Friday, August 22, 2014

Anna Russell Explains The Ring Cycle

Think you'll be confused by the plot of Siegfried without having seen Das Rheingold and Die Walküre first? Fear not! Let British humorist Anna Russell get you up to speed with her succinct, hilarious  analysis of Wagner's Ring Cycle:


(The above embedded video is a playlist of three videos.)

Siegfried opens August 22 and runs August 23, 29 and 30 at Union Avenue Opera, 733 N. Union Blvd. Performances begin at 8:00pm. Production sung in German with projected English supertitles. Tickets may be purchased online at www.unionavenueopera.org or by calling 314-361-2881.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Siegfried" Opens Tomorrow at Union Avenue Opera

Clay Hilley
Photo © Ron Lindsey, 2014
All Rights Reserved
Union Avenue Opera's four-year journey through Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle continues after the critically lauded Die Walküre from last season with the third opera in the cycle: Siegfried.

Swords are re-forged, dragons slain, a sleeping maiden awakened, treasures reclaimed, and justice dispensed as the power of the gods continues to dwindle. The fearless hero Siegfried, grandson of Wotan, is destined for greatness as he faces a multitude of challenges, including winning the love of Brünnhilde. Siegfried is a wonderful fairytale with the requisite happy ending ... for the moment at least. Siegfried is reduced and adapted by English composer Jonathan Dove. His masterful cuts condense the opera in length to under three hours and will be enhanced by video projections befitting the magnificent grandeur of the Ring Cycle.

Jordan Shanahan and David Dillard
Photo © John Lamb, 2014
All Rights Reserved
THE CAST

Tenor Clay Hilley makes his UAO debut in the title role. He comes to us after engagements as Father Grenville in Dead Man Walking and Radames in Aida. Soprano Alexandra LoBianco, joins him onstage, making her return to the role of Brünnhilde. Last seen as Goro in last season's Madama Butterfly, Tenor Marc Schapman sings the role of Mime, a dwarf that raises the story's hero. Also returning from the Butterfly cast, Baritone David Dillard portrays The Wanderer--the head god Wotan in disguise. Bass Nathan Whitson, Hunding in last season's Die Walküre, returns in the role of the giant-turned-dragon Fafner. Two artists return to roles previously sung in 2012's Das Rheingold: Mezzo Soprano Cecelia Stearman as Erda and Baritone Jordan Shanahan as Alberich. Soprano Kate Reimann sings the role of the Forest Bird.

Cecelia Stearman
Photo © Teresa Doggett, 2014 | All Rights Reserved
THE CREW

UAO Artistic Director and Conductor Scott Schoonover leads the orchestra. Stage Director Karen Coe Miller returns after Das Rheingold and Die Walküre to continue her work on the reduced Ring Cycle. Allyson Ditchey serves as Stage Manager. The design team includes Set and Lighting Designer Patrick Huber, Video Projection Designer Michael Perkins, Costume Designer Teresa Doggett and Production Manager Sean Savoie. Pianist Nancy Mayo serves as repetiteur.


Alexandra LoBianco
Photo © Teresa Doggett, 2014 | All Rights Reserved
FRIDAY NIGHT
LECTURE SERIES

Glen Bauer, Ph.D., Associate Chair of the Webster University Music Department, will give a lecture one hour before each Friday performance (August 1st and 8th at 7:00pm) in the Fellowship Gallery of Union Avenue Christian Church. Lectures are free and open to the general public; no ticket to the performance required. 

Marc Schapman and Clay Hilley
Photo © John Lamb, 2014
All Rights Reserved
OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION

Want a chance to eat, drink and schmooze with cast and crew of Siegfried on Opening Night? UAO hosts an Opening Night Reception on Friday, August 22nd after the performance at Tavern of Fine Arts. Click here for more information.

"SIEGFRIED" IN THE MEDIA

Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covers the production, interviewing Clay Hilley.

