La Traviata, July 1995, Photo by David Bazemore
Welcome to the OSBlog

Opera Santa Barbara’s 2015-16 season will resume with a sprightly production of Gaetano Donizetti’s delightful bel canto work The Elixir of Love at the historic Granada Theatre in downtown Santa Barbara on March 4 and 6. Performances will take place at 7:30 pm on Friday, March 4, and at 2:30 pm on Sunday, March 6. Ranging in price from $29 to $204, tickets can be purchased at or by calling 805-899-2222.

“As far as romantic comedies go, you can’t do any better than The Elixir of Love,” said Opera Santa Barbara Artistic Director Kostis Protopapas. “It’s Donizetti’s most fun score, and this style of opera is called ‘bel canto’ (beautiful song) for a reason! Everyone who comes to this show is guaranteed to laugh, fall in love with our dashing cast, and leave humming the tunes!”

Donizetti’s endearing confection 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 includes soprano Angela Mannino as the alluring landowner Adina, tenor Marco Cammarota as her peasant suitor Nemorino, baritone Luis Alejandro 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.

Soprano Angela Mannino made her Metropolitan Opera debut in May 2010 as the 15-Year-Old Girl in Berg’s Lulu upon completing two seasons at Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Most recently she sang the Fairy Godmother in Cendrillon at Kentucky Opera, Papagena in The Magic Flute at Dallas Opera, and Valencienne in The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera of Chicago on short notice. Ms. Mannino also has been seen in a wide variety of performances with the New Orleans Opera and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

Currently a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, tenor Marco Cammarota recently sang the roles of Rodolfo in La Bohème and Alfredo in La Traviata with the Lafayette and Owensboro symphony orchestras, Nick in La fanciulla del West, and Tybalt in Romeo et Juliette, all as a member of Kentucky Opera’s studio artist program. This season he appeared as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire with Kentucky Opera, reprised the role of Alfredo with the Rochester Philharmonic, and sang the role of Malcolm in Macbeth at the Glimmerglass Festival.

Baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco has performed with Opera Saratoga, Opera Santa Barbara, Des Moines Metro Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Syracuse Opera, Opera Theatre of St Louis, and Washington National Opera, among others. His many roles have included Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Escamillo in La tragédie de Carmen, Don Giovanni, Giulio Cesare, Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Tarquinius in The Rape of Lucretia, and Marcello in La Bohème. Mr. Orozco recently appeared as Papageno at the Seoul International Opera Festival in South Korea.

Making his leading role debut at Opera Santa Barbara, bass-baritone Zachary Owen has performed with Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Central City Opera, Opera North, and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. He has performed the roles of Ashby in La fanciulla del West, Don Fernando in Fidelio, and Matouš in Smetana’s The Kiss, among many others. At a recent Cincinnati Opera composer’s workshop Mr. Owen worked alongside Jake Heggie, Jack O’Brien, and Terrence McNally to develop two characters for Heggie’s new opera, Great Scott.

Complete artist biographies are available at

Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Opera Santa Barbara’s production of The Elixir of Love is generously supported by the Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts, Michael and Anne Towbes.

Opera Santa Barbara’s 2015-16 season will continue with Puccini’s great one-act operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi on April 22 and 24.

The Granada Theatre is located at 1214 State 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.

PrintOpera Santa Barbara’s popular outreach program for elementary schools, The Opera Lab will be touring schools in February, March, April and May, 2016!

The program will tour South Santa Barbara County schools on February 1-12 and again on March 21-25. The program will tour Ventura County schools on March 7-11. The program will tour North Santa Barbara County schools on March 14-18. Additional sessions will be added in late March and early May as needed.

The Opera Lab is an innovative highly interactive program designed to teach your students the A-B-and high Cs of opera! Guided by four professional singers specially trained in improvisation, your students will learn the building blocks of this fascinating art form and use them to construct their very own opera, performed for them on the spot.

With its music, theatrics, spectacle and humor, opera has everything people love. That is why year after year, community members and educators who experience Opera Santa Barbara’s programs beg for more. Opera Santa Barbara’s program, The Opera Lab brings an interactive build-an-opera adventure to your students – at no charge to your school!

To schedule an Opera Lab for your school, CLICK HERE.

The Opera Ball!

Posted in Events & Happenings, OSB Press Room, OSBlog / Tags: no tag /


Opera Santa Barbara invites you to The Opera Ball, a celebration of Love. From Cupid’s arrow to Venus’ beauty, you are invited to invoke your inner muse at this gala celebration.

The event will be held Friday, February 12, 2015 at 6:00 pm at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort Loggia Ballroom.

