By Richard Wagner
Gods, giants, and dwarfs clash in a struggle for the possession of one golden ring that bestows universal power on its bearer, in the first opera of Richard Wagner’s famous Ring Cycle. Opera Santa Barbara makes its first foray into Wagner with this one-hour-fifty-minute adaptation of Das Rheingold by Graham Vick and Jonathan Dove.
Graham Vick and Jonathan Dove’s version of the Ring Cycle captures the mighty essence of Wagner’s masterpiece in an abbreviated time frame, with just 12 singers and 18 orchestral players. The pocket-sized miracle premiered in Birmingham, UK in 1990, and has been presented by dozens of opera companies around the world. Described by reviewers as “ear opening” and “imaginatively fresh”, the “Dove Ring” has made it possible for smaller companies to introduce this much admired but often intimidating work to new audiences in an accessible way while still satisfying Wagner fans. The plot unfolds with cinematic pace, character interactions become more intimate, and Dove’s masterful orchestral reduction beautifully reflects the splendor of the original score, while bringing out musical motives and details.
In the prologue opera Das Rheingold (“The gold of the Rhine”) which in our version lasts 1 hour and 50 minutes, the dwarf Alberich renounces love in order to steal gold from the Rhine River and forge a ring that will make him master of the universe. When king-of-the-gods Wotan steals it, Alberich puts a curse on the ring that sets off a chain of tragic events. Meanwhile, the first chapter of story ends in operatic splendor with the famous “Entry of the Gods into Valhalla”–which we find symbolic of our return to live indoor theater!
Designed by director Crystal Manich (Il Postino, 2020) with lighting and digital projections by François Pierre Couture, Opera Santa Barbara’s new production of Das Rheingold tells Wagner’s monumental tale through a zesty mix of fantasy and wit, as well as unexpected ’80s rock band approach to costuming. Bass-baritone Kyle Albertson and baritone Timothy Mix make their Opera SB debuts as Wotan and Alberich. Opera SB favorite mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen is Wotan’s defiant consort Fricka, while Anya Matanovich (The Crucible, 2019) returns as the beautiful Freia, the coveted goddess of love. Robert Norman returns as the cunning Loge, and the playful Rheinmaidens are portrayed by Christina Pezzarossi and Chrisman Studio Artists Brooklyn Snow and Max Potter. Nathan Stark (The Barber of Seville, 2018) and Colin Ramsey (Madama Butterfly, 2019, La Boheme, 2018) are the scorned giants, Fasolt and Fafner. Artistic and General Director Kostis Protopapas conducts his first Wagner opera, with members of the Opera Santa Barbara Orchestra on stage.
HOW TO GET TICKETS
VIP PREMIUM TICKETS
$250 per ticket. Available now.
Purchase directly through the OSB Office. VIP Premium ticket holder benefits:
First access to seating. Priority access gives you more choices.
Pick-your-seat preference. You will work directly with OSB to choose your preferred seating at the Lobero Theatre.
Exclusive VIP After Party access. Come meet the cast and crew of Das Rheingold after the show!
A portion of your ticket price is tax deductible.
Email [email protected] or call 805 898-3890 to purchase VIP Premium Tickets directly.
Help bring your favorite Rheinmaiden to the stage!
Take your love for opera to the next level as a Das Rheingold sponsor. Your gift goes directly to helping Opera SB bring this epic work to life on stage for the first time in Santa Barbara. Every sponsorship includes two VIP Premium tickets and additional benefits. Learn more about how you can play a leading role in supporting the unforgettable artists and music of Wagner’s Ring Cycle here or call Nina Dunbar at 805-898-3890, ext. 203.
GENERAL ADMISSION TICKETS
On sale now.
20|21 SEASON SUBSCRIBERS WITH SUBSCRIPTION CREDIT
If you were a season subscriber during the 20|21 Season and are interested in using your subscription credit towards VIP Premium Tickets or General Admission, please contact Opera SB at [email protected]. Additionally, due to the popularity of the General Admission waitlist, please contact OSB by May 21 to reserve your General Admission tickets.
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. The result was productions of both familiar and new repertoire that are counted among the finest in the company’s history.
As General Director, Kostis grew the company’s staff from three to seven, assembling an enthusiastic group of overachievers sharing an appetite for innovation and the desire to strengthen the company’s bond with the community.
During 2018-19, the company’s 25th anniversary season, Kostis oversaw the sold-out Santa Barbara premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and a production of The Crucible that the Santa Barbara Independent hailed as “one of the season’s most exciting performances of any kind in Santa Barbara”; a 25th anniversary gala concert; and the company’s first-ever student matinee performance as well as its first ever Youth camp.
Under Kostis’ leadership 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 to a season-long residency for emerging artists; an impressive growth in the company’s community engagement and educational activities throughout the Central Coast; and the runaway success of Operacurious, a new program that brings Young Professionals in Santa Barbara in contact with opera and its artists.