Gerry Kowarsky and Marc Bretz of Two on the Aisle sit down with Karen Coe Miller and Alexandra LoBianco to discuss Siegfried and the Ring Cycle.
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Siegfried opens tomorrow, August 22nd, and runs August 23, 29 and 30 at Union Avenue Opera, 733 N. Union Blvd. Performances begin at 8:00pm. Production sung in German with projected English supertitles. Tickets may be purchased online at www.unionavenueopera.org or by calling 314-361-2881.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Critics on "A Streetcar Named Desire"

Union Avenue Opera's production of A Streetcar Named Desire concludes its run this weekend. Here's a sample of what Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Gerry Kowarsky of Two on the Aisle, Steve Callahan of BroadwayWorld, Gary Scott of KDHX and Mark Bretz of Ladue News have to say about the production. [NOTE: More reviews to come. Stay connected to this blog for later updates.]

Sarah Bryan Miller:
"...a musically and dramatically worthy production of André Previn's 'A Streetcar Named Desire'... 
Lacy Sauter captured the character of Blanche...[her] voice is lovely and well-produced...She made the most of her aria “I want magic,” a beautiful moment in a largely generic score... Katherine Giaquinto is clearly a performer with a future; she is vocally and dramatically secure, attractive and thoroughly musical... Bernardo Bermudez was an appropriately hunky Stanley, with a big, burnished baritone and excellent diction... Anthony Wright Webb’s Mitch was beautifully drawn and sung...He offered both a lovely lyric tenor and believable heartbreak... Conductor Kostis Protopapas had a sure grasp of the score, and led his forces with clarity and energy, in a notable performance... UAO’s small stage was perfect for this intimate production. Set designer Kyra Bishop used it well... Teresa Doggett’s authentic costumes suited the characters admirably... Stage director Christopher Limber used the cast and the set to good advantage."
Gerry Kowarsky:
"The Union Avenue production is so strong... Kostis Protopapas draws fine playing from the orchestra while keeping the sound and balance with the voices at a pace which fits the action... Lacy Sauter's Blanche DuBois is beautifully sung and highly sensitive to her emotional states... Bernardo Bermudez has the swagger of Stanley Kowalski... Katherine Giaquinto's Stella Kowalski is believable both as Stanley's and Blanche's sister... Anthony Webb admirably projects the sweetness and naiveté that sparks Blanche's interest and makes Mitch vulnerable to her artfulness... Kyra Bishop's set...cleverly uses all the space available on the Union Avenue stage... The opera is a worthy evocation of the story's emotions...
If you have any interest at all in the opera, now is the time to see it. Who knows when our next chance will be?"
Steve Callahan:
"'Streetcar' ranks at the very top of the many Union Avenue productions I've enjoyed... 
Scenery by Kyra Bishop and lighting by Sean Savoie beautifully fulfill everything one might wish for this classic Williams drama... Costumer Teresa Doggett...continues her long tradition of perfection... [S]tage director Christopher Limber creates what to me is the best staging of any production I've seen at Union Avenue... Lacy Sauter, as Blanche, and Katherine Giaquinto, as Stella, both have gorgeous clear lyric soprano voices... Miss Sauter shows a wonderfully mature control and subtlety...[Giaquinto's] serenely blissful vocalise after that reconciliatory night with Stanley is one of the high-points of the evening... Baritone Bernardo Bermudez is very much at home in the role of Stanley...a splendid job... [Anthony Webb's] pure and smooth voice perfectly convey's Mitch's shy gentleness... Johanna Nordhorn, as the neighbor Eunice, merits a special nod of praise... Kostis Protopapas deftly leads his singers and orchestra into a performance of great beauty..."
Gary Scott:
As always, Union Avenue provides a first-rate production... Lacy Sauter and Katherine Giaquinto...are both gifted with powerful and unfailing voices, unwavering in accuracy... Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Wright Webb [both] resonated with warmth and vigor, exuding a rugged yet vulnerable rawness that just might have pleased Tennessee Williams... Kostis Protopapas...held together onstage and below an eclectic score that fused together classical harmony with occasional forays into jazz, Impressionism and atonality...
This is an opera worth seeing, and worth pondering... The tormented and searching characters brought to life by Tennessee Williams, whose creative spirit was in part forged in St. Louis, bring us face to face with the underside of human life that resides uncomfortably among us and, sometimes, within us.
Mark Bretz:
"...a strong and sobering production under the incisive direction of Christopher Limber in his Union Avenue Opera debut... Limber and conductor Kostis Protopapas quickly immerse the audience into the drama with Previn’s sometimes brash, sometimes mournful composition... Kyra Bishop’s scenic design and props beautifully set the table for Williams’ nuanced dialogue...[her] eye for detail supplements the sorrowful tale... Bernardo Bermudez and Katherine Giaquinto share sparks of chemistry that show how Stanley’s primordial impulses brings out Stella’s lusty, earthy nature... Lacy Sauter also is highly effective as she fills Blanche with delusions of grandeur and affectations of elegance that hide her sordid past... Anthony Wright Webb is particularly noteworthy...His singing is tender and heartfelt, making Mitch in some ways the most affected character of all...
Union Avenue Opera’s presentation of A Streetcar Named Desire demonstrates the versatility of Williams’ classic tale of misbegotten love and emotional instability in compelling fashion... Rating: 5 on a scale of 1-to-5."
A Streetcar Named Desire concludes its run this weekend: August 8 and 9 at Union Avenue Opera, 733 N. Union Blvd. Performances begin at 8:00pm. Production sung in English with projected English supertitles. Tickets may be purchased online at www.unionavenueopera.org or by calling 314-361-2881.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The St. Louis Premiere of "A Streetcar Named Desire" Opens Tomorrow

Lacy Sauter
Photo © Ron Lindsey, 2014 | All Rights Reserved
Union Avenue Opera continues its 20th Anniversary Season this Friday with the St. Louis Premiere of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire running August 1, 2, 8 and 9. This production marks UAO's second foray into contemporary American opera after its critically-acclaimed 2011 production of Dead Man Walking.

Desire is taking on a new rhythm as Tennessee Williams' play sizzles onto the stage. Set against the backdrop of steamy New Orleans, this scintillating Streetcar adds a new level of drama and excitement to Williams' enduring portrait of sex, class and secrets. Southern belle Blanche DuBois moves to her sister's cramped apartment, creating all the wrong kinds of sparks with her brutish brother-in-law Stanley. When dark truths about her past begin to emerge, Blanche's world comes apart at the seams in a spiral of violence and madness.

Bernardo Bermudez
Katherine Giaquinto

Photo © Ron Lindsey, 2014
All Rights Reserved
THE CAST

Several artists make their UAO debut: Soprano Lacy Sauter as Blanche DuBois, Soprano Katherine Giaquinto as Stella Kowalski, Baritone Bernardo Bermudez as Stanley Kowalski, Tenor Anthony Webb as Harold "Mitch" Mitchell, Mezzo-Soprano Johanna Nordhorn as Eunice Hubbell, Tenor Robert Norman as Steve Hubbell and Mezzo-Soprano Natanja Tomich as the Flower Woman.

Also appearing in the production are UAO's Crescendo participant Tenor Jimmy Stevens (singing his first role at UAO) as the Young Collector, Tenor Anthony Heinemann (last seen as Gastone in La Traviata) as the Doctor, Soprano Megan Higgins (last seen in the Traviata ensemble) as the Nurse and actor Josh Saboorizadeh as Pablo Gonzales.

Photo © Ron Lindsey, 2014
All Rights Reserved
THE CREW

Guest Conductor Kostis Protopapas, who last conducted UAO's 2010 production of La Fille du Régiment, leads the orchestra. Stage Director Christopher Limber makes his UAO debut. MK Jacobi serves as Stage Manager with Claire Stark as Assistant Stage Manager. The design team includes Set Designer Kyra Bishop (UAO debut), Lighting Designer Sean Savoie (UAO debut), Costume Designer Teresa Doggett and Production Manager Sean Savoie. Pianist Nancy Mayo serves as repetiteur.

FRIDAY NIGHT LECTURE SERIES

Glen Bauer, Ph.D., Associate Chair of the Webster University Music Department, will give a lecture one hour before each Friday performance (August 1st and 8th at 7:00pm) in the Fellowship Gallery of Union Avenue Christian Church. Lectures are free and open to the general public; no ticket to the performance required. 

OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION

Want a chance to eat, drink and schmooze with cast and crew of A Streetcar Named Desire on Opening Night? UAO hosts an Opening Night Reception on Friday, August 1st after the performance at Tavern of Fine Arts. Click here for more information.

Photo © Ron Lindsey, 2014
All Rights Reserved
"STREETCAR" IN THE MEDIA

Steve Potter chats with Lacy Sauter, Katherine Giaquinto and Christopher Limber on a recent episode of Cityscape on St. Louis Public Radio.

Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch covers the production, while Judith Newmark of the Post-Dispatch has written a feature on UAO Costume Designer and Actress Teresa Doggett.

Operatic Saint Louis interviews cast members Lacy Sauter, Katherine Giaquinto, Bernardo Bermudez and Anthony Webb as well as stage director Christopher Limber.

Deborah Sharn and Scott Miller of Break a Leg on KDHX interview Scott Schoonover about the 20th Season.
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A Streetcar Named Desire opens tomorrow, August 1st, and runs August 2, 8 and 9 at Union Avenue Opera, 733 N. Union Blvd. Performances begin at 8:00pm. Production sung in English with projected English supertitles. Tickets may be purchased online at www.unionavenueopera.org or by calling 314-361-2881.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Interview with Soprano Lacy Sauter

Lacy Sauter
Soprano Lacy Sauter makes her Union Avenue Opera debut in the St. Louis Premiere of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire singing the role of Blanche DuBois. Ms. Sauter has sung for Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music and, most recently, Santa Fe Opera. Phil Touchette of Operatic Saint Louis recently interviewed Ms. Sauter on preparing the role of Blanche and her experience in this production.
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Throughout the piece, there is a sharp personality clash between Blanche and Stanley. What do you believe is the source of their animosity towards one another? Why does their relationship escalate into a tragic conclusion?
Blanche and Stanley’s characters represent the conflict between fantasy and reality. Throughout the opera, Blanche is desperately trying to keep up appearances while Stanley is eager to tear them down and reveal the truth. Blanche tries to be coy and flirt with Stanley because this is the only way she knows how to interact with men anymore, but her ploys are lost on Stanley and this is essentially a blow to her very delicate ego. Their relationship escalates to a tragic conclusion because ultimately reality must prevail. The rape scene unveils both Stanley’s true animalistic nature and how Blanche’s fate tragically depends on the men around her. 
Blanche makes an effort to claim herself as highly civilized for her knowledge of art, music and poetry--the latter of which she once taught. Do you believe the character truly knows a great deal, or is she a mere dilettante trying to seem civilized?
Yes, I do believe that Blanche is actually quite knowledgeable about literature, particularly poetry. She was described as being a very sensitive child and I imagine that poetry and literature were her escape from reality when she was younger. I think she definitely has a deeper appreciation for poetry and that is part of what drew her to her troubled young husband.
In the aria “I Want Magic, Blanche muses on trying to “give magic” to people. As you prepared the role, how did you interpret this desire to give magic?
Blanche’s desire to “give magic” is essentially her way of inviting others to join her in her fantasy world. She desperately wants to escape from reality so she has imagined and reinvented herself in a new “light” and this is how she wishes others to view her. “I do misrepresent things. I don’t tell the truth. But I tell what ought to be the truth. If that’s a sin then let me be damned for it.” She feels justified in her deceptions because she honestly believes that she is giving people what they really want. 
Why do you think Blanche has a preoccupation with light, especially bright ugly light? Does this point to any deeper personal issues?
Blanche’s self-esteem has come to depend on her ability to get attention from men. She has gone through a lot of traumatic events and suffered from alcoholism and this has perhaps aged her more quickly. She talks about her lost husband and that when she found love it was like a bright light had been turned on in the world and since his death everything has been dimly lit. Light for Blanche represents both her innocence and her sense of reality, both of which she has lost. She covers the light bulb with a paper lantern to soften the harsh light, just as she creates an illusion of who she is to cover up the harsh reality that has been her life.
Does the brief courtship between Mitch and Blanche seem based on mutual attraction? Are her motivations with Mitch entirely virtuous?
Blanche sees Mitch as her last chance at salvation and happiness. He is not her ideal match, but he is a good man and he could give her some security in life. He is a gentleman and they share a connection for they have both lost someone they loved. Especially in this production, the relationship between Blanche and Mitch is treated as a real possibility for both of them to be happy. Their moments together add a bit of lightness and romance to what is otherwise a very dark story.
In your time away from rehearsal, have you had opportunities to explore St. Louis?
I have enjoyed my time in St. Louis. On a previous trip, I actually had the chance to go up into the Gateway Arch which was very fun. I am really enjoying all of the restaurants and cute shops on Euclid and exploring Forest Park. I am looking forward to the week off in between shows to do some more exploring!
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You can learn more about Lacy by visiting her website LacySauter.com and following her on Twitter @LacySoprano.

