2 Free Spring-Break Performances Set at Tulsa Libraries

Tulsa Opera Ready to Rocket More Than 7,000 Elementary-School Students Into Space Adventure With Interactive Children’s Opera in Tulsa-Area Schools  

Tulsa Opera’s Raise Your Voice Tour to Present “Space Encounters,”a Tale of 2 Astronauts, Their Robot and a Quirky Alien

TULSA, OKLAHOMA (March 9, 2023) – Tulsa Opera is set to launch its 2023 Raise Your Voice Tour of Tulsa-area schools this month with an interactive children’s opera set in outer-space. The Tulsa Opera performances will engage more than 7,000 elementary-school students.

Each performance is paired with supporting educational curriculum or an activity that is designed to boost learning, inquiry and discussion.

Spring-Break Performances

This year’s Raise Your Voice Tour features two free performances during schools’ spring-break week. Those performances, presented in partnership with Tulsa City-County Library, are open to all elementary-age children and their families. Children who attend these special shows at the libraries will receive an educational, take-home activity – a build-your-own comet. The spring-break performances are:

The Space Opera

Space Encounters is the show that Tulsa Opera’s Raise Your Voice Tour is performing this year.

The 50-minute, interactive, children’s opera tells the story of two astronauts and their robot as they search an unknown planet to find the source of a strange radio signal. The trio celebrates to discover they’ve found their first inhabited planet, but, alas, the lone occupant is a quirky, reclusive humanoid, Zolo, who fled his noisy home planet to be alone so he can think, create art and invent. When the astronauts share that the things Zolo has been working on in solitude have already been created or invented by others, he examines his own progress on his own and must choose whether to leave his solitude and join the trio on their journey to the unknown.

For this production of Space Encounters, students learn music in advance of the show so they can sing along with the performers. During the performance, the two astronaut characters teach students in the audience to sing in a round to help power their spaceship’s journey.

This is the U.S. premiere of Space Encounters, by Sean O’Boyle and Ian McFadyen of Australia.

Tour Performances at Schools

During the two weeks from March 20 through March 31, Tulsa Opera’s Raise Your Voice Tour will reach more than 7,000 elementary-school students with more than 20 performances across more than 50 area schools.

Tulsa Public Schools second-graders will experience the Raise Your Voice Tour program through a partnership with the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child initiative. Tulsa Opera also has developed partnerships with many other Northeast Oklahoma schools, public and private, to deliver the program.

In addition to the opera performances, Tulsa Opera provides participating schools and organizations with a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum activity guide that complements the Space Encounters production and guides student inquiry, discussion and problem-solving. The lesson plans and teaching materials are provided with support from the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance.

About Tulsa Opera’s Raise Your Voice Tour

While Tulsa Opera has for decades brought performances directly to school students, this is the first year it is doing so under the banner of its newly named Raise Your Voice Tour.

“Our Raise Your Voice Tour engages children through storytelling and opera,” says Aaron Beck, Tulsa Opera artistic director. “In just two weeks this spring, we will introduce thousands of students to opera in an on-stage, interactive spectacle that brings them up close and personal with music, drama, art and dance.”

Sponsors for Tulsa Opera’s Raise Your Voice Tour are:

  • Arts Alliance Tulsa;
  • The Barnett Family Foundation;
  • Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies;
  • Edward E. and Helen Turner Bartlett Foundation;
  • National Endowment for the Arts;
  • Oklahoma Arts Council;
  • Ruth K. Nelson Revocable Trust; and
  • Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance.