ArtFul Living: St. Louis Area Fine Arts, Crafts & Performing Arts

By Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky, Arts Editor

Let’s Focus On Festivals This Month

Opera Theatre of St. Louis, supported by PNC Arts Alive, presents Opera Tastings on April 18 – 23. Check out this concept: Participants in this “culinary concert” series, a 90-minute event, are led through music from across the history of opera through live performances from current and recent OTSL young artists. With each aria, duet, or trio, a food or beverage pairing designed to enhance the flavors of the music is presented, prepared by some of the area’s best chefs. OTSL’s January installment of this popular program sold out 98% capacity, so reserve your tickets quickly! Spring venues, at 7 p.m. are Balaban’s in Chesterfield (April 18); Cleveland-Heath in Edwardsville (April 19); SqWires in Lafayette Square (April 21); Omega Center in North City (April 22); and at 3 p.m. Catering by Vicia in the Cortex District (April 23). Find more details at www.opera-stl.org.

Mark the calendar for April 19-23 when Shakespeare St. Louis, with support from Ken & Nancy Kranzberg, brings the 8th annual SHAKE 38 to multiple venues in St. Louis. An amazing 38 culinary masters will whip up some eclectic menu items, each dish inspired by one of the Bard’s 38 plays.

“Every year the groups seem to raise the bar in terms of location, participation and creativity, and this year, particularly with ‘38 Eats,’ audience members will be eating it up,” said Rick Dildine, artistic and executive director of the Festival. “It’s an incredible opportunity for the community, represented by amateurs and professionals alike, to come together to showcase Shakespeare’s plays through their own creative interpretations.” Who knew that Shakespeare could be so delicious!! Check out the venues at www.sfstl.com, or call 314-531-9800.

In addition to “38 Eats,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis will also showcase Shakespearean plays through photography at the International Photography Hall of Fame & Museum (www.iphf.org). The exhibit will present 38 photos taken by some of the city’s most diverse and innovative photographers and will be on view from 5-7 p.m. on April 19 at the museum. It’s no wonder why Shakespeare St. Louis was named Arts Organization of the Year by Missouri Art Council this past February in the State Capitol.

The Bach Society of St. Louis, with assistance from Centene Charitable Foundation, hosts The BACH FESTIVAL, April 20-May 21, throughout the metropolitan area. Celebrate the breadth of Bach’s work at one—or some!—of these both free and ticketed events:

The Spiritual Bach highlights Bach’s organ works alongside African-American Spirituals, on April 23 at 3 p.m. in Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church. Tickets are $20 each.  On April 30, a free Young Artist Recital features the Bach Society Young Artists at 4 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church as they present their favorite Bach solos and highlights from operatic and oratorio repertoire.  The next scheduled festival event is on May 5 (sneak announcement!), so plan now to attend Bach Chamber Music by Candlelight. It’s is a full immersion experience of Bach’s chamber music in the intimate setting of the Church of St. Michael & St. George. Tickets are $25. And that’s just the start—be sure to look for the events that continue throughout May (even Bach at the Bistro!) in next month’s ARTful Happenings. More details at www.bachsociety.org.

With all of these great ARTful events, maybe you’d like to get involved by lending a hand to museums? The American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) mission is to champion museums and nurture excellence in partnership with its members and allies. Representing more than 30,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, AAM stands for the broad scope of the museum community. The largest gathering of museum professionals in the world will be in St. Louis, May 7-10, for the 111th AAM Annual Meeting & Museum Expo.

The Host Committee needs enthusiastic volunteers—like you! Volunteer assignments are varied. (https://www.volgistics.com/ex/portal.dll/od?from=181921). If this special opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of museums appeals to you, please contact volunteers@aam-us.org.