For this season-opening performance, Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Tobias Picker re-envisioned Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto to run 85–90 minutes without intermission. He invited Tulsa native James Robinson to direct the production in his company debut—taking the baseball diamond as his stage, with the court jester Rigoletto cast as a lowly team mascot, the Duke of Mantua depicted as a cocky star pitcher, and the hired killer, Sparafucile, as the umpire. For the live show, this ballpark setting allowed Tulsa Opera to accommodate a larger audience than the opera house and in safer, open-air conditions with rigorous health protocols in place.
Mr. Picker said:
“Our ‘baseball’ Rigoletto makes history as the first Rigoletto set in baseball AND on a baseball field, and it made history as the first grand opera to be performed live before a live audience by an American opera company since COVID-19 shut down the performing arts last spring. It also taps into the fascinating, but little-known history of the cultural intersection between baseball and opera in the USA going back to the MET’s epic performances throughout the country's baseball stadiums in the early 20th century. "
Streaming access will be free--just click here. Or you can visit the Tulsa Opera YouTube page.