Photo by David Bazemore for Opera Santa Barbara

Celebrated conductor Kostis Protopapas, whose engaging podium presence, incisive musicality, and administrative acumen have garnered praise from critics and industry professionals nationwide, has been named artistic director of Opera Santa Barbara. With the appointment, which caps a seven-month international search, Mr. Protopapas becomes just the fourth artistic director in the company’s 21-year history.

“We are very pleased and honored to welcome such a distinguished artist to our ranks,” said Steven Sharpe, general director of Opera Santa Barbara. “Given Kostis’ remarkable record of achievement, as well as the respect he justly commands in our industry, we are confident that he will contribute significantly to our artistic and educational efforts. This appointment marks an important and exciting milestone in the evolution of our company.”

“I am thrilled to be joining Opera Santa Barbara, one of the country’s up-and-coming companies in one of the world’s most beautiful cities,” said Mr. Protopapas. “I look forward to working with Steven Sharpe, the staff, and the board to broaden the company’s reach and deepen its relationship with the community. Opera is my passion, and I look forward to sharing it with the people of Santa Barbara and the Central Coast.”

As artistic director of Tulsa Opera over the past seven years, Mr. Protopapas has spearheaded a succession of notable productions from the pit. Writing in The New Yorker following a 2011 Tulsa Opera performance of The Barber of Seville, Alex Ross marveled at the orchestra’s “fluid idiomatic playing.” “In any city, it’s rare to find a conductor that sets the right tempo so consistently,” observed Mr. Ross. Mr. Protopapas previously served as Tulsa Opera’s associate conductor and chorusmaster, and has conducted 22 productions with the company since his 2005 main-stage debut with Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci.

Mr. Protopapas also has distinguished himself as an administrator. Under his leadership, Tulsa Opera has gained an outsized reputation for adventurous programming, exceptional directorial and singing talent, and extensive community outreach, including statewide educational initiatives and innovative partnerships with local and regional organizations.

“Maestro Protopapas is known for producing highly compelling productions, and prides himself on creating the conditions for artists to do their best work,” said former Tulsa Opera Board President Alvina Hart. “As a conductor he leads with exuberance and finesse, always working with the singers and orchestra to draw out the beauty and power of the music, making the classics unique and newer works accessible. His love for the art form of opera is apparent to all who meet him.”

Between 2002 and 2008, Mr. Protopapas concurrently served as assistant conductor for Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera, and during the 2002 and 2003 seasons was Lyric Opera of Chicago’s assistant chorusmaster. Having begun his career at Virginia Opera and Opera Memphis, he also has conducted at Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis, the Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Columbus, Shreveport Opera, and Opera in the Ozarks.

In a review of Union Avenue Opera’s 2014 production of A Streetcar Named Desire, St. Louis Post-Dispatch critic Sarah Bryan Miller lauded Mr. Protopapas’ “sure grasp of the score,” adding that the conductor “led his forces with clarity and energy, in a notable performance.” His performances have met with similar plaudits in the pages of Opera News, Opera Now, and Tulsa World.

Born in Athens, Greece, Mr. Protopapas studied archaeology and art history at the University of Athens before turning his attention to piano at the Boston Conservatory and conducting at Boston University. He will continue to serve as artistic director of Tulsa Opera during his tenure with Opera Santa Barbara.

Opera Santa Barbara will open its 22nd season with Mozart’s timeless drama Don Giovanni on November 6 and 8, followed by Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece The Elixir of Love on March 4 and 6, and a twin bill consisting of Puccini’s compelling one-act operas Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi on April 22 and 24. Subscription sales are underway; single-ticket sales will begin August 15. Performances will take place at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. To place a season subscription order, visit www.operasb.org or call 805-898-3890. To purchase single tickets after August 15, visit www.granadasb.org or call 805-899-2222.


The Mosher Studio Artists for our 2015/2016 productions of Don Giovanni, L’elisir d’amore and Suor Angelica / Gianni Schicchi will present a series of free Noontime Concerts throughout our next season!. These concerts are offered FREE to the public, and feature the talented members of our Mosher Studio Artists Program. Concerts feature a diverse repertoire of popular and lesser-known operatic offerings, all accompanied by piano.

