Tosca

By Giacomo Puccini

Performed at the Granada Theatre
Sung in Italian with English supertitles

1900, Drama/Thriller, Set in Rome around 1800

The great diva has it all: beauty, talent, friends in high places, love, and an unshakeable faith in God.  She lives a charmed life, blissfully unaware of the dystopia that surrounds her.  All that will change in one harrowing day and night, in Puccini’s nail-biting melodrama.

Soprano Eleni Calenos last seen in OSB’s Madama Butterfly in 2019 returns to the Granada stage to sing the titular diva. The painter Mario Cavaradossi will be portrayed by Adam Diegel who thrilled Santa Barbara audiences at our 25th anniversary Gala concert. The imposing chief of police, Baron Scarpia will be sung by Wayne Tigges, who sang John Proctor in our production of The Crucible in 2019. Layna Chianakas returns to direct our season opening after a successful double bill of Il Tabarro/ El amor brujo last season at the Lobero. The scenic and projection design for our unique production is created by Yuki Izumihara who wowed audiences with her designs in our production of Semele earlier this year. Artistic and General Director Kostis Protopapas conducts his first Tosca with our Opera Santa Barbara Orchestra and Chorus in full force. 

Please note the special start time of 6 PM for this production

Masks are currently not required at Opera Santa Barbara Performances.

2 hours and 5 minutes

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Direction

Layna Chianakas

In a career that has spanned three decades, Stage Director, Mezzo-Soprano, and Voice Teacher, Layna Chianakas has portrayed over 50 leading opera roles across the United States, including over 80 performances of Carmen. Most recently, she was heard with Intermountain Opera, in the role Mme. Larina in Eugene Onegin and with Livermore Valley Opera as Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin. She returns to both companies this spring as Emilia in Verdi’s Otello, and Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. 

 As an award-winning opera Stage Director, her most recent win was the 2021 American Prize for Opera Production for Livermore Valley Opera’s double-bill of Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy and Pucinni’s Gianni Schicchi and the National Opera Association third prize for Postcard from Morocco for the San José State Opera Theater.  For Opera San José, she directed La Voix humaine, Hansel & Gretel, Carmen and Il barbiere di Siviglia. Other directing credits include, Le nozze di Figaro, Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges, Die Fledermaus, Orpheus in the Underworld, as well as a fully-staged version of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.  Rachel J. Peter’s Rootabaga Country marked her third production as the Stage Director for the Vivace Youth Chorus Summer Opera Workshop, which saw her productions of Menotti’s Chip and His Dog, and Krasa’s Brundibar. Opera Santa Barbara presented her Summer Youth Opera production of Ben Moore’s Odyssey, Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus for Soprano Young Artist, Brooklyn Snow, and she returns again this October to stage their double-bill of Falla’s El amor brujo (with choreographer, Cecily MacDougall) and Puccini’s Il Tabarro.

 In addition to a thriving private voice studio, Ms. Chianakas is Vocal Director of Musical Theater for Valley Christian High School Conservatory in San Jose, CA, where her credits include, Hello, Dolly!, Mary Poppins, Godspell, Found: A Musical Revue, and The Addams Family.

She lives in San Jose, CA with her husband, and two children; her greatest productions.

 

Last OSB Role: Stage Director for OSB’s Young Artist Showcase, At the Statue of Venus by Jake Heggie, Brooklyn Snow, Soprano

 

Upcoming Opera: Emilia, Otello, Livermore Valley Opera; Marcellina, Le nozze di Figaro, Intermountain Opera

Carmen / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

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.

 

Yuki Izumihara

Yuki Izumihara is a Los Angeles based freelance scenic, projection designer for theater and opera, and a production designer for film.

Yuki has received her MFA in Entertainment Design from UCLA in 2016.

Helena Kuukka

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.

