About Opera Santa Barbara

Founded in 1994 by Marilyn Gilbert and Nathan Rundlett, Opera Santa Barbara is committed to presenting opera productions and educational programs of the highest quality. The company has staged more than 70 operas and devoted thousands of hours to community outreach. The organization remains dedicated to the core passions that animated its founding: celebrating and championing the breadth and beauty of opera, and contributing to the cultural enrichment of the Santa Barbara community. 

Our Mission

Opera Santa Barbara contributes to the cultural enrichment of our audiences by presenting exciting, high-quality productions and community programs that celebrate the breadth and beauty of opera.

Opera Santa Barbara aspires to be a destination opera company, producing a diverse repertoire of traditional and contemporary operas that engage and excite a broad audience.

Meet the Team

Staff Directory

Kostis Protopapas | Artistic & General Director
[email protected]

Helena Kuukka | Director of Production
[email protected]

Nina Dunbar | Director of Development
[email protected]

Tim Accurso | Principal Pianist & Music Administrator
[email protected]

Kaitlyn Griswell | Executive Administrator
[email protected]

Kostis Protopapas

Artistic and General Director

Kostis Protopapas

Artistic and General Director

Kostis Protopapas was named General Director of Opera Santa Barbara in December 2017, after two-and-a-half seasons as Artistic Director. 

During his time as Artistic Director and principal conductor, Kostis brought a unified vision to OSB’s musical and production values, strengthening the orchestra and chorus, engaging some of the country’s most promising young directors and singers, building a high-performing production team, and increasing focus on contemporary American opera. As General Director Kostis assembled a team of enthusiastic overachievers with a passion for innovation and the desire to strengthen the company’s bond with the community, who consistently deliver programs and communications far greater than what can be expected from the size of the company.

Performance highlights from Kostis’ tenure include grand opera classics like Madama Butterfly, Manon, and Eugene Onegin as well as contemporary works like Daniel Catan’s Il Postino, the mariachi opera Cruzar la cara de la luna,  and Robert Ward’s The Crucible, which the Santa Barbara Independent called “one of the season’s most exciting performances of any kind in Santa Barbara”.

During Kostis’ tenure Opera Santa Barbara saw the creation of the Santa Barbara Youth Opera, a program providing educational and performance opportunities for school-age children; the expansion of the company’s Chrisman Studio program which this season includes twelve  artists from California; and an impressive growth in the company’s community engagement and educational activities throughout the Central Coast.

Between March 2020 and June 2021, under Kostis’ leadership Opera Santa Barbara remained active and fully staffed.  It was the first performing arts organization in Santa Barbara to offer streaming programming, and one of only two opera companies in California to present three live operas in the 2020-21 season.  Additionally, Opera Santa Barbara became an advocacy leader for the reopening of the performing arts, and funded live performances by local musicians through “Operation Eurydice”.   

Before coming to Santa Barbara Kostis was the Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera since 2008.  He previously  was an Assistant Conductor with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera and Santa Fe Opera. At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he also served as Assistant Chorus Master under Donald Palumbo for two seasons..

Born in Athens, Greece, Kostis Protopapas studied Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens before coming to the United States in 1993, on an Onassis Foundation scholarship, to study piano at The Boston Conservatory and conducting at Boston University. He became an American citizen in 2011.  He loves living in Santa Barbara, and enjoys downtown restaurants, the Funk Zone’s tasting rooms, and sailing on the Santa Barbara Channel.

Helena Kuukka

Director of Production

Helena Kuukka

Director of Production

A native of Helsinki, Finland, Helena Kuukka joins the Opera SB staff from Orlando, Florida. Helena’s Opera Santa Barbara debut was as Lighting Designer of The Barber of Seville in 2018, followed by Eugene Onegin in 2019. Other favorite opera designs include The Marriage of Figaro and Eugene Onegin (Florida Grand Opera), Aida (Vancouver Opera, Portland Opera), Samson and Delilah and La Boheme (Tulsa Opera), La Traviata and The Merry Widow (Kansas City Lyric Opera), and Rockland (Pine Mountain Music Festival). Her dance designs include CarmenGiselleVampire’s Ball and Firebird for Orlando Ballet as well as Swan Lake, The Little Mermaid, and several contemporary works for Ballet Memphis. Helena is also a frequent designer at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma where her credits include productions of TitanicOklahoma, Dreamgirls, Ragtime, Hello Dolly, Newsies, Mamma Mia and the world premiere of When We’re Gone.

