Don Pasquale, February 1998, Photo by David Bazemore
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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.


Cindy Brittain_webCynthia D. Brittain , an estate planning and tax law specialist with the Northern Trust Corp., has been elected to the Board of Directors for Opera Santa Barbara. Her three-year term began in September.

Born in North Carolina, Ms. Brittain earned undergraduate degrees in economics and foreign policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and went on to receive a Juris Doctor from California Western School of Law and a Master of Laws degree in taxation from the University of San Diego. At California Western she was a member of both the Law Review and the International Law Journal. Ms. Brittain also has studied in Moscow and Paris.

After beginning her legal career as a prosecutor in San Diego, Ms. Brittain was a partner in Santa Barbara-based Ambrecht & Brittain for nearly 10 years before practicing with the international law firm Withers in London and Hong Kong, where she was primarily involved in international cross-border planning for large global families. Prior to joining Northern Trust in 2012, Ms. Brittain served as counsel at McKenna, Long & Aldridge in Los Angeles, where she focused on domestic and international estate and tax planning. At Northern Trust, she collaborates with clients and their counsel on estate planning strategies, including fiduciary and tax issues stemming from trust administration. She speaks nationally on cross-border planning.

Ms. Brittain is a member of the Estate and Trust Committee and the Tax Committee of the California State Bar Association, as well as the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She served as president of the Ventura Estate Planning Council in 2007, and is currently a co-chair of the Tax Committee for the Santa Barbara County Bar Association.

An accomplished musician in her own right, Ms. Brittain studied piano for 14 years and has contributed concert reviews to The Washington Post and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. In addition to Santa Barbara, she has attended opera performances in Vienna, London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.

“We are very pleased to welcome Cindy Brittain to our organization,” said Joan Rutkowski, immediate past chair of Opera Santa Barbara’s Board of Directors and current chair of its Governance Committee. “With her unique background in trust administration and fiduciary and tax issues, combined with a lifetime love of opera, we are confident she will have an immediate impact on Opera Santa Barbara’s important work in our community.”


TreLune copy 2Tuesday, April 14

6:30 pm

Tre Lune Restaurant

1151 Coast Village Road, Montecito

Opera Santa Barbara returns to Tre Lune Restaurant in Montecito for our annual opera night. The evening will feature a four-course prix fixe dinner with each course preceded by performances from members of the cast of our upcoming production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Don’t miss this annual tradition!

Tickets are $125 per person, and must be purchased at the time of reservation.

To purchase your tickets, call 805.969.2646


PartyBookTelephone copyJoin Opera santa Barbara for a staged performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act comic opera The Telephone. Premiering in 1947, the opera tells the story of Ben, who is leaving on a trip and wants to propose to his girlfriend Lucy before leaving. however, Lucy is occupied with interminable conversations on the phone. Ben leaves without asking Lucy for her hand in marriage, but finds a way to make one last attempt, over the phone. the performance, which will be directed by Artistic director Jose Maria Condemi, will be presented at the glorious home of herb & elaine Kendall and will include cocktails and appetizers. But that’s not all. Guests will have the opportunity to attend a rehearsal for this production on August 23, prior to the performance, and witness firsthand how to stage and prepare an opera.

Cost per person: $150 ($35 Tax Deductible)

To purchase tickets, call 805.898.3890


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Opera Santa Barbara will present Menotti’s one-act opera The Telephone on Monday, August 25 at 12:00 pm at the Center Stage Theatre.

Premiering in 1947, the opera tells the story of Ben, who is leaving on a trip and wants to propose to his girlfriend Lucy before leaving. however, Lucy is occupied with interminable conversations on the phone. Ben leaves without asking Lucy for her hand in marriage, but finds a way to make one last attempt, over the phone.

This special presentation will be directed by OSB Artistic Director Jose Maria Condemi, and will feature soprano Molly Wilson as Lucy, baritone Daniel Scofield as Ben and piano accompaniment by Lin Fielding.

Tickets are $18 per person, and can be purchased at the Center Stage Theater Box Office or by calling 805-963-0408.