Don Pasquale 2013; David Bazemore Photo
Welcome to the Events & Happenings

GiovanniOpera Santa Barbara will present Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, and Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi by Puccini in 2015-16.

Single-ticket sales for Opera Santa Barbara’s 2015-16 season will begin on Saturday, August 15. Ranging from $29 to $204, tickets can be purchased at or by calling 805-899-2222.

Opera Santa Barbara will open its 22nd season with Mozart’s timeless drama Don Giovanni on November 6 and 8, followed by Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece The Elixir of Love on March 4 and 6, and a twin bill consisting of Puccini’s compelling one-act operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi on April 22 and 24. Performances will take place at the historic Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara.

“The coming season offers something for everyone – comedy, drama, and tragedy, to say nothing of some of the most exquisite music ever composed,” said Steven Sharpe, general director of Opera Santa Barbara. “Of course, audiences can also expect exceptional casts and dynamic staging – the very things for which our company is increasingly known.”

Rapturously received at its 1787 premiere and hailed ever since as one of the most perfect operas ever written, Don Giovanni dramatizes the story of the legendary libertine Don Juan Tenorio. Mozart, 31 and at the height of his artistic powers when he composed Don Giovanni, ingeniously captures the mythical dimension of his erotic subject. In structure and style, the work of his librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, is equally masterful. The result is a powerful, deeply moving tour de force featuring complex characterizations, a blend of comedy, drama, and the supernatural, and a score of unsurpassed beauty and eloquence.

Opera Santa Barbara’s production will feature up-and-coming American baritone Mark Walters (pictured above) in the title role. Described by Opera News as “force to be reckoned with” and by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “vocal fury,” Mr. Walters “possesses a magnificently resonant voice and unforced dramatic ability,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune. Following triumphant performances in recent productions of Rigoletto, Il trovatore, and La traviata, critics have lauded his remarkable facility with demanding Verdi roles. His other recent engagements have included Fidelio with Opera Omaha and Kentucky Opera, Tosca with Sarasota Opera, and La Bohéme with Opera Naples.

Award-winning soprano Marcy Stonikas, who sang the title role in Opera Santa Barbara’s 2013-14 season production of Tosca, will appear as Donna Anna. Last season she sang the title roles in Ariadne auf Naxos (Seattle Opera) and Turandot (Cincinnati Opera), and debuted with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Rounding out the cast will be soprano Rena Harms as Donna Elvira and bass-baritone Daniel Mobbs as Leporello. Last season Ms. Harms appeared with the Grand Théâtre de Genève as Helmwige in Die Walküre and made her role debut as Desdemona in Otello with the Oldenburgishes Staatstheater. The 2014-15 season saw Mr. Mobbs return to the Metropolitan Opera as Kromow in the company’s new production of The Merry Widow. He also participated in the Met’s staging of La donna del Lago, and debuted with Los Angeles Opera as Baron Douphol in Marta Domingo’s production of La traviata. Complete artist biographies are available at

Conducted by Douglas Kinney Frost and directed by Kelly Robinson, Opera Santa Barbara’s production of Don Giovanni will be presented at 7:30 pm on Friday, November 6, and at 2:30 pm on Sunday, November 8, in the Granada Theatre.

Opera Santa Barbara’s 2015-16 season will continue with Gaetano Donizetti’s ever-popular L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) at 7:30 pm on Friday, March 4, and at 2:30 pm on Sunday, March 6, in the Granada Theatre. This delightful two-act comedy about the vagaries of romantic love, which met with enthusiasm at its Milan premiere in 1832, brims with charm and some of opera’s most affecting arias. The standout young cast will include soprano Anya Matanovic as the alluring landowner Adina, tenor Marco Cammarota as her peasant suitor Nemorino, baritone Luis Orozco as Sergeant Belcore, and bass-baritone Zachary Owen as the itinerant charlatan Doctor Dulcamara. Leonardo Vordoni will conduct, with stage direction by Alan E. Hicks.