Nina Dunbar

Director of Development

Nina Dunbar

Director of Development

Nina Dunbar has served as a nonprofit executive, fundraiser, and arts advocate for municipal and nonprofit organizations in California, Arizona, and Louisiana for more than 25 years.  Before joining Opera Santa Barbara, she ran Change|Practice|Play, a Santa Barbara-based consultancy focusing on strategic planning, development, and grants writing. Nina previously served as Director of Development & Communications for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and was the Executive Director of The Arts Fund of Santa Barbara. She currently serves on the board of Santa Barbara Beautiful and is a former member of City of Santa Barbara’s Arts Advisory Committee.

Before moving to Santa Barbara, Nina oversaw the planning and commissioning of award-winning public art and infrastructure projects for the Phoenix Office of Cultural Affairs and San Francisco Arts Commission. As a founding partner of AMPS/Arts Management for Public Spaces (1995-1999), she consulted on public art planning, policy, and project management for government and private sector clients in the U.S. and Vancouver, BC.  Nina received her MA in Arts Management from the University of New Orleans and holds BFA in Painting and Art Education from Temple University.

Tim Accurso

Principal Pianist & Music Administrator

Tim Accurso

Principal Pianist & Music Administrator

Timothy Accurso joined the Opera Santa Barbara team in September 2018. Tim has been on music staff with Palm Beach Opera, Opera Saratoga, and the Seagle Music Colony. Originally from Glen Lyon, Pennsylvania, he completed his undergraduate studies at Susquehanna University in vocal and piano performance. To further his studies in opera, Tim received a Masters of Music in vocal coaching and accompanying from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Dr. Julie Jordan Gunn. Following his studies, Tim became a resident artist with Utah Opera as well as a young artist with Opera Saratoga, where he now spends his summers on staff. Tim spends his time coaching the Chrisman Studio artists, engaging in the education initiatives of Opera Santa Barbara, playing mainstage rehearsals, and performing throughout the community in recitals and events with the company.

Kaitlyn Griswell

Executive Administrator

Kaitlyn Griswell

Executive Administrator

Kaitlyn Griswell is a graduate of Oklahoma City University’s class of 2021 where she earned a bachelor's degree in vocal performance. Kaitlyn grew up in Santa Barbara and previously worked with Opera Santa Barbara in their 2016 production of Carmen. She could not be more excited to be returning and starting her career with the Opera Santa Barbara team! She is thrilled to be working in a community with people who share her passion for creativity and the arts.

Board of Directors

Officers of the Board

Nicholas Burlett


Nicholas Burlett earned his bachelor's degree in Computer Science at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and moved to Santa Barbara to work for Green Hills Software soon after graduation in 2004. Green Hills is the worldwide leader in embedded safety and security. As a Director of Engineering, he leads an international team of engineers focused on solving complex problems in safety- and security-critical systems, working with leading engineering firms on everything from automobiles to medical equipment.

In addition to his engineering pursuits, Nicholas loves animals and has been a long time volunteer at Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter (BUNS), Santa Barbara’s rabbit and guinea pig rescue. In 2013, he rebuilt the BUNS website from the ground up and added the ability for BUNS to accept donations online. He serves on the BUNS Board where he continues to help bring BUNS into the high tech era through improved volunteer and donor communications and online fundraising.

1st Vice Chair

Sandra L. Urquhart

1st Vice Chair

Sandra Urquhart has been very active on the OSB Board serving as both Secretary and as a recent past Board President. She graduated from Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Ohio and most recently worked as an RN teaching and specializing in cardiology and cardiac angiography at Cottage Hospital.


