Trans-Siberian Orchestra to debut show at Tulsa's BOK Center
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Thursday, December 06, 2012
12/06/12 at 4:44 AM
Official Trans-Siberian Orchestra website
Trans-Siberian Orchestra returns to Tulsa on Thursday with the debut of "The Lost Christmas Eve," the third part in a wildly successful, epic rock-opera about the holiday season.
Fans of TSO know that the group's productions blend elements of rock, progressive rock, classical, folk, orchestral, symphonic, Broadway and R&B music into its pyrotechnic and special-effect riddled stage productions, said group founder and producer Paul O'Neill during a recent telephone interview.
"There's something about Dec. 24th that I've always loved," he said of the production, which he said blends Pink Floyd-level effects with drama of The Who's "Tommy" and, well, just about anything by Queen.
"On Christmas Eve, you can undo mistakes, renew hope and be kind and do the right thing. It's a magical day to heal."
Thursday's performance at the BOK Center introduces "The Lost Christmas Eve" to fans for the first time live.
"What's the biggest mistake we could make?" asked O'Neill, speaking of the story. "I tell the story about a man, a bank CEO who abandons a just-born infant. Four decades later, he meets with the consequences of his decision." Don't let the storyline get you down, he said. One thing certain about TSO stories are happy endings.
"If it's not happy, it's not the end," he said, then laughed.
After touring with part two of the trilogy, "Beethoven's Last Night," for more than three years, the bandleader decided it was time to move his story forward.
"People questioned the decision. Part two was so successful, they asked 'Why now?' and I replied that we don't exist in a vacuum. We have to move forward with the world around us."
His plan worked. "Ticket sales are already double-digits ahead of this time last year, despite our economy," O'Neill said.
TSO was founded in 1993 by producer, composer, and lyricist O'Neill, and has sold nearly as many concert tickets as it has physical albums - 8 million tickets and 9 million albums.
He has decades more experience managing and producing rock acts including Joan Jett, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Humble Pie and the Scorpions.
Part of TSO's success, he said, is that he strives to give an affordable show (tickets start at $32.50), and that his stories are affirmations of lives well lived. "These are family tales - they're all based on classic principles," he said.
"Money can hide unhappiness and bring misery, but it can't buy happiness. ... It's never too late to change your life's ending."
He also said that this year, TSO practiced in the wake of Hurricane Sandy as it prepared for tour.
"The majority of the band stuck it out in New York and is just over-the-top on fire for this show. We have a lot of fun writing this music, rehearsing and recording this music," he said.
"But none of it is real until we get the feedback from fans at our live shows. ... People live such isolated lives - in theaters and arenas, the energy is magical as it's shared and multiplied and spreads from person to person. There's nothing else like it, anywhere."
When: Doors open 6:30 p.m. Thursday, showtime 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: BOK Center, 200 S. Denver Ave.
Tickets: All ages. $32.00, $42.50, $52.50, $62.50, $72.50, plus fees, available at tulsaworld.com/bok, the Arby's Box Office at the BOK Center and all Tickets.com outlets, or by calling 1-866-726-5287.
Note: At least $1 from every ticket sold will go to local charities, said TSO founder Paul O'Neill
Trans-Siberian Orchestra discography
1996: "Christmas Eve and Other Stories" (1996)
1998: "The Christmas Attic" (1998)
2000: "Beethoven's Last Night" (2000)
2004: "The Lost Christmas Eve" (2004)
2009: "Night Castle" (2009)
2012: "Beethoven's Last Night: The Complete Narrated Version"
2012: "Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)" (five-song EP)
Original Print Headline: TSO brings rock opera tale to BOK
Jennifer Chancellor 918-581-8346
Trans-Siberian Orchestra will perform its "The Lost Christmas Eve" and greatest hits Thursday at the BOK Center. Courtesy