The season will conclude in grand style with two of Puccini’s great one-act operas: the heart-warming Suor Angelica and the comic farce Gianni Schicchi. Often performed together, these two tuneful gems are part of a trio of Puccini operas (Il trittico) that premiered to great fanfare at the Metropolitan Opera in 1918. Critically acclaimed soprano Maria Kanyova will sing Sister Angelica, the tormented Florentine noblewoman compelled by her family to take the veil following a youthful indiscretion. Italian bass-baritone Stefano de Peppo will bring his considerable star power to the role of the endearing fraudster Gianni Schicchi. José Luis Moscovich will conduct, with stage direction by Fenlon Lamb. Performances will take place at 7:30 pm on Friday, April 22, and at 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 24.

The Granada Theatre is located at 1214 State Street in Santa Barbara. To place a season subscription order, visit or call 805-898-3890.

Related Programming

The November 6 performance of Don Giovanni will be preceded by a gala dinner in the McCune Founders Room of the Granada Theatre beginning at 5 pm. Participants will enjoy valet parking, a sumptuous three-course dinner, private intermission, and a post-performance reception. Tickets cost $250. For tickets or additional information, call 805-893-3890.

Opera Santa Barbara will offer a series of free concerts at the Santa Barbara Public Library on consecutive Wednesdays prior to each of its 2015-16 productions. Featuring participants in the company’s Mosher Studio Artists Program performing popular and lesser-known operatic repertoire with piano accompaniment, the concerts will take place at noon in the library’s Faulkner Gallery on October 21 and 28 and November 4 (in advance of Don Giovanni); February 17 and 24 and March 2 (L’elisir d’amore); and April 6, 13, and 20 (Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi). The Santa Barbara Public Library is located at 40 E. Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara

Open to all ticket holders, free informative talks will take place 45 minutes before each Opera Santa Barbara performance at the Granada Theatre. Following select performances, the stage director and other production members will be available at the front of the house for an informal question-and-answer session.



Tuesday, September 29, from 6 to 9 pm.

Opera Santa Barbara invites you to join us at the Bacara Resort & Spa for a very special evening pairing exceptional wine with an elegant dinner and operatic arias.

The evening features:

  • A wine reception on Bacara’s beautiful Rotunda Terrace featuring wines by Fumanelli Cellars
  • A three-course dinner by Executive Chef Vincent Lesage with Fumanelli wine pairings in Bacara’s spectacular circular Rotunda
  • Italian opera performances presented by Opera Santa Barbara

The cost is $150 per person, which includes all tax and gratuity.

CLICK HERE for more information, or call 844-570-5795

Note: last year’s dinner sold out. We recommend reserving your tickets in advance.

Celebrated conductor Kostis Protopapas, whose engaging podium presence, incisive musicality, and administrative acumen have garnered praise from critics and industry professionals nationwide, has been named artistic director of Opera Santa Barbara. With the appointment, which caps a seven-month international search, Mr. Protopapas becomes just the fourth artistic director in the company’s 21-year history.

“We are very pleased and honored to welcome such a distinguished artist to our ranks,” said Steven Sharpe, general director of Opera Santa Barbara. “Given Kostis’ remarkable record of achievement, as well as the respect he justly commands in our industry, we are confident that he will contribute significantly to our artistic and educational efforts. This appointment marks an important and exciting milestone in the evolution of our company.”

“I am thrilled to be joining Opera Santa Barbara, one of the country’s up-and-coming companies in one of the world’s most beautiful cities,” said Mr. Protopapas. “I look forward to working with Steven Sharpe, the staff, and the board to broaden the company’s reach and deepen its relationship with the community. Opera is my passion, and I look forward to sharing it with the people of Santa Barbara and the Central Coast.”

As artistic director of Tulsa Opera over the past seven years, Mr. Protopapas has spearheaded a succession of notable productions from the pit. Writing in The New Yorker following a 2011 Tulsa Opera performance of The Barber of Seville, Alex Ross marveled at the orchestra’s “fluid idiomatic playing.” “In any city, it’s rare to find a conductor that sets the right tempo so consistently,” observed Mr. Ross. Mr. Protopapas previously served as Tulsa Opera’s associate conductor and chorusmaster, and has conducted 22 productions with the company since his 2005 main-stage debut with Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci.

