Thursday, November 15 , 2018, 2:40 am | Fair 44º


Opera Santa Barbara Opens 25th Season With ‘La bohème’

Nathan Granner Click to view larger
Nathan Granner
Eleni Calenos Click to view larger
Eleni Calenos

Tenor Nathan Granner and Greek soprano Eleni Calenos will headline Opera Santa Barbara’s lavish production of Puccini’s opera, La bohème, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at The Granada Theater.

Ranging in price from $29-$204, tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 805-899-2222.

Granner was a founding member of The American Tenors, whose Sony Masterworks album reached top five in the classical crossover charts.

Since then, he has established a reputation as a solo and collaborative artist with roles as diverse as Kanye West in Hunter Shelby Long’s Fair Looks and True Obedience (known as the Kardashian opera) to Nemorino in The Elixir of Love.

He has sung the role of Rodolfo in La bohème with companies such as Lyric Opera Kansas City, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Tulsa Opera, Spoleto USA, Wolf Trap and Glimmerglass Opera. He will reprise the role for Opera Santa Barbara.

Calenos has admiring reviews for her performances in Tosca (Tosca), Il Tabarro (Giorgetta) and Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio San) and La bohème (Mimi) in recent appearances with Palm Beach Opera, Tulsa Opera, Sarasota Opera, Glyndebourne Opera and Zomeropera.

Her recordings include Macagni’s Zanetto with Odyssy Opera of Boston. She will sing the role of Mimi for Opera Santa Barbara’s production of La bohème.

Joining Granner and Calenos is baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco, who made his Opera Santa Barbara debut as Assan in The Consul in 2014, and returned as Taddeo in L’italiana in Algeri (2015) and as Belcore in The Elixir of Love (2016).

Orozco has performed leading roles across the United States and as far away as South Korea. He was part of the Kennedy Center World Stages Festival in the premier stage reading of Fallujah by composer Tobin Stokes.

Singing the role of Musetta is OSB artist Elle Vlaera, an alumna of last season’s Chrisman Studio Artist Program, during which time she sang the role of Berta in The Barber of Seville and Poussette in the company’s 2017 production of Manon

She is a recent LA District winner and Western Region finalist for the Metropolitan Council Auditions and 2017 Aspen Music Festival fellowship student.

Rounding out the principal roles are Vincent Grana (Colline), who sang the role of Noye in Britten’s Noyes’ Fludde, and the officer in The Barber of Seville, both for OSB; and Yazid Gray (Schaunard), a 2018-19 Chrisman Studio Artist. E. Scott Levin will sing Benoit/Alcindoro.

Kostis Protopapas, Opera Santa Barbara artistic and general director will conduct the OSB Orchestra. Omer Ben Seadia will direct the opera.

La bohème is the story of four bohemian artists living in a garret in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1830s, at a time when young self-proclaimed revolutionaries defied the conventions of polite society.

It is a story about friendship, hope, love (at first sight), and the toll poverty takes on those caught in its grip.

Opera Santa Barbara’s 25th Anniversary season also includes an Anniversary Gala Concert and Party, Jan. 26 at the Lobero Theater and OSB premiere productions of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (sung in Russian) March 1 and 3; and Robert Ward’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera The Crucible, April 26 and 28, also at The Lobero Theater.

— Marylove Thralls for Opera Santa Barbara.


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