Staying Alive

Today’s special Staying Alive performance is the second of three in celebration of Pride Month. Tenor David Portillo sings “I am a quiet flower” from Awakenings by Tulsa Opera Composer and Artistic Director Tobias Picker. He is accompanied by Yasuko Oura.

David Portillo, a former Filstrup Resident Artist, last appeared in Tulsa in 2018 when he performed in Tulsa Opera’s 70th anniversary gala, The Stars Align. He also sang the role of Count Almaviva in Tulsa Opera’s 2011 production of The Barber of Seville. Portillo was to have debuted the role of Mr. Rodriguez in Tobias Picker’s Awakenings in its premiere earlier this month at Opera Theater St. Louis.

Awakenings, Tobias Picker’s latest opera, on a libretto by Aryeh Lev Stollman, is about a group of institutionalized survivors of the Sleeping Sickness pandemic of 1916-1927. Based on the book by Oliver Sacks, the opera focuses on these “human statues,” who were reawakened in the summer of 1969 with an experimental drug only to return to their “frozen” states when the drug no longer helped them.

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