Kansas City-native Curtis Tucker joined First Coast Opera as Artistic Director in 2014 and has led the company’s recent artistic and fiscal growth and expansion. He was the second-longest serving General Director for Opera Saratoga in upstate New York, where he produced 22 new summer festival productions, including the professional premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town. He formerly served as General Director of Sorg Opera in Middletown, Ohio, and Whitewater Opera in Richmond, Indiana.
Beyond First Coast Opera, Maestro Tucker has conducted opera productions and concerts for Opera Memphis, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Saratoga, Syracuse Opera, Mobile Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Fresno Grand Opera, Sorg Opera, Whitewater Opera, University of North Florida Opera Theater, Alabama School of the Arts at University of Mobile, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of San Jose, Woodminster Amphitheatre, the Resonanz Festival, San Francisco Chamber Singers, Masterworks Chorale of Middletown, and Middletown Civic Chorus. In 2011, he paced the world premiere of Michael Ching’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opera a capella, as well as a studio recording of the work released by Albany Records.
Tucker has composed three one-act operas on librettos by his frequent collaborator Nelson Sheeley. The Stranger’s Tale premiered at Sorg Opera in 2005 and received its Florida premiere in 2018. His family opera, The Trial of B. B. Wolf, premiered at Opera Saratoga in June 2011, and has received recent performances by Central Florida Vocal Arts in Orlando and First Coast Opera. Penelope Ann’s Revenge, written as a sequel to Arthur Sullivan’s Cox and Box, will premiere in May 2021 in a co-production with A Classic Theatre.
An active community arts advocate, Curtis has been a frequent adjudicator for vocal competitions, grant panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts and Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, and was a founding board member of SaratogaArtsFest in Saratoga Springs, New York. He has twice served on appointed civic boards – the Middletown Convention and Tourism Board in Ohio and the Natick Cultural Council in Massachusetts. He has taught at the University of Northern Colorado, Miami University – Middletown, and currently serves as Adjunct Professor in the Music Theatre Program at the Florida School of the Arts.
Curtis earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree, magna cum laude with Honors in Music, from Central Methodist College, the Master of Music in Conducting degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and a Juris Doctor degree from Northeastern University School of Law. He also received certificates in Voice from the Chautauqua School of Music, and Arts Administration from the Professional Arts Management Institute in New York City.