2016 saw the end of Kostis' 15-year association with Tulsa Opera, during which he conducted 30 productions of a diverse repertoire extending from popular classics to contemporary American works. About his 2011 Barber of Seville performances, Alex Ross of The New Yorker wrote, “Most impressive was the fluid idiomatic playing of the orchestra… In any city, it’s rare to find a conductor that sets the right tempo so consistently that you stop noticing he's there.”
Kostis has been an Assistant Conductor for 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.
Crystal Manich is an international director whose work has been seen across the United States, Argentina, and Australia. From opera to musicals, plays, and short films, she creates a diverse body of work year after year. Hailed by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other major publications for “lively” and “imaginative staging,” she has directed over 60 productions. Directing credits include: Buenos Aires Lírica in Argentina, Pinchgut in Sydney (Australia), Pittsburgh, The Kennedy Center, Santa Fe, Wolf Trap, Boston Lyric, Utah, Tulsa, American Opera Projects, Utah, Omaha, Arizona, Santa Barbara, Columbus, North Carolina, Delaware, Roanoke, and Baltimore. Former Artistic Director of Mill City Summer Opera and Founding Co-Artistic Director for Opera Omnia in New York. She was assistant artistic director on Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam in Brazil.
Crystal’s short bilingual film script, Desconocer, was an Official Selection and finalist of the 2019 Oaxaca FilmFest Global Script Challenge. She won the Audience Award at the 2018 Great Lakes International Shorts Festival for her short film L’Ivresse, which she wrote and directed.
She is currently a part of the ongoing development of a new adaptation of the Puerto Rican play La Carreta/The Oxcart in collaboration with playwright Caridad Svich, in addition to other literary development projects.
Having grown up bilingual, she recently stated the following in an interview about her new production of the Spanish language opera Il Postino: “It's become a real desire of mine to make the Spanish language part of what we're offering in the cultural sector.”
In Fall 2019, she directed the world premiere stage adaptation of Julia Alvarez’s Return to Sender by Marisela Orta for the Nashville Children’s Theatre about Mexican immigration and its complexities. It has been nominated for several Broadway World regional awards. She also directed the opera adaptation of the Spanish language opera Il Postino for Virginia Opera in a new production that will appear at several companies in the United States.
In January 2020 Crystal directed the musical Bernarda Alba, based on the Spanish play by Federico García Lorca, by Michael John LaChiusa for the Minneapolis company Theater Latté Da in a new production. Her spring season also includes a new Spanish adaptation of Cimarosa’s opera Il Matrimonio Segreto set in 1980’s Little Havana in Miami, as well as André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in Virginia.
Stage Director /
The Cunning Little Vixen
March 2017 (debut)
Originally from Montréal, Canada, François-Pierre Couture has been working in the United States since 2006 and he is please to be making Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park debut. His multifaceted and dynamic approach to his craft has given him the opportunity to work across multiple environments and venues. He is also proud to be full time professor at East Los Angeles College, one of the most dynamic and upcoming theatre department in Los Angeles.
François-Pierre Couture has had the privilege of working in Los Angeles and the United States for the last decade as a scenic, lighting and projection designer. He has received multiple Ovation, LADCC, LA Weekly awards & nominations. Designs include: “Invisible Tango”, “A Picasso”, Geffen Playhouse; “Everything that Never Happened”, “With Love and Major Organ”, Boston Court Theatre; “Frankenstein”, A Noise Within; “Destiny of Desire”, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage Theatre, South Coast Repertory & Goodman Theatre; “Jackie Unveiled”, Wallis Theatre; “The Mexican Trilogy, an American History”, Los Angeles Theatre Center; “Metamorphoses” , “Everything is Illuminated”, Ensemble Theatre Company; Médée and Teseo, Chicago Opera Theatre; Carmen and Cold Mountain, Music Academy of the West.
Scenic & Lighting Design /
The Cunning Little Vixen
Scenic & Lighting Design /
L'italiana in Algeri
Lighting Design / The Consul
April 2014 (debut)
Costume Designer /
Gallantry & Trouble in Tahiti
Costume Designer / Noah's Flood
Costume Designer / Brundibár
Costume Designer /
The Cunning Little Vixen
Costume Designer / Don Pasquale
Heather Sterling is an accomplished makeup artist and hair stylist with a wide range of experience that includes work in theater, film, print, and fashion. She is a licensed cosmetologist and has a degree in fine art with an emphasis in psychology. Armed with an extensive knowledge of period makeup and hairstyles, Heather first designed for Opera Santa Barbara in 2006 for the company's performances of Tosca; since then her work has been seen in nearly forty OSB productions. She regularly designs for the Music Academy of the West's summer operas and she recently designed for the Granada Theatre's A Christmas Carol.
