Opera Santa Barbara at 25: Returns to its first home, the Lobero Theatre
In 1993 Marilyn Gilbert and the late Nathan Rundlett founded the Santa Barbara Grand Opera and the company’s first production was Die Fledermaus at the Lobero Theatre. Subsequent early productions included a company premiere of La Traviata – its first grand opera (1995), four performances of Carmen during Old Spanish Days, and then the “little company that could” launched its first full season with La bohème, Don Giovanni and Rigoletto in 1996. The company officially changed its name to Opera Santa Barbara before their 2003 tenth anniversary season with productions of Don Giovanni and Madama Butterfly. Subsequent years saw performances of Rigoletto, Ballo in Maschera, Italiana in Algeri, Faust, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci and Elixir of Love.
Artistic & General Director Kostis Protopapas has pledged to nurture the future of opera by presenting contemporary works alongside the classics, to embrace change and to continuously seek new ways to share our vision and enrich lives.