When: Sun., June 5, 7 p.m., Thu., June 9, 8 p.m., Sat., June 11, 1 p.m., Sat., June 18, 8 p.m., Wed., June 22, 8 p.m. and Fri., June 24, 8 p.m. 2016
Being an opening act is tough, but it becomes even more onerous when you're a headliner who might have to perform in the warm-up slot. Richard Strauss' comic opera Ariadne on Naxos is about two stars who are faced with the task of performing first. A wealthy man has hired a commedia dell'arte group and an opera company to perform following his dinner party. Unfortunately dinner runs long and the fireworks are set to go off exactly at 9 p.m., so the artists are ordered to go on at the same time — you don't become wealthy by not getting your money's worth. After some bickering a compromise is reached: The comedy troupe will incorporate its act into the opera, which is a weeper about Ariadne, who was abandoned by her lover and is currently moping around the island of Naxos. What could go wrong? Opera Theatre of Saint Louis presents Ariadne on Naxos at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at Webster University's Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; 314-961-0644 or www.opera-stl.org). Ariadne is performed in repertory five more times through June 24. Tickets are $25 to $129.