Hair & Makeup Designer / Tosca
February 2006 (debut)
Renowned not only for his luxurious voice, confidence, and style, but also for his versatility and ability to bring a character to life on stage, bass-baritone Kyle Albertson is taking the business by storm. In his recent début as Wotan in Wagner’s epic masterpiece Die Walküre, in Maestro Jaap van Zweden final performance with the Dallas Symphony, Theater Jones exclaimed, “the most impressive aspect of this performance came undoubtedly from Wotan…his voice masterfully brought the character to life…Albertson’s interactions throughout the performance with his most beloved daughter, Brünnhilde were ingenuously convincing. Coupled with Albertson’s commanding, though endearing, baritone, these moments did not seem like an opera concert at all, rather a fully realized engagement of dramatic and musical interpretation.”
The Dallas News called his performance “gripping… I can’t recall the opera’s final parting of father and daughter so emotionally intense…this high-intensity performance will surely rank as a legend in Dallas musical history.” And the Texas Classical Review declared he “delivered a quietly dramatic presence in his monologue relatively early on in Act II which gradually built up to the final scene three hours later in which he allowed his luxuriant tone quality to resonate at full volume before slipping gently into the mournful farewell aria ‘Leb’ wohl’.” This tour-de-force performance left no doubt that the next American Wotan had arrived.
Mr. Albertson made his European debut at Opera Köln in Germany as Frank Murrant in Street Scene and will return to Europe in 2022 to perform the title role in Der fliegende Holländer and Wotan in Loriot’s Der Ring an einem Abend for Opera Graz. In addition, he will return to the Metropolitan as Angelotti in Tosca. 2020 and 2021 Metropolitan Opera engagements were to include his debut as Angelotti in Tosca, and covering the roles of the Dutchman in Der fliegende Holländer, Claggart in Billy Budd, and Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde. He was also slated to make his role debut as Jochaanan in Salome and Pizarro in Fidelio.
Albertson’s first foray into Wagner’s demanding vocal universe came in his house début at Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Das Rheingold, in which he subsequently performed the role of Donner in Minnesota Opera’s production shortly thereafter. He then went on to cover Greer Grimsley’s Wotan in Francesca Zambello’s production of Der Ring des Nibelungen for San Francisco Opera and returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for their production of Siegfried.
Other recent engagements have included his debut as Scarpia in Tosca for Virginia Opera, DeGuiche in Cyrano with Opera Carolina, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti with Opera Parallel at SFJazz, JP Morgan in the World Première of Tesla with SoBe Arts in Miami, and Escamillo in Carmen and Scarpia in Tosca for the Phoenicia Festival.
Finnish-American baritone Timothy Mix begins the 2019-20 season with his return to San Francisco Opera in the role of Count Capulet Romeo et Juliette, and travels to Annapolis Opera to sing the role of Scarpia Tosca. He returns to Urban Arias for performances of Glory Denied in the role of Older Thompson in Washington DC, where last season he performed the world premiere of Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi’s The Last American Hammer. Following his success in this role, the artist travels to Pittsburgh Opera for further performances as Milcom Negley. At Opera Idaho, he revives his portrayal of the title role of Joseph de Rocher in Dead Man Walking.
Last season’s highlights included an American premiere of Alexander Zhurbin’s song cycle TSVETAEVA with the Russian Chamber Art Society and he joined Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra to sing Caliban The Tempest in Swedish under the baton of Suzanna Malkki. Tim travelled to Bergen National Opera to appear as Albert Werther and finished the season as Joseph De Rocher Dead Man Walking at Opera Delaware with great success.
Appearing at the prestigious summer festival Santa Fe Opera, Tim’s debut in 2016 as Count Capulet Romeo et Juliette under the direction of Stephen Lawless was the first of several engagements there; he returned the following season to jump into the role of Tsar Dodon in Paul Cullen’s Le Coq d’Or, and most recently sang the role of Jack Hubbard in a new production of Dr Atomic. His San Francisco Opera appearances include Le Bret Cyrano de Bergerac in 2010, Elder Ott/Blitch (c) Susannah in 2014 and de Brétigny Manon in 2017. At Opera Colorado he sang Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor, Belcore L’elisir d’Amore (also at Virginia Opera,) and Escamillo Carmen. Well-known by Opera Theatre of St Louis audiences, Tim made his role and house debut as Marcello La Boheme (also at Arizona Opera and Palm Beach Opera), and later Belcore in James Robinson’s production of The Elixir of Love.
Tim frequently appears in concert in Russian repertoire with the Russian Chamber Art Society of Washington DC, and with them recently added the title role Eugene Onegin to his repertoire. Other local engagements include the title role Rigoletto and Pere Germont La Traviata in concert with the Baltimore Concert Opera, Sharpless Madama Butterfly with Lyric Opera Baltimore and his engagements with Washington National Opera include Renato Un Ballo in Maschera as well as Ford Falstaff, a role he also sang at New York City Opera. Returning to NYCO, a highlight of his career was winning the company’s Christopher Keene award for Excellence as Edward Gaines Margaret Garner.