The event will feature:

  • A Cocktail Reception
  • Three-Course Dinner
  • Operatic Arias and Duets performed by the cast of L’Elisir d’Amore
  • A live auction with auctioneer Andrew Firestone
  • Dancing to the music of local DJ Gavin Roy

Tickets are $300 per person, $2,400 for a Table of 8 and $3,500 for a VIP Table of 8

Suggested attire is Black Tie Optional

To purchase tickets, call 805.898.3890.

Opera Santa Barbara’s popular Noontime Concert series is expanding, reaching public libraries throughout the region. Following is the list of free concerts being offered:

February 17: Santa Barbara Public Library
February 19: Ventura Public Library
February 24: Santa Barbara Public Library
March 2: Santa Barbara Public Library
March 8: Thousand Oaks Public Library
March 10: Ojai Public Library
March 18: Ventura Public Library
April 6: Santa Barbara Public Library
April 12: Thousand Oaks Public Library
April 13: Santa Barbara Public Library
April 14: Ojai Public Library
April 15: Ventura Public Library
April 20: Santa Barbara Public Library
May 10: Thousand Oaks Public Library
May 11: Santa Barbara Public Library
May 12: Ojai Public Library
May 13: Ventura Public Library

All concerts begin at 12:00 noon and feature popular and lesser-known operatic arias and duets.

If you work with a public library in Santa Barbara or Ventura Counties and are not currently scheduled, please contact our office and we will add your library to the schedule of concerts!

For more information, call 805-898-3890





Opera Santa Barbara will welcome four promising young vocalists for 17 weeks of performances, training, and community events under an expansion of its artist residency program early next year. The company’s new Mosher Studio Artist Program will enable four singers and an accompanist to take part in Opera Santa Barbara productions, outreach activities throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and coachings and masterclasses with top industry directors and conductors. The inaugural complement of program participants will arrive in Santa Barbara on January 18. Their residencies will conclude on May 16.

“We are very grateful to the Mosher Foundation, whose generosity has made this expansion possible,” said Kostis Protopapas, who was named artistic director of Opera Santa Barbara in July. “We envision program participants serving as ambassadors for our company and opera generally, all the while receiving top-flight training that will further their careers.”

Under its original artist residency program, founded seven years ago, Opera Santa Barbara would host four singers for about five weeks of training and rehearsals prior to each of the company’s three annual opera productions, culminating in on-stage appearances as secondary performers. The effort was originally known as the Young Artists Program and was later renamed the Studio Artist Program. The Mosher Foundation, which supports educational, healthcare, and performing arts institutions in the Santa Barbara area, funded an expansion of the program last year.

Under the new Mosher Studio Artist Program, participants will tour elementary schools in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as part of the company’s Opera Lab, which uses improvisational theatre techniques to encourage children to “create their own operas”; perform six free noontime concerts at the Santa Barbara Public Library; present previews of Opera Santa Barbara productions to community groups such as retirement homes and Rotary clubs; and take part in a new series of “pop up” or “flash mob” performances from Thousand Oaks to Santa Maria. The latter will be presented at shopping malls, public libraries, farmers markets, school lunchrooms, and similar locations. To schedule a “pop up” performance, contact Opera Santa Barbara at 805-898-3890 or

Mosher Studio Artists also will perform secondary roles in Opera Santa Barbara’s upcoming productions of Gaetano Donizetti’s romantic comedy L’Elisir d’Amore (The Elixir of Love) on March 4 and 6, and Puccini’s great one-act operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi on April 22 and 24. Featuring popular and lesser-known operatic repertoire with piano accompaniment, the free noontime concerts will be offered at the Santa Barbara Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery on February 17 and 24 and March 2 (in advance of L’elisir d’amore), and April 6, 13, and 20 (Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi). Additional concerts will likely be scheduled at other regional public libraries.

Through a related partnership, qualified UCSB voice students will be eligible to participate in the Mosher Studio Artist Program. Mezzo-soprano Molly Clementz, a doctoral candidate at UCSB, will be among the new program’s inaugural participants.

“This partnership will harness UCSB’s academic prestige and teaching excellence, along with Opera Santa Barbara’s professional opportunities and resources, in order to provide top-quality training for the area’s most promising young singers,” said Mr. Protopapas.

The full roster of incoming Mosher Studio Artists will be announced in January.

Opera Santa Barbara is seeking local homeowners to serve as housing donors for Mosher Studio Artists. Housing donors will receive a stipend of $2,000 for the full 17-week period, plus complimentary tickets to opera performances and private receptions. Each artist requires a private bedroom and bathroom and wireless internet access. For more information, contact Opera Santa Barbara at 805-898-3890.