Opera Santa Barbara to Present Unique Double Bill of Puccini & De Falla Operas

By David Salazar

Opera Santa Barbara has announced that it will present an opera and flamenco ballet double bill as part of its 2021-22 season.

The California-based company will showcase Puccini’s “Il Tabarro” alongside “El Amor Brujo” starting on Oct. 29 with an additional performance set for Oct. 31, 2021.

“Amor Brujo” will star dancers from the State Street Ballet with choreography by Cecily Stewart McDougall. Both operas will be directed by Layna Chianakas, in her company debut.

“Il Tabarro” will star Harold Meers, Todd Thomas, Benjamin Brecher, Ben Lowe, Christian Sanders, Marlaina Owens, Sunwoo Park, Raphaella Medina, Cambria Metzinger, Adam Lowe, Omar Rodriguez, Norman Espinoza, Lindsay Patterson-Abdou, Nina Yoshina-Nelson, and Alaysha Fox in a leading role. “El Amor Brujo” will feature Yoshida-Nelson as the solo vocalist.

“Getting back to a lush Puccini piece feels like another homecoming. I’ve long wanted to conduct ‘Il Tabarro,’ and I’m excited to do it with this great cast and orchestra”, said Opera Santa Barbara Artistic and General Director Kostis Protopapas in a press statement. “After thinking long and hard about choosing a companion piece for Il Tabarro, I fell in love with the idea of ‘El Amor Brujo,’ because its Spanish folklore, the medium of dance, and the ironic ending of its story provide an intriguing contrast to the visceral ‘Italian-ness’ of ‘Il Tabarro.’ At the same time, it shares with ‘Tabarro’ a gothic atmosphere and the explosive quality of World War I-era late romanticism.”