2nd Vice Chair

Robert Weinman

2nd Vice Chair

Dr. Weinman earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Cornell University and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at Caltech before pursuing postdoctoral studies in elementary particle theory at Tel Aviv University. He spent his entire career at Northrop, joining the company as a research scientist and later serving as a section manager for the MX missile program. Dr. Weinman was awarded consecutive National Science Foundation and Westinghouse fellowships in the early to mid-1960s. Formerly a Board member for the Music Academy of the West and Long Beach Opera, he has also generously supported Camerata Pacifica, UCSB Arts & Lectures, Opera Santa Barbara, the Los Angeles Opera, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Metropolitan Opera, and the Whitney Museum. He currently serves on the Santa Barbara Symphony Board of Directors.


Daniel Hone


Born in San Francisco, Mr. Hone completed his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley before earning a master’s degree and a doctorate in physics at the University of Illinois. He joined the faculty at UC Santa Barbara in 1968 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at École Normale Supérieure in Paris and serving as an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also held temporary academic appointments at the University of Paris, Oxford University, and Tokyo University. Among other administrative posts at UC Santa Barbara, he has served as Physics Department chairman, deputy director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics, and associate dean of the College of Letters and Science. Mr. Hone has been a Board director for Camerata Pacifica, Planned Parenthood, and Ensemble Theatre.

Assistant Treasurer

Monica Williams

Assistant Treasurer

Monica Williams is a 23-year veteran of the financial services industry, active in philanthropic circles, a lover of music and opera, a polo novice, and always full of surprises for her loving husband and children.  After several decades with industry leader Morgan Stanley in Newport Beach, Monica joined Stifel Investments, and now maintains offices in Newport and Santa Barbara.  Multi-generational and legacy planning have been Monica’s true passion – she has assisted many of her client families for decades.  Monica also enjoys playing bridge and golf, hot yoga, and traveling.   

Member at Large

Daniel Reicker, Esq.

Member at Large

Dan Reicker is a principal in Reicker, Clough, Pfau, McRoy and Herman LLP. He has practiced business law in Santa Barbara since 1972 with an emphasis in real estate, tax, corporate securities, mergers and acquisitions. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of San Francisco, and a J.D. at Hastings College of Law, University of California. He was admitted to the Bar in California and Washington, D.C. Dan has previously served on the opera's Finance Committee and been a member of the board for the past ten years.

Patricia Dixon


Patricia (Tricia) Dixon is a long-time volunteer in the Santa Barbara non-profit community, even before retiring from an extensive career in banking and finance. She served on the board of the Santa Barbara Symphony League for 10 years specializing in event planning and continues to volunteer as a Symphony Music Van docent. Tricia spent 10 years on the board of the Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital Auxiliary and continues to volunteer in their thrift shop.  She was a board officer for the Santa Barbara Navy League Board, the National Charity League of Santa Ynez, and on the Girl Scout Council of Santa Barbara. She has volunteered with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, the “Big Sister” program in Santa Barbara, and helped with fundraising for major events for the Santa Ynez Equestrian Center. She is an active supporter of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Granada Theater, Camerata Pacifica and Opera Santa Barbara. Tricia majored in Math & French at UCSB; earned a private pilot’s license; and played competitive inter-club tennis for 35 years. She is a member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club where she enjoys boating and kayaking.

Member at Large

Mary Tonetti Dorra

Member at Large

Born in Macon, Georgia, Ms. Dorra grew up in Texas and earned a degree in philosophy at Vassar College. Following teaching stints in Costa Rica and Uruguay she spent three years in Italy, first studying at the University of Florence and then working as a research reporter in Time Life's Rome bureau, writing about art, fashion, and film. She went on to serve as an assistant accessories editor at Harper's Bazaar and as assistant director of fashion publicity and promotion at Revlon, both in New York, and as director of special events at the May Company in Los Angeles before working as a freelance writer for Mattel. After earning a master's degree in, and teaching Italian at UCLA, she taught at UCSB.

Ms. Dorra has lectured extensively on gardens and travel, and her articles have appeared in such publications as Gourmet Magazine, The New York Times, Elle Decor, the Los Angeles Times, and Travel + Leisure. She has authored three books, Beautiful American Gardens and Beautiful American Rose Gardens, published by Clarkson Potter, and the historical novel Demeter's Choice: A Portrait of My Grandmother as a Young Artist.

A former Board member for the UCSB Art Affiliates, Ms. Dorra currently serves as Board secretary for the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts. Her local nonprofit efforts also have included the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Garden Club of Santa Barbara, Planned Parenthood, the Music Academy of the West, the Santa Barbara Symphony, and Ensemble Theatre Company.

Members of the Board

** Denotes Honorary Member

Barbara Burger

Barbara Burger has enjoyed a long career in public relations and marketing primarily in the performing arts, serving the Santa Barbara Symphony as both Marketing Director and Education Coordinator for many years, and as a marketing consultant for State Street Ballet among other arts organizations. She founded and chaired a citywide alliance of performing arts professionals and is currently president of the Music and Arts Conservatory. Barbara has served on the City Arts Advisory Committee, the County Arts Commission and is a past-vice president the Downtown Organization, for whom she developed the first Downtown Organization Map for tourists now in its 6th edition with a printing of 100,000. She has a BA from Eastern University in Anthropology/Sociology and Masters in Public Service Management from University of Redlands, CA.

Tanner Cassidy

Tanner Cassidy is currently working on his Master’s and PhD in Music Theory at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Tanner completed his Bachelor’s in Music at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. While at North Central, he completed an honors thesis that applied a Neo-Riemannian perspective to the improvisations of Art Tatum, and also presented twice at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

Tanner’s research interests include the study of harmony within jazz and Romantic music, particularly through the lens of Neo-Riemannian theory. Past projects have investigated the music of Duke Ellington and Richard Wagner. In addition, he is also interested in film and video game music, with past and current projects looking at topic theory in Japanese kaiju eiga as well as looking at the orchestrational decisions that arise from technical constraints of early video game composition.

As a performer, Tanner is a saxophonist and conductor, occupying his time on campus performing with jazz groups and conducting the UCSB Pops Orchestra. A composer as well, Tanner’s compositions have recently been performed by students at the University of Memphis and by the Chicago-based ensemble Picosa.

Sarah Chrisman

Sarah Schlinger Chrisman co-founded a Silicon Valley telecommunications company in the early 1980s
with Roger Chrisman who later became her husband. She served as CFO and Treasurer until her
retirement. The company went public in 1985 and has been listed on the NYSE since 1987.

She grew up in Pasadena and holds degrees in Computer Science and Music from Stanford University
and an MBA in Finance from UC Berkeley.

In addition to her position on the Opera Santa Barbara Board of Directors, Sarah is the current President
of the Board of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts which owns and operates the Granada
and sits on the Opera Santa Barbara board. She is the Chief Financial Officer of the Warren and
Katharine Schlinger Foundation and trustee of the Schlinger Chrisman Foundation.

Roger and Sarah moved to Santa Barbara with their daughter in 1999.

Josepha DiRado

Josepha DiRado was born in Antwerp, Belgium and educated in Canada as an art major. She has been a volunteer for Opera SB in the past, helping to set up its offices and heading a major fundraiser at the Montecito Country Club. Her late husband, George DiRado previously served on OSB’s Board of Directors. She currently serves on the boards for Pepper Hills Homeowners’ Association and the Cancer Core Recovery Project.

Brian Galura

Christine Holland

Karen Knight

Karen Knight is a longtime resident of Santa Barbara who returned two and a half years ago after a 16 year hiatus in the Temecula area. Since returning to the area, she has spent time volunteering for Opera Santa Barbara,  Ensemble Theater Company, and United Way of Santa Barbara County. She also currently serves on the Board of Wood Glen Hall as Co-Chair of their Marketing Committee. 

Ms. Knight retired after helping start City Commerce Bank in 1978 where she served nine years as the bank’s VP of Business Development, Marketing, and Training. In 1993 she rejoined the workforce in 1993 after raising her children to serve as the United Way of Santa Barbara County’s Major Gifts Officer and Coordinator of the Red Feather Ball.

