The Marriage of Figaro The natural and open voices of baritone Christopher Feigum as Figaro and soprano Maria Kanyova as Susanna set the tone in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis' new production of Mozart's brilliant comic opera. Despite a last-minute replacement of the orchestra's conductor, the entire cast of fine young singers provide a spirit and passion that breathes life into Mozart's luscious melodies. The traditional high points of the opera — Amanda Majeski's emotional aria as Rosina, mourning her failing marriage, and the famed duet featuring Susanna and Rosina that was featured in the film The Shawshank Redemption, do not disappoint. Performed in English through June 26 at the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, Webster Groves. Tickets are $25 to $117. Call 314-961-0644 or visit www.opera-stl.org.
— Lew Prince
Ongoing Eye on the Sparrow: The World Within St. Louis When it comes to how misleading titles can be, this offering from Gitana Productions is Exhibit A. Except for the occasional fleeting reference to locations like Clayton and Ballas, this script by Lee Patton Chiles could just as easily be subtitled "the world within" Peoria or Birmingham. So don't go in thinking you're going to gain insights into Our Town, because they're not here. What we're given instead is an evening of mostly mainstream inspirational songs ("Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Lean on Me," "America the Beautiful") interspersed with a plot line about hard economic times in 2008. Tim Poertner has designed a fun Metro bus that moves about the stage without spinning its wheels. That same cannot be said of the script. Through June 6 at Saint Louis University's theater in Xavier Hall, 3733 West Pine Mall (on the SLU campus). Tickets are $15 ($12 for students and seniors). Call 314-721-6556 or visit stlouis.missouri.org/501c/gitana.
— Dennis Brown