Patricia Rice | St. Louis Public Radio

Patricia Rice

Patricia Rice is a freelance writer based in St. Louis who has covered religion for many years. She also writes about cultural issues, including opera.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Six and a half years ago leaders of Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Jazz St. Louis met to consider commissioning an American opera in the jazz style.

They’ve nursed it, rehearsed it and will give birth to “Champion,” by composer Terence Blanchard and librettist Michael Christofer, at 8 p.m., Sat., June 15.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Tenor Michael Hayes stepped on short notice into two roles Friday night at Opera Theatre -- as the sensitive lover Luigi in Puccini’s "Il tabarro" and as the jealous husband Canio in Leoncavallo’s "I Pagliacci."

He displayed remarkable vocal and dramatic gifts, tightening up the paired Italian tragic operas that opened last Saturday night.

Tim Mix as Michele and Emily Pulley as Giorgett in "Il tabarro."
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A green eye glares from a man’s face, which is framed by a graffiti-style heart sketched in lipstick.

That’s the image on the cover of Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ gorgeous 160-page annual program book. It is a look of sheer terror.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Two short operas about love triangles will show St. Louis audiences Saturday night that gorgeous music can often more effectively aim a story straight to the heart than words alone.

A double bill of Giacomo Puccini’s 1918 "Il Tabarro" and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s 1892 "Pagliacci" runs in rotation through June 29 as part of Opera Theatre of St. Louis' 38th spring festival.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Two short operas about love triangles will show St. Louis audiences Saturday night that gorgeous music can often more effectively aim a story straight to the heart than words alone.

A double bill of Giacomo Puccini’s 1918 "Il Tabarro" and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s 1892 "Pagliacci" runs in rotation through June 29 as part of Opera Theatre of St. Louis' 38th spring festival.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Pope Francis has long been devoted to a St. Louis pioneer woman: St.  Philippine Duchesne. For years, perhaps to this day, he daily prayed to her to intercede to God for his work. On the first month anniversary of his election, he accepted an image of St. Philippine -- a print made from the chapel stained glass window in the St. Louis archbishop’s residence at Lindell Boulevard and Taylor Avenue.

Deanna Breiwick as Mabel, Matthew Plenk as Frederic, and members of the chorus in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ 2013 production of The Pirates of Penzance.
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: A rollicking band of singing pirates will open Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ 38th festival season of five operas (two a double bill) on May 25. Gilbert and Sullivan’s infinitely hummable, romantic comedy “Pirates of Penzance” launches the season and continues with eight performances in rotation through June 29.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Many of Allyson Ditchey’s St. Louis friends passionately love Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story” but tell her they don’t like opera. “I tell friends that they should come to ‘Trouble in Tahiti’,” says Ditchey, the production’s stage manager.

“They will love this music, very Bernstein. It’s a perfect introduction to opera. It’s in English with supertitles. And the story is very smart, as relevant today as it was when he wrote it” in 1951.

“Trouble in Tahiti” opens Union Avenue Opera’s 19th season at 8 p.m. April 19.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Black smoke appeared again Wednesday from the chimney of the Sistine chapel, signaling that no pope has been elected yet. The first vote was taken Tuesday. After two more ballots this morning, the second and third of this conclave, the Cardinals went to lunch. They are expected to take two more rounds of voting this afternoon unless the 115 cardinals give one man 77 votes in the next round. 

By this weekend, the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics might have a new pope.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Argentinian Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the new pope. He is the first Jesuit pope, the first pope from the Americas, the first non-European pope since the early centuries when there were African popes.

Not even the Jesuit weekly America had him on their list of profiled candidates.

He is 76, and is humble priest who moved out of the Argentine archbishop's traditional residence and lived in an apartment in a poor neighborhood. He got rid of the chauffeur and drove his own car.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Today at 10:07 a.m. St. Louis time,  a helicopter bearing Pope Benedict XVI, the 265th pope, lifted off from the Vatican Gardens to fly 15 miles southeast to Castel Gandolfo on the shores of Lake Albano. The estate with beautiful formal gardens usually serves as the papal summer home because it is cooler, well, slightly cooler than Rome.

There at least until May, under the name of “His Holiness, Benedict XVI the Pope Emeritus,” he is expected to continue a life of prayer and writing. But Wednesday he said that his will not be a “life of privacy.”

A map of St. Louis in 1780
Archives in Seville, Spain | Wikipedia

A respected historian is as excited about three maps he found as if they were treasure maps. They lead to special sort of "gold," the earliest known description of what has become St. Louis and north St. Louis County.

Carl J. Ekberg believes a French citizen already had settled in what now lies within the today’s St. Louis city limits before Feb. 14, 1764, the auspicious day 14-year-old Auguste Chouteau oversaw the beginning of the construction of a fur trading post for Pierre Laclede Liquest.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 18, 2012 - At 4:26 a.m. Saturday, St. Louis time, Pope Benedict XVI placed a red hat on Timothy Michael Dolan making him a cardinal of the Catholic Church. The conferral service, called a consistory, took place under the great dome of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. For Dolan, it was 11:26 a.m. when he was made a cardinal.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: This morning at 4:26 St. Louis time, the pope placed a red hat on Timothy Michael Dolan making him a cardinal of the Catholic Church. The conferral service, called a consistory, took place under the great dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. For Dolan, it was 11:26 a.m. when he was made a cardinal.

Dolan who had long and loudly proclaimed that the only Cardinal he ever wanted to be was Stan Musial smiled widely at Benedict XVI and bowed his head so the pope could place the biretta on the Maplewood native’s head. In response, a huge smile broke over the German pontiff’s face.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 13, 2012 - In her scarlet, clinging dress, mezzo-soprano Kendall Gladen arched her head with gypsy attitude, hit a D and sang "Quand je vous aimerai," French for "When will I love you?" The line begins one of opera's best-known arias, the taunting habanera in Georges Bizet's "Carmen."

This article first appeared in th St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 7, 2012 - Patti Gabriel supported herself and her two children through freelance photography, a job that demands constant searching for jobs that pay well. For years, she seldom had the luxury of shooting -- and showing -- something she did just because she wanted to. That freedom to do speculative documentary work, work she sees as helping others, makes much more special her upcoming show at the Sheldon: "Northern Haiti: Human Landscape."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 6, 2012 - Concordia Seminary's "Bach at the Sem" series, which has been in hiatus, resumes its Sunday afternoon traditions with a Feb. 12 concert at 3 p.m. at the Chapel of St. Timothy and St. Titus on the seminary grounds, 801 Seminary Pl., in Clayton.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 6, 2012 - St. Louis will get a new Cardinal next month but he won't be running the bases at spring training or ever at Busch Stadium.

A native St. Louisan, Timothy Michael Dolan, 61, has been named a cardinal of the Catholic Church.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 3, 2012 - The Danforth Center for Religion and Politics at Washington University will kick off the New Year of free public lectures on Jan. 18 at 4:30 p.m. with a topic that been popular this year: "Muslim American Dissent and US. Politics Before and After 9/11."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 11, 2011 - Joy Sunday: That's what Rev. Leslie Limbaugh of Third Baptist Church in Grand Center and many Christians call, the third Sunday of Advent, which was this week.

Catholics call it Gaudate (Latin for Joy) Sunday.

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