Zach Mendez

Zach Mendez is a photographer and filmmaker based in Santa Barbara, California. He is thrilled to return to Opera Santa Barbara after serving as the company's Director of Operations from 2018-2022. Having trained as a classical singer for much of his life, he has a deep connection to the performing arts and is grateful for the opportunity to work with many local performing arts organizations including Opera Santa Barbara, Ensemble Theatre Company, The Music Academy of the West, the Santa Barbara Symphony, State Street Ballet, and more.
As a wedding creative, Zach works throughout southern and central California documenting weddings and elopements. In July of 2022, after 5 years of building his business, he decided to make it his full-time career. This year alone he has had the pleasure of documenting over 30 weddings as a lead, associate, and second shooter.
In his free time, Zach serves as Marketing Director on the board of the Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club, and enjoys running, spending time with friends, and taking road trips in his Jeep. Zach also devotes time to managing his YouTube channel about photography which reached a total of 11,000 subscribers in 2022.
Learn more about Zach and follow his work at zmendez.com

Artists

Eleni Calenos

Greek soprano Eleni Calenos is capturing critics' and audiences' admiration for her warm, beautiful voice and her dignified characterizations. Of her performance as Tosca, Opera News said: "Eleni Calenos gave a performance for the ages, both vocally and dramatically." Recent appearances include Giorgetta in Il Tabarro (Opera Company of Middlebury), Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly (Annapolis Opera and Ash Lawn Opera), Tosca (Opera Idaho), Mimì in La bohème (Shreveport Opera and Palm Beach Opera), Micaëla in Carmen (Palm Beach Opera), and Desdemona in Otello (Phoenicia International Festival). In the 2016/2017 season, she sang Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica with Opera Delaware, and covered Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly for Glyndebourne Opera. Her repertoire also includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Liù in Turandot, Nedda in Pagliacci, Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Lia in Debussy's L'Enfant Prodigue, Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and the title role in The Merry Widow with companies including Palm Beach Opera, Shreveport Opera, Opera Idaho, Tulsa Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Sarasota Opera, Mississippi Opera, and Zomeropera (Belgium). Her concert repertoire includes Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Strauss' Four Last Songs, Verdi's Messa da Requiem, and Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Her recordings include Mascagni's Zanetto with Odyssey Opera of Boston, and George Tsontakis' Mirologhia, released on the KOCH International Classics. Ms. Calenos won the Gerda Lissner Foundation award (2010), and was a finalist of the Renata Tebaldi International Vocal Competition in San Marino (2009), and the Concurso del Canto de Bilbao (2008). She was a member of Boston University's Opera Institute and holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from Queens College in New York, as well as a Diploma in Violoncello Performance form the Municipal Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Greece.

elenicalenos.com

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)

Wayne Tigges

Wayne Tigges (Bass-Baritone) is quickly establishing himself as one of the bright young stars in the opera world today. He has sung at many of the great opera houses of the world including: The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opera, Glyndebourne, Opera del Liceu, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Teatro du Capitol Toulouse, among others.  Mr. Tigges Enjoys a strong relationship with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (12 roles with the company), San Francisco Opera (10 roles with the company), and the Santa Fe Opera (7 roles with the company).  In addition, he will be making his debuts at  Philadelphia Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Palm Beach Opera, Edmonton Opera, and the Des Moines Metro Opera in the near future. Mr. Tigges has appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world including: the NY Philharmonic, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes, among others.  He has worked with such conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Pierre Boulez, Nello Santi, Bruno Bartoletti, Sir Mark Elder, James Conlon,  Alan Gilbert, Esa Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, Stephan Deneve, and Harry Bicket.  Mr. Tigges repertoire includes Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. John's Passion, Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, Haydn's Creation, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C minor, Mendelsohnn's Elijah, Stravinsky's Les Noces and Rossignol, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Neilson's Symphony #3, and Zemlinsky's Psalm #3. Lauded by the Chicago Sun Times for his "rich, dark, and beautiful legato, Mr. Tigges is equally at home doing roles that require vocal acrobats, (roles in Handel, Rossini Opera), and roles that require significantly more heft (Wagner, Strauss, Verdi).  He has been involved in 7 world premieres, and has over 60 roles in his repertoire.

