Pagliacci, February/March 2008, David Bazemore Photo

OPERA SANTA BARBARA ANNOUNCES 2012/2013 SEASON

• COMPANY PREMIERE: FIRST-EVER OPERA SANTA BARBARA PRODUCTION OF VERDI’S AIDA

• MIHOKO KINOSHITA IS MADAME BUTTERFLY; INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED JAPANESE SOPRANO SINGS HER SIGNATURE ROLE

• ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JOSE MARIA CONDEMI DIRECTS DON PASQUALE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 15, 2012
PRESS CONTACT: Steven Sharpe, 805.898.3890, steven@operasb.org

Santa Barbara – Opera Santa Barbara announces its 2012/2013 season, featuring three operas; a heartrending story of love and betrayal, a wrenching personal drama, and an effervescent comedy. The season opens with Madame Butterfly in November 2012, followed by Aida in March 2013 and Don Pasquale in April 2013.

“This will be one of Opera Santa Barbara’s most memorable seasons,” says OSB’s Artistic Director, Jose Maria Condemi. “I am particularly excited to present our company premiere of Verdi’s Aida, in a stunning production conceived by Francesca Zambello for the Glimmerglass Opera. As we continue to make our mark as a leading arts organization, I invite audiences both old and new to come see why people are talking about Opera Santa Barbara.”

The season leads off this November with Puccini’s beloved Madame Butterfly, in a production conducted by Sara Jobin, who made history in 2004 as the first woman to conduct mainstage subscription performances at San Francisco Opera. Keturah Stickann, making her company debut, will direct. Japanese soprano Mihoko Kinoshita makes her company debut as Butterfly [Cio-Cio-San], a role she has sung to great acclaim throughout the world; upon the occasion of her Royal Albert Hall debut, London’s Daily Express wrote, “There is currently nobody who plays the vulnerable heroine better than Mihoko Kinoshita; she dominated the performance. Her clear voice rang out so powerfully that half the audience was exultant and the other half in tears at the emotionality of her performance.” Her Pinkerton is the estimable young tenor Alexey Sayapin, making his mainstage Opera Santa Barbara debut; OSB patrons may have heard his thrilling performance at our 2012 Gala this past Valentine’s Day. Baritone Krassen Karagiozov makes his company debut as Sharpless; mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen returns to sing Suzuki. Ms. Yoshida Nelsen, a Santa Barbara native who has gone on to an impressive operatic career, sang the role of Kate Pinkerton in OSB’s 2003 Butterfly.

In the spring, Opera Santa Barbara stages its company premiere of Verdi’s seminal work, Aida, created Francesca Zambello for New York’s celebrated Glimmerglass Festival; Zambello is an internationally recognized director of opera and theater; her work has been seen at companies including the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Covent Garden, Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and English National Opera. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. She serves as Artistic & General Director of the Glimmerglass Opera and Artistic Advisor to Washington National Opera. Michael Rau will direct the revival; guest conductor Valéry Ryvkin returns to the podium to conduct his 38th production for the company. This production, dubbed “an intimate Aida” by Zambello, will focus on the wrenching personal drama of the captive princess, seen through the lens of the political tensions that rage between Egypt and Ethiopia. Soprano Michelle Johnson (a 2006 Music Academy alumna) makes her OSB debut in the title role; the Texas-born soprano was a Grand Prize Winner in the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was chosen to originate Aida‘s title role for the Glimmerglass production. Mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin sings the proud Egyptian princess Amneris, who competes with Aida for the love of the warrior hero Radamès, sung by rising star tenor Ta’u Pupu’a, whose path to an operatic career came after being injured playing professional football for the N.F.L.

OSB’s Artistic Director Jose Maria Condemi will direct Donizetti’s effervescent comedy Don Pasquale in April 2013. In addition to his acclaimed productions of Orpheus and Eurydice and La traviata for OSB, Condemi has helmed recent productions for companies including the San Francisco, Houston Grand, Seattle, Cincinnati, and Utah Operas. Bass-baritone Philip Cokorinos, an LA Opera regular and veteran of more than 30 productions for the Metropolitan Opera, assumes the title role. Tenor Javier Abreu and soprano Zulimar López-Hernández, both natives of Puerto Rico, sing Ernesto and Norina, the young couple fighting Don Pasquale’s machinations with some moves of their own; López-Hernandez sang the same role to great acclaim for Des Moines Metro Opera in 2011; since his last local appearance as a 2002 Music Academy Fellow, Abreu has performed leading roles for companies across the US and abroad. Baritone Michael Krzankowski, a talented alumnus of OSB’s Studio Artist Program is Doctor Malatesta. Conductor Francesco Milioto makes his company debut on the podium.

To learn more about the 2012/2013 season, including ticket information and full artist biographies, please visit each production’s page, linked above or through our main page; www.operasb.org. High-resolution photos and more press information can be found at operasb.org/press.

OPERA SANTA BARBARA TICKET INFORMATION

SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW

• Three-Opera Subscription Ticket Prices: $77 to $481
• Season Subscriptions now available, order online at www.operasb.org or by phone, 805.898.3890
• All performances take place at The Granada Theatre, 1214 State Street
• Evening performances begin at 7:30 pm, with matinees at 2:30 pm

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ABOUT OPERA SANTA BARBARA

Founded in 1994, Opera Santa Barbara is one of the leading regional opera companies in the United States. The company engages audiences with its exciting, high-quality operas and education programs that inspire and entertain, enriching the cultural life of our community.


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