Founded in 1994 by Marilyn Gilbert and Nathan Rundlett, Opera Santa Barbara is committed to presenting productions and educational programs of the highest quality. Over more than two decades the company has staged some 50 operas and devoted thousands of hours to community outreach. The organization remains dedicated to the core passions that animated its founding: celebrating and championing the breadth and beauty of opera, and contributing to the cultural enrichment of the Santa Barbara community. Additional information is available at www.operasb.org.
Opera Santa Barbara’s newly formed Santa Barbara Youth Opera will present a fully staged production of Brundibár. The short opera (no more than forty minutes long) was written for a cast of 34 children and one adult (baritone). It was composed in 1938 by Hans Krása, with lyrics by Adolf Hoffmeister, as an entry for a children’s opera competition. It received its premiere in German-occupied Prague and was performed by children at a Jewish Orphanage. The children and the composer were eventually transported to the Terezín concentration camp. In July 1943, the score of Brundibár was smuggled into camp, where it was re-orchestrated by Krása for the various instrumentalists who were available to play at that time at the camp. The premiere of the Terezín version took place on 23 September 1943 in the hall of the Magdeburg barracks. The opera eventually had over 50 performances at Terezín. Nearly all of the children who performed in the opera were deported to Auschwitz and died in the gas chambers. Hans Krása met the same fate.
The history of Brundibar is brutal, but the opera itself is a parable of hope and justice. This special performance is a collaboration with the Ojai Youth Opera and the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony.
This season Opera Santa Barbara will continue “The Opera Lab,” an exciting educational outreach program for youth, in which four specially-trained opera singers visit schools and invite students to create their very own opera, which the singers improvise on the spot. Enthusiastic response from students and teachers continues, and we are excited about our new season which will begin in early 2017. Please check out our website for the latest information at http://www.operasb.org/operainschools.php
Free Noontime Concerts
Each season, Opera Santa Barbara offers a series of free Noontime Concerts featuring members of our Mosher Studio Artist Program. These concerts feature a variety of popular and lesser-known arias and duets. For the most up-to-date information: http://www.operasb.org/freeconcerts.php
The concerts are held at public libraries in:
Santa Barbara, Goleta (12:30 PM start time), Thousand Oaks,
Solvang, Ojai and Ventura
All presentations begin at 12:00 pm and last about 1 hour.
Concerts are offered FREE to the general public.