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Tulsa Opera To Open Season With Live Baseball-Themed RIGOLETTO

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The production will be staged outdoors at a local baseball stadium, ONEOK Field, on Friday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. CT.

Tulsa Opera To Open Season With Live Baseball-Themed RIGOLETTO

In its first performance for a live, in-person audience since the coronavirus outbreak, Tulsa Opera will present the company's 2020-21 season opener, Verdi's Rigoletto, outdoors in a semi-staged, baseball-themed production directed by James Robinson at local baseball stadium ONEOK Field on Friday, October 9 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Originally scheduled for this date at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Tulsa Opera's season-opening Rigoletto has been reimagined for the ballpark in order to accommodate a larger audience-2,700 socially distanced at the park, compared to 2,365 non-distanced at Tulsa PAC-and in safer, open-air conditions with rigorous health protocols in place. The performance will be followed by a fireworks display. ONEOK Field is home to the Tulsa Drillers baseball team, the Double-A, minor-league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $15 for students, and $50 for a family of five. Sales will open on Monday, August 17 via TulsaOpera.com.

Tulsa Opera General Director & CEO Ken McConnell said:

"Challenging times call for creative solutions. As difficult as it's proving for orchestras to return to the concert hall, those of us in the opera world must contend with the fact that the core of our art form-singing-has become one of the most complex activities to undertake safely as our society tries to contain COVID-19. We have nevertheless found a way to open the season safely and on schedule, while also offering an utterly unique operatic experience, and we are delighted to be partnering with ONEOK Field and the Tulsa Drillers Management as we present this first opera of our 2020-21 season."

For this performance, Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Tobias Picker-acclaimed composer of works for the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and San Francisco Opera, among many other leading companies and ensembles-has re-envisioned Verdi's classic to run 85-90 minutes without intermission. The orchestral score has been adapted for a small orchestra consisting of two violins, viola, cello, bass, and piano. Mr. Picker said:

"Our new 'baseball' Rigoletto taps into the fascinating, but little-known history of the cultural intersection between baseball and opera in the USA. An organic concept, this Rigoletto takes the 'socially distanced' baseball diamond as its stage-positioning the singers at different bases and baseball positions throughout the opera. We cordially invite all Tulsa baseball fans to come see an opera on the Tulsa Drillers' home turf. Tulsa Opera is thrilled that James Robinson has accepted our invitation to make his Tulsa Opera debut directing his hometown opera company at this most extreme and challenging time in the history of American opera."

This production is the first since the coronavirus outbreak to be directed by James Robinson, one of America's most inventive and sought-after stage directors. Mr. Robinson has previously directed productions at companies including the Dallas, Houston Grand, Metropolitan, and San Francisco Operas. Among his recent highlights is a widely acclaimed production of Porgy and Bess created for the Metropolitan Opera; Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam; and English National Opera.


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