Other US successes include his appearance at Opera Delaware in the role of Claudius Amleto by Franco Faccio, and a role debut of Amonasro Aida with Opera Southwest. He joined the Bard Music Festival as the baritone soloist and narrator for Ginastera’s Estancia, conducted by Leon Botstein. Tim sang the title role Don Giovanni at Opera Grand Rapids, and at Opera Southwest. Tim’s international engagements include Escamillo at Finnish National Opera.
Tim has a broad repertoire of Finnish song which he presents in recital, and his concert appearances include Verdi’s Requiem with The Florida Orchestra, Carmina Burana with Oregon Symphony, and with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic he sang the role of Ping Turandot in concert.
Nina Yoshida Nelsen
In the 2019-2020 season Nina Yoshida Nelsen made her Portland Opera debut as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She also performed the world premiere of Blood Moon at Prototype Festival in New York City. Nina returned to Chicago Lyric Opera to cover Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and will return to the Santa Barbara Symphony to perform Beethoven's Mass in C. and sings the role of Fricka in Santa Barbara Opera’s Das Rheingold. She also reprised the role of Khanh in Huang Ruo's opera Bound at Juilliard. In October 2021 she makes a delayed debut with Boston Lyric Opera as Suzuki and a debut with Chicago Opera Theater in December, in a new work Becoming Santa Claus and a debut in March 2022 with Kentucky Opera in An American Dream.
In the 2018-2019 season, Nina made her Lyric Opera Chicago debut as Mama in Jack Perla's An American Dream. She also reprised the same role at Anchorage Opera. Nina returned to Opera Santa Barbara as Tituba in The Crucible and sang in their 25th Anniversary Gala concert.
In the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Nelsen returned to Seattle Opera singing the role of Mama in An American Dream. She also made a company debut with Manitoba Opera singing Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She performed Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer with the Grand Junction and Flagstaff Symphony Orchestras and returned to both the Santa Barbara and Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestras to perform the alto solos in Mozart's Requiem.
In the 2016-2017 season, Nina returned to the Santa Barbara Symphony as the Alto Soloist in Beethoven Symphony #9 and debuted with the Guelph Symphony Orchestra as the Mezzo Soloist in the Verdi Requiem. In the 2014-2015 season, Nina was thrilled to return to Utah Opera to perform Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She then made her debut singing the same role with The Atlanta Opera. She also sang Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Southwest Florida Symphony. Nina made her Seattle Opera mainstage debut summer 2015 singing the role of Mama in the world premiere of An American Dream.
Previous seasons include Houston Grand Opera: Khanh in the world premiere of Huang Ruo's new opera Bound. Opera Santa Barbara: Secretary in Menotti's The Consul. Verdi's Requiem with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Suzuki with Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice and Opera Santa Barbara. Nashville Symphony Handel’s Messiah. The world premiere of Memory Stone, a chamber opera at Houston Grand Opera and Beethoven 9th at Carnegie Hall.
Sarasota Opera Suzuki in Madama Butterfly Avery Fisher Hall as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Mezzo Soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Santa Barbara Symphony. Beethoven’s Symphony #9 with the Santa Fe Concert Association, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at New York City Opera and at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Having been praised for comedic skills with "impeccable timing to match an equally admirable tenor," Robert Norman is a character tenor on the rise. He has performed nationally with L.A. Opera, Opera San José, Opera San Luis Obispo, Union Avenue Opera, and Opera Las Vegas. Mr. Norman is an L.A. District winner for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and is an alumnus of the Opera Santa Barbara Young Artist Program. He is a frequent performer with L.A. Opera's outreach programs, and has thrilled audiences as a monster hot dog, a game show host, and Mr. Mozart himself. In 2015, Robert made company debuts with Townsend Opera and Fresno Grand Opera as Steve Hubbell in A Streetcar Named Desire, and at Long Beach Opera as one of the two Tritones in the U.S. Premiere of Gavin Bryars' Marilyn Forever. His performance of Pedrillo / Spock in Pacific Opera Project's Star Trek adapted Abduction from the Seraglio received rave reviews describing his perfomance as "one of the highlights of the evening."
Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovic made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera’s. In her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla, she was praised for her “sinuous soprano with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, [which] charmed the ears immediately…” and “first-class performance” (David Abrams, Musical Criticism).
This season sees the soprano make her company and role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, and debut with the Eugene Concert Choir for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Next season, she will return to Utah Opera, make her debut with the North Carolina Symphony, and join the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, covering the role of Ginevra in Handel's Ariodante.
Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovic (ma ta’ no vich) made her international opera debut as Musetta in Franco Zeffirelli’s captivating production of Puccini’s La bohème with the New Israeli Opera. In her debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla, she was praised for her “sinuous soprano with its golden timbre and silky-smooth legato, [which] charmed the ears immediately…” and “first-class performance” (David Abrams, Musical Criticism).
