Tag archives: Opera Santa Barbara

New Members on SB Beautiful Board
By Richard Mineards   |   January 24, 2023

Santa Barbara Beautiful, which focuses on the built, green, and cultural environment, has elected a new slate of officers for 2023 led by president Kerry Methner, editor and publisher of VOICE magazine for the last 20 years, and a gifted sculptor. She has been on the board since the early 2000s and was president in […]

Dunbar Joins SBEF
By Richard Mineards   |   January 24, 2023

After three years as Opera Santa Barbara’s Director of Development, Nina Dunbar is leaving to become Donor Advisement Officer at the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. In her new role, Dunbar will be overseeing the organization’s relationship with major donors involving supporting programs that enrich the academic, artistic, and personal development of Santa Barbara Unified School […]

Silky Songs
By Richard Mineards   |   November 29, 2022

After staging Puccini’s triumphant work Tosca at the Granada, it was time for Opera Santa Barbara to turn to comedy for its latest production, Rossini’s La Scala di Seta – The Silk Ladder – at the Lobero, a one-act vintage work from 1812. Home-grown soprano Jana McIntyre, who sang in Handel’s Semele last season, was […]

‘Tosca’ Grips
By Richard Mineards   |   October 11, 2022

The venerable Granada Theatre was almost packed to overflowing when Opera Santa Barbara staged a magnificent version of Puccini’s beloved masterpiece Tosca. Artistic director Kostis Protopapas conducted the orchestra on stage while stage director Layna Chianakas managed the complexities of the spartan production with film and still images superbly. Greek soprano Eleni Calenos excelled as […]

Getting ‘Tosca’ Right
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 4, 2022

Normally when Opera Santa Barbara’s (OSB) Artistic and General Director Kostis Protopapas signs a stage director for one of the company’s productions, he largely leaves the non-musical decisions behind.  “I hire directors that I trust and I let them run with it,” he said, a formula that has served Protopapas well over his six-year tenure […]

Singing in the Grove
By Richard Mineards   |   September 20, 2022

It couldn’t have been a more picturesque locale when Opera Santa Barbara hosted its second Opera in the Park concert at Godric Grove in Elings Park. More than 150 fans turned out to watch five singers, all Chrisman Studio Artists, sing famous opera works and music from the likes of Rossini, Verdi, Bizet, Mozart, Puccini, […]

New OSB Chair Appointed
By Richard Mineards   |   August 2, 2022

Nicholas Burlett is the new chair of Opera Santa Barbara replacing Joan Rutkowski after a four-year reign. Burlett, a graduate of Cornell University, New York, is a director of engineering for an international safety and security software firm and moved to our Eden by the Beach in 2004. “We must be willing to look for […]

Farewell to Zach Mendez
By Richard Mineards   |   July 5, 2022

Zach Mendez, Opera Santa Barbara’s Director of Operations and member of the organization’s team since 2018, and a member of the chorus before that, is leaving to dedicate his talents full time to his photography business. “Zach has been my closest partner, deputy, confidant, and friend for over four years, and every area of our […]

The Bistro Beat
By Richard Mineards   |   June 28, 2022

To the Riviera aerie of Joan Rutkowski, board chair of Opera Santa Barbara, for a delightful Bistro Musicale for gourmands and oenophiles organized by Epicurean SB founder Amy Baer Robinson, and concert pianist Jacopo Giacopuzzi, founder of the two-year-old Italian organization La Piazza. Jacopo and his sister, Maddalena, both alumni of the Music Academy, played […]

OSB’s Grand Finale
By Richard Mineards   |   June 21, 2022

Opera Santa Barbara ended its season in grand style with a lavish production of Verdi’s 1853 classic La Traviata at the Granada, last performed in our Eden by the Beach 11 years ago. Soprano Anya Matanovic was superb as the titular Fallen Woman with her beloved played rousingly by tenor Nathan Granner in the three-act […]

The Grand Return of Opera SB
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 7, 2022

Grand opera is returning to the Granada Theatre. After Opera Santa Barbara’s (OSB) two-plus years filled with ways to creatively cope with the COVID pandemic that ranged from virtual performances, to two Concerts in Your Car outdoor staged adaptations (that included, appropriately, a version of Carmen) and a season of smaller, shorter one-acts, reworkings, and […]

Rome at the Granada
By Richard Mineards   |   May 17, 2022

Opera Santa Barbara took over the cavernous stage at the Granada for A Night in Rome, a monochromatic themed tribute to the iconic 1960 Oscar-winning Federico Fellini-directed satire comedy-drama film starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, with a sold-out crowd of 154 guests raising more than $180,000 for the popular organization. The boffo bash, emceed […]

As One Moves
By Richard Mineards   |   April 5, 2022

Opera Santa Barbara, under artistic director Kostis Protopapas, brought a new dialogue to an old artform with its latest production, As One, at the Lobero. The innovative 75-minute production, featuring baritone Evan Bravos and mezzo soprano Ashley Kay Armstrong, both Chrisman student artist alumnae, as the transgender characters before and after transitioning. An on-stage quartet […]

‘Semele’ Stuns
By Richard Mineards   |   January 25, 2022

Opera Santa Barbara was again in fine form when it presented Handel’s Semele at the Lobero, which was first performed in 1744 at London’s Covent Garden. A fusion of elements of opera, drama, and oratorio, the popular work is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses with Semele, the mother of the god Bacchus, superbly played by soprano […]

It All Started at Crane…
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 11, 2022

Opera soprano Jana McIntyre’s first public performance as a singer came at age five right here in Montecito. Except she wasn’t supposed to be singing.  “We had to recite poems at our graduation at Crane,” said McIntyre, recalling her first year at Crane Country Day School, the K-8 school where academic challenge is balanced with […]

Opera Santa Barbara is on a Roll!
By Richard Mineards   |   November 9, 2021

Just a couple of weeks after launching its new season with mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna at the Granada, the singers, accompanied by talented dancers from the State Street Ballet and the Opera Santa Barbara Orchestra under artistic director Kostis Protopapas, were at the top of their game with a delightful double […]

Opera Santa Barbara is Back with a Bang!
By Richard Mineards   |   October 12, 2021

The singers, under artistic director Kostis Protopapas, launched its first post-pandemic season with mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon), a 2010 commission from the Houston Grand Opera with music and lyrics by Jose “Pepe” Martinez. With inspiring music from Grammy winners Mariachi Los Camperos, the production, […]

An Ode to Santa Barbara’s Roots
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 28, 2021

It’s not much of an exaggeration to suggest that Opera Santa Barbara General Director Kostis Protopapas almost single-handedly kept live music alive in town during the worst months of the pandemic. In February, Operation Eurydice, part of Opera Santa Barbara’s Arts Advocacy campaign, created three live music series to bring in-person concerts to the public, […]

All About the Famiglia
By Richard Mineards   |   September 21, 2021

Everybody was in the right aria when Opera Santa Barbara’s Marylove Thralls hosted a sunset soirée to launch an entertaining new book, La Mia Pazza Famiglia by Kay Lemke. The dynamic duo met when Lemke, who hails from a small community, San Fior di Sopra, north of Venice, volunteered to help the opera and the […]

A Roarin’ Good Time
By Mark Leisure   |   September 9, 2021

My job here at the Sentinel as a Man About Town encompasses keeping everyone informed about what’s been going on around town in the performing arts in and near State Street and beyond, even if some of it’s on the down low. The thing is, these days in my case the DL refers more to […]