TULSA, OKLAHOMA (June 3, 2020) — Due to continued uncertainty surrounding the global health crisis, Tulsa Opera General Director Ken McConnell and Artistic Director Tobias Picker today announced with regret the cancellation of the company’s October 2020 production of Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, which was scheduled to open Tulsa Opera’s 73rd season. The company is actively exploring outdoor venues to present a new, semi-staged socially distanced version of Rigoletto on what would have been the season’s opening night—Friday, October 9, 2020—conditions and city regulations permitting. Any such plans will be announced at a later date.
Mr. McConnell and Mr. Picker said:
“While we all experience the day-to-day challenges of life during the pandemic, one of the key, behind-the-scenes challenges for arts organizations has been the difficulty—even impossibility—of advance planning amidst all of the uncertainty. This hits the opera world especially hard, given the logistical complexity involved in staging a full production. We are optimistic that we will be able to present a semi-staged Rigoletto outdoors this October and return to the house for the remainder of the season. Hopefully, a couple years from now when we are building up to Tulsa Opera’s 75th anniversary, diamond jubilee season—the first in our new hall—the arts will again be in full bloom.”
The remainder of the 2020–21 is currently planned for performance at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, as originally announced. Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice is scheduled for February 6, 2021, and Tobias Picker’s Emmeline is planned for April 30 and May 2, 2021, replacing the previously announced production of the composer’s new opera Awakenings, which will be presented in a future season. Emmeline, originally scheduled for May 2020 but cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, had been previously re-scheduled for the 2021–22 season.