THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for Opera on the River 2021!  Although we headed inside because of rain, our spirits were not dampened, and the evening of music and singing and community was AMAZING!


Special thanks to Trinity Lutheran Church, for your warm hospitality in providing an indoor space for the Grand Concert. In addition, thank you to ASLIS, who provided ASL interpreters for the whole of the concert.


Next, a big thank you to our sponsors and production partners:


  • Minnesota State Arts Board

  • Lakeview Hospital - Stillwater,MN

  • YourClassical MPR

  • The Hall Family Foundation

  • Sit Investment Associates

  • Water Street Inn

  • Royal Credit Union

  • Valley Bookseller

  • Galowitz Olson PLLC

  • First State Bank and Trust

  • Stillwater Rotary Club

  • Phipps Center for the Arts

  • Advanced Dermatology Care

  • Lake Elmo Bank

  • Valley Access Channels

  • Icabod Productions

  • Jane Dierberger Photography

  • Pictures Over Stillwater

  • Donald Birttnen


It is because of our committed sponsors that Opera on the River is FREE for anyone to attend—and our production partners help the show go off without a hitch. Please show your gratitude and support their businesses in the St. Croix Valley area.


Also, SCVO would not have grown so much over the past few years if it wasn’t for our Board of Directors and staff.  Hip hip hooray for each of you!


And finally, GRAZIE to the Opera on the River 2021 artists and musicians: Vanessa Becerra, Sarah Larsen, Andres Acosta, and Luis Orozco; Andrew Sun and Nathan Cicero; Four Voices String Quartet, Karrin Meffert-Nelson, Catherine Ramirez, and Matthew Frischman; and Gary Briggle and Jennifer Eckes.  This year’s Grand Concert was truly GRAND—and we look forward to partnering with you again soon!


That’s a wrap on Opera on the River 2021—and onto planning for Opera on the River 2022!


Opera on the River Returns to Lowell Park

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Opera on the River 2019


Opera on the River 2019 Headliners

Opera on the River is returning once again to its home on the banks of the St. Croix River in Lowell Park in downtown Stillwater! Festivities begin the previous weekend with St. Croix Valley Opera’s inaugural Opera on the River Vocal Competition on Saturday, July 31 and continue with a Performing Arts Fair Saturday August 7, culminating with the Grand Concert Saturday evening, August 7 at 7:00 pm. The Grand Concert is free and open to all—we encourage people to bring chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets and enjoy an evening in the park! The evening will take the audience on a magical sunset trip down a river of music, from lush romantic arias, comedic duets, and


rousing chorus numbers from some of opera’s classics, to fan favorite musical theatre numbers. With live local instrumentalists and chorus members performing alongside headliners soprano Vanessa Becerra; Minnesota native mezzo-soprano Sarah Larsen; tenor Andres Acosta; and baritone Luis Orozco, the concert’s memorable atmosphere will ensure that everyone in attendance will leave humming.

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Andrew Sun



Sarah Larsen



Nathan Cicero

Assistant Conductor


Luis Orozco



Gary Briggle

Stage Director


Matthew Frischman String Bass


The Opera on the River Vocal Competition is open to unmanaged singers between the ages of 18 and 26. Full eligibility criteria can be found here. The judging panel for the competition includes American dramatic soprano Margaret Jane Wray and local choir director Katelyn Larson. Modest cash prizes will be awarded to the singers who place first, second, and third, and there will also be a "People's Choice" candidate selected by the spectators. The top two winning singers may also have an opportunity to perform in the Opera on the River Grand Concert the following week. The general public is invited to attend part or all of the vocal competition day, hosted at the Stillwater Area High School Auditorium.

Beginning in the morning Saturday, August 7, SCVO will also host a Performing Arts Fair in Lowell Park that will include other music and arts organizations, non-profits, and schools from around the region representing their organizations to the crowd in the park. The performing arts fair serves two community-focused purposes by providing a platform for Opera on the River attendees to explore all of the arts offerings that our vibrant region has to offer, and by encouraging them to explore the Stillwater area and the downtown community of unique businesses and restaurants.

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According to Obed Floan, SCVO’s Executive Director, "SCVO is very excited to bring the Opera on the River Grand Concert back home after such an isolating year!  We’ve worked hard so that our expanded summer festival will enrich the supportive community of the greater St. Croix Valley and help them get to know all the exciting offerings there are throughout the region in the performing arts. Please join us for all the family-friendly festivities we've created around Opera on the River. We can't wait to see you all there!"


Obed Floan

Executive Director

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