Shakespeare, Opera festival seasons kick off Memorial Day weekend

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - In St. Louis, Memorial Day weekend is not just about barbeques and festivals, it is also the kick off to a busy season for the arts.

It is once again time for Shakespeare in the Park thanks to Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary. This season they are staging “Antony and Cleopatra,” the tragic tale of a Roman general caught under the spell of history’s most stunning and powerful queen. Performances happen every night of the week but Tuesdays until June 14, 2015. All performances are free, but ticketed reserved seating can be purchased if you prefer. Bring your blanket or lawn chair and arrive early for the green show,  a prelude to an evening’s main performance featuring local musicians, jugglers, a family craft area, and a 20-minute version of the main stage show.

Also this weekend is the Spring To Dance Festival being held at The Touhill Performing Arts Center on the UMSL campus. From contemporary and classical to modern, tap, ballet and more, the festival offers something for everyone with a different program each night.

Opera Theatre’s 2015 festival season opens Saturday, May 23, with Rossini’s the Barber of Seville, conducted by St. Louis native Ryan McAdams. The season also includes Puccini’s La Rondine, the American premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart, and Emmeline by Tobias Picker.

And the St. Louis Symphony will present special Summer at the Symphony concerts starting next weekend. The performances will feature the music of U2, Frank Sinatra, and even some of your favorite movies and video games.