Tulsa Opera (Tulsa, OK)


  Actress on stage leaning against a decorated chest, looking plaintively upward.

Pamela Armstrong as Tatyana in Tulsa Opera’s production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Photos by Cory Weaver

Tulsa Opera, founded in 1948, is the producer of grand opera in Oklahoma, serving audiences from the state and nearby regions in Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri. Annually, the opera company’s mainstage performances, education programs, and outreach activities reach approximately 75,000 adults and children.

In FY 2005, Tulsa Opera received an NEA Access to Artistic Excellence grant of $22,500 to support performances of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin. The opera was performed in Russian with English supertitles on January 29 and February 4 and 6, 2005. Nearly 5,000 people attended the performances, and community previews and pre-lectures reached an additional 880 adults and youths. Tulsa Opera also participated in the international children’s festival, KIDS WORLD, and reached more than 20,000 youths and educators with engaging materials on Eugene Onegin.

The performance was Tulsa Opera’s first Russian opera mounted in 25 years, and the first ever to be performed in the Russian language. Based on the poem by Alexander Pushkin, Eugene Onegin was given its first professional production by the Moscow Bolshoi in 1881 and is considered one of Tchaikovsky’s greatest works. In this production, baritone Erik Nelson Werner made his Tulsa Opera debut in the role of Onegin, soprano Pamela Armstrong performed as Tatyana, tenor Yeghishe Manucharyan performed as Lensky, and bass Stefan Szkafarowsky performed as Prince Gremin. The opera was directed by Jonathon Pape. The 40-member Tulsa Opera Orchestra, conducted by Carol I. Crawford, accompanied the production.

(From the NEA 2005 Annual Report)