Also marking OTSL
's 40th anniversary season was the US premiere of Handel's Riccardo Primo of 1727, which then featured singers whose names still glitter--the castrato Senesino, the famous rival sopranos Cuzzoni and Faustina, and bass Giuseppi Maria Boschi.
Perhaps even more remarkable, the OTSL's budget has grown from $139,000 to nearly $5 million without ever running a deficit.
As the twentieth century closes, the attention the OTSL lavishes on young singers, technicians, and composers helps ensure opera's vitality into the twenty-first century.
He ended up leading the OTSL for its first decade and developing the company's unique character.
Miki, a native of Tokushima Prefecture, has supervised the music in operas based on early modern Japanese works ''Ada'' (An Actor's Revenge), performed in 1979 in London, and ''Joruri,'' staged in 1985 at the OTSL
cast may not have been as starry on paper as the original one, but the Marie Antoinette of Maria Kanyova and the Beaumarchais of James West-man could hardly have been bettered.
As of 2008, OTSL has already presented 19 world premieres, all but two of them self-commissioned, and 23 American premieres during its 33 year history, a record rivaled by few other companies on this continent.
What has helped OTSL champion the offbeat so successfully is its architectural secret weapon, the 987-seat Loretto-Hilton Centre on the sylvan suburban campus of Webster University.
Departing General Director Charles MacKay (who takes over from Richard Gaddes, OTSL's founding General Director, as head of Santa Fe Opera this coming season) contends that it is the intimacy of the Loretto-Hilton Centre that still makes the use of English appropriate in an age of surtitles, and Roger Honeywell agrees, pointing out the rewards for a singer of instant audience comprehension.
OTSL's music director, Stephen Lord, is the most familiar face on the podium, and the guest conductors for 2004 are Marin Alsop, Jane Glover and Dean Williamson.
Almost from the beginning, OTSL has presented a small but steady stream of Canadian artists: conductors Yves Abel, Mario Bernardi and Richard Bradshaw, designers and directors Michael Patrick Albano, Andre Barbe, Susan Benson, Renaud Doucet, Joshua Major and David William.
The notion of personal transition was also in abundance in OTSL
's joint production with L'Opera de Montreal of Thais.