Cavalleria Rusticana, October 1999, David Bazemore Photo
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Demystifying Opera

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

Friday, November 15, 7 – 9 pm, MichaelKate Interiors, 132 Santa Barbara Street

What is opera all about?  Do they only sing in Italian?  How am I supposed to know what they are saying? 


On Friday, November 15th, MichaelKate Interiors & Art Gallery, opens its doors to Opera Santa Barbara for a unique evening to shed some light on the opera experience. Opera Santa Barbara invites you to take a seat in the impressive MichaelKate showroom to enjoy an evening of opera in a relaxed atmosphere, right in the heart of the Funk Zone.

A wine reception begins at 7:00 PM, followed by a concert with L.A. Opera Baritone, 
Craig Colclough, and accompanist Kosta Popovich (pictured L to R right above). Following the concert there will be a panel discussion moderated by Charles Donelan of the SB Independent with the singer and a few other knowledgeable guests who will give some accessible insight into the many stigmas of opera. This is your chance to ask any and every opera question you have ever ruminated on.

This event is for everyone, and is one of the many ways Opera Santa Barbara is creating an environment to bridge the gap between newbie and aficionado.

Entry is $20 at the door.
 For questions call or email Kristen Reed: 
(805) 898-3890 or kristen@operasb.org

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jean-stapleton

To launch its 20th Anniversary Season, Opera Santa Barbara is presenting a special performance of Lee Hoiby’s comic one-act opera Bon Appétit! on Monday, September 30 at noon at the Center Stage Theatre. This delicious opera is a comedic take on a classic episode of Child’s popular television show – set to music! The incomparable mezzo-soprano Susan Nicely stars as the flamboyant master chef, teaching the makings of a classic French chocolate cake – Le Gâteau au Chocolat L’Éminence Brune. This performance is under one hour long, designed to fit into any lunch break. And, after the performance, audiences will enjoy a slice of chocolate cake courtesy of Whole Foods.

With his short opera Bon Appétit!, American composer Lee Hoiby (1926-2011) took on the making of a chocolate cake, as told through the actual words of celebrity chef Julia Child, who spent the later part of her life living at Casa Dorinda in Santa Barbara. Hoiby composed Bon Appétit! In 1985 for American actress and friend Jean Stapleton (best knows as Edith Bunker in All in the Family – pictured above), who sang the 1989 premiere at the Kennedy Center and later performed it in an off-Broadway run. The libretto for Bon Appétit! Was adapted by Hoiby’s frequent collaborator and partner Mark Shulgasser from transcripts of two episodes of Child’s TV show, The French Chef.  The overwhelming popularity of Child (1912-2004) came not just from her culinary expertise but from her self-deprecating humor and matter-of-fact style. Hoiby wisely left most of the gags for the staging and wrote a tuneful but straight-ahead vocal line. Like Child’s whipped egg whites, Bon Appétit! may be light and frothy, but it’s the result of a master’s sure touch.

Bon Appétit!.  Monday, September 30, 2013, 12:00 pm at the Center Stage Theater, upstairs at Paseo Nuevo

Tickets are $13 per person and can be purchased by calling the Center Stage Theater at 805.963.0408 or www.centerstagetheater.org.


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.


  • 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)


A Winter Offering

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

Opera Santa Barbara is presenting a special holiday concert on Wednesday, December 5 featuring soprano Marcy Stonikas and pianist Christopher Allen. Part of the Opera on the Go! series, this recital is Opera Santa Barbara’s holiday gift to the community. Enjoy works by Mozart, Barber, Strauss, as well as some holiday favorites.

Ms. Stonikas has been hailed as possessing a “huge, clear, commanding voice that is nonetheless capable of great subtlety ” by the Washington Times, and as revealing “a big voice, tempered by abundant cream and nuance in the tone” by Opera News. She has recently performed Leonore in Fidelio and the title role in Turandot with the Seattle Opera.

A recipient of the prestigious Bruno Walter Conducting Award, Mr. Allen is currently serving as Conducting Assistant and Coach for the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera. He has worked as assistant conductor for the Atlanta Symphony and the Cincinnati Opera.

The concert will be presented on Wednesday, December 5, 5:30 pm at the Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapumu St. Suggested Donation is $15 general admission, $12 Subscribers, $5 Students.

For more info, call 805.898.3890 or visit www.operasb.org.

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