Ken McConnell didn’t start out with the intention of going into the arts. But Carmen changed his mind.
Ken joined Tulsa Opera in 2014, and the production of Carmen astounded him. From the cast and the orchestra, to the stage set and the dressers – everything drew him into the world of opera, and he’s been devoted to it ever since.
In addition to his current position, Ken has also served Tulsa Opera as Chief Administrative Officer, managing multimillion-dollar budgets, a staff of ten, plus the scores of people needed to bring an opera to life. In 2016, Tulsa Opera ended the year with its lowest debt in 10 years, and for the last three years they have operated on a surplus.
During his time here, Tulsa Opera has produced nearly 30 shows between the main stage productions, Tulsa Youth Opera, and Tulsa Opera’s Young Artists. Twelve singers made their Tulsa Opera debut, and the Opera also brought in scenery for Pearl Fishers designed by Dame Vandra Rhodes.
Ken is looking forward to continuing Tulsa Opera’s outstanding educational programs, such as Raise Your Voice!, a groundbreaking partnership with the Tulsa Public Schools that brings music education back into classrooms where music programs have been discontinued. Five middle and junior high schools participated during the program’s pilot year in 2017-18, and in 2018-19, Raise Your Voice! expanded to eight.
He is also proud to welcome three Hispanic conductors for Tulsa Opera’s 2018-2019 main stage productions: Roberto Kalb from Mexico, Lina Gonzalez-Granados from Colombia, and Andres Cladera from Uruguay. And for Tulsa Opera’s production of Don Giovanni, Lucia Lucas will sing the lead – the first time a trans woman will head a production for a major opera company in the United States.