A Streetcar Named Desire opens Friday, August 1st and continues its run Aug 2, 8 and 9 at Union Avenue Opera, 733 N. Union Blvd. Performances begin at 8:00pm. Production sung in English with projected English supertitles. Tickets may be purchased online at www.unionavenueopera.org or by calling 314-361-2881.

Interview with Tenor Anthony Webb

Tenor Anthony Webb makes his Union Avenue Opera debut in A Streetcar Named Desire singing the role of Harold "Mitch" Mitchell. He last performed in St. Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre Saint Louis, where he sang the role of Pirelli in Sweeney Todd. His recent repertoire includes the roles of Sam in Susannah, Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Wagner/Nereus in Mefistofele. Phil Touchette of Operatic Saint Louis recently interviewed Mr. Webb on preparing the role of Mitch and his experience in this production.
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Why do you think Mitch is drawn to Blanche? Could it be that her airs and pretense excite him as something different than most of his female contemporaries in New Orleans or is there something deeper? 
I think it's much deeper. Mitch talks a lot about his mother and I feel that his every action is motivated by his relationship with her. She wants him to settle down and find a nice girl to spend the rest of his life with. Blanche, being new to the scene, is another means to that end. She is beautiful and confident in ways he's never experienced, and she's certainly not like any other girl he has even dated. I think this excites him very much.
Do you believe that the brief courtship between Mitch and Blanche is based in mutual attraction? Are Mitch's motives entirely virtuous?
Mitch is extremely attracted to Blanche and there is no hidden agenda in his actions. He wants, almost desperately, to love her and for her to know of his love. He is extremely uncomfortable in his dealings with her because she is unlike any girl he has ever been with and I think he works so hard to make her "the one" that it heightens his nervousness.
Towards the end of the piece, Mitch develops anger towards Blanche when previously he'd been at least enamored of her. Why does this happen? Do you believe his anger is fully justified or is he manipulated by Stanley to feel that way?
Blanche has lied to him. She lied about her past, about nearly everything, and Mitch is devastated. It starts off as anger--sheer anger at being deceived--but then that need to take care of her (like he does his mother) takes over. He then tries to become something he is not because he believes that is what Blanche wants. Again, Mitch will do anything he thinks he must in order to win her over, but then he goes too far and gets too rough. He is absolutely justified in this anger because of her lies, and this is crippling to Mitch. Stanley surely doesn't help the situation. I don't think Stanley manipulates Mitch knowingly, but his words are certainly a dagger in Mitch's heart.
Have you found that this character compares in any way--musically or dramatically--to roles you have previously sung?
No, Mitch is unlike anything I've ever done before and it's amazing. I am loving playing Mitch!
Which musical passages in Andre Previn's score define your character and his motivations? What parts of the score stand out or especially intrigue you?
I think Mitch's arioso "I'm not a boy" in Act Two is certainly his defining moment. It's his moment to finally open up to Blanche and profess--in a roundabout sort of way--his love for her but she doesn't hear it that way. His mini-sonnet about love just conjures up all the memories of her first love and it's in this scene that I think Previn really brings the best music of the score.
You are no stranger to St. Louis, having previously sung for Opera Theatre. Do you have any favorite places to see and things to do in your free time while you're in town? How has the experience at Union Avenue Opera been so far?

I love St. Louis! I really enjoyed my time here in 2012 working on Sweeney Todd at Opera Theatre Saint Louis and I'm falling in love with this city all over again being here for Streetcar. I love Forest Park--all of the free things to do there are amazing. I've been staying near the Central West End which is another area I really enjoy. I'm a big "foodie" so all of the things that Euclid Avenue has to offer are so wonderful, and even better because it's all within walking distance. My experience at Union Avenue Opera so far has been nothing short of wonderful. The cast, the staff, everyone is just amazing. This is a truly special company and I'm so honored to be here!
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You can learn more about Anthony at his website AnthonyWebbTenor.com and by following him on Twitter @TenorWebb.

