Opera Santa Barbara's <i>Tosca</i>

Opera Santa Barbara announced a spectacular 20th anniversary 2013-2014 season of Tosca, Falstaff, and The Consul last Wednesday, May 1 during a special event held in the Riviera Ballroom of the El Encanto. General Director Steven Sharpe introduced Artistic Director Jose Maria Condemi, who explained the choices, invited audience input on the organization’s programming decisions, and described the intended productions. Condemi’s evident command not only of the operas as compositions but also of the entire range of available singers, their careers, and their respective strengths made for rich and fascinating listening in its own right, and it was followed by music. As soon as he was done, soprano Marie Plette, baritone Evan Brummel, and pianist Paul Floyd took the stage to provide illustrative excerpts from each of the works. Plette and Brummel sang a duet from Tosca, and then Plette sang “Vissi d’arte.” Brummel sang Ford’s aria from Falstaff, and the presentation concluded with Plette singing “To this we’ve come” from Gian-Carlo Menotti’s The Consul. Much to the delight of everyone in attendance, the duo of Brummel and Plette returned for an encore that was perhaps a celebratory reference to the location—“Some Enchanted Evening.” It certainly was.


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