Tulsa PAC

Theatre Tulsa -- founded in 1922 -- is the longest-running local theatre west of the Mississippi River, and the seventh oldest in the United States. To mark its 95th anniversary, the company will present a special presentation this weekend at the Tulsa PAC. The show, featuring a cast of one hundred or more, is called "Local Landmark, National Treasure: An Epic Concert Celebrating 95 Years of Theatre Tulsa" -- and it will be staged June 23rd and 24th at 8pm, and then on the 25th at 2pm.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, an equally fascinating and entertaining discussion with the one-and-only Rebecca Ungerman, the influential and diversely-talented and fan-tabulous singer/songwriter/performer who's been wowing Tulsa audiences for 20+ years. She's bringing not one but two different shows to the Tulsa PAC's SummerStage series this month: "Cats of Any Color" will be staged on the 17th and 18th, and "Oy, Gestalt!" will be presented on the 24th and 25th.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Priya Raju of the Tulsa-based Kripalaya Dance Academy. Raju is directing a production called "Sangama," which will be presented tonight (the 25th) and tomorrow night (the 26th) as part of the Tulsa PAC's SummerStage series for 2017. This word, as we learn, means "confluence," and thus Raju's show -- based in classical South Asian choreography but drawing on many other styles -- aims to not only celebrate cultural diversity but also to display how such diversity can be transcended through dance and music.

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Daniel Hege, the Principal Guest Conductor for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, who returns to our show to speak about the final TSO concert of the season (for which he'll be at the helm). That concert will happen tomorrow night, Saturday the 13th, at the Tulsa PAC. On the program, three "can't miss" favorites: Haydn's "Symphony No. 90," Kodaly's "Háry János Suite," and Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" (the 1945 version). Please note that you can access more information about this concert here.

Our guest on this edition of ST is David Dawson, the noted British choreographer. Tulsa Ballet will soon stage one of Dawson's most celebrated works, "A Million Kisses to My Skin," as part of a three-piece presentation at the Tulsa PAC.

This coming weekend -- on March 24th, 25th, and 26th -- Tulsa Ballet will present "Swan Lake," the classic 19th-century ballet, with music by Tchaikovsky, about a young maiden who has been trapped in the form of a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. Our guest on StudioTulsa is Marcello Angelini, the Artistic Director of Tulsa Ballet, who tells us about this new production. It's a piece he knows very well, having danced it scores of times as a young dancer in his native Italy and then, later, as a member of the Kiev Institute of Dance in the former Soviet Union.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak once again with Daniel Hege, the Principal Guest Conductor for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra. Hege is back in town to conduct the TSO's next concert, which happens tomorrow night (Saturday the 14th) at 7:30pm in the Tulsa PAC's Chapman Music Hall. This concert will feature Beethoven's Symphony No. 4  as well as works by Mendelssohn ("The Hebrides") and Ravel ("Le tombeau de Couperin" and "Tzigane").

Our guest is Bruce Sorrell, Executive Director of Chamber Music Tulsa, or CMT, who tells us about the upcoming Beethoven Winter Festival that his wonderful organization is presenting next month. As noted at the CMT website: "The Beethoven Winter Festival, happening February 17-26, 2017, at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, takes both a mental and musical journey with the composer when the Miro Quartet performs all 16 of Beethoven's string quartets in chronological order over six concerts.

On this edition of ST, we are discussing "Onegin," the universally acclaimed 20th-century ballet by the late choreographer John Cranko, with music by Tchaikovsky, which Tulsa Ballet will present this coming weekend (October 28th through the 30th) at the Tulsa PAC. This ballet -- based on the Alexander Pushkin verse-novel called "Eugene Onegin" -- offers the love story of Tatiana and Onegin. It's a rich and engaging tale of unrequited romance -- as full of complex drama as it is great dancing -- and you can learn more about this ballet here.

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.

Photo Credit: Wendy Mutz

On this edition of our show, we learn about a newly created original musical called "Pryor Rendering," which is being staged from today, the 13th, through Sunday, the 16th, at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center (at 2nd and Cincinnati). Tulsa's American Theatre Company has joined forces with the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre and the University of Oklahoma to create this work. It's a coming-of-age story about a young boy who struggles with his loneliness, his sexuality, and his father's absence, and it's adapted from a novel by Tulsa native Gary Reed.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Philip Mann, the music director of the Arkansas Symphony, who's also been an assistant conductor for performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Ken Tracy, the founder and executive director of the non-profit Choregus Productions, which started offering performances of world-class music and contemporary dance to Tulsa audiences ten years ago. Tracy joins us to talk about a newly created dance festival from Choregus, which will kick off at the Tulsa PAC on Saturday night, the 30th, and which will present dance companies from the US, Israel, and France/Algeria.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we learn about "Mothers and Sons," a play by Terrence McNally which originally opened on Broadway in 2014, and which opens tonight (Friday the 13th) at the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre. It's a tragic yet often amusing depiction of an older woman from Dallas who pays an unexpected visit to the New York City apartment of her late son's partner, who is now married to another man.

