Two Tulsans finish the season as professional singers with Tulsa Opera.
Elliott Deasy and Stephen Clark are two of five Tulsa Opera studio artists for 2015-16. Studio artists are young, professional singers who live in Tulsa from September through April and perform roles for Tulsa Opera productions.
Tulsans Stephen Clark, 28, and Elliott Deasy, 32, are among Tulsa Opera’s five studio artists for 2015-16.
Each year, Tulsa Opera contracts four to six studio artists — young, professional singers — to perform Tulsa Opera roles and outreach functions, visit schools with the “Opera on Tour!” program and comprise the cast for the annual studio artist production. Studio artists receive housing in Tulsa, a travel allowance and a weekly stipend.
Clark, a bass-baritone, graduated from Nathan Hale High School, Northeastern State University and Oklahoma City University. He has appeared in major roles with Fort Worth Opera, Chautauqua Opera and Seagle Music Colony in New York and Sarasota Opera in Florida.
Deasy, a lyric tenor, graduated from Union High School and the University of Tulsa. He has appeared with the Bronx Opera in New York and at Costa Rica’s Jovenes Cantantes.
Both will appear in Tulsa Opera’s upcoming production of “A Streetcar Named Desire”; Clark as the doctor; Deasy as the young collector.
Tell us how you were chosen as Tulsa Opera studio artists.
SC: My path was a little different than others. I was performing the role of Gregorio in their production of “Romeo and Juliet” last season and was also singing some rehearsals as Friar Laurence. I had previously sung with (Tulsa Opera Artistic Director) Kostis Protopapas, and he was really impressed with my development. When the person he had originally hired to be the baritone in the studio artist program took another job, he offered me the spot.
ED: I auditioned to become Tulsa Opera’s Young Artist in Philadelphia.
When did you realize you had the opera bug?
SC: There were probably a few moments for me, but the one that really stands out was when I went to a large conference for voice teachers at Texas and Oklahoma universities as a college sophomore. There were lots of competitions going on all at the same time, and you could go and sit in on any of the auditions you liked. So, I did. And for the first time I was introduced to a vast amount of repertoire and all kinds of different voices. It was fascinating to me.
That was the big moment where I knew a life spent singing and listening to singers would be a rich and rewarding one for me.
ED: When I was 13, I was in the Tulsa Children’s Chorus. With that group I auditioned for a role in “Noye’s Fludde,” by Benjamin
Britten. I got the role of Sem, Noah’s son. This was with a decent-sized orchestra, and I was blown away by what could be accomplished with music.
There’s a sequence when the rain begins where Britten strings up mugs to make the sound of the raindrops. From then on, I was fairly single-minded in what I wanted to do.
After the Tulsa Opera season ends in April, what’s next?
SC: This summer, I will sing the role of Angelotti in “Tosca” with Central City Opera in Colorado.
ED: I don’t really know what my next place will be. Audition season is from the end of November to January. Hopefully that will yield promising things for the summer. And if possible I’d love to spend another year here in Tulsa, surrounded by the friends and supporters who’ve been around me the past 32 years.
March 4, 6 — “A Streetcar Named Desire” by Andre Previn
7:30 p.m., Friday; 2:30 p.m., Sunday. Chapman Music Hall, Tulsa Performing Arts Center, 110 E. Third St. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams. Directed by David Schweizer; sung in English. Visit www.tulsaopera.com or www.myticketoffice.com.