Welcome to Tulsa Opera’s 65th season! Last October, the New Yorker magazine called Tulsa Opera “one of the sturdier and more adventurous companies in its class” and the Tulsa World called our production of Dead Man Walking “the best best production Tulsa Opera has staged in more than a decade.” We are excited to be raising the curtain on another season of amazing singing and productions passionately prepared by our talented staff, musicians and crew.
We open the season October 13th with The Daughter of the Regiment, one of Gaetano Donizetti’s lesser known but most entertaining works. Last October Tara Faircloth’s staging of The Barber of Seville received such a great audience response that we decided to open this season with a production in a similar vein, directed again by her. Sarah Coburn, the incomparable bel canto stylist, gives her first performance in the title role. Tenor Greg Schmidt brings his thrilling top to the famous aria of the nine high C’s. The irrepressible Peter Strummer returns as Sergeant Sulpice, and Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Dorothy Byrne makes her Tulsa Opera debut AND gives the final performance of a long and illustrious career as the Marquise de Berkenfield.
In February, Tulsa Opera joins some of the nation’s most prestigious opera companies in exploring the treasures of classic American musical theatre with the Tulsa premiere of “the most operatic work written for Broadway”. The Most Happy Fella, by Guys and Dolls composer Frank Loesser, features such favorite tunes as “Standing on the Corner” and “Big D”. The cast is led by Metropolitan Opera baritone and University of Oklahoma professor Kim Josephson as an aging Italian-American vineyard owner who falls in love with a young waitress. Legendary stage director Dorothy Danner guides this exciting venture into the realm of Broadway.
In 2013, the world of opera celebrates the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi. Beyond being a great melodist, Verdi was a profound dramatist who is often compared with Shakespeare for the dramatic power of his works and for his understanding and compassion for the human condition. We join the celebrations with a production of Aida, last seen in Tulsa in 1997. In the title role is soprano phenomenon Amber Wagner, whose debut performances in Lohengrin at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2011 took the opera world by storm. She will be joined by a Tulsa Opera favorite, mezzo-soprano Dana Beth Miller, as Amneris and former Tulsa Opera Studio Artist Brian Landry as Radames. We also welcome back dancers of the Tulsa Ballet II, choreographer Ma Cong, and singers from the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus.
Tulsa Opera, at 65, is more vivacious, vibrant and vital than ever. I hope you join us for all three productions, and that our performances not only delight your eyes and ears, but touch your heart, take you by surprise and reveal something new.Kostis Protopapas, Artistic Director Tulsa Opera