Argentinean native Jose Maria Condemi has recently accepted the position as artistic director of Opera Santa Barbara. Condemi has excelled as a director on both a national and international scale, providing his talent to the San Francisco Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera Chicago, and the Canadian Opera Company.
Opera Santa Barbara hopes that Condemi’s innovative and creative style will appeal to a large, contemporary audience. The recent MET HD Opera productions, which involve viewing operas in high-definition television, have made opera more available and accessible and expanded its audience. Condemi has collaborated with various contemporary composers including the much celebrated Hector Armienta and Pulitzer Prize winner Lewis Spratlan. According to Steven Sharpe, Opera Santa Barbara’s general director, Condemi effectively combines acting and singing and will offer the company a “fresh start.”
Along with directing, Condemi also focuses his attention on education. He is a highly valued teacher for young artists, having provided his tutorial services to the San Francisco Opera Center and New National Theater Artist’s Programme in Tokyo. He is also a member of Fulbright, an Institute for International Education.
Aside from his new position as Opera Santa Barbara’s artistic director, Condemi will also be directing the San Francisco Opera’s upcoming productions of Madame Butterfly and Faust.
At the Opera Santa Barbara, he will be responsible for offering artistic insight to the board of directors, as well as supervising all artistic personnel. Serving as Opera Santa Barbara representative nationwide, he will also continue to participate in future seasons with various operas in cities such as Cincinnati and Seattle.