Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is one of the leading American opera companies, known for a spring festival of inventive new productions, sung in English, featuring the finest American singers and accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony. As of 2019 Opera Theatre has presented 28 world premieres and 27 American premieres – which may be the highest percentage of new work in the repertory of any U.S. company.
Described by The Sunday Times of London as “one of the few American companies worth the transatlantic fare,” Opera Theatre of Saint Louis annually welcomes visitors from nearly every state and close to a dozen foreign countries. Although the size of the theater limits box office income to 26% of the budget, the company has consistently produced work of the highest quality while never accumulating a deficit.
Opera Theatre also has a long tradition of discovering and promoting the careers of the finest operatic artists of the current generation. Among the artists who had important early opportunities at Opera Theatre are Christine Brewer, Susan Graham, Nathan Gunn, Patricia Racette, Thomas Hampson, Jerry Hadley, Dawn Upshaw, Sylvia McNair, Erie Mills, Dwayne Croft, Kelly Kaduce, and Lawrence Brownlee.
Opera Theatre has always been known for distinguished leadership: founding general director Richard Gaddes was succeeded in 1985 by general director Charles MacKay, with famed British stage director Colin Graham as artistic director. In 2008, Timothy O’Leary became general director in with acclaimed stage director James Robinson succeeding Colin Graham. Andrew Jorgensen has been the General Director since 2018.