La bohème, November 2011, Photo by David Bazemore
Welcome to the Past Events

Joann Younger, a successful entrepreneur whose ventures have included popular women’s clothing stores in Santa Barbara and Sacramento, has been elected to the Board of Directors for Opera Santa Barbara. Her three-year term began in January.

Joann YoungerA native of Dallas, Ms. Younger founded a development firm in Sacramento in the 1960s before turning her attention to women’s fashion, opening the juniors store Sacks Howe Avenue in 1975 and later the boutique Chantilly Lace, both in Sacramento. She currently owns Renaissance Fine Consignment, which has locations in Santa Barbara and Sacramento.

“Joann is a self-made businesswoman whose keen instincts and moxie are certain to prove invaluable as we embark on an exciting new era at Opera Santa Barbara,” said Joan Rutkowski, immediate past chair of the company’s Board of Directors and current chair of its Governance Committee. “Given her impressive record of accomplishment and her infectious enthusiasm, we expect her contributions to our organization to be both substantial and of lasting significance.”


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 www.granadasb.org 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 www.operasb.org.

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.


The Opera Ball!

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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 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 info@operasb.org.

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.


Give the Gift of Opera!

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Opera Santa Barbara gift certificates make the perfect gift, year-round!

Gift certificates are available in any denomination, may be used towards the purchase of tickets to any Opera SB performance or event, and can be issued in any amount.

OSB will mail the certificate to you, or we can send it directly to the recipient with your own personal message. With upcoming productions of Donizetti’s comic “L’Elisir d’Amore,” and Puccini’s double bill of  “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi” there will be something that everyone will love!

CLICK HERE TO GIVE YOUR CERTIFICATE TODAY!