Arts Scene: Tom Cockrell/Opera in the Ozarks

Jun 19, 2016

Thomas Cockrell

Listeners may remember that short list of festivals—five in all—listed three weeks ago, beginning in Hot Springs. Now, we’ve reached Eureka Springs and “Opera in the Ozarks,” a festival that Ann Nicholson, host of Arts Scene, feels should be heralded by “The Sound of Music.” The hills in Eureka are surely alive with music this year by Mozart, Puccini, Leoncavallo, and Benjamin Britten. Young singers with great voices in this Arkansas summer residency more than hold their own with such programs across the country. Graduates are finding roles in many of the main opera houses in America, in what was first known as the Opera at Inspiration Point. Thomas Cockrell was appointed Music Director of “Opera of the Ozarks” in 2010. He has impressive credits in opera in America and abroad, from Cincinnati to the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and South Carolina. As a Yale graduate, he has served as Director of Orchestra Activities at the University of Arizona, where he is also Director of Opera Theatre. He had just arrived at the point when he came on Arts Scene in May. Each new season is announced before the current one closes, and Ann asked if he ever sounds out his choices with other members of his musical staff.