On this edition of ST, a chat with Bruce Adolphe, the New York-based pianist and composer who's probably best known for his long-running gig as "The Piano Puzzler" on the classical public-radio show, Performance Today. He'll be giving a free-to-the-public address on Saturday the 14th in Tyrrell Hall on the TU campus; the talk begins at 7pm and will focus on humor in music.

Giacomo Puccini's "La Boheme" is, of course, the musically sumptuous tale of four young Parisienne bohemians and their loves and losses. (It's also, as many of us know, the basis for "Rent.") Tulsa Opera's 68th season gets underway this weekend with this popular opera. Karin Wolverton stars as Mimi, and Sony Music recording artist Nathan Granner (of "American Tenors" fame) makes his company and role debut as Rodolfo. We're joined on this edition of ST by Tulsa Opera's artistic director, and conductor for the production, Kostis Protopapas, who talks in detail about this opera.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Jennifer Alden, the co-founder and co-director of the Tulsa-based dance company, Portico Dans Theatre. Aldren tells us about this company's latest production, which, per the Portico Dans Theatre website, "combines the drama of an opera ('Pagliacci') and the physicality of aerial dance in 'Pagliacci Project.' The production employs youth and adult dancers on aerial silks, lyra, trapeze, and the Spanish web.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with the acclaimed American composer Carlisle Floyd, whose opera, "Of Mice and Men," will be staged this weekend (that is, both this evening and Sunday afternoon) by Tulsa Opera at the Tulsa PAC. This widely performed work was first performed in 1970 by the Seattle Opera; other notable operas composed by Floyd include "Susannah" (1955), "Wuthering Heights" (1958), "Flower and Hawk" (1972), "Willie Stark" (1981), and "Cold Sassy Tree" (2000).

This weekend -- just in time for Valentine's Day -- Tulsa Opera will offer two performances of Gounod's "Roméo et Juliette." This classic opera will be staged on Friday the 13th at 7:30pm and Sunday the 15th at 2:30pm, with both productions happening at the Tulsa PAC.

At the Tulsa PAC this coming weekend -- on the evening of Friday the 24the and the afternoon of Sunday the 26th -- Tulsa Opera will stage Rossini's delightful romantic comedy, "La Cenerentola" (or, if you prefer, "Cinderella"). This well-liked piece, which tells the familiar rags-to-riches story of a poor and mistreated yet nevertheless good-hearted young woman, will be sung in Italian with projected English translations. Tulsa's own Lauren McNeese stars in the title role. Our guest on ST today is Marc Astafan, who's the stage director for this production.

This weekend, Tulsa Opera will continue its current season with the Oklahoma premiere of "Elmer Gantry," a Grammy Award-winning opera by Robert Aldridge. Based on the eponymous novel by Sinclair Lewis and the 1960 motion picture with Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons, this classic piece recounts the rise and fall of a charismatic but unscrupulous thrill-seeker who joins the 1920s Evangelical movement of the American Midwest. "Elmer Gantry" will be staged at Chapman Hall in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center on Friday the 28th (at 7:30pm) and Sunday the 2nd (at 2:30pm).

On this installment of ST, we welcome the widely acclaimed mezzo-soprano Lauren McNeese, who has performed on opera stages all over the world, and who, as Opera News has noted, possesses "one of those distinctive timbres recognizable six miles away in the dark...with a sparkling quality intriguingly laced with a hint of lemon juice." McNeese made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Wagner's "Parsifal" during the 2012-13 season; she's played Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" with Minnesota Opera, and has also appeared with the Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, Ravinia Festival, Los

Tulsa Opera Presents Verdi's "Aida"

Apr 22, 2013

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.

Robert Ward, the highly acclaimed American composer, died today at age 95. Ward won the Pulitzer Prize for his opera "The Crucible" --- based on the classic Arthur Miller play, with a libretto adapted by Bernard Stambler --- which was commissioned by the New York City Opera and had its premiere in 1961.