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New Atlanta Opera Director: 'This Melding of Thought and Melody Blew my Mind'

By Tomer Zvulun

Why should you come out to The Atlanta Opera?  Why see an opera at all?

As a child, I was fascinated by theater and cinema. I discovered opera in my late teens, and when I did it was the biggest revelation of my life. Everything suddenly came together – it all made sense. The combination of story and music, of emotions and orchestration; this melding of thought and melody blew my mind. I realized that that’s what I wanted to do. So I decided to drop the plan to attend medical school — (I’m not sure my parents have ever recovered!) -- and decided to pursue a career in opera.

I’m constantly surprised by this perception of opera as a staid, elitist art form, when it’s the most exciting art form I know. The stories are universal, and each performance is a collaborative miracle. Fifty people in the orchestra pit, 60 people onstage and a design team of visual artists coming together to form a cohesive vision of a story buoyed by some of the greatest music ever written. Opera engages all of your senses in a visceral celebration of the human experience.


As a stage director, I’m always working to find what is new and exciting about the story we are telling – how it connects to our audience now. Finding that excitement and then forging a connection with the audience so that we all viscerally experience the story together – that is the power of opera. Don’t just add it to your bucket list; come out now and see what you’re missing. I look forward to seeing you at the theater!

Top photo of Tomer Zvulun by Jeff Roffman

“Tosca” photo by Tim Wilkerson

Tomer Zvulun became general and artistic director of The Atlanta Opera on June 1. He will direct the opera’s season opener, Puccini’s “Tosca,” at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Oct. 5, 8, 11 and 13. The Atlanta Opera will offer “Opera with an Edge,” a FREE season preview concert Monday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Cobb Energy Centre.

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