Opera Santa Barbara presents Il Postino (The Postman), created by Mexican-American composer Daniel Catán, who is known for his sweeping, impressionistic music and bringing Spanish-language opera into the international repertory. Based on the Oscar-winning film of the same name, the story follows a poor and uneducated mail carrier who meets Chilean exile and poet, Pablo Neruda, on a small island off the coast of Italy, and set against a backdrop of political and spiritual conflict. The work weaves together the rush of romance, the endurance of friendship, and the danger that arises at the intersection of art and politics. OSB artistic director Kostis Protopapas conducts, while Crystal Manich, who last with OSB for The Cunning Little Vixen, directs a cast featuring Arnold Rawls in his OSB debut as the poet and Daniel Montenegro, last seen in 2011’s Trouble in Tahiti, as the titular postman. Shows are March 7 and 8 at the Lobero Theatre… Also on March 7, pianist Paolo Tatafiore plays the “Dante Sonata” by Franz Liszt and selections of Rachmaninoff’s preludes in a free Santa Barbara Music Club concert at the Faulkner Gallery of the central library at 3 pm.
Also, CAMA celebrates its longstanding relationship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic – nearly 300 concerts strong – with a gala concert at the Granada Theatre on Friday, March 6, which is 100 years to the day from the LA Phil’s first performance in Santa Barbara. Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel conducts Ives’ Symphony No. 2 and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, “From the New World.” Montecito Journal contributor Hattie Beresford, author of the book Celebrating CAMA’s Centennial: Bringing the World’s Finest Classical Music to Santa Barbara, gives a free illustrated lecture at the New Vic Theatre in Santa Barbara at 5:15 pm before the 7 pm concert, which will be preceded by a red carpet reception in the Granada lobby.
The six-year-old Paris-based Arod Quartet, whose members are all still in their twenties, has already dazzled chamber-music lovers in concerts at such prestigious venues as the Auditorium of the Louvre in Paris and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland after winning First Prize of the 2016 ARD International Music Competition in Munich. Now, less than a year since its inaugural Carnegie Hall performance, the Arod Quartet’s program for its Santa Barbara debut at the Mary Craig Auditorium on Thursday, March 12, includes Haydn’s Quartet in D Major, Op. 76, No. 5, Bartók’s Quartet No. 4, and Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1, “Razumovsky,” by Beethoven.