Gregory McMurray

Having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.) from the University of California, Los Angeles, Gregory McMurray earned his Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) at William and Mary School of Law in Williamsburg, Virginia. Mr. McMurray served as a Deputy Public Defender both in Kern County and in Ventura County where he handled misdemeanor, felony and juvenile cases. He has served as a Judge Pro-Tem in Santa Barbara and currently teaches community property law at the Southern California Institute of Law. He is a member of the California State Bar.

Duncan Mellichamp

Professor Emeritus in the Chemical Engineering Department at UCSB, Duncan Mellichamp earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. He was a founding faculty member of his department at UCSB where he has enjoyed a 40-plus year career. He and his wife Suzanne, were awarded the Santa Barbara Medal in 2007, UCSB's highest award, in recognition for their philanthropy and service to the university.

*Former Board Chair

Joan Rutkowski

Joan Rutkowski joined the Board in 2008 after having served as Artistic Administrator for Opera Santa Barbara (2000-2008). She was a founding member of the Board of Directors of The Granada Theatre, and served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Symphony, Music Academy of the West and the Ojai Festival. For 18 years she was Executive Director of Esperia Foundation. She had a distinguished career as an opera singer and vocal teacher/coach and has given masterclasses in the US, China and Taiwan. She holds a M.M. in Opera Performance from USC and as a grand finalist in the San Francisco Opera auditions, was a member of the Merola Program of the San Francisco Opera.

Eric Small

Born in Avalon, Catalina Island, Mr. Small completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA before earning a master’s degree at Otis Institute. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 22, he soon became a serious student of Iyengar Yoga, and went on to study with the discipline’s founder, B.K.S. Iyengar, in Pune, India. Mr. Small frequently conducts therapeutic yoga workshops and seminars throughout the United States. Through his Stress Control Systems Trust, based in Montecito, he creates programs specifically for clients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions. He was inducted into the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Volunteer Hall of Fame in 2001. Mr. Small currently serves on the Board of Directors for USC, the Doheny Eye Institute, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Judith F. Smith

Simon Williams

Simon Williams, is Professor and Chair, Department of Theatre and Dance at UCSB where he has taught for more than 25 years. Educated in his native England, Dr. Williams holds a doctorate in European Literature. He has served on the OSB Board for the past four years, and currently chairs the Artistic Planning Committee. He is familiar to opera patrons as a frequent lecturer for OSB's Opera on the Go series and for the pre-opera talks prior to all OSB productions.

Board Emeritus

*  Denotes Former Chair
+ Deceased

Richard Aberle +

Pat Andersons

Rodney Baker

Rodney Baker, a Santa Barbara native, worked at Cox Communications for 30 years from 1980 – 2010, ending as the Chief Engineer. Since his retirement in 2010, Mr. Baker has become the President and Director of Projects for the Santa Barbara Courthouse Docent Council. In this capacity, he has directed the restoration of the courthouse lamps, was project manager for the restoration of the Bisno-Schall Clock Gallery and assistant project manager for the restoration of the Spirit of the Ocean fountain. Mr. Baker has also supported numerous other local non-profit organizations including the United Way, Pearl Chase Society, Unity Shoppe and the Dream Foundation. He has also performed as a supernumerary in several Opera SB productions and has performed in several productions at the Circle Bar B.

James Ballantine *

Britt Beauvoix

Marlyn Bernard Bernstein +

Marlyn Bernstein moved to Santa Barbara in 1976, at which time she became involved in her synagogue and has served twice as their president in her twenty-nine years on the Board of Trustees. She is a member of Hadassah, also serving twice as president.

In addition to her service as a Director on the Opera Santa Barbara Board, Marlyn is a member of the board of the Lobero Theater, the Santa Barbara Symphony and Boxtales Theater Co. Marlyn formerly taught Porcelain Art in the Santa Barbara City College Adult Education Division and is a member of both the Santa Barbara Porcelain Artists and Santa Barbara Art Association. Among her great passions are books, jazz, opera, theater, classical music and her nine grandchildren.