This season sees the soprano make her company and role debut as Mimi in La bohème with Opera Colorado, and debut with the Eugene Concert Choir for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor. Next season, she will return to Utah Opera, and make her debut with the North Carolina Symphony. The 2016-2017 season began with an anticipated return to Seattle Opera, as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel. The season also included notable role debuts, including Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progresswith Boston Lyric Opera, and Mabel in Pirates of Penzance with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She also appeared in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony for Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Matanovic’s 2015-2016 season featured a debut with New Orleans Opera as Adele in Die Fledermaus.
The 2014-2015 season brought anticipated role debuts for Ms. Matanovic, as Violetta in La traviata with Boston Lyric Opera, as well as Stella in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire in a return to Kentucky Opera. In the 2013-2014 season the soprano debuted with Opera Memphis, as Gilda in Rigoletto, Arizona Opera, for Musetta in La bohème, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, for Carmina Burana under Alastair Willis, and made a return to the Boston Youth Symphony, as Pamina in The Magic Flute.
During the 2012-2013 season, Anya Matanovic returned to Seattle Opera for Marzelline in Fidelio, and was praised for her “crystalline” and “substantial” tone (Seen and Heard International). She made her role debut as Gilda in Rigoletto with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and sang Pamina with both the Crested Butte Music Festival and Utah Opera. She closed the season as Wanda in a new production of Offenbach’s The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Santa Fe Opera.
In the 2010-2011 season, Anya Matanovic essayed her first Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Madison Opera, returned to Seattle Opera for Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte, reprised the role of Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Utah Opera, and made her anticipated role and company debut with the Glimmerglass Festival as Micaëla in Carmen, conducted by Music Director David Angus.
The 2009 – 2010 season saw Ms. Matanovic‘s company debut as Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel with Kentucky Opera, her official stage debut with Seattle Opera, as Nannetta in Falstaff, an appearance at Madison Opera’s “Opera in the Park”, and her debut with the Richmond Symphony as the soprano soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana.
In the fall of 2008, Ms. Matanovic made her Opera Cleveland debut as Gretel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, conducted by Artistic Director Dean Williamson, and returned for their spring production of Verdi’s Falstaff as Nannetta. In summer of 2009, she joined the Seattle Opera artist roster for their internationally revered production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, directed by Stephen Wadsworth.
Other notable engagements include New York City Opera, as Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen, as well as productions of Massenet’s Cendrillon, La bohème, and Purcell’s King Arthur, and Santa Fe Opera, as a “pert, appealing” Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Ms. Matanovic is a graduate of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, where she appeared in their productions of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, as Flora, Mozart’s La Serva Padrona, as Serpina, and Falstaff, as Nannetta.
Anya Matanovic made her professional opera debut, directly from her undergraduate studies, as Mimì in the Los Angeles commercial engagement of Baz Luhrmann’s Tony Award-winning production of La bohème. She appeared in University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music productions of The Crucible, Gianni Schicchi, and Hänsel und Gretel.
Ms. Matanovic is equally comfortable on the concert stage, having appeared with the Portland (OR) Chamber Orchestra, Hoku Concert Series in Hawaii, the Palm Springs Orchestra and the Music of Remembrance Concert Series in Seattle. Ms. Matanovic was also a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has been a prizewinner in competitions sponsored by such institutions as the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Opera Buffs, Leni Fe Bland, and the Sun Valley Opera.She is a co-founder of NachtMusik, an operatic outreach group dedicated to bringing opera to the many different communities of Los Angeles.
Anya was born in Madison, Wisconsin and raised in Issaquah, Washington to a Slovenian-born father and an American mother. The soprano, her husband, television writer John P. Roche, and their daughter, Zara, spend their time between Vermont, Los Angeles and New York.
Don Basilio /
The Barber of Seville
March 2018 (debut)
Bass-Baritone Colin Ramsey has been lauded for his “majestic, rotund, ravishing bass” (Opera Today). During the 20-21 season, Mr. Ramsey joined San Diego Opera as Colline in La bohème, as well as returning to Pacific Opera Project as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, and the Festival Lyrique en Mar as Leporello in Don Giovanni (COVID19). Other recent engagements include returns to Opera Santa Barbara as Frère Laurent in Romèo et Juliette and the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, joining the Festival Lyrique en Mar as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor and the bass soloist in Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, and multiple productions of La bohème as Colline including Opera Idaho, Gulfshore Opera, and Opera Buffs Inc in Los Angeles. In upcoming seasons, Mr. Ramsey will return to Opera Santa Barbara as Fafner in Jonathan Dove’s arrangement of Das Rheingold, and San Diego Opera, singing The Speaker and 2nd Armored Man in Die Zauberflöte (COVID19), Capulet in Romèo et Juliette, and Betto in Gianni Schicchi.
His 2018-19 season was an exciting one including a return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for performances of John Cage’s Europeras directed by Yuval Sharon. Mr. Ramsey also made his San Diego Opera debut as Marullo in Rigoletto and in the spring of 2019, Mr. Ramsey returned to Opera Santa Barbara for an exciting and timely production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible singing the role of Reverend Hale.
