Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Offers Opera Fans Worldwide the Chance to Win VIP Tickets and Travel Packages with New Video Competition

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has launched Opera Stories Revealed: Share Your Story and Win, a new competition designed to inspire audiences, artists, and fans to share their excitement about opera, in partnership with KMOX radio. The grand prize winner of the competition will receive VIP tickets to the opening night of Opera Theatre’s world premiere opera-in-jazz Champion, as well as a music travel package to New Orleans to hear Champion’s composer Terence Blanchard perform at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Opera lovers of all ages and all backgrounds have moving, surprising, and funny stories about opera. Through this contest, Opera Theatre and KMOX 1120 AM encourage those fans worldwide to share a personal video of one of those stories here.

Videos can be captured on a smartphone or standard digital video camera and uploaded directly to the competition’s webpage. The story might be that of a first experience with opera, a favorite opera memory, falling in love with opera, how someone fell in love because of opera, or any other experience with opera that surprised or delighted. For inspiration, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has prepared a series of videos featuring the stories of current singers, staff members, and board members, which can also be viewed here.

Contestants will be able submit videos starting now through March 3, 2013. Through March 3, the public will be able to rate each video, helping to select the top ten finalists. From March 6-March 19, 2013, through online voting, audiences will be able to vote on their favorite video from among the top ten -– with one vote permitted per day per email address. A grand prize winner and two runners up will be selected March 20, 2013.

Grand prize winners will receive not only a VIP experience at the opening night of the world premiere of Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer’s Champion in St. Louis on June 15, 2013, but they will also enjoy the opportunity to hear five-time Grammy Award winner Terence Blanchard perform live at the 2013 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The New Orleans travel package features round trip air fare to New Orleans, two nights hotel accommodations, two days’ access to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and a pre- or post-concert meet and greet opportunity with Terence Blanchard. Two runners up will also receive a pair of tickets to the world premiere of Champion, and all top ten finalists will receive an autographed Champion poster signed by Mr. Blanchard.

Opera Stories Revealed: Share Your Story and Win was developed in partnership with KMOX radio. As part of New Voices for Opera, a program designed to grow and deepen engagement in opera, the competition is generously funded with grants from Opera America’s Opera Fund and PNC Arts Alive. The support from PNC is part of a multi-year initiative to support visual and performing arts groups with the goal of increasing arts access and engagement in new and innovative ways.

“The PNC Foundation has a long history of providing grants to organizations that strengthen and enrich the lives of our communities,” said Rick Sems, the Regional President of PNC Bank. “We understand that a rich arts community is a significant driver of our economic success, providing employment, boosting tourism, and making the region attractive for businesses, residents, and visitors.”

Single tickets to Opera Theatre’s 2013 Festival Season go on sale to the general public on Saturday, February 23, 2013. Subscriptions are currently available to all four operas in the season: The Pirates of Penzance, a double bill of Pagliacci and Il tabarro, the world premiere of Champion, and The Kiss.

About Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

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 2012 Opera Theatre has presented 22 world premieres and 23 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 typically limits box office income to less than a quarter 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 and Stephen Lord (1992 – present) as music director. Timothy O’Leary was named general director in October 2008 with acclaimed stage director James Robinson succeeding Colin Graham. For more information, visit

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