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Opera Santa Barbara, Center for Lifelong Learning to Offer New Enrichment Course

A scene from the Metropolitan Opera’s upcoming production of “Don Giovanni.” Click to view larger
A scene from the Metropolitan Opera’s upcoming production of “Don Giovanni.” (Marty Sohl / Metropolitan Opera photo )

Opera Santa Barbara, in partnership with Santa Barbara City College’s Center for Lifelong Learning, will offer a noncredit enrichment course on the history and nuances of opera at the college’s Schott Campus beginning Oct. 17, 2016.

Titled “Opera in Performance,” the course will focus on the company’s 2016-17 productions — CarmenThe Cunning Little Vixen and La rondine — as well as Metropolitan Opera simulcasts of Don GiovanniRoméo et JulietteLa traviata and Der Rosenkavalier.

Classes will meet on selected Mondays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and include lectures and discussions about the music, libretto and performance history of each featured opera.

Taught by UCSB Professor Simon Williams, with occasional involvement by invited guest artists, the course is open to beginners and experienced opera-goers alike.

“In addition to exploring the historical background of the highlighted works, we’ll have guest artists join several sessions to discuss the unique challenges and rewards of performing opera — all with the intention of heightening participants’ appreciation and experience of this exquisite art form,” said Williams.

Course registration can be completed online, by phone or in person. Participation costs $19 per class ($16 for tuition and $3 for materials).

Additional information is available at thecll.org. The Schott Campus is located at 310 W. Padre Street in Santa Barbara.

The complete course schedule is available online at www.operasb.org

Williams chairs the Department of Theater and Dance at UCSB, where he has taught since 1984. He has published widely in the fields of European continental theater, the history of acting, Shakespearean performance and operatic history. He is an active director and reviewer of opera. 

Subscription sales are underway for Opera Santa Barbara’s 2016-17 season, which will open with Carmen Nov. 4 and 6, followed by productions of The Cunning Little Vixen, starring superstar soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, March 3 and 5, and La rondine April 28 and 30.

Prices start at $77, and subscriber benefits include children’s discounts and free admission to the company’s new “Opera Goes to the Movies” series, which will launch in the fall.

To purchase subscriptions, visit www.operasb.com or call 805.898.3890.

Tim Dougherty represents Opera Santa Barbara.


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