Other recent performances have seen him in role and company debuts singing Le Comte des Grieux in Manon, The Speaker in Die Zauberflöte, and his Santa Fe Opera debut singing the Registrar in Madama Butterfly and covering Edward Teller in John Adam’s Dr. Atomic in a landmark production directed by Peter Sellars. Mr. Ramsey’s unique “smoky” timbre has been well lent to additional roles such as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo in Così fan Tutte, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Father Palmer in Silent Night, Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Collatinus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Seneca in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Mr. Kofner in Menotti’s The Consul, Il Frate in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Angelotti in Tosca, and Cadmus and Somnus in Handel’s Semele.
Hailed for her “deliciously over the top” and “powerful mezzo” by Opera News, Alissa Anderson wields her comic prowess, striking features, and her “powerful vocalism” to great acclaim. Ms. Anderson achieved a considerable success and was celebrated for being “impeccably prepared” and “splendid in every way” when she stepped in as Florence Pike in Santa Fe Opera’s Albert Herring under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. In the 2019/2020 season, Ms. Anderson will make her company and role debuts with Opera Philadelphia as Princess Clarissa in Prokofiev’s The Love of Three Oranges as well as both her role and European debuts as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd with The Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen. In the spring she returns to Opera Birmingham to sing the role of Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillion. The 2017-2018 season featured her debut with Opera Birmingham and Opera Louisiana in the title role of La tragédie de Carmen, her debut with Opera Delaware as Frugola/La Zia Principessa in Il trittico, and her debut with Utah Festival Opera as The Witch in Into the Woods. The 2018-2019 season includes Ms. Anderson’s return to San Diego Opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto, her debut with Opera San Antonio as Marthe in Faust, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro and Ms. Andrew/The Bird Woman in Mary Poppins in a return to Utah Festival Opera, and the starring role in the world premiere of the opera Debussy & Ravel: The Flowers of Evil with Mercury Chamber Orchestra at the Wortham Center in Houston, TX.
The 2016-2017 season saw her debut with San Diego Opera as Tisbe in La Cenerentola, a New Year’s Eve gala concert with Opera Southwest, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with North Carolina Opera, Verdi’s Requiem with the Houston Camerata, and La Zia Principessa/Ciesca in Il trittico with the Opera Company of Middlebury. Other recent performances for Ms. Anderson include La Zia Principessa/Zita in Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi with Opera Santa Barbara, Cleo in The Most Happy Fella with Tulsa Opera, Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress with Utah Opera, and her debut with Houston Grand Opera’s East + West series in River of Light by composer Jack Perla and librettist Chitra Divakaruni. In addition, she made, her “comically perfect” debut as Mistress Quickly in Falstaff with Opera in the Heights, Lampito in Lysistrata with Fort Worth Opera, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Santa Barbara, Emilia in Otello and Zulma in L’italiana in Algeri with Opera Southwest, Madame de la Haltiere in Cendrillion and the Mother in Hansel and Gretel with the Santa Fe Concert Association, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera in the Heights, and her return to Santa Fe Opera where she sang the Society Woman in The Last Savage. Recent concert engagements have included John Adams’ Grand Pianola Music with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Concordia University Symphony Orchestra, her European concert debut as mezzo soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with performances throughout Germany and France and her Lincoln Center debut as the mezzo soloist in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony.
At Sarasota Opera, Ms. Anderson performed the roles of Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Sandman in Hansel and Gretel, and Flora in La Traviata. As a resident and principal artist with Fort Worth Opera she performed the roles of Tisbe in La Cenerentola, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, and the Angel Trio in Angels in America. Scott Cantrell of the Dallas Morning News praised her 2010 performance of Verdi’s Requiem with the University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra stating, “Mezzo Alissa Anderson supplied aptly rich tones and an awesome chest voice.”
Other notable engagements include her Tisbe in La Cenerentola and Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance with Opera New Jersey, Flora in La Traviata and Mercedes in Carmen with Pensacola Opera, and Flora in La Traviata with Nevada Opera. As a young artist, she performed with the Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Ashlawn-Highland Opera, as well as spending three consecutive summers at the Seagle Music Colony where she sang the title role in Carmen, Anita in West Side Story, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Alma March in Little Women, Woman in Marry Me A Little, and Hedy La Rue in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
Ms. Anderson holds her Master of Music in Opera Performance from The University of Maryland and her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Texas.
The Princess / Suor Angelica
Zita / Gianni Schicchi
Marcellina / Le nozze di Figaro
Flora / La traviata
March 2011 (debut)
American Bass-Baritone LaMarcus Miller hails from New York City, but is now based in Los Angeles. Mr. Miller has performed at prestigious American venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center (alongside Wynton Marsalis), The Famed Dolby Theatre, home of the Oscars and TEDMED in Washington D.C. His operatic credits include Lance Corporal Philip Houston in Fallujah, for New York City Opera, Long Beach Opera, and the Kennedy Center; Freddie Stowers (Cover) in LA Opera’s acclaimed concert production of Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing. Alidoro in La Cenerentola for Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee; Count Des Grieux in Manon, and both Il Commendatore and the title role in Don Giovanni for New York Lyric Opera.; Montano in Otello for Utah Festival Opera; both Albert and Johann in Werther for Martha Cardona Opera; Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus for Sugar Creek Opera; Palemon in Thaïs and Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor for MSM Opera (Manhattan School of Music) and Barone di Trombonok in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims for Mannes Opera.