He created the role of Joe St. George in the world premiere of Picker’s Dolores Claiborne with San Francisco Opera; sang Escamillo in Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival and with San Diego Opera; Kolenaty in The Makropolous Case with the Opéra National de Paris; and Ariodate in Xerxes, Sam and Wesley in the world premiere of Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier, Ariodate in Xerxes and Zuniga in Carmen with San Francisco Opera. He sang Achilla in Giulio Cesare in his Metropolitan Opera debut and returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago the following season for further performances of the role as well as Basilio in The Barber of Seville. Mr. Tigges enjoys a strong relationship with the Lyric Opera of Chicago where he sang the title role in The Marriage of Figaro to great critical acclaim while still a member of the prestigious Ryan Opera Center (formerly Lyric Opera Center for American Artists). Also with the company, he sang Snook in Bolcom’s A Wedding, Capulet in Roméo et Juliette, Angelotti in Tosca, Sam in Un Ballo in Maschera, and Bonze in Madama Butterfly.

www.waynetigges.co

Synopsis

ACT I

Rome, June 1800. Cesare Angelotti, an escaped political prisoner, rushes into the Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle. After finding the key his sister has hidden for him, he hides in his family’s private chapel. Soon, the painter Mario Cavaradossi arrives to work on his portrait of Mary Magdalene. The painting has been inspired by Angelotti’s sister, the Marchesa Attavanti, whom Cavaradossi had seen praying in the church. Angelotti, who was a member of the former Bonapartiste government, emerges from his hiding place. Cavaradossi recognizes him and promises help, then hurries him back into the chapel as the singer Floria Tosca, his lover, calls from outside. When he lets her into the church, she jealously asks Cavaradossi to whom he has been talking and reminds him of their rendezvous that evening. Suddenly recognizing the Marchesa Attavanti in the painting, she accuses him of being unfaithful, but he assures her of his love. When Tosca has left, Angelotti again comes out of hiding. A cannon signals that the police have discovered the escape, and he and Cavaradossi flee to the painter’s home. The sacristan enters with choirboys who are preparing to sing in a Te Deum celebrating the recent victory against Napoleon at the Battle of Marengo. At the height of their excitement, Baron Scarpia, chief of the secret police, arrives, searching for Angelotti. When Tosca comes back looking for Cavaradossi, Scarpia shows her a fan with the Attavanti crest that he has just found. Seemingly confirming her suspicions about her lover’s infidelity, Tosca is devastated. She vows vengeance and leaves as the church fills with worshippers. Scarpia sends his men to follow her to Cavaradossi, with whom he thinks Angelotti is hiding. While the congregation intones the Te Deum, Scarpia declares that he will bend Tosca to his will.

 

ACT II

That evening in his chambers in the Palazzo Farnese, Scarpia anticipates the pleasure of having Tosca in his power. The spy Spoletta arrives with news that he was unable to find Angelotti. Instead, he brings in Cavaradossi. Scarpia interrogates the defiant painter while Tosca sings at a royal gala in the palace courtyard. Scarpia sends for her, and she appears just as Cavaradossi is being taken away to be tortured. Frightened by Scarpia’s questions and Cavaradossi’s screams, Tosca reveals Angelotti’s hiding place. Henchmen bring in Cavaradossi, who is badly hurt and hardly conscious. When he realizes what has happened, he angrily confronts Tosca, just as the officer Sciarrone rushes in to announce that Napoleon actually has won the battle, a defeat for Scarpia’s side. Cavaradossi shouts out his defiance of tyranny, and Scarpia orders him to be executed. Once alone with Tosca, Scarpia calmly suggests that he would let Cavaradossi go free if she’d give herself to him. Fighting off his advances, she declares that she has dedicated her life to art and love and calls on God for help. Scarpia becomes more insistent, but Spoletta bursts in: Faced with capture, Angelotti has killed himself. Tosca, now forced to give in or lose her lover, agrees to Scarpia’s proposition. Scarpia orders Spoletta to prepare for a mock execution of Cavaradossi, after which he is to be freed. Tosca demands that Scarpia write her a passage of safe-conduct. After he has done so, he attempts to make love to Tosca, but she grabs a knife from the table and stabs him. She takes the pass and flees.

