Opera Santa Barbara’s season opens with ‘Carmen’ on September 29 | Credit: Courtesy

Bandits, swashbucklers, and star-crossed lovers will populate a lineup of pageantry and high drama inspired by the music and history of Spain in Opera Santa Barbara’s 30th Anniversary Season. Opera Santa Barbara will kick off the celebration of this milestone season with special performances and a float at the 2023 Old Spanish Days Fiesta Parade on Friday, August 4, and will showcase characters from the season’s operas and performances by company artists.

The official opera season will open at The Granada Theatre with Bizet’s Carmen on Friday, September 29, and Sunday, October 1. Many singers will be making their debut in the title roles and the show will feature dancers from State Street Ballet. Tickets for the productions can be found here.

The season will continue as signature opera arias headline a celebration of the hundred year birth of legendary Greek soprano Maria Callas. They will be accompanied by the Opera Santa Barbara Orchestra conducted by Kostis Protopapas and presented in collaboration with UCSB. A lecture on the life and legacy of Maria Callas, will also be presented by UCSB at the Lobero Theatre on Wednesday, November 8 (tickets and information can be found here).  Opera Santa Barbara will perform the program again on Sunday, November 12, in the Kavli Theatre at the Bank of America Performing Arts Center in Thousand Oaks (tickets and information can be found here).

The annual showcase of the company’s Chrisman Studio Artists will take place at the Center Stage Theatre December 1-3, available this fall here.

On Friday, February 9, and Sunday, February 11, 2024 at the Lobero the company presents a new production of Verdi’s historical melodrama Il trovatore, a story of superstition, revenge, and ill-fated love in medieval Spain combined with some of Verdi’s most passionate melodies and powerhouse cast stars. Tickets and information can be found here.

The season will close on Friday, April 19, and Sunday, April 21, 2024 at the Lobero Theatre, with the company premiere of Hector Armienta’s swashbuckling adventure Zorro. Zorro is based on the adventures of Johnston McCully’s legendary pulp hero, the dashing masked vigilante who defends the commoners and indigenous people of California against tyrannical officials. Tickets and information can be found here.


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