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 founded Union Avenue Opera in 1994 with the intention of giving valuable performance opportunities to talented artists and musicians. As Artistic Director and Conductor, he has lead UAO to critical acclaim for the past 18 years in more than 45 productions and 150 performances. In the 2013 UAO season Schoonover will conduct performances of Trouble in Tahiti, Madama Butterfly, and Die Walküre. In October of 2012, Schoonover made his debut at Asheville Lyric Opera conducting La traviata.
Locally, Schoonover has appeared with Muddy River Opera in Quincy, Illinois, conducing The Mikado, L’elisir d’amore, and the world premiere of Abe!. Schoonover also conducted several productions at Winter Opera St. Louis, including Rigoletto, Samson et Dalila, Don Pasquale, and Werther, and in 2010 conducted the world premiere of Barbara Harbach’s O Pioneers! at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Also active as a choral conductor and accompanist, Schoonover is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the newly formed Missouri Women’s Chorus and has appeared with the St. Louis Women’s Chorale, Bel Canto Chorus, and the Gateway Men’s Chorus. He serves as the Director of Music at Union Avenue Christian Church.
Emily DePauw joined Union Avenue Opera as its Administrative Director in October 2010. A native of Jerseyville, Illinois, Ms. DePauw returned to the Saint Louis region in 2009 after serving as Director of Advertising and Operations at Dame and Hurdle Jewelers in Quincy, Illinois. While in Quincy, Ms. DePauw was active in the local arts community as a student, performer, and volunteer, including a three-year tenure with the Muddy River Opera Company Board of Directors.
Ms. DePauw earned a bachelor of arts with a double major in vocal performance and communications from Quincy University. She 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 Shubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Laudate Dominum, and Faure’s Requiem. Ms. DePauw made her UAO debut in 2009 in the chorus of Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Sean Savoie is currently the resident Lighting Designer, Production Manager, and Design Coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis and has served as Production Manager for The Muny in Forest Park from 2008 to 2011. 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. Selected regional lighting design credits include: Winter Opera St. Louis, The Black Rep (Romeo and Juliet, Ragtime with Washington University), HotCity Theatre (including the Kevin Kline Award-nominated Neighborhood 3), Insight Theatre, Upstream Theatre, Wayside Theatre, Shenandoah University, Theatre West Virginia, Tsunami Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., New York Chinese Cultural Center, Portland Opera (Associate & Assistant Designer), Known Theatre (including award-winning designs for See what I Wanna See and Eurydice), Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Opera (Assistant Designer), and Rising Stars Opera in Rising Sun, Indiana. Mr. Savoie is the recipient of the 2009 united States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Rising Star Award and the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from CCM.
2013 Board of Directors
Jack Swanson – President
Scott Schoonover – Executive Vice President
Suzanne Webb – Secretary
Laurie Kampman – Treasurer pro tem
Carolyn Hewes Toft
Joseph Lintzenich – Honorary member