Don Pasquale, February 1998, Photo by David Bazemore
Archive for March 2013

PasqualeFamilyFlyerOpera Santa Barbara will present a special one-hour performance of Donizetti’s comic opera Don Pasquale, to be performed free for children of all ages and their chaperones on Saturday, April 27 at 5:00 pm.

The production will feature professional singers in full costumes, sets, lighting and piano accompaniment. It will also include a narrator to help translate the story to the children.

In this comic opera, Don Pasquale has willed his fortune to his nephew, Ernesto, on the condition he approves of the young man’s bride. Enter Norina – Ernesto’s smart and sassy fiancée – who unfortunately does not pass muster. Pasquale disinherits poor Ernesto, deciding instead to find himself a young wife and produce an heir of his own. Not one to be deterred lightly, Norina disguises herself as the girl of Pasquale’s dreams and marries the coot; you can be sure wedded bliss is not in store! Gorgeous music abounds in Donizetti’s last comic gem.

OSB Artistic Director Jose Maria Condemi leads a cast featuring members of Opera Santa Barbara’s Studio Artist Program. Tenor Theo Lebow, a recent alumnus of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, will sing Ernesto. Soprano Elena Galván sings Norina. Bass-baritone Christopher Remmel, most recently seen in Opera Santa Barbara’s production of Aida, returns as Don Pasquale. Efraín Solís, a recent Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions finalist, sings Doctor Malatesta. Tatiana Vassilieva will accompany, and Maestro Brent Wilson will conduct.

Don Pasquale for Families

Saturday, April 27 at 5:00 pm

The Granada Theatre

1214 State Street, Santa Barbara

Admission is free, offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Doors open at 4:30 pm.

Groups of 15 or more should call in advance to reserve their seats.

For more information, call 805.898.3890 or visit www.OperaSB.org.


zlh.jpgThis April, two talented and charming Puerto Rican singers will make their Opera Santa Barbara debuts: soprano Zulimar López-Hernández as Norina and tenor Javier Abreu as Ernesto. Zulimar starts things off with a bang: “The last time I sang Norina, her aria was staged in the bathtub; I had to get out of the tub and put on a robe while singing – without revealing to the audience more of the character than I intended!” laughs the soprano. Possible wardrobe malfunctions aside, Javier summed up Don Pasquale’s enduring appeal: “The opera itself is one of Donizetti’s best: the plot is simple and easy to follow, and it combines just the right amount of slapstick with those moments that tug at your heartstrings.” Read on…


PASQAULE.STUDIO.2Our free Noontime Concerts return on Wednesday, April 10, 17, and 24. Members of Opera Santa Barbara’s Studio Artist Program present a varied program of arias and ensembles. Our exceptional artists include soprano Elena Galván, tenor Theo Lebow, baritone Efraín Solís and bass-baritone Christopher Remmel. They have studied at institutions including the Academy of Vocal Arts, the Mannes School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Chapman University and Roosevelt University and have performed with companies including the Santa Fe and Seattle Operas, Opera Saratoga, and with the Aspen Music Festival. Guest coach Tatiana Vassilieva returns to accompany; she has served on the music staff for the Florida Grand, Wolf Trap, and Sarasota Operas, and has appeared with Opera North, Tanglewood, and Ash Lawn Operas.  Don’t miss this chance to hear the stars of tomorrow!

Thanks to the support of our donors, we are able to continue offering these to our community free of charge.

This year’s concerts will be held in the Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Public Library: 40 E. Anapamu, SB, CA 93101.

DATES:  April 10, 17 & 24

All concerts begin at 12:00 noon, and last about an hour.

 



  • MARCH 27: ‘Spring/Autumn Affairs and the Generation Gap in Don Pasquale and other operas’
    Presented by Desirée Mays
  • Zuli.eblastDon’t miss this month’s Opera on the GO! Entitled “Spring/Autumn Affairs and the Generation Gap in Don Pasquale and other operas.” Presented by the Santa Fe Opera’s Desirée Mays on March 27 at 5:30pm, this talk covers the many examples of young/old relationships found in the operatic canon and how they are portrayed and resolved – or not! With Desirée’s inimitable humorous style this presentation is sure to be both fun and informative for all audiences.
  • desiree2Born in Ireland, Desirée Mays moved to London to become a ballet dancer in the opera ballet as a young woman. She eventually came to the States, hung up her dancing shoes, and developed a career as a lecturer, storyteller and writer on Opera. She is the resident speaker and storyteller for The Santa Fe Opera in the summer months and the author of Opera Unveiled, a book now in its 15th year, about the Santa Fe seasons.
  • Winters find her lecturing coast to coast from the Metropolitan Opera in New York to the Los Angeles Opera in California. She has spoken to Wagner Societies in Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, and Dallas and was the lead speaker for the Kirov Ring in Orange County in 2006. She is a popular radio personality and hosts opera tours worldwide for Act I Tours. Desirée also directs Art Forms Inc., an educational, non-profit organization, whose motto is: “Art Forms through Awareness.”

This season’s Opera on the GO! presentations will be held at the
Santa Barbara Library’s Faulkner Gallery
40 East Anapamu Street, SB CA 93101

All presentations begin at 5:30pm and last about 1hour, 15 minutes.

Donations accepted at the door
Suggested Donation: $15/person, $12 (OSB Subscribers), $5 (Students with ID)


Stage Director Francesca Zambello discusses her production of  ‘AIDA’

Aida.Francesca.Zambello-webWhen the curtain opens on Francesca Zambello’s Aida, you’ll be treated to “an original and stunning production – without one elephant sighted,” writes Susan Galbraith for DC Theatre Scene. She’s not alone: skimming the reviews from this production’s 2012 New York premiere, a clear picture emerges: “Thought-provoking and brilliant”; “Gutsy”; ”Memorable”; “Courageous and incredibly moving.”

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Zambello’s work. One of opera’s most celebrated names – and a self-described “evangelist for opera” – she has blazed a trail creating groundbreaking productions for top opera houses around the world. In addition, she is the newly appointed Artistic Director of Washington National Opera and serves as the Artistic & General Director for the Glimmerglass Festival, where this production of Aida premiered in 2012.

Opera Santa Barbara Artistic Director Jose Maria Condemi says, “When I talked to Francesca about her culturally significant Aida, I was intrigued; when I saw the results – this gripping, visually stunning production – I knew I had to bring it to our community. It’s certain to be a truly noteworthy day for both music and theater in Santa Barbara.”  Read on…