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 get to know the young piano virtuosos Yaron Kohlberg and Bishara Haroni, who are among the leading classical pianists of their generation in their respective homelands: Israel and Palestine. For the past few years, they have performed together as Duo Amal -- the word "amal" means "hope," by the way -- appearing pretty much all over the globe, from the Beijing Concert Hall to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Tonight, Tuesday the 29th, they will perform at the Williams Theater in the Tulsa PAC.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Benjamin Zander, the noted conductor, music educator, public speaker, and author of "The Art of Possibility." Maestro Zander is here in town to give a sold-out address to the Tulsa Town Hall tomorrow morning, Friday the 11th, and also to conduct the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night (the 12th; beginning at 7:30pm) in a performance of Mahler's magnificent Resurrection Symphony (a/k/a Symphony No. 2).

On this edition of ST, we chat with Sarah Ioannides, who currently is the conductor for the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, and who's been described by The New York Times as a conductor of "unquestionable strength and authority." Ioannides will be the guest conductor for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra tomorrow night, Saturday the 20th, when the TSO presents its next concert.

Our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa is Daniel Hege, who is the newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor for the Tulsa Symphony. Tomorrow night, Saturday the 26th, at 7:30pm, the symphony will present its first Tulsa PAC concert of the new season; it's an evening entitled "Experience the Exotic." On the program: Rimsky-Korsakov's famous tone poem, "Scheherazade," as well as Liszt's "Piano Concerto No.

Theatre Tulsa's much-praised SummerStage production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "Next to Normal," returns this weekend for a set of "back by popular demand" performances at the Tulsa PAC's John H. Williams Theatre. A novel and quite jolting blend of rock music and intense drama, this play depicts a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder, exploring how the affliction affects not only herself but her family.

On this edition of ST, we offer another installment in our ongoing series of interviews with organizations vying to be included in the Vision 2025 sales tax extension for the City of Tulsa. This extension is expected to go before voters in the spring of 2016, and over the past couple of months, many area organizations (from Gilcrease Museum to the Tulsa Zoo; from Tulsa Transit to Langston University) have been presenting proposals in this regard to the Tulsa City Council. We at StudioTulsa are speaking with certain of those groups whose ideas seem especially interesting and/or feasible.

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.

John Williams -- the still-active genius who created the music for such classic movies as "Jaws," "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial," and "Schindler's List" (to name just a handful) -- is arguably the greatest composer ever to work in Hollywood. And his memorable, broadly popular music will be the focal point for the final Tulsa Symphony Orchestra concert of this season.

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).

Our guest on ST is Gerhardt Zimmermann, who will be the Guest Conductor for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on Saturday the 14th at the Tulsa PAC. This "Simply Tragic" concert, as its being called, will begin at 7:30pm, and it will feature the 80-to-85-minute masterpiece by Mahler known as Symphony No. 6 in A minor (a/k/a the "Tragische").

On this edition of ST, we welcome Jeffrey Zeigler, the gifted cello player and composer who's best known for his eight-year tenure with the internationally known Kronos Quartet. Since leaving that collective about two years ago, Zeigler has embarked on an interesting (and decidedly multi-genre) solo career that's found him collaborating with a host of fascinating musicians -- such as singer/songwriter Norah Jones, avant-jazz guru John Zorn, pianist Vijay Iyer, composer Philip Glass, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, and so forth.

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.

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 6th, at the Tulsa PAC, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will present a winter- and holiday-themed concert with Steven Smith as Guest Conductor. This is Smith's second appearance with the TSO, and he's our guest on ST today. On the program for tomorrow evening, Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E minor (with violinist Rossitza Jekova-Goza as the soloist) as well as two selections from Tchaikovsky: the seldom-heard-but-excellent Symphony No. 1 in G minor (a/k/a "Winter Dreams") and, of course, Selections from The Nutcracker.

On this edition of ST, we're pleased to welcome Rebecca Ungerman back to our program. She has long been known and admired as one of the outstanding jazz/cabaret singers in the Tulsa community. She's also a wonderful songwriter, and her original musical, "The Unwitting Wife," was first staged about two years ago here in town (and was thereafter staged in Israel).

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