A Streetcar Named Desire opens Friday, August 1st and continues its run Aug 2, 8 and 9 at Union Avenue Opera, 733 N. Union Blvd. Performances begin at 8:00pm. Production sung in English with projected English supertitles. Tickets may be purchased online at www.unionavenueopera.org or by calling 314-361-2881.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Interview with Baritone Bernardo Bermudez

Bernardo Bermudez
Baritone Bernardo Bermudez makes his Union Avenue Opera debut in A Streetcar Named Desire singing the role of Stanley Kowalski. Born and raised in Venezuela, Bernardo currently lives in Los Angeles and has built an operatic career singing a variety of roles including Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Papageno in The Magic Flute, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and Scarpia in Tosca among several others. Phil Touchette of Operatic Saint Louis recently interviewed Mr. Bermudez on preparing the role of Stanley and his experience in this production.
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What sort of artistic challenges do you encounter in preparing and performing works from the newer American opera repertoire, like Streetcar, compared with that of the Italian, French and German repertoire?
This wonderful piece is actually a lot different than the standard operatic rep, not only dramatically but also technically. Musically at the beginning it was a challenge, because there are sections of the music where the is not much connection to the orchestra, so it takes a little longer to learn the music and build it into my muscle memory. Moreover, Previn composed more rhythmically challenging music for Stanley since he is the antagonist character, in contrast to the protagonist roles which have not necessarily less challenging music but at least more lyrical.
In a production with limited rehearsal time, singers sometimes meet their scene partners for the first time and must develop a backstory and onstage chemistry--an element crucial to the passionate, volatile relationship between Stanley and Stella. How has this process worked between you and Katherine Giaquinto?
In this occasion, it has been very easy. I was lucky enough to have met Ms. Giaquito in Los Angeles prior to arriving in St. Louis, and we got an opportunity to work though some of our musical sections prior to rehearsal, and she is a delightful person to work with. In addition, our director Mr. Limber, our conductor Maestro Protopapas, and the rest of the cast have been very vocal about their relationships and backstories which makes the process so much easier in the long run. Also, all the cast members are such strong actors that is easy to feed off one another, making the piece come alive and stay energized.
Throughout the opera, Stanley and Blanche have an adversarial family dynamic. What is the source of their animosity towards one another? Why does their relationship escalate into such tragedy by the end of the opera?
I feel Stanley and Blanche come from very different places socially, but they both have very strong personalities and resort to their primal instincts. Ultimately it comes down to Blanche challenging to fracture Stanley's way of life and his relationship with Stella and his friend Mitch.
When working through the character's motivations, do you find that Stanley is deliberately cruel or merely straightforward with everyone he meets? Why does he treat Blanche especially brutally?
I feel Stanley is this way all the time. He has a strong personality and is a very likable character. In both the play and opera, he often describes himself as knowing a lot of people like lawyers, jewelers, the supply man at the plant, etc. But Blanche is here to challenge all this by disrupting his way of life and the control he has over the others--for example when Stella starts to challenge Stanley and order him around, and become more independent. This is something that Stanley does not tolerate and ultimately pushes him to his most primal physical and mental state of being.
Composer Andre Previn helps define certain characters with an aria, arioso and, most often, recitative. How does Previn define your character musically? How is Stanley differentiated from the other characters?
As I mentioned before Previn does a wonderful job at describing the different between the two types of characters. Protagonists like Blanche, Stella and Mitch have lyrical music and arias. In contrast, the antagonist character Stanley has no arias and more rhythmic, faster music, except for a small lyrical section he sings during a duet with Stella. It is evident that the music is emotionally motivated. The internal feelings of the characters define the music and tempos of the piece.
This production marks your debut with Union Avenue Opera. Have you been able to explore St. Louis in your time away from rehearsal?
Though the rehearsal process has been intense for this production, I have been fortunate enough to have been able to experience a bit of what St. Louis has to offer. I have gone on several runs through Forest Park and also a driving architectural tour of the different areas of the city. It is remarkable to see all the beautiful brick work that is present here.
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You can learn more about Bernardo by visiting his website BernardoBermudez.com.

A Streetcar Named Desire opens Friday, August 1st and continues its run Aug 2, 8 & 9 at Union Avenue Opera, 733 N. Union Blvd. Performances begin at 8:00pm. Production sung in English with projected English supertitles. Tickets may be purchased online at www.unionavenueopera.org or by calling 314-361-2881.