Tulsa Opera Leaders Introduced at Tulsa Press Club

MELODIC PRESENTATION: John Peter “Jeep??? Jeffries, left, the new executive director of Tulsa Opera, and Kostis Protopapas, the opera’s new artistic director, after their presentation at the Tulsa Press Club on Oct. 1.

DANIEL C. CAMERON for GTR Newspapers

John Peter “Jeep” Jeffries, the new executive director of Tulsa Opera, and Kostis Protopapas, the opera’s new artistic director, spoke at the Tulsa Press Club’s Page One Luncheon recently, just days before the opera company’s season premiere, La Boheme.

Jeffries joined the opera company in July. He previously worked in large and small opera companies throughout North America, including Opera Grand Rapids, Florida Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and Portland Opera, for nearly 30 years. He is known for his business acumen, including his ability to reduce costs and increase earned and donated revenue.

Jeffries graduated from the University of Michigan in 1975 with an honors degree from the Department of Speech, Communication and Theater and started his professional opera career at the Opera Company of Boston in 1978 as a master carpenter.

Protopapas became the opera’s artistic director in May. He previously served as the company’s associate conductor and chorus master since 2001. Born in Athens, he came to the United States in 1993 on an Onassis Foundation scholarship to study piano at The Boston Conservatory, and conducting at Boston University. Protopapas has also been an assistant conductor for the Los Angeles Opera since 2004 and has served as assistant conductor at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Santa Fe Opera.

The Tulsa Opera is the 18th oldest opera company in the United States and is ranked among the top 10 regional opera companies in the nation. The company produces three opera productions each season performed at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. This season marks the organization’s 61st anniversary.

Over one million music-lovers have purchased tickets to Tulsa Opera production since the company’s very first production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” in 1948.

Upcoming productions this season include Hansel & Gretel Feb. 21, 27 and March 1, 2009 and L’Elisir d’Amore April 25, May 1 and 3, 2009. For more information, call (918) 587-4811, or visit www.tulsaopera.com.

Updated 11-10-2008

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