Il Postino

By Daniel Catán

Performed at the Lobero Theatre

His job was to simply deliver the mail. But when the poor and uneducated Mario meets Chilean exile and poet, Pablo Neruda, his life is forever changed. Set in the 1950s on a small island off the coast of Italy, Catán’s stunning score soars against a backdrop of political and spiritual conflict. Mario is in love with a beautiful woman and asks Neruda for help in finding the words to win her heart. The pair develop a friendship and as it grows, so does Mario’s capacity for words–from metaphors about love, to poetry with political gravity. The postman’s devotion to the poet alters the course of this story and the generations to come.

Kostis Protopapas conducts. Crystal Manich, last with OSB for The Cunning Little Vixen, returns to direct. Arnold Rawls makes his OSB debut as the poet and Daniel Montenegro last seen in 2011’s Trouble in Tahiti as the titular postman.

Direction

Kostis Protopapas

Named artistic director of Opera Santa Barbara in August 2015, Kostis Protopapas made his company conducting debut with Carmen in November 2016.

2016 saw the end of Kostis' long association with Tulsa Opera, where he served as Artistic Director from November 2007 until May 2013, as Interim Executive Director from November 2011 until February 2013 and as Associate Conductor and Chorus Master from 2001 until 2007. During his 15-year tenure with the company, Kostis conducted 30 productions of a diverse repertoire extending from popular classics like La Boheme, Carmen and Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci to contemporary American works like Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men and A Streetcar Named Desire. 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 forget he's there."

Kostis' leadership at Tulsa Opera focused on furthering the company's long-standing reputation for artistic excellence and expanding the company's commitment to contemporary and American opera. Under his leadership the company produced a major American work each season between 2011 and 2016. Other key initiatives of his tenure included the development of the Tulsa Studio Artists Program, the expansion of company's outreach and educational programs, and the forging of new partnerships with arts organizations in Tulsa and beyond.

Between 202 and 2008 Kostis was also 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. Kostis started his career on the music staff of Virginia Opera and Opera Memphis; he conducted at Opera in the Ozarks every summer from 2000 to 2004; has been a regular guest conductor at Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis since 2007 and a guest conductor for the Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Columbus, Shreveport Opera, El Paso Opera, Winter Opera St. Louis and the Westmoreland Symphony. In 2016-17 he will return to Winter Opera St. Louis to conduct La Cenerentola.

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 and splits his time between Chicago and Santa Barbara, with his wife, soprano and stage director Cathleen Dunn-Protopapas, and their four cats, Gus, Miles, Zsa-Zsa and Gigi.

http://kostis-protopapas.com

Crystal Manich

 

Stage Director /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Artists

Arnold Rawls

Tenor Arnold Rawls has delighted audiences with his unique combination of vocal and dramatic skills in performances ranging from art song to opera.  He has been hailed for having a “powerful, clarion-sounding tenor,” a “firm, pliant lyric tenor with ringing high notes,” as well as a “flair for acting.”  His Radamès thrilled audiences as he “rose to the occasion, singing the famous "Celeste Aida" with a creamy tone and a beautiful sense of Italian lyricism. It included a dazzling high B-flat that seemed to ring for an eternity.”  (Omaha World Herald)

Recent highlights include the role of Radames in Aida with Opera Australia in Sydney and Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Belgium, Hagenbach in La Wally with Dallas Opera, Manrico in Seattle Opera's Il trovatore, and Calaf in Turandot for Teatro Colón, Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria and the Zeffirelli production at Metropolitan Opera.

Engagements during the last few seasons include Hagenbach in Le Wally and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos both at the Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland, San-Lui in Leoni’s L’Oracolo, Roberto in Le Ville and Apollo in Daphne all with Oper Frankfurt, and Manrico in Il Trovatore both for his debut at the Sydney Opera House and with The Metropolitan Opera.  With the Arizona Opera and Vancouver Opera he portrayed Radamès in Aida, with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Pensacola Opera and Arizona Opera he sang Calaf in Turandot, with Opera Grand Rapids he sang Manrico in Il Trovatore, and he returned to the Bregenzer Festpiele as the title role in Andrea Chenier where The New York Times reported “Chénier, long a cherished role of Italian dramatic tenors, finds a creditable exponent in the American tenor Arnold Rawls, whose voice has an easy flow in midrange yet rang out excitingly in the big, high-lying moments.”

Daniel Montenegro

Synopsis

Act I

Di Cosimo, an Italian politician, sings the nationalist anthem of the island of Cala de Soto.  Soon after, it is announced that the exiled Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, has arrived in Rome and will live on the island.  Mario, a postal worker on Cala de Soto, begins delivering mail to the poet.  He soon falls in love with Beatrice, a waitress at a local café.  Mario begs Neruda for help with poetry so he can win her heart.  Neruda helps the young man, teaching him poetry and metaphors.

