On this edition of ST, we speak with Alison Moritz, a rising young star on the contemporary American opera scene. Moritz is currently in town to stage-direct the Tulsa Youth Opera production of "The Hobbit," which will happen at the Tulsa PAC this weekend (on both the 18th and 19th). As noted of this exciting work at the Tulsa Opera website: "Join us for a journey to Middle Earth, with composer Dean Burry's 'The Hobbit,' an opera for young people, performed by young people, based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. This new production is performed by Tulsa Youth Opera, Tulsa Opera's acclaimed training program for young singers in grades 3 through 12. The opera tells the familiar tale of Bilbo Baggins' heroic quest, along with a band of dwarves and the mysterious wizard Gandalf the Grey, to reclaim a great treasure from the dragon Smaug. Along the way the travelers encounter orcs and elves and fearsome wolves and giant spiders, while the epic adventure is brought to life through hummable tunes and melodic choruses. In cooperation with the Tolkien estate, Canadian Children's Opera Company commissioned Burry to write the opera, which premiered to great acclaim and sold-out houses in 2004."