Opera Santa Barbara to Present ‘Carmen, A Live Drive-In Opera’

By David Salazar

Opera Santa Barbara has announced that it will present “Carmen, A Live Drive-In Opera” on Dec. 6, 2020 at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

The opera will present the Peter Brook adaptation of the work, which is slimmed down to 90 minutes and only focuses on the four characters of Carmen, Don José, Micaëla, and Escamillo. Taking on these roles will be mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock, tenor Joshua Wheeker, baritone Alexander Elliott, and soprano Jennifer Lindsay. The work will be directed by Sara E. Widzer and conducted by Kostis Protopapas, the company’s Artistic and General Director.

“When it comes to the ability to comfort, move, and inspire the human soul, nothing compares to vibrant live theater. Our communities need the healing power of the arts now more than ever. We are thrilled to be able to bring live opera safely back, for the sake of our community and our artists. This will be an afternoon that we will remember for years to come,” said Protopapas in a press release.

Attendees can stay inside their vehicles or sit in folding chairs beside their vehicles while wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing. There will be screens throughout to enable a solid viewing experience with sound coming through the car stereo.

This is the first opera production as part of the “Concerts in Your Car Series” at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.