Yokozuna patrons get surprise performance
BY JAMES D. WATTS JR. World Scene Writer
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
5/16/12 at 8:10 AM
The unadvertised special on the lunch menu at Yokozuna Wednesday was “The Opera Roll” duet and aria wrapped in Puccini and served dressed in a kimono.
It became available a few minutes past noon, as the restaurant’s clientele was enjoying a bit of conversation along with servings of artistically arranged sushi rolls and plates of pad thai.
That’s when the sliding doors at the back of the room opened to reveal two women dressed in traditional Japanese attire, who promptly launched into a duet from “Madama Butterfly.”
The performance - one of Tulsa Opera’s “Pop-Up Operas” that it stages at non-theatrical venues in advance of its mainstage productions - might have lost some of the element of surprise, what with several video cameras set up around the restaurant.
But as the voices of soprano Stephanie Washington, singing the part of Cio-Cio San, and Catherine Ratliff, as Suzuki, began to fill the room, it was obvious from the smiles that the lunch-hour crowd was enjoying the show.
For Jeremy Van Valin, this was his first opera experience ever.
“It was a little surprising - I wasn’t expecting such powerful voices to come out of such … well, small people,” he said, laughing.
Read more of this story in Thursday's Tulsa World or see it online at tulsaworld.com/scene.
Stephanie Washington (center) and Catherine Ratliff (right) sing for diners during a pop-up opera performance at Yokuna restaurant in downtown Tulsa on Wednesday. Washington will be in the upcoming production of Madame Butterfly. JOHN CLANTON/Tulsa World