Act II

Beatrice, falling in love with Mario, is scolded by her aunt who is displeased with her contact with the young man.  Soon after, Mario and Beatrice embrace and fall in love.  Meanwhile, Neruda continues teaching Mario about poetry and a friendship forms between them.  The act closes with the marriage of Mario and Beatrice.  During the reception, Neruda receives a telegraph informing him that it is safe for him to return to Chile.

Act III

Neruda prepares to return to Chile.  He says goodbye to Mario and departs.  Later, Mario is asked to send Neruda’s remaining items to Chile.  As political tensions increase in Italy, Mario creates a recording for Neruda, collecting the sounds of the Island.  Soon after, Mario begins using his poetic skills, learned from Neruda, to challenge the oppressive Italian government.  He is killed at a rally.  Neruda soon returns and hears the voice of Mario through his recording.

(via danielcatan.com)

Tickets

Single Tickets: $51 - $131

Location

Cast & Credits

Direction
Conductor:

Kostis Protopapas

Named artistic director of Opera Santa Barbara in August 2015, Kostis Protopapas made his company conducting debut with Carmen in November 2016.

2016 saw the end of Kostis' long association with Tulsa Opera, where he served as Artistic Director from November 2007 until May 2013, as Interim Executive Director from November 2011 until February 2013 and as Associate Conductor and Chorus Master from 2001 until 2007. During his 15-year tenure with the company, Kostis conducted 30 productions of a diverse repertoire extending from popular classics like La Boheme, Carmen and Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci to contemporary American works like Elmer Gantry, Of Mice and Men and A Streetcar Named Desire. 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 forget he's there."

Kostis' leadership at Tulsa Opera focused on furthering the company's long-standing reputation for artistic excellence and expanding the company's commitment to contemporary and American opera. Under his leadership the company produced a major American work each season between 2011 and 2016. Other key initiatives of his tenure included the development of the Tulsa Studio Artists Program, the expansion of company's outreach and educational programs, and the forging of new partnerships with arts organizations in Tulsa and beyond.

Between 202 and 2008 Kostis was also 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. Kostis started his career on the music staff of Virginia Opera and Opera Memphis; he conducted at Opera in the Ozarks every summer from 2000 to 2004; has been a regular guest conductor at Union Avenue Opera in St. Louis since 2007 and a guest conductor for the Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Columbus, Shreveport Opera, El Paso Opera, Winter Opera St. Louis and the Westmoreland Symphony. In 2016-17 he will return to Winter Opera St. Louis to conduct La Cenerentola.

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 and splits his time between Chicago and Santa Barbara, with his wife, soprano and stage director Cathleen Dunn-Protopapas, and their four cats, Gus, Miles, Zsa-Zsa and Gigi.

http://kostis-protopapas.com

Director:

Crystal Manich

 

Stage Director /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Artists
Pablo Neruda:

Arnold Rawls

Tenor Arnold Rawls has delighted audiences with his unique combination of vocal and dramatic skills in performances ranging from art song to opera.  He has been hailed for having a “powerful, clarion-sounding tenor,” a “firm, pliant lyric tenor with ringing high notes,” as well as a “flair for acting.”  His Radamès thrilled audiences as he “rose to the occasion, singing the famous "Celeste Aida" with a creamy tone and a beautiful sense of Italian lyricism. It included a dazzling high B-flat that seemed to ring for an eternity.”  (Omaha World Herald)

Recent highlights include the role of Radames in Aida with Opera Australia in Sydney and Opéra Royal de Wallonie in Belgium, Hagenbach in La Wally with Dallas Opera, Manrico in Seattle Opera's Il trovatore, and Calaf in Turandot for Teatro Colón, Bregenzer Festspiele in Austria and the Zeffirelli production at Metropolitan Opera.

Engagements during the last few seasons include Hagenbach in Le Wally and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos both at the Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland, San-Lui in Leoni’s L’Oracolo, Roberto in Le Ville and Apollo in Daphne all with Oper Frankfurt, and Manrico in Il Trovatore both for his debut at the Sydney Opera House and with The Metropolitan Opera.  With the Arizona Opera and Vancouver Opera he portrayed Radamès in Aida, with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Pensacola Opera and Arizona Opera he sang Calaf in Turandot, with Opera Grand Rapids he sang Manrico in Il Trovatore, and he returned to the Bregenzer Festpiele as the title role in Andrea Chenier where The New York Times reported “Chénier, long a cherished role of Italian dramatic tenors, finds a creditable exponent in the American tenor Arnold Rawls, whose voice has an easy flow in midrange yet rang out excitingly in the big, high-lying moments.”

Mario Ruoppolo:

Daniel Montenegro