Union Avenue Opera Announces 29th Festival Season Programming

By Logan Martell

Missouri’s Union Avenue Opera has announced the programming for its 29th festival season.

“Season 29 is shaping up to be something special for Union Avenue Opera,” said Founding Artistic Director Scott Schoonover in an official press announcement. “We rarely get to perform operas that delve into the psychological thriller genre and Britten’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’ (original book by Henry James) with its intense story and intimate cast allows us to do just that. Director Nancy Bell makes her debut with UAO, and I love her vision -she and I are both determined to make it as spooky and spine-tingling as possible. Along with her many other triumphs -soprano Christine Brewer is famous the world over for her portrayal of Britten characters and I can’t wait to see what she does on our stage as Mrs. Grose in ‘The Turn of the Screw.’”

The season will open with Britten’s “Turn of the Screw,” which was last performed by the company in a concert production in 2006. Conducted by Scott Schoonover, the cast features renowned soprano Christine Brewer as Mrs. Grose, with Meroe Khalia Adeeb as the Governess, James Stevens as Peter Quint, and Alexandra Martinez-Turano as Miss Jessel.

Performance Dates: July 7, 8, 14, 15, 2023.

Next will be Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.” Conductor Stephen Hargreaves and director Jon Truitt lead a cast comprised of Andy Papas in the title role, Christine Lyons as Norina, Namarea Randolph-Yosea as Ernesto, Peter Kendall Clark as Malatesta, and Joel Rogier as Notaio/Carlino.

Performance Dates: July 28, August 4, 5, 2023.

The festival season will conclude with Flaherty and Adams’ musical “Ragtime.” Conducted by Schoonover and directed by Shaun Patrick Tubbs, the cast features Debby Lennon as Mother, Marc Scapman as Tateh, Jazmine Olwalia as Sarah, and Eric J. McConnell as Father, among others.

Performance Dates: August 18, 19, 25, 26, 2023.

There will also be a Backstage Pass Concert Series, where audiences can meet the cast and crew of each production following a concert performance, as well as a brief tour of the venue.

Performance Dates: June 27, July 18, August 8, 2023.