Sue Birch

Cynthia Brittain

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.

Jim Burkemper +

Bonnie Corman *

Marilyn Crawford

Roger Davidson

Roger H. Davidson is Professor Emeritus of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Visiting Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. From 1980 to 1988 he held the post of Senior Specialist in American National Government and Public Administration with the Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Fort Collins, CO, Dr. Davidson attended the University of Colorado and received his Ph.D from Columbia University. He began his teaching career at Dartmouth College, moving to the University of California, Santa Barbara (1968-1980), where he served as chairman of the political science department and associate dean of Letters and Science. He has been a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, American, and George Washington universities, and has lectured or conducted seminars on U.S. politics and policy making throughout this country and in Europe, South America, Africa, India, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and other South Pacific countries. In 2002 he was John Marshall Professor at the University of Debrecen, Hungary, awarded by the Hungarian Fulbright Commission. He was named Visiting Distinguished Political Scientist at Santa Barbara City College in 2005-2006. Dr. Davidson is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Dr. Davidson’s musical interests began early. In his youth he took piano lessons and sang in high school and university choirs. His passion for opera (and Broadway musicals) blossomed during his years in New York City as a graduate student at Columbia University—hearing legendary singers at the old (and new) Metropolitan Opera House. In Washington, DC, he subscribed to the Washington National Opera; he has attended many opera performances in the US and abroad.

Dr. Davidson is co-chair of the UCSB Affiliates, board member of the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara, and a docent for both the Architectural Foundation and the Santa Barbara Historical Society. He and his wife Nancy subscribe to and support OSB, Santa Barbara Symphony, Camerata Pacifica, UCSB’s Arts and Lectures series, and CAMA. They are members of the Council of Contributors of the Music Academy of the West and especially follow their vocal music program. Dr. Davidson serves on MAW’s Advancement Committee.

Denise DeBellefeuille

George DeRado +

Nick DiNapoli

Jon DuPrau

Jon has enjoyed the passion of opera for many years and became an enthusiastic member of the Board in 2013, championing a variety of important efforts. He has a Juris Doctorate degree from the Santa Barbara College of Law, is a licensed International Financial Analyst, holds several Portfolio Management designations and leads an investment management group at Alex Brown in Los Angeles. Jon serves on Opera Santa Barbara's Executive and Education Committees as well as being a trustee for the Art Foundation of Santa Barbara, on the Board of the Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts and on the Advisory Council of the United Way’s United for Literacy.

Léni Fé Bland +

Kenneth Fitzpatrick

Louise Gaylord

Steve Gilbar

Nancy Golden*

Nancy Golden is the principal of Golden Direct, a direct mail consulting service provider to environmental, performing arts, human services organizations and museums. Previously, she held a variety of marketing positions at Time, Inc. for 21 years. Golden is a graduate of Russell Sage College with a degree in English Literature. She previously served as a board member from 1999-2002 and as Marketing Committee member since 1999. She currrently chairs the Marketing Committee and serves on the Executive and Development Committees.

Mary Hampson


William Jones

Herb Kendall**

Herbert J. Kendall is a retired builder and community developer from Princeton, N.J. For over forty years he concentrated on environmentally sound projects. His most notable is Twin Rivers in New Jersey. This PUD consisting of 3,000 families included 200 acres of office, industrial and recreational use.

Mr. Kendall’s community affiliations included Development Chair and Board Vice Chair of the Princeton Day Schools, which he built in 1965. His affiliations in California began with the development of South Coast Repertory Theatre, which is the leading regional theatre in Southern California. He continued by establishing and serving as President of the Santa Monica Arts Commission from 1983 – 1993.

In Santa Barbara, Mr. Kendall was a member of the SB Museum of Art and was partly responsible for the design and construction of its addition. He has been a member of the CAMA board for several years and served as its president from 2000 – 2003. He has also been a member of the boards of Casa Dorinda Board and the State Street Ballet. In 2003, Mr. Kendall and his wife Elaine created the Victoria Hall Theatre where they produced several plays, some of which were written by Elaine.

