Location

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Conductor:

Kostis Protopapas

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”.

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.

 

Stage Director:

Tara Faircloth

Stage director Tara Faircloth’s work has been seen in opera houses around the nation. Critics hailed her Nozze di Figaro, claiming, “Faircloth made her Atlanta Opera debut this night with distinction, creating an unstoppable momentum of manipulation and misunderstandings. This production was so fresh that it had the ability to bridge yet another gap, entertaining the amateur and the opera aficionado alike” (Opera News).  She directed two world premieres with the Houston Grand Opera's East+West series (The Bricklayer and Her Name Means The Sea) and has a thriving career in regional houses such as Wolf Trap Opera, Utah Opera, Arizona Opera, Tulsa Opera and Atlanta Opera (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rigoletto, Die Zauberflöte, Hänsel & Gretel, etc.). The baroque repertoire is of special interest to Ms. Faircloth, who made her directorial debut with Ars Lyrica Houston’s production of Cain: Il primo omicidio in 2003, and has since designed and directed a number of shows for the company, including Charpentier's  Actéon and La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers. She created productions of Dido & Aeneas for Ars Lyrica at the Festival di Musica Barroca in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and for Mercury Baroque in collaboration with the Dominic Walsh Dance Theater. 

 

The 2018-19 season finds Ms. Faircloth working on several new productions (Il Re Pastore with Merola Opera, Agrippina with Ars Lyrica Houston, The Little Prince with Utah Opera, The Coronation of Poppea with Boston Baroque), and returning to some familiar favorites: Le Nozze di Figaro and Rigoletto (for Arizona Opera and Austin Opera, respectively).  Following last year’s season, which included new productions of Gianni Schicchi, Pagliacci, and Loving Clara, a mixed media collaboration exploring the life and loves of Clara Schumann with Mercury Orchestra, Ms. Faircloth is clearly in demand as an interpreter for familiar works and those that are more obscure.

 

Ms. Faircloth has worked extensively on the directing staff of such companies as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Central City Opera, and Dallas Opera, and as such, has worked on some of the most complicated operas in the repertoire, assisting international directors and preparing cover casts of some of the best performers in our industry. Passionate about dramatic training for young singers, she is the Drama Instructor for the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and has served as a guest coach at HGO's Young Artists’ Vocal Academy, Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Des Moines Metro Opera, University of Michigan, and Rice University.  Her home is in Houston, Texas, where she enjoys restoring her 1935 Craftsman Bungalow. 

 

Director / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Scenic Design:

Keith Brumley

 

Scenic Designer / Manon

November 2017

 

Scenic Designer / La rondine

April 2017

 

Scenic Designer /
Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

Lighting Design:

Jeff Bruckerhoff

 

Lighting Designer / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Costume Design:

A.T. Jones

Hair & Makeup Design:

Heather Sterling

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)

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Magda:

Karin Wolverton

Soprano Karin Wolverton has been described by Opera News as “a young soprano to watch” having “a lovely warm tone, easy agility and winning musicality.” Ms. Wolverton took on the challenging role of Anna Sørensen in the 2011 world premiere of Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning opera Silent Night with the Minnesota Opera for which WQXR acclaimed “. . . soprano Karin Wolverton, whose diamond-edged soprano shone in a sublime Act I “Dona Nobis Pacem” during mass, and sliced through the top notes of a second-act aria full of emotional turbulence as she realizes the beauty of her art is no match for the horrors of war.” Continuing her passionate involvement in new works, Ms. Wolverton returned to Arizona Opera in the 2016-2017 season for the world premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage by Craig Bohmler. Additionally, she returned to Minnesota Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold, the Jacksonville Symphony as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, debuted with Opera Santa Barbara as Magda in La rondine, and returned to Angels & Demons Entertainment as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and the Minnesota Orchestra to cover the title role in Salome. The 2015-2016 season saw her return to Tulsa Opera as Mimì in La bohème and debuts with Arizona Opera as Micäela in Carmen, the South Dakota Symphony for another La bohème, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and Angels & Demons Entertainment as the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. Her 2014-2015 season included Fiordiligi in Utah Opera’s Così fan tutte, her debut with Austin Lyric Opera as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with the Minnesota Orchestra, and singing Shepherd on the Rock and Brad Mehldau’s The Book of Hours with the Joya! Concerts Series and Strauss’ Four Last Songs with the Hill House Players.

 

Ruggero:

Adam Diegel

Korean American tenor Adam Diegel regularly earns international acclaim for his impassioned dramatic sensibilities, powerful voice, and for his classic leading man looks. From a performance as Cavaradossi in Tosca at Glimmerglass Opera, Opera News raved: “The opera became a showdown between Adam Diegel’s impulsive, shaggily handsome Cavaradossi and Lester Lynch’s fearsome, animalistic Scarpia… (Diegel’s) spacious, Italianate tenor…delivered a stirring ‘Recondita armonia’ and built ‘E lucevan le stelle’ masterfully from hushed intimacy to an unfettered cri de coeur.”

This season Mr. Diegel will make his Boston Lyric Opera debut as Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and will debut with Opera Columbus singing Cavaradossi in Tosca, as well as a gala concert with Knoxville Opera.

The 2020-2021 Adam Diegel returned to the Pensacola Opera for Don Jose in Carmen as well as making his role and company debut singing Manrico in Il Trovatore with Opera Tampa, as well as joining New York City Opera in their Bryant Park concert series and debuting with Victoria Hall Opera in their concert series.

In the 2017-18 season, Diegel reprised his critically acclaimed role as Cavardossi in Tosca with Palm Beach Opera and returns to The Metropolitan Opera in Norma and Madama Butterfly. Additionally, Diegel performed two of his signature roles throughout the world as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Opera Hong Kong and Palm Beach Opera and Don José in Carmen at San Francisco Opera, PORTopera, and Opera San Antonio. Additionally, Diegel sang the title role in Verdi’s Don Carlo with Lithuanian National Opera, Ruggerio in La Rondine with Opera Santa Barbara, Ismaele in Nabucco with The Metropolitan Opera, and the tenor solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Spokane Symphony.

Other international appearances have included: Don José in Carmen in a new production at Opera Australia’s Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour; Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Lithuanian National Opera, The Savonlinna Opera Festival, and on tour in China at the Guangzhous Opera House in Anthony Minghella’s acclaimed production; Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur at The National Theatre in Budapest, where he later performed Cavaradossi in Tosca; and David Alden’s new production of Luisa Miller for Opéra National de Lyon.

Ruggero / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Lisette:

Elizabeth Kelsay

 

Lisette / La rondine

April 2017

 

Rooster, Bluejay /
The Cunning
Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Frasquita / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

 

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2016–2017

Prunier:

James Callon

 

Prunier / La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Rambaldo:

Peter Lindskoog

 

Rambaldo/ La rondine

April 2017 (debut)

Yvette:

Elizabeth Kelsay

 

Lisette / La rondine

April 2017

 

Rooster, Bluejay /
The Cunning
Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Frasquita / Carmen

November 2016 (debut)

 

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2016–2017

Bianca:

Molly Clementz

 

Rosette / Manon

November 2017

 

Bianca / La rondine

April 2017

 

Lapak; Dog; Woodpecker /
The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017

 

Mercédès / Carmen

November 2016

 

La Ciesca / Gianni Schicchi

April 2016 (debut)

 

Mosher Studio Artist

2015–2016, 2016–2017

Suzy:

Adrien Roberts

 

Suzy / La rondine

April 2017

 

Rooster / The Cunning Little Vixen

March 2017 (debut)

Opera Santa Barbara - "La Rondine" 4/26/17 The Granada Theatre