Opera Santa Barbara’s 2009-10 season will culminate at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with a concert performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth at The Granada in Santa Barbara.

Fresh from an enthusiastically received performance of Macbeth for Fresno Grand Opera last weekend, Mark Rucker arrived in Santa Barbara on Tuesday to begin preparations for his Opera Santa Barbara debut in the title role.

A Metropolitan Opera regular, Rucker has been praised as “a true, Verdian baritone.” He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Amonasro in Aida and has since been heard in the house as Don Carlo in La forza del destino, Tonio in I pagliacci, and as Rigoletto for the Met in the Park.

Rucker has enjoyed an international operatic career, appearing in opera houses throughout Europe.

“Opera Santa Barbara is extremely fortunate to have someone of Mark Rucker’s enormous talent appearing on our stage for this gala concert production,” OSB General Director Steven Sharpe said. “The audience will hear a thrilling performance, and it will be an unforgettable musical experience, even for those unfamiliar with this challenging opera. We will have super titles and the production will be narrated, so that Shakespeare’s tragic story is easily followed throughout the performance.”

The orchestra, cast and chorus will be conducted by Maestro Valery Ryvkin.

Tickets start at $28, and Student Rush tickets are available for $11 beginning 90 minutes before the show. Tickets are available through The Granada box office at 805.899.2222, or click here or here to purchase tickets online.

The production sponsor is The Mosher Foundation, and the artist sponsor is Sara Miller McCune.

— Marylove Thralls is a publicist for Opera Santa Barbara.