Classic 1950’s hit explores line between opera and Broadway
TULSA, OK – Tulsa Opera will present Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella Saturday, February 23; Friday, March 1; and Sunday, March 3, 2013, at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. The production continues Tulsa Opera’s commitment to featuring a production of an American work each season.
The Tulsa Opera production stars Metropolitan Opera baritone Kim Josephson in the title role of Tony. Josephson has performed more than 240 performances in 28 roles at the Met. He is also well known for his critically acclaimed role as Eddie Carbone in the operatic adaptation of Arthur Miller’s play A View from the Bridge. Celebrated opera and musical theater stage director Dorothy Danner makes her Tulsa Opera debut as director with this Tulsa Opera premiere.
The Most Happy Fella tells the story of Tony, a middle-aged Italian vineyard owner who proposes by mail to Rosabella, a young waitress he met in San Francisco. Leery of revealing his age, Tony sends Rosabella a photo of his handsome ranch foreman, Joe. Love, laughter and drama intertwine as the story unfolds.
First produced in 1956, The Most Happy Fella was the second big success of Frank Loesser, award winning composer of Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, as well as classic songs “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” “On a Slow Boat to China,” and “Luck Be a Lady.” Based on Loesser’s adaptation of Sidney Howard’s play They Knew What They Wanted, it is often referred to as the most ambitiously operatic show ever written for the Broadway stage. The original production ran for 676 performances, was nominated for six Tony awards and was the first Broadway production to ever be recorded in its entirety by the original Broadway cast, requiring three LPs to accommodate more than forty songs. Almost completely set to music and combining operatic arias and ensembles with memorable songs and rousing production numbers such as “Standing on the Corner,” “Big D,” and “My Heart is So Full of You,” The Most Happy Fella holds strong appeal for opera and Broadway musical fans alike.
“This is a rare opportunity to see a revival of a major work by one of America’s most iconic Broadway composers,” said Kostis Protopapas, Tulsa Opera’s Artistic Director. “Both the complexity of the production and the emphasis on vocal quality set it apart from other Broadway works, making it a natural fit for adventurous opera companies like Tulsa Opera.”
To purchase tickets or for more information about Tulsa Opera, visit tulsaopera.com or call 918-587-4811.
About Tulsa Opera
Tulsa Opera, the 18th oldest opera company in North America, is ranked among the ten favorite regional opera companies in the United States. The company presents three grand opera productions each season at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Tulsa Opera draws its audiences from a five state region that includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.
Placing special emphasis on contributing to the future of the operatic art form, Tulsa Opera operates an extensive education and outreach program that provides opportunities for adults and children statewide. Those programs include Tulsa Youth Opera (TYO), a free, auditioned chorus for singers in grades 3-12; Opera on Tour!, a statewide elementary and middle school tour; the Studio Artist Program, an apprenticeship program for young professional singers; the Student Matinee, an annual full-length opera performance for 2,300 schoolchildren; and teacher workshops.
Tulsa Opera is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization presenting productions made possible, in part, by generous funding from our patrons, the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information about Tulsa Opera, visit tulsaopera.com.