The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis opens tonight with Michael Hollinger's “Opus,” the story of a famous string quartet who must replace one of their members in time to perform for the White House. Director Brendon Fox described the quartet as a family of sorts, making the play relatable even to someone who doesn’t know much about classical music.
There are many parallels between the arts, Fox said, and the “cross-pollination between the fields” found in "Opus" makes the play both unique and exciting. He recruited three members of the St. Louis Symphony to coach his actors into believable musicians, including cellist Bjorn Ranheim, who is also a member of the quartet The 442s.
Unlike the hierarchy of the symphony, members of a quartet come up with artistic direction more democratically, which can make for some lively discussions.
“You have four very unique personalities, perspectives, and different musical ideas, and you have to fight for those ideas and you have to convince everybody, and then become convincing as a unit,” Ranheim said.
The other two St. Louis Symphony musicians serving as coaches are violinist Eva Kozma and violist Shannon Farrell Williams.
Repertory Theatre of St. Louis Presents Michael Hollinger's "Opus"
January 10 - February 2, 2014
Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts, 130 Edgar Road
For more information, call 314-968-4925 or visit the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis website.
Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted by Steve Potter and funded in part by the the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.