Last night was a big one in our annual calendar, opening night of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis season. This is our 40th or 41st - we've lost track. One of the delightful features is that it takes place on a suburban university campus, set up for picnic dinners before the performance. We usually do that and leave a bottle of wine on the table for intermission.
The first production was La Traviata. It's an old chestnut but we've never heard a better performance. Violetta was sung by the spectacular young soprano Sydney Mancasola. She worked her way up from the chorus to the foot lights, giving the role an emotional intensity that's hard to match.
Afterwards, the company invites the audience for a glass or two of prosecco under the picnic tent. I got a shot of General Director Timothy O'Leary, who will leave us after this season. He's been here for 10 years and has brought OTSL to ever greater heights.