Sunday, June 24 , 2018, 6:44 pm | A Few Clouds 68º


Gerald Carpenter: Santa Barbara Symphony to Welcome New Year With Pops Concert

The Phantom of the Opera's Lisa Vroman will be the featured guest artist at the Symphony's New Year's Eve concert. (Diane Phelan photo)

Once again, as Dec. 31 looms, we are faced with choosing where we are to spend the hours between dinner and midnight, and once again, the Santa Barbara Symphony offers its elegant and cozy solution: its reliably delightful New Year's Eve Pops Concert, which — after a half hour or so of greeting and mingling — will start at 8:30 the Granada Theatre.

The Symphony's special guest artist will be soprano Lisa Vroman, of Phantom of the Opera fame.

Our mandatory participation will consist of buying a ticket, arriving in a good — or, at least, a receptive — mood, settling contentedly into our seats, smiling at the people around us, applauding lustily at the end of each number, making some discreet noise at the appropriate time and perhaps singing along with "Auld Lang Syne" (Times Gone By).

We won't have to dance or participate in skits or anything like that. Above all, we will be obliged to enjoy ourselves in this most civilized of celebrations. 

The program will consist of light classics, lighter opera, Broadway tunes and Hollywood themes, composed by the likes of Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Franz Lehár, Johann Strauss, George Gershwin, Astor Piazzolla and José Bragato (with pianist Natasha Kislenko), Jules Styne, Alexander Borodin, Alan Silvestri (Back to the Future), Carlos Gardel (arranged by John Williams, featuring Concertmaster Jessica Guideri), Irving Berlin and John Williams.

Usually the province of an able and affable guest conductor, this year's Pops Concert will be conducted by the symphony's musical and artistic director, Maestro Nir Kabaretti, which in and of itself proclaims this a special sort of evening.

"It’ll be a musical celebration spanning several traditions," says the Maestro, "from Viennese New Year’s concerts up to and including some of the most iconic and beloved tunes from Broadway and Hollywood.

"Several of our great musicians have performed on the soundtrack for the new Star Wars movie, and we’ll conclude our concert with excerpts from John Williams’s memorable scores for those films and discuss what it’s like to participate in such a project."

Tickets to this concert-party start at $38, and they ca n be purchased at the Granada box office, by phone at 805.899.2222 or online at

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.

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