 

ACT III

At dawn, Cavaradossi awaits execution on the ramparts of Castel Sant’Angelo. He bribes the jailer to deliver a farewell letter to Tosca, and then, overcome with emotion, gives in to his despair. Tosca appears and explains what has happened. The two imagine their future in freedom. As the execution squad arrives, Tosca implores Cavaradossi to fake his death convincingly, then watches from a distance. The soldiers fire and depart. When Cavaradossi doesn’t move, Tosca realizes that the execution was real, and Scarpia has betrayed her. Scarpia’s men rush in to arrest her, but she cries out that she will meet Scarpia before God and leaps from the battlement.

(via The Metropolitan Opera)

Tosca Sponsors

SEASON SPONSOR

Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation

STAGE DIRECTOR

Sandy and Bob Urqhart

ARTISTS

Nicholas Burlet and Jessie Dove – Baron Scarpia

Barbara Burger – Spoletta

Keith and Kay Schofield – Angelotti

CHORUS

Monica and Brooke Williams

SUPERTITLES

Bella Domani

YOU DECIDE TICKETING

Walter and Holly Thomson Foundation, 

Bank of America, N.A., Co-Trustee

COMMUNITY PARTNERS

Paseo Nuevo

Santa Barbara Office of Arts & Culture

Tickets

Single Tickets: Starts at $79

Location

Cast & Credits

Direction
Director:

Layna Chianakas

In a career that has spanned three decades, Stage Director, Mezzo-Soprano, and Voice Teacher, Layna Chianakas has portrayed over 50 leading opera roles across the United States, including over 80 performances of Carmen. Most recently, she was heard with Intermountain Opera, in the role Mme. Larina in Eugene Onegin and with Livermore Valley Opera as Filipyevna in Eugene Onegin. She returns to both companies this spring as Emilia in Verdi’s Otello, and Marcellina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. 

 As an award-winning opera Stage Director, her most recent win was the 2021 American Prize for Opera Production for Livermore Valley Opera’s double-bill of Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy and Pucinni’s Gianni Schicchi and the National Opera Association third prize for Postcard from Morocco for the San José State Opera Theater.  For Opera San José, she directed La Voix humaine, Hansel & Gretel, Carmen and Il barbiere di Siviglia. Other directing credits include, Le nozze di Figaro, Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges, Die Fledermaus, Orpheus in the Underworld, as well as a fully-staged version of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.  Rachel J. Peter’s Rootabaga Country marked her third production as the Stage Director for the Vivace Youth Chorus Summer Opera Workshop, which saw her productions of Menotti’s Chip and His Dog, and Krasa’s Brundibar. Opera Santa Barbara presented her Summer Youth Opera production of Ben Moore’s Odyssey, Jake Heggie’s At the Statue of Venus for Soprano Young Artist, Brooklyn Snow, and she returns again this October to stage their double-bill of Falla’s El amor brujo (with choreographer, Cecily MacDougall) and Puccini’s Il Tabarro.

 In addition to a thriving private voice studio, Ms. Chianakas is Vocal Director of Musical Theater for Valley Christian High School Conservatory in San Jose, CA, where her credits include, Hello, Dolly!, Mary Poppins, Godspell, Found: A Musical Revue, and The Addams Family.

She lives in San Jose, CA with her husband, and two children; her greatest productions.

