For an art form roundly perceived to be the highest of the high-brow, opera certainly draws its lifeblood from the gutter. Murder, deception, adultery, murder, greed, incest, suicide, murder — these are the elemental plot points of almost every opera, and devotees love it. Don't misunderstand, we enjoy the lofty ideals of honor, grace, spiritual redemption and sacrifice that also fuel the stories; it's just that the light is always more brilliant when contrasted with a little shade. The University of Missouri-St. Louis Opera Theatre wallows in a bit of filth and degradation in the program Desire, Deception and All Things Wicked, a musical celebration of the seven deadly sins featuring the works of Rossini, Mozart and Britten, among others. So come and get down in the dirt at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday (March 3 and 4) at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.touhill.org). Admission is free — oh, that's temptation right there. Let's add pandering to the list of vices as well.
Tue., March 3; Wed., March 4, 2009