Don’t be surprised to find the next great, new opera here in St. Louis—that’s the message from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ general director designate Andrew Jorgensen.
Jorgensen, whose first day on the job is July 2, will be working alongside outgoing general director Tim O’Leary during the 2018 Festival Season, and will be present for a number of performances and special events. He most recently served as interim executive director of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center.
Jorgensen tells Gazelle that his first Opera Theatre experience was in 2013, as an audience member at the world premiere of “Champion.”
“It was so beautiful and moving, and the music was extraordinary! While I was here for “Champion,” I also saw two other productions, “The Pirates of Penzance” and “The Kiss.” I left each performance delighted. It wasn’t just the excellent performances that were so memorable, it was also the way that OTSL made me feel included as an audience member.”
He said he is thrilled to be working among the St. Louis arts community, and can’t wait until he relocates to the area this summer with his husband, Mark Stuart-Smith, and their Tibetan terrier, Aria.
“I am so impressed by how thoughtful and kind this community is. Opera Theatre has an amazing base of supporters—including some who have been with the company since its founding 43 years ago. It’s also a community that embraces what is new and innovative about opera. It strikes me that within the arts community, St. Louis is an amazing gateway to what’s up and coming.”
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has a new executive producer at the helm: Tom Ridgely, a Drama Desk-nominated director, producer and educator, assumed the position late last month. In his new role, Ridgely will be responsible for planning and executing the Festival’s programs and events, as well as developing strategies for new programming. The Festival’s ongoing production of “Romeo & Juliet” at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park runs through June 24.
The Boulevard in Richmond Heights has launched an outdoor farmers market that will feature local produce and products, along with live music and other entertainment. The market takes place every first Sunday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through September 2018. The event is a partnership between The Boulevard and Tower Grove Farmers Market.
Here’s your chance to make an exhibition of your golf game: The Sheldon Art Galleries’ new exhibit, “Golf the Galleries: Artist-Designed Mini Golf,” gives visitors opportunities for tee time on the “course.” The interactive art exhibit consists of a nine-hole, family-friendly mini-golf course featuring holes inspired by the Serengeti, “Alice in Wonderland,” downtown St. Louis and more, as described:
Hole #1 – “Warped Tour” by Andy Vanmater, Cannon Design
This design requires just the right angle to get onto a complex, warped surface and over the hump on the right side. Succeed and chances are good for a hole in one, but if the ball goes down the wrong side, players have a long way to go! Maker/Sponsor: Cannon Design
Hole # 2 – “Distortion” by Arcturis
Angles, materiality, lighting and mirrors create optic distortions in this unique architectural hole. Stray one way and players must cross a “carpet rough,” stray the other way and navigate tricky undulating slopes. Unexpected obstructions that make up each design element will add an extra challenge. Maker/Sponsor: Arcturis
Hole #3 – “Mate in Four” by the World Chess Hall of Fame
This challenge is presented by the chess pieces that make up the classic “Mate in Four” problem. Players tee off on one side of the board and maneuver the ball around the pieces to get to the hole on the opposite side. Maker/Sponsor: The World Chess Hall of Fame
Hole #4 – “Alice” by Natalie Pinson
Players will find themselves in the magical world of Alice’s Wonderland as they encounter rose hedges, a mushroom lair, the disappearing Cheshire Cat and a table set for a crazy tea party celebrating the Sheldon Art Galleries 20th “Un”anniversary. Sponsored by Richard and Mary Ann Shaw
Hole #5 – “Over the Moonbow” by Gray for Scale (Ashley Kaempf and Chris Goodin)
This rainbow-shaped hole is lit with blacklight and surrounded by colorful day-glo wall art and a starry night sky. The color channel in which the ball lands will determine where on the green and how close to the hole it ends up. Sponsored by Mary Ann and Andrew Srenco
Hole #6 – “Serengeti Park” by Justin King
Players enter the immersive environment of a city park, inhabited by animals behaving like humans, all made from cardboard, including an elephant reading a newspaper and a fox feeding pigeons, both of which serve as obstacles. The gallery’s center pillar becomes a tree where players can take a selfie with a chimpanzee sipping a soda on a park bench. Sponsored by Kennelwood Pet Resorts
Hole #7 – “The Gateway Green – A Hole-in-One for STL” by Switch
Golfers will tower over downtown St. Louis, beginning at City Garden, on this hole featuring the Old Courthouse and the newly reopened Gateway Arch grounds and Museum. With success, players’ balls end up in the Mississippi River. Maker/Sponsor: Switch
Hole #8 – “There’s a Hole in the Anthropocene” by B.J. Vogt
This classic volcano-themed hole is a metaphor for how humans affect our atmosphere and environment through their actions. Players able to navigate their ball into the hole will be rewarded with an eruption of packing peanuts! Sponsored by Dwyer Brown
Hole #9 – “Swimming with the Fishes” by Charles Houska
Players must navigate through a series of whimsical Houska-signature obstacles, in the form of fish and flowers, to feed their ball to the colorful puppy waiting hungrily at the end. Sponsored by Ted Wight
“Golf the Galleries,” which runs through Aug. 12, kicks off the Sheldon’s Summer 2018 exhibition lineup. Admission to view the exhibit is free; tee times ($10 adult, $6 child) are first-come, first served. Visit thesheldon.org for more information.
An award-winning journalist recognized for her media leadership and for promoting diversity, Trish Muyco-Tobin has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcasting. She is also a dedicated community volunteer, and proudly serves on the boards of the St. Louis Press Club, Friends of Character Plus, and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.