Mr. Millers Oratorio credits include bass solo’s in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Jenkins Armed Man Mass for Peace, Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata and an appearance with the Eorzean Symphony as guest soloist for Final Fantasy XIV (music by Masayoshi Soken) performed at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
Praised by Opera News for her "relish and energy," mezzo-soprano Max Potter is an up-and-coming artist celebrated for her warmth of tone and dramatic presence.
This season, Max performed the world premiere of Constantine Caravassilis' song cycle Epiphany for mezzo-soprano and cello, and returned to The Muse's Creative Artistry Project for a concert series of opera classics and a gala performance at the Arkansas Governor's Mansion for Governor Asa Hutchinson. Max joins the Opera Santa Barbara Chrisman Studio Artist Program in 2021, where she intended to make her debut as Meg in Adamo's Little Women (canceled due to COVID-19) and will perform the role of Flora Bervoix in Verdi's La Traviata.
On the concert stage, she was contracted to make her symphonic debut as the Alto Soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at The Washington National Cathedral (performances rescheduled for the 2021-22 season), to return to The Phoenix Ensemble for performances of Ned Rorem's song cycle Ariel (canceled due to COVID-19), and to present Elgar’s Sea Pictures for the Duban Recital Series (canceled due to COVID-19).
In the 2019-20 season, Max Potter was set to make company debuts with Maryland Lyric Opera as La Ciesca in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi and The Chautauqua Opera Company as Jenny Reefer in Virgil Thompson's The Mother of Us All. She was to make her feature film debut as La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, with Mark Delavan starring as the title role. Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, these events were canceled or rescheduled for later seasons.
Max began the 2018-19 season with Opera Southwest, where she starred as Clarina in Rossini's La Cambiale di Matrimonio, and covered Ortrud and sang Dritte Edelknabe in Wagner's Lohengrin. Following this engagement, she joined Salt Marsh Opera for Mozart's Die Zauberflöte as Second Lady and Papagena. The season also included the world premiere of City Life, a collection of songs by New York-based composer and poet Steve Bloom. Max made her company debut with Bare Opera as Damigella in L'incoronazione di Poppea and her role debut as Dorabella in Mozart's Così fan tutte for The North Shore Music Festival.
Highlights from past seasons include covering the role of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking. Honing her craft at Aspen Opera Center, Max performed classic roles such as Romeo (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), L'enfant (L'enfant et les sortileges), and Zerlina (Don Giovanni). She covered Meg Page in Verdi's Falstaff and the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd. Further highlights include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Tebaldo in Verdi's Don Carlo with Vocal Productions NYC; Charlotte in Massenet's Werther with the Martha Cardona Opera; and Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte) for Festival of the Arts BOCA. Other roles include Mercedes (Carmen), Concepcion (L'heure espagnole), Flora Bervoix (La Traviata), and Zita (Gianni Schicchi).
Equally at home on the concert stage, Max is passionate about collaborating with composers and bringing their new works to audiences. With New Camerata Opera, she was featured in The Sacred Feminine, an innovative performance piece celebrating the work of Emily Dickinson through spoken word and art song. At Des Moines Metro Opera, Max sang Heggie's The Breaking Waves in recital for the composer. She has been a featured soloist at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Washington National Cathedral, Festival of the Arts BOCA, and the Oklahoma International Mozart Festival. Additional concert highlights include Ravel's Shéhérazade, Mozart's Requiem and Vesperae solennes de confessore, Haydn's Sancti Nicolai Messe, Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine, and Carissimi's oratorios, Jepthe and Jonas.
She is an alumna of The Aspen Opera Center, Des Moines Metro Opera Apprentice Program, CoOPERAtive, The Opera Southwest Apprentice Artist Program, and New York's International Vocal Arts Institute. She is a recipient of awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, The Young Musicians Foundation, and Westminster Choir College's CoOPERAtive Program. Max has been a semi-finalist for The Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition, The Premiere Opera International Vocal Competition, The Paris Opera Competition, the Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, and the MIOpera Vocal Competition.
Max Potter holds a Masters Degree from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, and a Bachelors of Music from Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music.
