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Best Gadfly St. Louis 2012 - Ed Golterman

For well over a decade, Ed Golterman pounded the drum for the restoration of the Kiel Opera House. When the auditorium (rechristened the Peabody Opera House) was opened last year following a $78 million makeover, many thought they'd seen the last of Golterman's voluminous letters to the editor and blistering online comments. Think again. The best gadflies can't be swatted away so easily. Today the opera house looks fantastic, Golterman agrees, but he believes it's a crime how infrequently the landmark is used. "A hall like that should have 30 to 40 shows a month. Instead it has three or four," notes Golterman in full flower. He spends a good chunk of each day banging that same drum on online forums — regardless of whether the topic at hand has anything to do with the opera house. "A lot of stuff goes back to the Kiel if you connect the dots," he argues. "Some say I'm obsessive-compulsive. But I confront lies. My mission now: to free the opera house and let it contribute to downtown's rebirth. It's been open for a year, so let's really open it."

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