The mission of Union Avenue Opera is to provide professional opportunities for gifted, emerging artists and to offer vibrant and affordable opera experiences in original languages to audiences that reflect the breadth and diversity of the St. Louis region. Believing that the arts are vital to the health and reputation of a community, Union Avenue Opera is committed to its urban setting, educational outreach, and artistic integrity.
Union Avenue Opera grew out of one man’s vision for an opera company that would offer professional opportunities for gifted, emerging artists. In the summer of 1995, Scott Schoonover, with the support of the Arts Group of Union Avenue and on a shoestring budget, mounted a production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and the rest is history. In 2007 a new orchestra pit and expanded stage were constructed successfully completing UAO’s first capital campaign. Over the last nineteen years, Union Avenue Opera’s repertoire, audience, reputation, and funding have grown as it has pursued its mission with excellence and integrity, offering professional opera in original languages at reasonable prices. Union Avenue Opera has become an integral part of the St. Louis arts community.
Click here for a complete list of past productions.
Who We Are
Artistic Director & Conductor
Scott Schoonover is Founder and artistic Director of the critically acclaimed Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, Missouri. At UAO, he has served as conductor for more than 50 productions over the past 21 years, including several Don Giovanni, Rigoletto and Götterdämmerung this past season. Schoonover also has conducted for several other regional companies. Productions include West Site Story, Don Giovani, and La traviata for Asheville Lyric Opera, Le Nozze de Figaro, Rigoletto I Pagliacci, Samson et Dalila, Werther, Don Pasquale, and Wise Women for Winter Opera Saint Louis, and Le Nozze de Figaro, L’elisir d’amore, The Merry Widow, world premiere of Abe, Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado for Muddy River Opera Company in Quincy, Illinois. He conducted the world premiere of Barbara Harbach’s opera, O Pioneers! at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and regularly conducts Webster Opera Studio performances at Webster University. This season, Schoonover will conduct The Mikado and Doubt at Union Avenue Opera, and Yeoman of the Guard at Winter Opera Saint Louis.
Also active as a choral conductor, Schoonover is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Missouri Women’s Chorus and has acted as a guest conductor and clinician for several choruses in the St. Louis area. He serves as Director of Music at Union Avenue Christian Church in St. Louis where he has led the Chancel Choir on two European concert tours, and recently led a choral concert tour of England and Ireland in June 2015.
Emily DePauw earned a Bachelor of Arts from Quincy University with a double major in Vocal Performance and Communications, and in 2010, she joined Union Avenue Opera as its Administrative Director. A native of Jerseyville, Illinois, DePauw returned to the St. Louis region in 2009 after serving as Director of Advertising and Operations at Dame & Hurdle Jewelers in Quincy, Illinois. For eight years, DePauw was active in Quincy’s arts community as a student, performer, and volunteer, including a three-year tenure with the Muddy River Opera Company Board of Directors. DePauw has performed such roles as Rose in Gypsy, Marian in The Music Man, Roxie in Chicago, and Joanne in Godspell. As a soloist she has been featured in Handel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, and Faure’s Requiem. DePauw is also a charter member of the Missouri Women’s Chorus and singes with the Union Avenue Christian Church Chancel Choir, with whom she toured German and Austria, and, most recently, Ireland and England.
Sean Savoie currently serves as Senior Lecturer and resident Lighting Designer, Production Manager, and Design Coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Southern Mississippi and his M.F.A. from the University of Cincinnati–College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Lighting Design and Technology. Savoie was the Production Manager for the Muny in Forest Park from 2008-2011 and currently holds the same position for the St. Louis Variety Children’s Theatre. Selected regional lighting design credits include The St. Louis Black Rep, HotCity Theatre, Shakespeare in the Streets, Union Avenue Opera, Winter Opera Saint Louis, St. Louis Shakespeare, Insight Theatre, Upstream Theatre, Wayside Theatre, Shenandoah University, Theatre West Virginia, Tsunami Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., New York Chinese Cultural Center, Associate & Assistant Designer at Portland Opera, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Opera as Assistant Designer, Rising Stars Opera in Rising Sun, IN, and Know Theatre, with award winning designs fro See What I Wanna See and Eurydice. Savoie is the very proud recipient of the 2009 United States Institute for Theatre Technology Rising Star Award and the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from CCM. He is also a proud member of the designers union United Scenic Artists, Local 829.
2016 Board of Directors
Jack Swanson – President
Scott Schoonover – Executive Vice President
Anna Roach – Secretary
Jeffrey Bewley – Treasurer
Carolyn Hewes Toft
Joseph Lintzenich – Honorary member