Mr. Kendall’s latest interests include the Bren School at UCSB and the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He has recently relocated to Birnum Wood where he has begun a new challenge: playing golf, where he is the oldest pupil.

Sarah Jane Lind**

Jayne Menkemeller

Carolina Montgomery

A.C. Moore

A.C. Moore is Chief Investment Strategist for Dunvegan Associates, Inc and has over 30 years of Wall Street experience as a securities analyst, research director and portfolio manager. He was a consultant to the Council of Economic Advisors during two presidential administrations and is among the top most-quoted market strategists in the country and a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN and other media outlets. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance from Wake Forest University and a JD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Law. He has served on the boards of the Santa Barbara Symphony, the Symphony Endowment Trust and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA).

Martin Moskovits

Martin Moskovits has degrees in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Toronto. He co-founded OHM Distributers and manufacturers Ltd., an electronics company in Toronto in 1966 which was sold in 1969. He returned to the University of Toronto to complete a PhD in chemical physics (1971). From 1971-73 he was employed as a materials scientist by Alcan Research and Development in Kingston Ontario. He returned to take up a faculty position in the department of chemistry at the University of Toronto. Promoted to professor in 1982, he was Chair of that department (1993-1999).

In 2000 he moved to Santa Barbara to serve as as Worster Dean of Science at UC Santa Barbara. From 2007-2010 he was Chief Technology Officer of API Technologies in NY; and from 2011-2012 Provost at the City College of New York. In 2008 he co-founded Spectra Fluidics, a company that combines SERS with microfluidics to develop high-sensitivity molecular sensing.

Moskovits is Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow of the Optical Society of America; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; former member, and past Vice Chair of the US Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee 2001-2010. He was Guggenheim Fellow in 1987; 1993 Gerhard Herzberg Award of the Spectroscopy Society of Canada; 1993 Royal Society of Chemistry (London) award in Surface and Colloid Science; 1995 Johannes Marcus Marci Medal of the Czech Spectroscopy Society; 2008 NanoTech Briefs, Nano 50 Innovator award; 2010 Ellis Lippincott Award of the Optical Society of America.

Eric Oltmann

Eric Oltmann is a retired Navy pilot and engineer. In addition to the Opera Board, he serves as President of the Ventura Music Festival. He serves on the Development and Marketing Committees. In addition to his musical interests, he is an avid collector and has been involved in wildlife conservation.

Christina Omdahl

Mary Penny

Mary has been involved with Opera Santa Barbara's Board of Directors since its beginning, having served as Vice President, Treasurer, and currently as Secretary.  She also sits on the Architectural, Development and Finance Committees, as well as chairing the Human Resources Committee. She retired from her position as CEO of the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter following a career of more than 35 years. She has served on numerous local and national Boards, including the University Club, Woman's Club, American Women for International Understanding, SB Committee on Foreign Relations, American Red Cross Retiree Council, and Santa Barbara Associates. Mary graduated from California State University with a degree in Liberal Arts.

David Peri

Paksy Plackis-Cheng

William Ramsay +

Ida Rickborn

Ida Rickborn has served as Secretary and Education Committee (Chair), Finance Committee and Executive Committee during her four-year tenure on the OSB Board. Prior to her retirement from a distinguished teaching career, she served a four-year term as Superintendent of the Goleta Union School District. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of California (UCLA and UCSB respectively).

Jean Rogers

Jean Rogers has been a full-time resident of Santa Barbara since 2009 when she moved from Dallas, Texas where she raised five children. Her late husband J. Ben Rogers, Jr. was an entrepreneur in real estate, vintage automobiles, and a chain of barbecue restaurants. Ms. Rogers earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in 1985. She has professional experience in sales in the fashion industry as well as residential real estate. She is active in the Santa Barbara Women’s Club, Little Town Club, Birnam Wood Golf Club and Santa Barbara Museum of Art. She also serves as a council member at the Music Academy of the West. In addition to opera, Jean enjoys bridge and tennis.

J. Gordon Schontzler *

Fred Sidon**

Linda Van Buren

Joann Younger

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.

A 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."

Photo by Zach Mendez