ST. LOUIS – Union Avenue Opera opens their 30th Anniversary Season on Friday, July 5, 2024, with a traditional take on an audience favorite, Georges Bizet’s Carmen with four performances July 5, 6, 12, 13 at 8:00PM. “There are many reasons that Carmen has been an audience favorite for generations” said stage director Mark Freiman. It has “love, passion, and death; drama and humor; but best of all, unforgettable music! Bizet’s melodies have become such a familiar part of our culture that they are loved not only by opera enthusiasts but by people who have never been to an opera – they will surely recognize much of it.”

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“Each year our audience survey's most requested opera is Bizet's Carmen, and we are thrilled to bring it back to our stage for this special 30th Anniversary season” said UAO Founder and Artistic Director Scott Schoonover. “It promises to be an especially gripping production as we welcome back Elise Quagliata in the title role. In the years since she was last at UAO, she has made this role her own while performing it all over the country” continued Schoonover. This summer’s production of Carmen is special for Quagliata as her daughter Lila Treuiller will make her UAO debut in the youth ensemble. “Lila’s been traveling with me since she was 3 months old. She’s a real opera kid. She’s seen me performCarmen many times, but this is our first opportunity to be on stage together. It’s been so much fun having her on stage with me – and hearing her beautiful voice!” said Quagliata.

Carmen is special for Freiman as well, “I first sang in the Carmen children’s chorus as a boy in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera and I will never forget the thrill of the opening music: the cymbal crashes transitioning to the familiar and confident “Toreador Song,” and ending, unresolved, with the haunting ‘fate” theme. Now that I am older, different parts of the drama have a greater impact on me. Carmen is the fourth opera I have directed here, and I am proud to say that Union Avenue Opera has become an artistic home for me. The transformation of Union Avenue Christian Church into an opera theater every summer is a sight to behold, and the intimate space makes each performance much more personal – a raised eyebrow can’t be seen in most opera houses, but it can have a tremendous impact in an opera like this, in a venue like this.”

Union Avenue Opera’s 30th Anniversary Season continues later in July with three performances of Verdi’s Aida: in concert on July 26, 28(matinee), August 3, and concludes with Sondheim’s Into the Woods August 16, 17, 23, 24.

Single tickets range from $35 to $60 with a 3-opera season ticket from $75 to $165. Tickets are available online at unionavenueopera.org or by calling 314-361-2881 Monday – Friday between 10:00AM and 3:00PM. Discounts are available for Seniors (65+), Military/Educator, and Young Audiences (under 18). All performances start at 8:00PM (Sunday matinee at 3:00PM) on the UAO stage at 733 N. Union Blvd, just north of the intersection of Union and Delmar Boulevards in the historic Union Avenue Christian Church. Free parking is available in the lots behind the venue and overflow parking is available on the street.

Financial assistance for the 2024 Festival Season has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and with support from the Regional Arts Commission.

Georges Bizet: CARMEN
July 5, 6, 12, 13 at 8:00PM

French with projected English supertitles

Conducted by Scott Schoonover and Directed by Mark Freiman

Set your passions alight with this steamy opera full of love, seduction, and betrayal.

Follow the fate of Don José, a naïve soldier who falls under the spell of the fiery Carmen, and abandons his duty and his love for Micaëla, a sweet country girl. But Carmen's free spirit and seductive charms lead her to another man, the handsome bullfighter Escamillo, and drive Don José to jealousy and violence. With unforgettable melodies like the 'Habanera' and the 'Toreador Song', Carmen is a thrilling spectacle of love, lust, and betrayal. Come see why Bizet’s masterpiece of operatic romance and drama is one of history’s most popular operas ever written.

Carmen Elise Quagliata

Don José Brendan Tuohy *

Escamillo Joel Balzun *

Micaëla Meroë Khalia Adeeb

Frasquita Gina Galati

Mercédès Holly Janz

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Le Dancaïre Xavier Joseph *

Zuniga Jacob Lassetter

Le Remendado Marc Schapman

Moralès Joel Rogier

The Ensemble: Kelly Beekman +, Sharifa Black, R. Nathan Brown, Bob Cagle *, Riley Cameron *^, Spencer Domer, Anna Edwards *^, Danielle Feinstein +, Calista Goldwasser, Thomas Taylor IV, Christine Lentini +, Brittany Moleski, Stephanie Mossinghoff, Javi Ojeda +, John Richey *, Joel Rogier

Youth Ensemble : Lucca Badino *, Bryce Cleveland *, Blaise Magparangalan *, Chloe Melton, Nora Moss *, Lila Treuiller *, Louis Wang *, Tristan Williams *

Conductor Scott Schoonover

Stage Director Mark Freiman

Children’s Chorus Master Alice Nelson

Scenic Designer Patrick Huber

Costume Designer Teresa Doggett

Lighting Designer Patrick Huber

Properties Master Stephanie Robinson

Supertitle Translation Designer Philip Touchette

Production Manager Stephanie Robinson

Technical Director Benjamin Worley

Stage Manager Alyssa Murphy

Scenic Artist Lacey Meschede

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