The Santa Barbara Symphony has announced a program change to its New Year’s Eve concert on December 31. Santa Barbara’s very own Kostis Protopapas, renowned opera and symphony conductor and the Artistic & General Director of Opera Santa Barbara will take the podium to lead The Symphony in the festive New Year’s Eve performance in place of Bob Bernhardt.
A longtime friend of the Symphony, and colleague of the Symphony’s Music & Artistic Director, Nir Kabaretti, Protopapas was named General Director of Opera Santa Barbara in December 2017, after two-and-a-half seasons as Artistic Director. During his time as Artistic Director and principal conductor, he brought a unified vision to OSB’s musical and production values, strengthening the orchestra and chorus, engaging some of the country’s most promising young directors and singers, building a high-performing production team, and increasing focus on contemporary American opera. Before coming to Santa Barbara, Protopapas was the Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera since 2008. He previously was an Assistant Conductor with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, and Santa Fe Opera. At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he also served as Assistant Chorus Master under Donald Palumbo for two seasons.
This longtime New Year’s Eve tradition for the Symphony will feature the music of Gershwin and other celebratory symphonic favorites, on Friday, December 31 from 8:30 pm-10:00 pm at the Granada Theatre. As always, the Symphony is implementing all required health and safety measures for this performance. For details and to purchase tickets for the New Year’s Eve concert visit TheSymphony.org.