On the heels of its sold-out “Tosca,” Opera Santa Barbara continues its 2022-23 season with a new production of Rossini’s “La scala di seta” starring soprano Jana McIntyre.
There will be one public performance only at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 13. In addition, the company will present a free student matinee performance at 10 a.m. Nov. 14.
In Rossini’s 1812 bel canto comedy “La scala di seta (The silk ladder)” beautiful Giulia, portrayed by Ms. McIntyre, lowers a silk ladder from her window every night for Dorvil, to whom she is secretly married, to climb into her bedroom.
A series of misunderstandings turns their little love nest into a circus of relatives, suitors and servants plotting, eavesdropping and ultimately happily reconciling, in a blast of Rossini’s glorious vocal fireworks.
Ms. McIntyre, George London Foundation top prize winner and Metropolitan Opera National Council grand finalist, has been praised by Opera News for her “dancer’s grace, mercurial wit and vibrant soprano tone.”
In her young career, the Santa Barbara native has already worked with such prestigious opera companies as the Santa Fe Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Palm Beach Opera.
She made her mainstage debut with Opera Santa Barbara in the title role of Handel’s “Semele” in January 2022, after starring in the company’s drive-in production of “Don Pasquale” in April 2021.
Tenor Christian Sanders, who made his Opera Santa Barbara debut as the Song Seller in “Il Tabarro” in November 2021, returns as the dashing Dorvil, Giulia’s secret husband. The role of the wily servant Germano will be portrayed by baritone Efrain Solis, recently seen in Santa Barbara as Mark in “Cruzar la cara de la luna” in September 2021.
Tenor and UCSB Music Department Chair Benjamin Brecher portrays Giulia’s foiled guardian, Dormont. Chrisman Studio Artists mezzo Christina Pezzarossi and baritone Matthew Peterson round off the cast as Lucilla and Blansac.
The new production, which sets the plot in a tailor shop in the 1930s is designed and directed by Joshua Shaw, founding artistic director of Pacific Opera Project in Los Angeles. Mr. Shaw, who previously directed Opera SB’s “The Barber of Seville” in 2018 and “Don Pasquale” in 2021, was named Top 30 Innovators in Classical Music in 2017 by Musical America Magazine.
“There’s nothing I love more than a good bel canto comedy,” said Mr. Shaw. “ ‘La scala di seta’ is packed with delightfully clever arias and ensembles tailor-made (pun intended) for operatic shenanigans. We’ve updated the setting to a 1930s tailor shop, a ‘fitting’ location and explanation for the titular ‘silk ladder.’ ”
Guest conductor Alexandra Enyart, who made her Opera Santa Barbara debut with “As One” earlier this year, has been praised as “One of Chicago’s Greatest Operatic Gifts” by the Chicago Theatre Review.
“Throughout history, lovers have been kept apart for class, for race, for religion, for gender and many other reasons,” said Ms. Enyart. “This piece is an important reminder that love finds a way even if it has to come in through the window on a ladder made of silk.”
“La scala di seta” is the second of four operas in Opera Santa Barbara’s 2022-23 season. It will be followed by Jack Perla and Jessica Murphy-Moo’s 2015 drama “An American Dream” on Feb 18, and “The Valkyrie” on April 23, the second installment of Richard Wagner’s “The Ring of the Nibelung” in the 1990 streamlined version by Jonathan Dove and Graham Vick.
The performance will be sung in Italian, with English translation projected above the stage and will last 90 minutes without intermission.
The company advises patrons to purchase their tickets soon, as there is only one performance, and more than half of the tickets have already been sold.
— Purchase full-priced tickets and select their own seats at the Lobero box office at lobero.org or by calling 805-963-0761 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
— Name-their-own-price for tickets at www.operasb.org..Seats will be assigned for them by Opera Santa Barbara and the Lobero.
In addition to the public performance, Opera Santa Barbara will present a free student matinee performance of “La scala di seta” at 10 a.m. Nov. 14. Interested teachers and school administrators can contact email@example.com for seat availability and other information