The pandemic’s devastating result on are living, real-time tradition has taken a specific toll on opera, that grand, four-century-previous tradition reliant on intently intertwined and interactive components, near quarters, and the multifaceted artwork of “being there” — for audiences and artists alike. Even so, opera may well be down, but it is hardly out. In December, Opera Santa Barbara went to the push-in product, with Carmen, A Live Travel-in Opera, at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.
On Friday, February 26, nearby opera strikes yet again, when UCSB’s Opera Theatre presents an bold digital creation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The generation, which will be permanently accessible on the program’s YouTube channel subsequent its online premiere, is directed by renowned soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian, and characteristics a cast of audio learners recorded remotely from various locations.
“In an suitable earth,” Bayrakdarian commented, “we would’ve come together, rehearsed in person with an accompanist, and then staged it for a reside general performance with an orchestra. Even so, as Carl Sagan claims, ‘We are living in an remarkable age.’
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“No just one could’ve ever imagined this all over the world state of affairs the place proven opera corporations have been shut for a lot more than a year, specialist opera singers are without careers or singing alternatives, with no end in sight,” she ongoing. “I desired to give our UCSB voice college students a glimmer of hope as perfectly as an enviable prospect to put together a purpose vocally and dramatically, collaborate with other musicians — even if it’s remotely — and keep on to hone their vocal technique, and of program have the probability to complete it for a vast viewers, by using a YouTube broadcast.”
She added that “Mozart is constantly an outstanding option for younger singers as it encourages healthful singing and gorgeous expression. But you cannot software Don Giovanni if you do not have a terrific singer who can make this bigger-than-life character appear to life, vocally and dramatically.” Enter Valdis Jansons, a second-calendar year Doctor in Musical Arts voice university student, who has often sung the function in several European opera properties. She also double-solid Jansons as Leporello, Don Givoanni’s servant, “to allude to the notion that the servant and his grasp are alter-egos, reverse sides of the very same individual. Of class, this form of casting would not have been attainable if it were being a live efficiency, but then once more, we are not living in ordinary moments.”
Bayrakdarian’s rich résumé features possessing sung in Mozart’s vintage at the Metropolitan Opera and the Salzburg Competition. A New music Academy of the West (MAW) alumnus in the late ’90s, Bayrakdarian has also graced regional phases, starring in Opera Santa Barbara’s manufacturing of Janacek’s The Cunning Very little Vixen in 2017, recitals at MAW’s Hahn Hall, and appearing with the St. Lawrence String Quartet at the Lobero Theatre in 2018. (Like the St. Lawrence, she has Toronto roots, as a Lebanese-born Canadian singer of Armenian lineage).
Armenian heritage blends with her operatic life in the remarkable 2020 album venture The Other Cleopatra: Queen of Armenia (Delos Records), which started as a UCSB investigation task exploring baroque operas about the Armenian King Tigranes II (140-55 BCE). Bayrakdarian sees the album as “a one of a kind chance to bridge my Armenian id with my operatic identity. I’ve generally been captivated to initiatives that go my spirit — which almost certainly clarifies my eclectic discography. Our spirits are timeless, with numerous stories to notify. The extra you enable the spirit convey itself, the extra you understand what your mission is in this daily life.”
A lot more frequently, Bayrakdarian asserts “I’m an optimist. Usually have been. I feel in the electricity of hope and religion. I actively appear for the silver lining in anything to elevate me up and to carry mild into my life. Even even though most of my 2020 and 2021 are living performances and prepared excursions have been canceled, several other alternatives have experienced a prospect to bloom, and these have enriched my existence in various and surprising ways.” —Josef Woodard
411 | UCSB Opera Theater’s Don Giovanni premieres on Friday, February 26, at 6 p.m. on the UCSB Department of Tunes YouTube channel, tinyurl.com/ucsbmusicyoutube. See tunes.ucsb.edu/information/celebration/2171.
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