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 Team OSB, a group of enthusiastic overachievers with a passion for innovation and the desire to strengthen the company’s bond with the community, who consistently exceed patrons’ expectations for programs, experiences and communications. 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 Laura Kaminsky’s As One. In the fall of 2022 the Santa Barbara Independent wrote: “From contemporary work to obscurities from the early 19th century, from staple repertoire to surprise elements, OSB continues to raise the bar on what an opera company can and should be, even 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”. For his work during the pandemic, Kostis was listed among the Santa Barbara Independent’s 2021 Local Heroes.
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, sits on the Board of the Santa Barbara University Club, and enjoys sailing on the Santa Barbara Channel.
…Jana McIntyre continues to forge a path for herself with her “dancer’s grace, mercurial wit, and vibrant soprano tone” (Opera News). “With movie star looks and the poise to match, she has everything it takes to make it to the top.” (Opera Wire).
The 2021-2022 season sees Jana in her first title role debuts as Semele in Semele in a return to Opera Santa Barbara as well as Aminta for a new production of Die Schweigsame Frau with Bard SummerScape Festival. Workshop and concerts of recently written music rounded out her season. With the Rally Cat in New York City, she created the role of Marianne in recording and workshop of Aferidan Stephens and Marella Martin Koch’s Elinor and Marianne based on the Jane Austen novel Sense and Sensibility. She also performed in chamber concert with Jerod impichchaachaaha Tate and Tulsa’s Signature Symphony.
Ms. McIntyre was lucky to perform through the pandemic singing Norina in Don Pasquale for her hometown debut with Opera Santa Barbara as well as joining the rosters of Palm Beach Opera (Die Zauberflöte) and Tulsa Opera (Rigoletto). She was scheduled to make company debuts with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Canadian Opera Company among other notable returns to theaters which have been postponed/canceled due to the pandemic.
She was recently named a George London Foundation top prize winner as well as a Metropolitan Opera National Council grand finalist. She performed Ännchen in Heart Beat Opera’s new production of Der Freischütz and joined Santa Fe Opera for their workshop of the completed version of M. Butterfly in New York City and for whom she was to return as Sister 1 in Mark Adamo and John Corgliano’s newly commissioned Lord of Cries which was canceled last March. She also debuted with the Sacramento Philharmonic singing from Così fan tutte and Le nozze di Figaro as Despina and Susanna in their “Mozart Favorites” Concert.
Miss McIntyre won first prize in the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Competition which gave her the opportunity to travel to Buenos Aires to sing a series of concerts at various venues including El Salon Dorado at the Teatro Colón. She is an award winner from the Jensen Foundation, Giulio Gari Foundation, George London Foundation, Art Song Preservation Society, Metropolitan National Council, among others. She is a Richard F. Gold grant recipient from the Shoshana Foundation, and the winner of the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition at Manhattan School of Music.
Jana has been an apprentice with Tulsa Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and the Merola Opera Program. She did her academic work at the University of California, Los Angeles in Psychology (B.A.) and Music (B.A.). She received her Masters in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music.