Tulsa Opera

On this installment of ST, we learn about an exciting new production of Bizet's "The Pearl Fishers," which Tulsa Opera will present at the Tulsa PAC on both Friday (the 21st) and Sunday (the 23rd). As noted of this production at the Tulsa Opera website: "Georges Bizet's sensual tale of forbidden love and the bonds of true friendship is musical ambrosia. Tuneful and exotic, 'The Pearl Fishers' centers on an unusual love triangle in which two men, Nadir and Zurga, compete for the same woman but are also loyal friends.

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).

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.

On February 23rd, March 1st, and March 3rd, Tulsa Opera will present Frank Loesser's masterful "Broadway opera" --- as some have called it --- "The Most Happy Fella," with all three performances happening at the Tulsa PAC. A classic American musical that dates back to the middle 1950s, "The Most Happy Fella" is the show that gave us the beloved pop tunes "Standing on the Corner" and "Big D." Our guest on StudioTulsa is the internationally renowned baritone --- and current associate professor of voice at the University of Oklahoma --- Kim Josephson, who stars in this production.

On this edition of ST, we welcome Kostis Protopapas of Tulsa Opera back to our show. Tulsa Opera will soon present Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment," a comic opera in two acts; it'll be staged at the Tulsa PAC on October 13th (at 7:30pm), 19th (at 7:30pm), and 21st (at 2:30pm). This production stars soprano Sarah Coburn, tenor Gregory Schmidt, bass-baritone Peter Strummer, and mezzo-soprano Dorothy Byrne. Protopapas was named artistic director of Tulsa Opera in 2008; he's currently also serving as the organization's interim executive director.

[Aired on Friday, February 24th.] On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Jake Heggie, the composer of "Dead Man Walking," which premiered in San Francisco in 2000, and has since become one of the most popular and most widely performed American operas of today (with more than 150 performances worldwide). Tulsa Opera will stage "Dead Man Walking" at the Tulsa PAC on Saturday the 25th (at 7:30pm), Friday the 2nd (at 7:30pm), and Sunday the 4th (at 2:30pm).