Tulsa Opera

On this edition of ST, we speak with Alison Moritz, a rising young star on the contemporary American opera scene. Moritz is currently in town to stage-direct the Tulsa Youth Opera production of "The Hobbit," which will happen at the Tulsa PAC this weekend (on both the 18th and 19th).

Tonight (Friday the 6th, at 7:30pm) and Sunday afternoon (the 8th, at 2:30pm), Tulsa Opera will present "a grand opera of biblical proportions" -- namely, Camille Saint-Saëns' "Samson and Delilah," in which Samson seeks to free his Hebrew kinsmen from the bondage of their Philistine oppressors, although the alluring and seductive Delilah has other plans.... Our guest today on ST is the legendary bass, Samuel Ramey, who's been an internationally known opera singer for decades -- and who's appearing in this production as the Old Hebrew.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the highly regarded theatrical director David Schweizer, who's currently in town to direct Tulsa Opera's staging of Andre Previn's "A Streetcar Named Desire" (happening on Friday the 4th and Sunday the 6th).

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 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.

This coming weekend, on both Saturday the 10th and Sunday the 11th, Tulsa Opera will present Tulsa Youth Opera’s production of composer Susan Kander's "The Giver." This piece, as noted at the Tulsa Opera website, is "an opera for young people based on the bestselling novel by Lois Lowry. 'The Giver' tells the story of a seemingly utopian society free from pain or strife, but also devoid of color and memory.

"Carmina Burana," the work that launched Tulsa Ballet's Resident Choreographer Ma Cong's career, premiered in 2006 to rave reviews and overwhelming popular acclaim. It was glowingly re-staged in 2010 -- and now comes an another encore of Ma Cong's masterpiece. Tulsa Ballet will collaborate with members of Tulsa Opera, Tulsa Oratorio Chorus, and the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra in a monumental production of "Carmina Burana" on October 31st, November 1st, and November 2nd 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).

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