zach mendez standing at butterfly beach

In life and in the arts, we make our entrances and exits. It’s always a bittersweet feeling when a show is finished, but we can always look forward to the next opera with excitement, knowing that a new kind of magic will once again astound both eyes and ears. Yet, sometimes someone who has been integral to the making of that magic for years moves on.

Zach Mendez, Opera Santa Barbara’s Director of Operations and member of Team OSB since 2018 and part of the company’s chorus before that, is leaving OSB to dedicate his talent full time to his photography business. Zach is quite literally the lens through which the world sees our opera company. From photoshoots, videos, and advertising, he united his passions for photography and opera and produced beautiful work showcasing the company’s artistic and community endeavors. And that is just one of the many aspects of the job Zach has done over the last four seasons.

In the words of our Artistic and General Director Kostis Protopapas, “There is no way to overstate Zach’s contributions to Opera SB. He has been my closest partner, deputy, confidant, and friend for over four years, and every area of our company’s operations has been shaped by his sharp mind, attention to detail, tireless work ethic, dedication to our mission, and above all, his kindness. It would be fair to say that our company would not be where it is now without Zach, and he can never be replaced. Nevertheless, I know that in the next few weeks Zach will be applying those very same qualities to helping us effect a flawless transition to the next stage of Opera Santa Barbara.”

And that is now what Team OSB must do. To continue making the magic of opera, sans Zach, but applying those qualities that make him such an incredible colleague and friend. To infuse a love for opera into the everyday dedication and work of producing this art. We thank you Zach for your service to this company and community. This is a time of great transition and we will miss you terribly. We can honor your work by continuing in the traditions you set so impeccably.

Favorite Captured Moments

Clockwise from top:

Il Tabarro, October 2021; Madama Butterfly, November 2019; Semele, January 2022; Carmen, A Live Drive-In Opera, December 2020; Das Rheingold, June 2021; Il Postino, March 2020; The Crucible, April 2019

Behind the Scenes with Zach

All production photos by Zach Mendez. To follow his work, visit Zach Mendez Photo.