VIP’s add Drama to Tulsa Opera Red Carpet Salome Debut

By Glenda Rice Collins

Tulsa, Okla., USA – A “sold-out” special gathering of Tulsa Opera VIP’s became part of the dazzling staged drama last night at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, as Richard Strauss’s Salome was celebrated on the Chapman Music Hall stage, as never before! 

For director, set and costume designer Thaddeus Strassberger, this event marked both a debut, and a grand triumph, as sets, characters, musicians and special effects heralded outstanding visionary creativity with an immersive audience experience extraordinaire. Bravo!

Salome, starring Julia Mintzer in her Tulsa Opera debut,  continues with a Sunday matinee, May 1 at 2:30 p.m., with impressive lobby festivities beginning at 1:50 p.m.

Red Carpet Festivities for King Herod’s Birthday

The honored group of VIP’s arrived in a long limousine, as they readied for a Hollywood-style red carpet walk accompanied by a brass band salute, and escorts of various costumed characters – all part of a “King Herod’s Birthday” celebration.

Tulsa Opera VIP audience members arrived by limo Friday night for their red carpet entrance to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Salome debut event. Photo by Glenda Rice Collins.

Once inside, they were greeted and cheered by a lobby- and overlook-full of opera lovers who were already primed to celebrate the unusual pre-opera festivities and the staged extravaganza to come.

Tulsa Opera Salome audience members await the entrance of VIPs for their red carpet entrance with brass band and costumed Salome characters. Photo by Glenda Rice Collins.

The excitement  continued as the glamorous VIP’s  assembled on stage, as never before, at tables in “The Banquet Hall of King Henry’s Palace.” becoming an important part of the scenic design and ambiance.

A Glitzy Masterpiece for Oklahoman Thaddeus Strassberger

The immersive opera audience experience was conceived by Thaddeus Strassberger, the Tulsa-native opera director whose productions have been acclaimed internationally. 

Tulsa Opera set for Salome, as designed by Thaddeus Strassberger, includes VIPs at staged tables in “King Herod’s Palace Banquet Hall.” Photo by Glenda Rice Collins.

This 120-minute Salome creatively-visionary extravaganza, with no intermission, marks the first-ever Tulsa production of Strauss’ dazzling masterpiece, as well as Strassberger’s grand Tulsa Opera version debut. 

Dancers from the Kripalaya Dance Academy present a photo op as they greet guests en route to the Tulsa PAC stage Friday night. Photo by Glenda Rice Collins.

With libretto by Oscar Wilde and evocative dancers provided by Kripalaya Dance Academy, the newly commissioned chamber ensemble Salome version by Nigel Shore is sung in German with English supertitles. 

For additional details and tickets, visit:

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