A native of Beaverton, Oregon, Soprano Brooklyn Snow is a rising international artist with extensive performance experience in both Europe and the United States. She is thrilled to be joining Opera Santa Barbara as a Chrisman Studio Artist for the 2020-2021 season. Mrs. Snow will be performing the role of Annina and covering Violetta in La Traviata, covering Marie in La fille du Régiment and participating in OSB studio artist concerts. This past October, Ms. Snow was a finalist in Eugene Opera’s Diva Cage Match Competition, and also a featured soprano for their virtual New Year's Eve Gala Concert. She returns to Union Avenue Opera this summer to sing the roles of Olympia, Giuliette and Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. This past spring, Ms. Snow sang her first Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Opera Bend, and in June 2021 will reprise the role with The Southern Illinois Music Festival. In August she will tour as a featured soprano soloist with the New Philharmonic Orchestra’s outdoor summer concert series with her husband, tenor, Matthew Greenblatt. Prior to COVID19, she was scheduled to debut at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall and at Carnegie Hall as the soprano soloist for Choirs of America’s Emerging Artists Series, and hopes to be performing there in 2021.
In the summer of 2019, Ms. Snow performed as Cunegonde alongside renowned soprano Christine Brewer in an inspired staging of Candide to open Union Avenue Opera’s 25th season, receiving excellent reviews and an Outstanding Achievement in Opera award nomination from St. Louis Theater Circle for her performance.
Ms. Snow earned her MM in Vocal Performance from Indiana University, and her BM at the University of Oregon in 2013.
Hailed for her "fleet vocal technique" and "resonant, smoky mezzo", Mezzo-soprano Christina Pezzarossi is quickly gaining recognition as a distinguished and versatile young artist in the world of opera. Originally from Miles City, Montana, she received her Master's degree from the The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
In the 2020 season, Christina made her debut with Pacific Opera Project in a critically acclaimed drive-in performance of Cosi fan tutte (under the parody title COVID fan tutti) as Dorabella.
For the 2018/2019 season, Christina joined Pensacola Opera as a Resident Artist, singing The Witch in their touring production of Hansel and Gretel, Gertrude in Gounod's Romeo et Juliette and Paula in Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas. She also was an Apprentice Artist at Central City Opera, making her company and role debut as Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and performed in, Encore: A Musical Revue Concert. She received the John and Ginny Starky Award from Central City Opera at the end of the summer.
Christina has spent two summers as an Apprentice with Des Moines Metro Opera, covering Mrs. Segstrom in Sondheim's A Little Night Music and The Stewardess in Jonathan Dove's Flight.
Christina’s repertoire includes the title role in Handel’s Agrippina, Minerva in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia, Hermia in Purcell’s Fairy Queen, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Flora in La traviata, and Alisa in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.
She has performed with Opera San Jose, Opera NEO, The Pacific Symphony, Boulder Opera, Emerald City Opera, and received an Encouragement Award from the San Francisco District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
In the depths of the Rhine, the three Rhinemaidens guard the Rheingold, a treasure of immeasurable value. The Nibelung dwarf, Alberich, is dazzled by the sight of the golden treasure. The Rhinemaidens explain that whoever wins the gold and forges it into a ring will gain power over the world, but only by renouncing love. Frustrated by his unsuccessful attempts to catch one of the maidens, Alberich curses love and steals the gold.
Wotan, Lord of the Gods, is reproached by his wife, Fricka. He has promised to give her sister Freia, Goddess of Youth and Love, to the giants Fasolt and Fafner in return for their building a castle fortress for the gods. When the giants demand their reward after finishing the castle, Loge, God of Fire, suggests an alternative payment—the ring that Alberich has forged from the Rheingold and his other treasures. The giants agree, and Wotan and Loge leave for the underground home of the Niebelungs.
Alberich mocks the Gods. Loge asks for a demonstration of the Tarnhelm, a magic helmet that can transform the holder into anything, including invisibility. Alberich turns himself into a dragon, then into a toad, which the Gods then easily capture. The dwarf is forced to summon the Nibelungs to pile up the gold. Wotan wrests the ring from his finger. Shattered, Alberich curses the ring—ceaseless worry and death shall be the destiny of its bearer.
The giants return and accept the gold. Wotan refuses to part with the ring. Erda, Goddess of the Earth, appears and warns him that possession of it will bring about the end of the Gods. Wotan reluctantly gives the ring to the giants, and Alberich’s curse claims its first victim as Fafner kills his brother in a dispute over the treasure. As the voices of the Rhinemaidens are heard lamenting the loss of their gold, the Gods walk toward their new home, which Wotan names Valhalla.
Adapted by O.Dan Smith from www.metoperafamily.org
WOTON, LEADER OF THE GODS
FREIA, GODDESS OF LOVE
Dan & Romy Reicker
ALBERICH, NIBELUNG DWARF
Michael & Christine Holland
FRICKA, WOTAN’S WIFE
Simon & Euzetta Williams
LOGE, GOD OF FIRE
Nick Burlett & Jessie Dove
DONNER, GOD OF THUNDER
ERDA, GODDESS OF EARTH
SEASON SPONSOR — SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Opera SB thanks the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation for its generous support for this production and all virtual and live opera productions produced this season in Santa Barbara County.