Mr. Protopapas also has distinguished himself as an administrator. Under his leadership, Tulsa Opera has gained an outsized reputation for adventurous programming, exceptional directorial and singing talent, and extensive community outreach, including statewide educational initiatives and innovative partnerships with local and regional organizations.

“Maestro Protopapas is known for producing highly compelling productions, and prides himself on creating the conditions for artists to do their best work,” said former Tulsa Opera Board President Alvina Hart. “As a conductor he leads with exuberance and finesse, always working with the singers and orchestra to draw out the beauty and power of the music, making the classics unique and newer works accessible. His love for the art form of opera is apparent to all who meet him.”

Between 2002 and 2008, Mr. Protopapas concurrently served as assistant conductor for Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera, and during the 2002 and 2003 seasons was Lyric Opera of Chicago’s assistant chorusmaster. Having begun his career at Virginia Opera and Opera Memphis, he also has conducted at Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, the Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Columbus, Shreveport Opera, and Opera in the Ozarks.

In a review of Union Avenue Opera’s 2014 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, St. Louis Post-Dispatch critic Sarah Bryan Miller lauded Mr. Protopapas’ “sure grasp of the score,” adding that the conductor “led his forces with clarity and energy, in a notable performance.” His performances have met with similar plaudits in the pages of Opera News, Opera Now, and Tulsa World.

Born in Athens, Greece, Mr. Protopapas studied archaeology and art history at the University of Athens before turning his attention to piano at the Boston Conservatory and conducting at Boston University. He will continue to serve as artistic director of Tulsa Opera during his tenure with Opera Santa Barbara.

Opera Santa Barbara will open its 22nd season with Mozart’s timeless drama Don Giovanni on November 6 and 8, followed by Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece The Elixir of Love on March 4 and 6, and a twin bill consisting of Puccini’s compelling one-act operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi on April 22 and 24. Subscription sales are underway; single-ticket sales will begin August 15. Performances will take place at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. To place a season subscription order, visit or call 805-898-3890. To purchase single tickets after August 15, visit or call 805-899-2222.

The Mosher Studio Artists for our 2015/2016 productions of Don Giovanni, L’elisir d’amore and Suor Angelica / Gianni Schicchi will present a series of free Noontime Concerts throughout our next season!. These concerts are offered FREE to the public, and feature the talented members of our Mosher Studio Artists Program. Concerts feature a diverse repertoire of popular and lesser-known operatic offerings, all accompanied by piano.

All concerts will be held on Wednesdays in the Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

2015/2016 CONCERT DATES:

Don Giovanni: October 21, 28 & November 4, 2015

L’elisir d’amore: February 17, 24 and March 2, 2016

Suor Angelica / Gianni Schicchi: April 6, 13 & 20, 2016

LOCATION: The Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara

START TIME: 12:00 Noon

For more information, call 805-898-3890





ArtistHostEblastSMOpera Santa Barbara is very excited about our upcoming season, featuring three fully-staged operas! This season continues OSB’s dedication to bringing high caliber professional artists to the stage of the Granada Theatre. One of the ways in which we are able to maintain a roster of fabulous singers, is through our Artist Host program. You can support our work by becoming an Artist Host.

Artist Hosts provide housing for one of our artists. We request a private bedroom, private bathroom, access to a kitchen and internet access. We are able to install internet if that is not available. Hosts are not expected to provide transportation, meals, or any other amenity. The artists tend to be working most afternoons and evenings, and enjoy quiet time in the mornings.

Artist hosts are given two tickets to the production, an invitation to the Artist Welcome Party, an invitation to a Private Rehearsal and Reception, an invitation to the Opening Night Party and a $100 stipend to cover any utility costs.

Dates we need housing for are October 13 – November 10, 2014; February 9 – March 9, 2015; and March 28 – April 27, 2015.

If you are interested in this program, or have any questions, please contact Kristen Reed at or by calling 805.898.3890.