When: Thu., June 15, 8 p.m. and Fri., June 16, 8 p.m. 2017
Opera is often perceived to require a large time commitment, as shows commonly stretch to three or five hours (looking at you, Wagner). But it needn't be that way. St. Louis' own Gateway Opera makes a practice of mounting shows that may only run for twenty minutes. The company's new show Mayhem à la Femme blazes through three operas in the time it takes most operas to get to the second act. D. Jasper Sussman's A Shell of a Troll is an absurdist take on murder-mysteries that tells the story of one Sunday afternoon in the life of the wealthy troll, Senator Pompe. Caetlyn Van Buren's update of Pauline Viardot's Cendrillon is about a would-be political activist who is forced to take care of her useless sisters and father when she wants to be enacting social change in the streets. She resorts to sending political screeds to the palace, which eventually catch the attention of the Prince. Dale Trumbore updates a dozen fairy tales in her opera Snow White Turns Sixty, which sees familiar characters learn something new about their own well-worn stories. Mayhem à la Femme is performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (June 15 and 16) at the Chapel (6238 Alexander Drive; www.gatewayopera.org). Tickets are $20.