TULSA, Okla. – Tulsa Opera has named Aaron Beck as artistic director, succeeding Tobias Picker, who served in the role for six seasons.
Beck is a 12-year veteran with Tulsa Opera, where he has directed the company’s vibrant education and community outreach programs and served as artistic administrator. The promotion to artistic director adds oversight of the company’s mainstage productions to his ongoing responsibilities.
“Aaron has been an essential part of what many people in the community know and love about Tulsa Opera for the last dozen years,” said Steve Walton, chairman of the Tulsa Opera board of directors. “We are excited about expanding Aaron’s leadership to our flagship mainstage productions as we prepare to launch Tulsa Opera’s 75th season.”
The anniversary season kicks off Oct. 28th with two performances of Gioachino Rossini’s The Italian Girl (L’italiana in Algeri) at the VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education.
“On behalf of our company and the Tulsa community, we thank Tobias for six excellent years of groundbreaking, engaging opera – including Don Giovanni with Lucia Lucas and the acclaimed Baseball Rigoletto at Tulsa’s ONEOK Field when the pandemic had shuttered performance venues everywhere,” Walton said. “We look forward to hearing Tobias’ seventh opera, Lili Elbe, when it premieres next year in Switzerland.”
Beck and Picker will work to ensure a smooth transition of the artistic director role, said Ken McConnell, Tulsa Opera general director and chief executive officer.
“It has been an honor to work alongside Tobias these past six years,” Beck said, “I thank Ken and the Board for trusting me to take our beloved company into its 75th year. We look forward to bringing Tulsa a lively, entertaining season of opera.”
Picker reflected on his tenure with Tulsa Opera: “When I took on the role of artistic director for Tulsa Opera, I was charged with fulfilling an ambitious artistic vision for the company, building on its reputation as an important incubator for rising vocal talent and selecting repertoire and casting singers that would push the company to the forefront of the opera world’s attention. I leave this role feeling extremely proud of the work we did together and the boundaries we pushed with our Greenwood Overcomes concert featuring works by 23 living Black composers and five world premieres commemorating the Tulsa Race Massacre centennial that reached a worldwide audience via livestreaming and a GBH-produced national broadcast a particular highlight. I wish the company every success.”
Tulsa Opera tickets are available at www.tulsaopera.com and by phone at 918-582-3133.
About Tulsa Opera
Formed in 1948, Tulsa Opera is the first performing arts organization established in Oklahoma and the 10th oldest opera company in North America. The company excels at producing bold, brave, and fresh productions of opera classics, and accomplishes this by identifying excellent young singers, then pairing them with conductors and stage directors who can improve their artistic talents. In addition to presenting a main stage season, the company fosters young talent through outstanding initiatives such as The Raise Your Voice Tour, a program that brings live educational performance to nearly 10,000 students annually, with a focus on disadvantaged urban and rural schools. Tulsa Opera, throughout its history, has articulated the desire of local leaders to create and maintain a world-class city. Opera is in Tulsa’s DNA, and communication with opera patrons confirms that the Tulsa community has a robust commitment to the company’s success. More information at www.tulsaopera.com.