December Newsletter – 2017
December 18, 2017
2018-19 Season Announcement
Tulsa Opera Announces Inclusive, Innovative 2018-19 Season
March 6, 2018
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January Newsletter – 2018

Feb 17th performance at Tulsa Performing Arts Center

Are you ready for an unforgettable night of opera and music? Leave the winter doldrums behind and get ready to party with Tulsa Opera as we celebrate our 70th anniversary with THE STARS ALIGN. Escape for an evening of pure entertainment at this performance  featuring a star-studded cast singing some of the World’s most celebrated songs!

Tickets for the Feb. 17 performance are available for the performance only by CLICKING HERE.


You can purchase one of our limited sponsorship packages which includes dinner before the show and an after-party on stage.
Reserve your seat  today by calling (918) 587-4811.

As a prelude to the main event, we invited two of our featured opera stars to give a behind-the-scenes look into their busy lives.

Meet Soprano Sarah Coburn

1. You’ve been described as “Tulsa’s own silver-voiced soprano.” Why does this city claim you as their own?
I grew up in Muskogee, but moved to New York after graduate school and an apprenticeship in Seattle. My husband and I returned to Tulsa from the East Coast in 2010 to raise our family. I have had a wonderful relationship with Tulsa Opera since 2008, when I made my debut in Lakmé. I have been given so many wonderful performing opportunities here, for which I am extremely grateful.

2. Tell us about your musical background. When did you fall in love with opera, and why?
I fell in love with opera when I saw Madama Butterfly at the Met in 1997. I had never seen a live opera before, and I was hooked. Opera is the highest art form, but completely accessible. It is the merging of all the great artistic disciplines: poetry, orchestral music, beautiful singing, acting, ballet and art — all in one amazing evening.

3. What’s your biggest challenge in balancing a career as an opera star and raising three children?
Our children are 2, 5, and 8 years old. It is all very challenging, and it is impossible to do it all. I spend most of my time at home with my family, and travel much less than I did when they were very little and bringing them on the road made sense. My career has definitely taken a backseat, and that is OK. My marriage is much happier when we are in the same place at the same time, too!

4. Do you often sing to your children? What’s their favorite song?
We sing all the time at home. It is usually the latest and greatest Disney hits, like the Moana soundtrack. This week, it has been Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” over and over in the car. At bedtime, it’s hymns that my mother sang to me.

5. You’ve performed in several productions at Tulsa Opera. Which one is your favorite and why?
I have loved all of the operas I sang here. I really loved singing my first Juliette in Romeo et Juliette. It was a happy time, because I found out I was pregnant with my third baby on the evening of the final dress rehearsal.

6. Home for the Holidays was a huge hit this year. Do you enjoy performing in this intimate type of setting as opposed to a bigger opera stage?
To be honest, the intimate settings are less comfortable for me. I love being able to escape into a character and have a bit of distance from the audience. I do enjoy it though, because it challenges me to allow myself to be vulnerable.

7. Which songs will you perform for The Stars Align to celebrate Tulsa Opera’s 70-year history?
I am singing arias from La Traviata, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and some duets and sextets from Manon, Lakmé, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Street Scene. There are also some unusual surprises that will be thrown in!

8. If opera fans knew the “real” Sarah Coburn, they would know that __________?
My life is not much different than any other mom with three kids!

Meet Tenor Aaron Blake

1. You’ve been described by audiences and opera reviewers as “a vocal powerhouse” whose singing is “robust, passionate and possessing exquisite tenderness.” Are those descriptions accurate?
I find that my strength as an artist and performer comes from my passion to refine my skills and the way I communicate with my audience. Engagement with the audience is key to allowing them to feel your performance. I’m a bit superstitious about reviews and usually prefer to read them after I’ve finished a project. I always feel gratified and humbled when I receive a positive review and do my best to learn from the ones where I may not have communicated as I intended to.

2. Tell us about your musical background. When did you fall in love with opera, and why?
My mother is extremely musical and artistic. She sang, danced and played the piano and made sure that music was always a part of our home. Opera first made an impression on me when I heard the voice of Pavarotti on a CD when I was 11. My love of language, acting, art and investing my energy in an art form that involves taking impeccable care of the body physically, mentally and emotionally all converged in opera. It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and discipline to do what we do, and for me I feel so fortunate to be able to live a life that I am so passionate about on a daily basis.

3. You perform all over the U.S. and abroad. What’s your favorite musical role?
I have great passion for many different roles and composers’ music. My best answer to this question is that my favorite role is the role which I am currently working on or preparing. This mindset ensures that I give my best performance.

4. You received rave reviews for your performance of Nadir in “The Pearl Fishers” at Tulsa Opera. How did you prepare for that role and what did you find most challenging?
I am fortunate in that my voice really enjoys singing in the French language and that the opera contains some of the most iconic and beautiful music in the operatic repertoire for the tenor. I begin studying a new role by first preparing my score, translating my text and putting in all the markings to make sure I have everything the composer intended appropriately diagrammed. Kind of like a musical road map. Then, I begin by speaking the text, next I add rhythm to the text, and finally I put that together with the music. After I learn the role, I begin coaching with a pianist and finally I bring the role to my voice teacher who helps refine my work and smooths out any technical aspects. Depending on the size of the role, this process can take anywhere from as little as two weeks to over a year to complete.

5. As a 2017 George London Lissner Charitable Fund Award recipient, you represent one of only five American or Canadian singers to receive this prestigious honor. What does this award mean to you?
Winning was a huge accomplishment for me, both as an artist and as a person. Artistically, it represented a major validation from the greater community of opera. Personally, this award was very humbling. We as artists are always creating and shaping our gift to be something that we feel is meaningful and says something very special about where we come from and who we are.

6. Which songs will you perform for The Stars Align to celebrate Tulsa Opera’s 70-year history?
Tobias Picker, Greg Weber and the artistic staff of the Tulsa Opera have planned an absolutely beautiful program of standard repertoire that is sure to make the evening sparkle in our minds for seasons to come. Without giving too much away, I will be singing favorites like O’ Sole Mio, as well as a couple of really famous duets.

7. If opera fans knew the “real” Aaron Blake, they would know that ____________?
I honestly do my best to be as real on stage as I am in life, so what you see is what you get — minus the costumes of course. I love what I do.