Michelle Johnson in the title role of the Glimmerglass Festival production of <i>Aida</i>.

Karli Cadel/The Gilmmerglass Festival

Michelle Johnson in the title role of the Glimmerglass Festival production of Aida.

Winter Arts Preview 2013: Classical

Virtuosos Converge This Winter in S.B.

Aida, presented by Opera Santa Barbara at the Granada Theatre: This new production of Verdi’s Aida earned legendary director Francesca Zambello glowing reviews when it premiered in the summer of 2012 at the prestigious Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, New York. Soprano Michelle Johnson will reprise the title role in a setting that’s more Arab Spring than colonial Africa. For one example, in this version, instead of being buried alive, as in the original libretto, the heroic tenor Radames is waterboarded. It’s gratifying to see Opera Santa Barbara taking a chance on a production that’s not afraid to work new theatrical magic with a great traditional score, and the majestic Granada should be an ideal venue for this intimate, emotionally charged event. Performances Friday, March 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 3 at 2:30 p.m. Call (805) 899-2222 or visit

More Classical

Camerata Pacifica. At the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall, Fri., Jan. 11.

Santa Barbara Symphony. At the Granada Theatre, Sat.-Sun., Jan. 19-20.

Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra. At the Lobero Theatre, Tue., Jan. 22.

Camerata Pacifica. At the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall, Fri., Feb. 8.

Firebird, Santa Barbara Symphony with State Street Ballet. At the Granada Theatre, Sat.-Sun., Feb. 9-10.

Music in Court and Culture: Jewish Life in Sound and Space. Presented by the UCSB Department of Music. At UCSB’s Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, Sun., Feb. 10.

Christian Tetzlaff. At the Lobero Theatre, Mon., Feb. 11.

Leonidas Kavakos. At the Music Academy’s Hahn Hall, Fri., Feb. 15.

Hearts for the Arts: A Valentine Serenade. Presented by UCSB Music Affiliates Scholarship Program. At Trinity Episcopal Church, Sat., Feb. 16.

Joshua Bell. At the Granada Theatre, Wed., Feb. 20.

Anne-Sophie Mutter. At the Granada Theatre, Tue., Mar. 5.

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