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Destination Diaries

Alice In Wonderland

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

By Angela Ash


We all know of the adventures that Alice partakes in when she enters Wonderland.  "Nothing is what it seems"... indeed.

However, when performed by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, truly expect the unexpected.  Be prepared to experience the confusion, the anguish, the curiosity, the comedy, and the madness that makes Alice... well, Alice.

Again, I can not say enough about the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.  While still very moderately priced, each performance here is worth every penny.  The staging and lighting add a whimsical effect... and no seat is ever more than a "tumble down the rabbit hole" away from the stage.  No opera glasses, no binoculars, and no telescopes required at this theatre!


As always, casting was superb!  Ashley Emerson as Alice was a fantastic treat!  Her expressions and body language were enough to adequately spin the tale, with no spoken word or song.  However, when her voice did fill the room, goosebumps were often an obvious result.

Matthew DiBattista, however, nearly stole the show in his role of the Dormouse. He was completely over the top and, just when you thought he could not be any more entertaining, he began to RAP.  And speaking of rapping, Jenni Banks as the Duchess also made the switch from opera to hip hop as she had the crowd screaming with applause herself. The sheer eccentricity would make Lewis Carroll quite proud indeed!


The remaining cast were all equally as quirky, with the Cheshire Cat played by Tracy Dahl, the Mad Hatter by Aubrey Allicock, the White Rabbit by David Trudgen, the Queen of Hearts by Julie Makerov, the King of Hearts by Bradley Smoak, and the ever-so-clever Caterpillar performed by Sean Curran and musically narrated by James Meyer. The ensemble was fantastic, primarily comprised of young performers.

Michael Christie conducted members of the Saint Louis Symphony with beautiful precision and a style that could only add to the already magnificent production.

And did I mention that this was the U.S. premiere for the operatic version of "Alice In Wonderland"? No stranger to such premieres, the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis has had 22 world premieres and 23 first performances in the United States.


And as always, to complete your opera experience, box lunch and dinners may be ordered to be enjoyed in the beautiful tent on the lawn, and snacks, beer, wine, and other temptations are always available. This, I must add, is one of the wonderful things that make this a unique encounter.  Sipping a glass of wine on a summer's night outside after the opera... can things get any better?


You may visit the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis to view next season's exciting lineup, and to begin making plans for an evening beyong compare!