 

Last OSB Role: Stage Director for OSB’s Young Artist Showcase, At the Statue of Venus by Jake Heggie, Brooklyn Snow, Soprano

 

Upcoming Opera: Emilia, Otello, Livermore Valley Opera; Marcellina, Le nozze di Figaro, Intermountain Opera

Carmen / Carmen

Jan/Feb 2002 (debut)

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.

 

Scenic & Projection Design:

Yuki Izumihara

Yuki Izumihara is a Los Angeles based freelance scenic, projection designer for theater and opera, and a production designer for film.

Yuki has received her MFA in Entertainment Design from UCLA in 2016.

Lighting Design:

Helena Kuukka

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.

Filmmaker:

Zach Mendez

Zach Mendez is a photographer and filmmaker based in Santa Barbara, California. He is thrilled to return to Opera Santa Barbara after serving as the company's Director of Operations from 2018-2022. Having trained as a classical singer for much of his life, he has a deep connection to the performing arts and is grateful for the opportunity to work with many local performing arts organizations including Opera Santa Barbara, Ensemble Theatre Company, The Music Academy of the West, the Santa Barbara Symphony, State Street Ballet, and more.
As a wedding creative, Zach works throughout southern and central California documenting weddings and elopements. In July of 2022, after 5 years of building his business, he decided to make it his full-time career. This year alone he has had the pleasure of documenting over 30 weddings as a lead, associate, and second shooter.
In his free time, Zach serves as Marketing Director on the board of the Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club, and enjoys running, spending time with friends, and taking road trips in his Jeep. Zach also devotes time to managing his YouTube channel about photography which reached a total of 11,000 subscribers in 2022.
Learn more about Zach and follow his work at zmendez.com
Artists
Floria Tosca:

Eleni Calenos

Greek soprano Eleni Calenos is capturing critics' and audiences' admiration for her warm, beautiful voice and her dignified characterizations. Of her performance as Tosca, Opera News said: "Eleni Calenos gave a performance for the ages, both vocally and dramatically." Recent appearances include Giorgetta in Il Tabarro (Opera Company of Middlebury), Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly (Annapolis Opera and Ash Lawn Opera), Tosca (Opera Idaho), Mimì in La bohème (Shreveport Opera and Palm Beach Opera), Micaëla in Carmen (Palm Beach Opera), and Desdemona in Otello (Phoenicia International Festival). In the 2016/2017 season, she sang Giorgetta in Il Tabarro and the title role in Suor Angelica with Opera Delaware, and covered Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly for Glyndebourne Opera. Her repertoire also includes Gilda in Rigoletto, Liù in Turandot, Nedda in Pagliacci, Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Lia in Debussy's L'Enfant Prodigue, Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, and the title role in The Merry Widow with companies including Palm Beach Opera, Shreveport Opera, Opera Idaho, Tulsa Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Sarasota Opera, Mississippi Opera, and Zomeropera (Belgium). Her concert repertoire includes Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Strauss' Four Last Songs, Verdi's Messa da Requiem, and Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Her recordings include Mascagni's Zanetto with Odyssey Opera of Boston, and George Tsontakis' Mirologhia, released on the KOCH International Classics. Ms. Calenos won the Gerda Lissner Foundation award (2010), and was a finalist of the Renata Tebaldi International Vocal Competition in San Marino (2009), and the Concurso del Canto de Bilbao (2008). She was a member of Boston University's Opera Institute and holds a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance from Queens College in New York, as well as a Diploma in Violoncello Performance form the Municipal Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Greece.

elenicalenos.com

Mario Cavaradossi:

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)

Baron Scarpia:

