Saint Louis is a city that is full of the arts, and people who sleep on all the opportunities we have to be immersed in them are just silly. Over the last few years, I have become more familiar and interested in opera through the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and this spring marked the return of their incredibly popular Opera Tastings events. Over the course of several nights, you are able to tantalize not only your palette, but also your ears! For only $20, you are serenaded by some of the OTSTL's best performers while trying delicious food and drink pairings sure to delight.
I was invited to attend and tweet up a storm while there - which you know is totally me in my element! I have previously attended the OTSTL's Tweet Seat nights, and it is so much fun to share the opera experience live with the world. Before last night's event, I spoke with tenor singer Geoffrey Agpalo, who you see in the above photo on the far left. He helped create the Opera Tastings last year, and I asked him what prompted him to begin a series like this. He says:
I absolutely love the artistic aspect of food and how a single bite or sip can trigger an emotion. That's why I think the idea of pairing food with opera is so effective. Some of my favorite restaurants and cocktail lounges don't just make great food, but create experiences by treating customers almost as if they were audience members. I think pairing these two things together is a no brainer. It offers such a unique experience both as a performer and as an audience member.
Outside of opera, Geoffrey listens to much of the same music I do - even Sia and Bruno Mars! His wife is also a singer, and he mentioned that they may record and album together one day (fingers crossed!), and I think it would be so neat to hear chemistry like that in opera. I'm already planning which of the shows this year I will attend based on Geoffrey's roles. Wanna be my date? The OTSTL offers a Young Friends program that allows broke folks like me to afford tickets!
As attendees of the Opera Tastings, we were treated to something very special: a sneak peek from the still-to-be-premiered brand new opera based on the 2005 novel of the same title, Shalimar the Clown. Geoffrey sang a love song based on the character Shalimar's love for the beautiful Boonyi. We were informed that Geoffrey had just been invited to sing the part a handful of days before this weekend, and yet he did not look at the sheet music even once. Now that is talent! I think Shalimar the Clown will be one I'll check out this season - Shalimar is a tightrope walker, and if you know me personally, you'll know I have a soft spot for circus arts!
Pork belly atop watermelon? Yes, please!
These Angelic Teardrops were sinfully tasty!
My father was my date for the evening, and I was so glad I could treat him on his birthday! We both had a lot of fun, and we don't have nearly enough father-daughter time on the regular. Attending events like this with family is one of the best ways to create great memories, I think. Food, drink, and music are some of my favorite things to share with those I love. I was able to catch up with some of my favorite ladies from the blogging scene last night as well:
You have two more chances to enjoy an Opera Tasting event! Find tickets here.
To follow along with all things OTSTL:
Twitter: twitter.com/OTSL | @OTSL
Instagram: instagram.com/operatheatrestl | @operatheatrestl
Hashtags: #OTSL #OperaTastings #StLouisGram
All photographs courtesy of Elizabeth Wiseman.