March 1st, 2023

TULSA, OK – Tulsa Ballet is proud to announce the return of its popular original story ballet Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music. Created in 2019, Tchaikovsky will return to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center March 23-26.

Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is the creator of the iconic music for some of the most beloved story ballets in history. Audience favorites include the beautiful music of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and The Sleeping Beauty, the latter serving as soundtrack for Walt Disney’s animated movie of the same title. As a favorite composer of the court of Emperor Alexander III, he was placed under a magnifying glass by both royalty and the public. While Tchaikovsky was celebrated for his professional success and popularity, the societal constraints of life in 19th century Russia created constant inner conflict between his private life and the public persona society required of him. “Tchaikovsky was believed to be homosexual at a time and in a place where same-sex relationships were not only forbidden, but downright illegal, thus punishable with jail and, sometimes, death,” says Tulsa Ballet Artistic Director Marcello Angelini, “Imagine all this beautiful music coming from such a tormented soul.”

Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music delves into the complicated personal life of this acclaimed musician. To bring this story to life, in 2017 Artistic Director Marcello Angelini assembled a stellar creative team, one that includes composer and librettist Oliver Peter Graber (Dorothy & the Prince of Oz), Russian historian Daniela Kolic, New Zealand’s top designer Tracy Grant Lord (The Nutcracker) and then Tulsa Ballet Resident Choreographer Ma Cong. The musical score features a blend of Tchaikovsky’s greatest works along with other influential composers of the time, as well as some original music by Oliver Peter Graber.

Angelini first envisioned Tchaikovsky’s life story as a ballet over two decades ago. “I always felt that creating a work on his life would give a new sense of perspective to audience members who come to see The Nutcracker every year, as well as his other masterpieces from time to time.” His idea was finally realized when Tchaikovsky made its World Premiere on March 29th, 2019 at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Tulsa World called the performance, “…simply, a triumph.”

“The work that this team produced is stunning!” says Angelini. “The beautiful music, both from Tchaikovsky, his contemporaries and Oliver, the stunning costumes that describe the glamour and success of Tchaikovsky’s career, and the intricate and expressive choreography of Ma Cong, all juxtaposed to the struggles of his personal life, make this work heartbreaking. No human being should be forced to live his/her life in hiding and in fear.”

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes to bring a ballet to the stage? Join us for Preview Night: Beer & Ballet on Thursday, March 23rd when we give you a glimpse of the “magic” behind the curtain. A curated pre-show experience allows audiences to watch the dancers prepare, see the crew transform the stage for show time, and gain insight from members of the artistic and production team. Preview Night patrons will also have the opportunity to purchase unique craft beer, available only on Thursday night. Tickets for Preview Night are $25 or $50!

Tickets for Tchaikovsky: The Man Behind the Music start at $25 at TulsaBallet.org.


Tulsa Performing Arts Center | 110 E 2nd St. Tulsa, OK 74103
Thursday, March 23      | 7:00 pm
Friday, March 24           | 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 25       | 7:30 pm
Sunday, March 26         | 2:30 pm

TICKETS: Starting at $25

Hi-res images, photo credits, and a choreographer spotlight video can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/dg4jf8dt7v2nvte2qn54k/h?dl=0&rlkey=6t4vmcupaacalt0qg75kqm883

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  tulsaballet.org or 918.749.6006

Interview opportunities available:
Hilton Price | Marketing Manager
918.392.5949 | Hilton.Price@tulsaballet.org