theatre of St. Louis presents the festival of a lifetime Sponsored content by Jessica Toscano, Brand Ave. Studios contributing writer If you’ve been dreaming of a night at the opera, the new season is sure to delight you with the lineup of a lifetime. Produced by Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the 2024 opera festival at Webster University welcomes a month and a half of classical performances featuring some of the world’s most seasoned singers. “Opera Theatre’s festival season is a wild whirlwind experience,” said Anh Le, director of marketing and public relations at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. “We produce four operas in six weeks, which is a very short time to produce that many different operas on stage.” The four productions this year are “The Barber of Seville” (a romantic comedy), “Galileo Galilei” (the story of one of the world’s most profound scientists), “La bohème” (a story of young love in Paris) and “Julius Caesar” (a story of romantic and political conquest), each consisting of anywhere between six and eight performances, a total of 28 showings. “It is rapid-fire. There is something different on stage every single night,” said Le. “We perform every single opera in English with English supertitles,” PHOTO PROVIDED BY OPERA THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS Scene from Opera Theatre St. Louis’s last production of “La bohème” in 2016 PHOTO PROVIDED BY OPERA THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS Scene from “Carmen” at Opera Theatre St. Louis, 2022 she said. “We’re the only company that I know of in the U.S., at least of our size, that performs in the language of the audience.” That alone makes the festival season ideal for newcomers and opera connoisseurs. But that’s not all that sets this musical event apart. From the moment guests enter the vicinity, they are greeted with operatic romanticism: a garden gated by colorful flowers, illuminated with sunshine by day and candles by night. “People will start arriving anywhere up to 2½ hours before the show, and they will picnic in the gardens in the open air and dine alfresco before the opera,” said Le. “You can bring your own picnic, you can get takeout, you can cook at home and bring a basket. We also offer catered boxed meals that you can order the day before the performance. On site, we have sandwiches and cheese plates and other things you can order from our concession bars.” While the opera performance is the heart of the event, what may be the most thrilling part of the evening is at the show’s end, when the audience congregates under the garden tents and mingles. It is then that lines blur entirely as the opera cast joins in for conversation and laughter. “It’s a really special experience because for most opera companies and most art organizations, you have to be an incredibly high-level donor to get to talk to a main artist at the show,” said Le. “At Opera Theatre, anyone can talk to anyone because we’re all under the same tent.” For anyone concerned about attire, Le encourages guests to come as they are. “I’ve seen everything from a leather vest and jeans in our theater all the way up to a formal evening gown,” she said. “But if you’re not sure what to wear, dress like you’re going out to a nice restaurant or to a nice garden party and you’ll fit right in.” Tickets can be purchased at ExperienceOpera.org. This content was produced by Brand Ave. Studios. The news and editorial departments had no role in its creation or display. Brand Ave. Studios connects advertisers with a targeted audience through compelling content programs, from concept to production and distribution. For more information contact sales@brandavestudios.com.