All concerts will be held on Wednesdays in the Faulkner Gallery at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

2015/2016 CONCERT DATES:

Don Giovanni: October 21, 28 & November 4, 2015

L’elisir d’amore: February 17, 24 and March 2, 2016

Suor Angelica / Gianni Schicchi: April 6, 13 & 20, 2016

LOCATION: The Faulkner Gallery of the Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara

START TIME: 12:00 Noon

For more information, call 805-898-3890

 

 

 

 


Trattoria Vittoria, an authentic Italian restaurant located just around the corner from the Granada Theatre is offering a post-performance celebration featuring a special dinner following our matinee performance of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Sunday, April 26

5:45 pm

Trattoria Vittoria

30 East Victoria Street, Santa Barbara

 

Tickets are $25 per person, which includes choice of first and second courses, menu below.

Tickets must be purchased at the time of reservation.

Purchase your tickets by calling 805.962.5014

Trattoria Vittoria Opera Menu

 


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


Opera Santa Barbara has designed a series of opera-themed events, including several opera-themed dinner parties that are being hosted by patrons and friends of Opera Santa Barbara.

Each party can accommodate a limited number of guests. Spaces at the individual parties are purchased separately and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Party Book sales began at the Opera Ball on February 13, 2015. Party spaces not sold at the fundraiser are now available to the general public!

To purchase a space at a remaining party, call Opera Santa Barbara at 805.898.3890.

 

Porgy & Bess

Saturday, August 29, 6:30 pM

Host Jean Rogers will present an Al-Fresco dinner on the night of the August full moon at her glorious home in Birnam Wood. The event will feature a custom designed farm-to-table feast inspired by Gershwin’s English-language opera Porgy & Bess. Southern-inspired cuisine will tempt your palate, as you are serenaded by a guest artist who will perform some of the memorable music from the opera, including the very popular song “Summertime”, all under the glow of the full moon.

Cost per person: $175 ($50 tax deductible)       Number Available: 15 Spaces Remaining

The Barber of Seville

Date to be arranged by the Host with all bidding attendees

Enter the world of Bartolo’s Seville as guests enjoy a sparkling evening at the home of Peter & Deborah Bertling. This intimate dinner will celebrate Seville and the delicious tapas and wines of Southern Spain. Guests are encouraged to dress in their Spanish finery, as they enjoy the music of Rossini’s greatest masterpiece.

Cost per person: $175 ($50 tax deductible)       Number Available: 5 Spaces Remaining

Carmen

Date to be arranged by the Host with all bidding attendees

From the Habanero to the Torreador Song, the music of Bizet’s Carmen has lived on as one of the most popular works in the operatic repertoire. Hosts Diane Dodds and David Reichert have conceived an evening celebrating fine music, fine food and fine times all themed on the opera Carmen.

Cost per person: $175 ($50 tax deductible)       Number Available: 9 Spaces Remaining

Karaoke 
and Modern Art

Sunday, September 27, 6:00 PM

It’s time to grease your vocal cords and “show your stuff” as Opera Santa Barbara hosts a Karaoke Night at the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Santa Barbara. Guests will sip champagne and feast on delectable appetizers while enjoying the museum’s exhibits. Then, a professional DJ will join us with a complete Karaoke system, to enable guests to sing (or lip sync) their favorite melodies. The acoustics in the space are stellar, and it’s a perfect venue to showcase your Karaoke talents!

Cost per person: $85 ($25 Tax Deductible)       Number Available: 30

The Phantom of the Opera

Friday, october 30, 7:00 PM

Just in time for Halloween, this event will be held in one of the most unique locations in all of Santa Barbara: the former jail on the top floor of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse! Hosts Rodney Baker and Robert Ooley are known for their ability to create “magic” at their events, and we can assure you a most memorable, if not unforgettable, evening. Guests are invited to dress in their Phantom finery, as they enjoy live music from the musical, drinks and delicious food all set in the most remarkable and haunting venue.

Cost per person: $175 ($50 tax deductible)       Number Available: SOLD OUT

Christmas Lights Trolley Tour

Sunday, December 20, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

For the third year in a row, Opera Santa Barbara has reserved one entire Trolley for the annual Christmas Lights Trolley Tour. This fun and engaging event tours several local neighborhoods, where the homes have been stunningly decorated with thousands of holiday lights and special decorations. The families of the homes greet guests as the trolley passes, and lively holiday music completes the trolley tour. Prior to the Trolley Tour, guests will enjoy a “Tailgate Party” hosted by OSB General Director Steven Sharpe where he will serve hot mulled wine and cider as well as a special selection of holiday treats.

Cost per person: $100 ($25 Tax Deductible)       Number Available: 22 Spaces Remaining

 

To purchase a space at a party, call Opera Santa Barbara at 805.898.3890.