Pixel Tracker

Monday, March 25 , 2019, 5:12 am | Fair 47º


Opera Santa Barbara Raises Curtain on 21st Season with Party, Performance

VIPs turn out for 2014-2015 season-opener of Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto; tickets still available for Sunday matinee

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

An elegantly dressed crowd of supporters and guests gathered at The Granada Theatre on Friday night for Opera Santa Barbara’s season opening and the first event for the 21st season with a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s famed Rigoletto.

The story of Rigoletto, played by Evan Brummel in his Opera Santa Barbara debut, is the tale of a hunchbacked jester who is an outsider struggling to find a balance between beauty and evil with a tragic story of seduction, self sacrifice and a curse.

“Written during the most fertile period of Verdi’s remarkable career, the opera resonates with a universality that is frequently called Shakespearean,” said Jose Maria Condemi, Opera Santa Barbara’s artistic director.

Brummel has also performed with Opera San Jose, Virginia Opera and Santa Fe Opera. The role of Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda, is played by Andrea Carroll, with Cody Austin in the role of the Duke of Mantua. Both are making their debuts with Opera Santa Barbara.

Tickets are still available for the Sunday matinee at 2:30 p.m. Single tickets start at just $28 for Opera Santa Barbara's 2013-2014 season and season tickets start at $77. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets online, or call 805.898.3890.

A special pre-opera gala dinner was well attended by VIPs in optional black tie and flowing gowns, and included a special three-course dinner provided by Rincon Events and featuring a menu of oven-dried tomatoes, butternut squash ravioli and Chilean seabass. A private intermission reception was held in the McCune Founders Room, which was filled with appetizers, dessert cupcakes and cocktails, featuring the signature Jester’s Revenge cocktail with wines by Palmina.

Future performances from this special community treasure include L’italiana in Algeri the evening of March 6 with a matinee on March 8. Gioachino Rossini’s opera seria mixes humor and charm in a setting with pirates, eunuchs and a palace by the sea where the beautiful Isabella sails off to Algiers in search of her Lindoro, being held as a prisoner by the tyrant Mustafa. A Streetcar Named Desire, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams, will be performed April 24 and 26. Click here to purchas tickets online.

Opera Santa Barbara’s Mosher Studio Artist Program provides valuable training to up-and-coming opera singers with top industry directors, conductors, public performances and coaching in master classes by Kathy Kozak, Catherine Miller and Tatiana Vassilieva.

“It is such a pleasure to thank the Mosher Foundation and Ed and Sue Birch for their recent three-year commitment to sponsor our Studio Artist Program, now appropriately named the Mosher Studio Program,” Opera Santa Barbara general director Steven Sharpe said.

The talented 2014-2015 Mosher Studio Artist Program participants include baritones Daniel Cilli and Elliott Hines; bass Keith Colclough and Zachary Owen; tenors Sergio González, David Margulis, Robert Norman and Tyler Thompson; and sopranos Molly Jane Hill, Mariya Kaganskaya, Emma Lacenski, Rachelle Pike and Molly Wilson. Alumni of the program, now in its seventh year, have gone on to perform worldwide, from Los Angeles to Berlin and Hong Kong.

Some of the popular efforts by Opera Santa Barbara to embrace the community include programs for children and youth, providing critical exposure to this special art form.

Free Noontime Concerts featuring members of the Mosher Studio Artists Program held at Santa Barbara Central Library’s Faulkner Gallery. The presentations begin at noon and last about an hour, with the next ones scheduled for Feb. 11, 18 and 25, and April 1, 8 and 15.

The Opera Lab is not currently scheduled for the remainder of 2014, but a highly interactive education outreach program will be offered in 2015 with the generous support of corporate and individual donations. The program teaches the building blocks of the art form of opera with professional cast members.

The mission of Opera Santa Barbara is to add cultural enrichment by presenting high-quality performances and community programs that showcase the beauty of opera. The evening was a wonderful tribute to the arts.

Click here for more information about Opera Santa Barbara. Click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today!

Our professional journalists work tirelessly to report on local news so you can be more informed and engaged in your community. This quality, local reporting is free for you to read and share, but it's not free to produce.

You count on us to deliver timely, relevant local news, 24/7. Can we count on you to invest in our newsroom and help secure its future?

We provide special member benefits to show how much we appreciate your support.

I would like give...
Great! You're joining as a Red-Tailed Hawk!
  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >