Marie Antoinette, she of the cake and the eating aphorism, is dead, and more than a little preoccupied. Even though she and her entire royal court, including her husband, King Louis XVI, exist in the spirit world pretty much as they did in life, that whole beheading thing has really taken a toll on her psyche. When court playwright Beaumarchais announces his love for Antoinette, she's moved not a whit. So Beaumarchais determines that the way to win her heart is to change the past by staging a new play for her. A Figaro for Antonia will cause time to come undone and reassemble itself so that there is no fatal trip to the guillotine, thanks to the cunning and silly machinations of Figaro, Beaumarchais' famous literary creation. But in this play-within-opera fantasy things go awry, and Beaumarchais must himself enter into the action in a desperate attempt to save his beloved queen. Honestly, John Corigliano and William M. Hoffman's The Ghosts of Versailles doesn't seem as complicated when performed, as it will be tonight in a newly revamped form, at 8 p.m. at the Loretto-Hilton Center on Webster University's campus (130 Edgar Road; 314-961-0644 or www.experienceopera.org). Tickets are $25 to $117. Ghosts has five more performances in repertory through Saturday, June 27.
Wed., June 17, 8 p.m.; Fri., June 19, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 21, 7 p.m.; Tue., June 23, 1 p.m.; Thu., June 25, 8 p.m.; Sat., June 27, 8 p.m., 2009