Tuesday, September 18 , 2018, 10:29 pm | Fair 66º

 
 
 
 

Wine Pairings, Fine Cuisine and Arias Help Opera Santa Barbara Open New Season

Intimate Napa Meets Verona benefit at Bacara Resort & Spa features performances from Mosher Studio Artists Elizabeth Kelsay, Elliott Deasy

Napa Meets Verona hosts, from left, Garrett Bush, proprietor and CEO of Trinitas Cellars; Steven Sharpe, general director of Opera Santa Barbara; and Marchesi Fumanelli, proprietor and CEO of Amando Pirola Fumanelli, at the kick-off of the 2016-2017 Opera Santa Barbara season at Bacara Resort & Spa. Click to view larger
Napa Meets Verona hosts, from left, Garrett Bush, proprietor and CEO of Trinitas Cellars; Steven Sharpe, general director of Opera Santa Barbara; and Marchesi Fumanelli, proprietor and CEO of Amando Pirola Fumanelli, at the kick-off of the 2016-2017 Opera Santa Barbara season at Bacara Resort & Spa. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Napa Meets Verona brought together opera supporters at an intimate gathering at Bacara Resort & Spa for the third annual Wine and Opera dinner fundraiser in advance of the new season and in support of Opera Santa Barbara.

Sweeping ocean views greeted guests at the recently remodeled Angel Oak restaurant with executive chef Vincent Lesage serving a delicious menu of sangria poached foie gras, butter poached Maine lobster and Angel Oak T-bone topped off with a warm, dark chocolate truffle cake.

Parallel wine pairings by Trinitas Cellars and Fumanelli Wines complemented the evening with performances by two of Opera Santa Barbara’s 2016-2017 Mosher Studio Artists.

The first course was accompanied by dazzling arias from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata by Elizabeth Kelsay and Elliott Deasy with Libiamo, and Deasy with “Dei miei bollenti spiriti.”

The second course had Kelsay with “​Quando me’n vo’” from Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme and Deasy with “The Flower Song” from George Bizet’s Carmen.

The third course showcased Kelsay’s range with “​Doretta’s Dream” from Puccini’s La Rondine, and the duo teamed again for the “​Micaela/Don Jose” duet from Carmen. A finale of the talented singers closed the evening with “O soave Fanciulla” from La Boheme.

Opera Santa Barbara’s Mosher Studio Artist Program provides opportunities and training to up-and-coming opera singers, who work with top industry directors, conductors and coaches in masterclasses, coachings and public performances.

The new season opener, Carmen, sung in French with English subtitles, opened Nov. 4 with a VIP reception and dinner leading into the performance. Carmen’s romantic and dangerous world takes over The Granada Theatre with an intriguing mix of flamenco dancers, gypsies, bullfighters and smugglers.

Artistic director Kostis Protopapas leads the orchestra with director Octavio Cardenas for both performances, including a matinee on Sunday, Nov. 6.

“As artistic director, each year my job and joy is to go back to the treasure troves of operatic creation and design seasons that are as diverse in expression and as rich in entertainment, feeling and meaning as our amazing art form is,” Protopapas said.

Opera Santa Barbara continues its run of fully staged productions and programs for families of any age, providing critical exposure to this special art form.

Opera Santa Barbara singers Elizabeth Kelsay and Elliott Deasy perform classical duets.
Opera Santa Barbara singers Elizabeth Kelsay and Elliott Deasy perform classical duets. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

The excitement of the season continues in the new year with Leoš Janáček​’s opera, The Cunning Little Vixen, March 3-5 and Puccini’s La Rondine April 28-30.

“I hope that you will find the three works in our season present a unique, authentic and compelling artistic proposition worth experiencing in its entirety,” Protopapas said.

Also coming in 2017 is the sixth annual Opera Ball at the Biltmore’s Loggia Ballroom for a “tres chic” romantic gala with dinner, dancing and live auction.

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.

Free noontime concerts will be offered at the Santa Barbara Public Library's Faulkner Gallery on Feb. 22, March 1, April 19, April 26 and May 3. Additional concerts are scheduled at other regional public libraries.

Tickets range in price from $29 to $204. Click here to purchase tickets online or call 805.899.2222. Single tickets start at just $29 for Opera Santa Barbara’s 2016-2017 season. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets online, or call 805.898.3890.

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.

Opera Santa Barbara general director Steven Sharpe dines with friends at the Napa Meets Verona private reception. Click to view larger
Opera Santa Barbara general director Steven Sharpe dines with friends at the Napa Meets Verona private reception. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

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