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
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).