On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome back Kostis Protopapas, who's been the Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera since May of 2008. He previously served as the company's Associate Conductor and Chorusmaster, and he joins us today to talk about Tulsa Opera's latest production --- the final show if its current season, for which Protopapas himself is the conductor --- "Aida" by Giuseppe Verdi. This production opened on Saturday the 20th at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center's Chapman Music Hall; it will continue with two more curtains, on Friday the 26th and Sunday the 28th. (For more on this production, including details on show times and ticket availability, please see this link from the Tulsa Opera wesbite.) Protopapas tells us about the place of this opera within Verdi's incredible career as well as its importance in Italian history and culture more broadly; he also discusses the cast, the musicians, and the overall dramatic approach of this version of "Aida." And moreover, concerning the story of "Aida" --- offered here by way of background, as culled from the aforesaid Tulsa Opera site --- we note the following: "The grandest of grand operas, 'Aida' takes place in [Ancient] Egypt during a time of war. An enslaved Ethiopian princess, Aida, and leader of the Egyptian army, Radamès, keep their forbidden love a secret, hoping that after the war they can be united. Amneris, the daughter of the Pharaoh, loves Radamès and is determined to marry him. But when she becomes jealous of his feelings for Aida, she schemes a deceptive plan. Aida must decide if her loyalties lie with her country or her love for Radamès."