Tosca, Feburary/March 2006, David Bazemore Photo
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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

  • 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


Opera Santa Barbara is starting an opera book club. The club will meet every 6-8 weeks in the new “lounge” at our downtown offices. Each meeting will include wine and cheese, to discuss a book which coordinates with one of the operas in our season or an operatic theme. The first book will be “Butterfly’s Child” a new novel by Angela Davis-Garner.

The novel follows the life of Benji (Trouble) after he is plucked from the security of his home in Nagasaki to live with his American father, Lt. Pinkerton, and stepmother, Kate, on their farm in Illinois. The family conceals his true identity as a child born from a liaison between his father and a geisha—and tells everyone that he is an orphan. When the truth surfaces, it will splinter this family’s fragile dynamic and send Benji on the journey of a lifetime ending up in Nagasaki, where he will uncover the truth about his mother’s tragic death.

The book is available at Chaucer’s Bookstore or at the Kindle Store.

The first meeting of the Opera Book Club will be Tuesday, October 9 at 5:30 pm, and future meetings will be decided at the first meeting. Please RSVP if you will join the group by calling 805.898.3890.

Girls of Summer

ZULIMAR LÓPEZ-HERNÁNDEZ, Zerlina at Des Moines Metro Opera, talks to TRISTAN KRAFT about Mozart and other matters.

Girls of Summer Hernandez hdl 612

Zulimar López-Hernández, who sings Zerlina in Des Moines Metro Opera’s Don Giovanni this summer, has a personality that seems ideally suited to the role: in conversation, one first notices her youthful enthusiasm, then her intelligence, then her pragmatism. The soprano only started taking voice lessons in college, where she studied to be a dietician before switching degrees to music. “At least I always try to take care of myself and eat well,” she jokes. Since then, she has made signature roles out of Despina in Così Fan Tutte (which she covered for New York City Opera in March 2012) and Norina in Don Pasquale (which she sang at DMMO last summer).

Click here to read Zulimar’s complete feature at