American conductor and composer Curtis (Curt) Tucker is known for spirited and sensitive musical leadership. He is a strong proponent of American works, a leading interpreter of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and a respected producer and conductor of a wide range of operatic and musical theater repertoire.
Curt currently serves as Artistic Director for First Coast Opera in St. Augustine, Florida, and is an active freelance producer and conductor of opera and music performances throughout the United States. He has collaborated with hundreds of directors, conductors, designers, singers, musicians, and technicians to create compelling operatic storytelling that celebrates artistry and moves audiences.As the second-longest serving General Director for Opera Saratoga, Curt guided the company's rebranding from the Lake George Opera Festival, expanded its longstanding Young Artist Programs, produced 22 new summer festival productions, including the professional premiere of Ned Rorem’s Our Town, produced and directed an annual children’s opera tour, and planned and led numerous other year-round programs and events.He formerly served as General Director of Sorg Opera in Middletown, Ohio, and Whitewater Opera in Richmond, Indiana.
Curt’s love for music began early.His father, Charlie Tucker, played mellophone with the Stan Kenton Orchestra in the early 1960s before training thousands of young musicians as a high school band director.Curt followed his father to the podium, and has led 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, 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.He has held choral conducting positions at the University of Northern Colorado and Miami University Middletown, as well as Berkeley Opera.In 2011, he paced the world premiere of Michael Ching’s A Midsummer Night’s Dreamopera a capella, as well as a studio recording of the work released by Albany Records. He is currently Adjunct Professor at Florida School of the Arts, where he leads FloTunes, an a capella vocal ensemble, and is a member of the voice faculty.
Curt’s original compositions reflect his life-long commitment to vocal music.He has written two one-act operas, both on librettos by his frequent collaborator Nelson Sheeley.The Stranger’s Tale was premiered by Sorg Opera in 2005 to commemorate that company’s 15th Anniversary Season.Conceived as a companion piece to Stravinky’s L’histoire du soldat, the chamber opera headlined the 2009 Resonanz Festival in Albany, New York, and received its Florida premiere in 2018. His family opera, The Trial of B. B. Wolf, premiered in Saratoga Springs, New York in June 2011, was performed with a new chamber orchestration by First Coast Opera in March 2017, and was performed by Central Florida Vocal Arts in November 2017. His songs and choral works have been performed throughout the United States, and his projects have received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and state arts councils in Massachusetts, Ohio, Florida, and California.
An active arts advocate in his local community and beyond, Curt 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.
Curt 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.
Born and raised near Kansas City, Missouri, Curt and his wife Cathy reside in Saint Augustine, Florida, with their 16-year-old yorkiepoo Stranger.
Copyright 2014-2017 Curtis Tucker. All rights reserved.