Wayne Tigges

Wayne Tigges (Bass-Baritone) is quickly establishing himself as one of the bright young stars in the opera world today. He has sung at many of the great opera houses of the world including: The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Paris Opera, Glyndebourne, Opera del Liceu, LA Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Teatro du Capitol Toulouse, among others.  Mr. Tigges Enjoys a strong relationship with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (12 roles with the company), San Francisco Opera (10 roles with the company), and the Santa Fe Opera (7 roles with the company).  In addition, he will be making his debuts at  Philadelphia Opera, Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Palm Beach Opera, Edmonton Opera, and the Des Moines Metro Opera in the near future. Mr. Tigges has appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world including: the NY Philharmonic, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, LA Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes, among others.  He has worked with such conductors as Sir Andrew Davis, Pierre Boulez, Nello Santi, Bruno Bartoletti, Sir Mark Elder, James Conlon,  Alan Gilbert, Esa Pekka Salonen, Christoph Eschenbach, Stephan Deneve, and Harry Bicket.  Mr. Tigges repertoire includes Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. John's Passion, Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, Haydn's Creation, Mozart's Requiem and Mass in C minor, Mendelsohnn's Elijah, Stravinsky's Les Noces and Rossignol, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Neilson's Symphony #3, and Zemlinsky's Psalm #3. Lauded by the Chicago Sun Times for his "rich, dark, and beautiful legato, Mr. Tigges is equally at home doing roles that require vocal acrobats, (roles in Handel, Rossini Opera), and roles that require significantly more heft (Wagner, Strauss, Verdi).  He has been involved in 7 world premieres, and has over 60 roles in his repertoire.

He created the role of Joe St. George in the world premiere of Picker’s Dolores Claiborne with San Francisco Opera; sang Escamillo in Carmen at the Glyndebourne Festival and with San Diego Opera; Kolenaty in The Makropolous Case with the Opéra National de Paris; and Ariodate in Xerxes, Sam and Wesley in the world premiere of Theofanidis’ Heart of a Soldier, Ariodate in Xerxes and Zuniga in Carmen with San Francisco Opera. He sang Achilla in Giulio Cesare in his Metropolitan Opera debut and returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago the following season for further performances of the role as well as Basilio in The Barber of Seville. Mr. Tigges enjoys a strong relationship with the Lyric Opera of Chicago where he sang the title role in The Marriage of Figaro to great critical acclaim while still a member of the prestigious Ryan Opera Center (formerly Lyric Opera Center for American Artists). Also with the company, he sang Snook in Bolcom’s A Wedding, Capulet in Roméo et Juliette, Angelotti in Tosca, Sam in Un Ballo in Maschera, and Bonze in Madama Butterfly.

www.waynetigges.co

Angelotti/Sciarrone:

Colin Ramsey

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 CenerentolaCollatinus 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.

Sacristan:

Ben Lowe

Spoletta:

Matthew Peterson

Praised by the Colorado Spring's Gazzette for his "stunning" singing with "power and beauty", Matthew Peterson is an up and coming Baritone acclaimed for his rich voice and expressive acting ability.

A Colorado native, Matthew has performed with many of Colorado’s premiere musical organizations including Central City Opera, the Colorado Ballet, Opera Colorado, Boulder Symphony, the Boulder Philharmonic, and numerous others.

He has also sung nationally with Virginia Opera, the Fort Hayes Symphony, and Opera in the Ozarks. Roles include Silvio in Pagliacci, the title role of Don Giovanni, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, Belcore in L’elisir d’Amore, and Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea. As a sought after soloist, he's performed in a number of large scale works including Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mozart’s Requiem, Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht, and premiered the dance oratorio Ode to Nature that was recorded and released by Albion Records. 

In 2019, Matthew won 1st place in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild competition. Recent performance highlights include his appearance as the Baritone soloist in the Colorado Ballet’s performance of Carmina Burana, Polyphemus in Central City Opera’s Acis and Galatea, and A-rab in a sold out run of the concert version of West Side Story with the Boulder Philharmonic.  Last summer, Matthew returned to Central City Opera to sing the Novice's Friend and cover the title role of Britten's Billy Budd. This year, Matthew has joined the prestigious Yale School of Music to study with legendary bass Richard Cross and will be involved in various performances and recitals.