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The Santa Barbara Symphony Showcases Opera Fan Favorites with The Ride of the Valkyries on January 20 & 21 at The Granada Theatre

The program features themes of deception, romance & drama with Anikka Abbott as Emcee and soloists from Opera Santa Barbara  

The Santa Barbara Symphony takes an exciting ride into the New Year bringing thrilling moments from Grand Opera to the Symphony, featuring soloists from Opera Santa Barbara, on January 20, 2024 at 7:30 pm and January 21, 2024 at 3 pm, at the Granada Theatre.

“A Symphony orchestra has been an indispensable part of the Operatic world since the very beginning, and we look forward to showcasing some of the most popular and beloved arias and orchestral works from the operas of Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, Wagner, and others, including Wagner’s roaring The Ride of the Valkyries,” said Nir Kabaretti, Santa Barbara Symphony Music and Artistic Director. 

“Collaboration continues this season, and audiences will be treated to the soloists from Opera Santa Barbara’s upcoming performance of Il Trovatore, along with hearing the stories behind the music, enhancing the emotional impact and creating connection,” he added.

Local TV personality Anikka Abbott – also a professionally trained opera singer – will emcee the concert program which is filled with themes of deception, romance and drama.  Anikka Abbott is the Chief Weather Forecaster for NewsChannel 3-12 and Fox 11.

The concert features the following artists:

  • Nir Kabaretti, Conductor – Nir Kabaretti’s operatic and ballet experience includes productions at Teatro alla Scala di Milano, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Real, The Israeli Opera, Opéra de Lausanne, Avenches Opera Festival, The New National Theatre in Tokyo, The Bregenz Festival and Expo 2000 in Hannover and Teatro San Carlo di Napoli. In 2019 Kabaretti debuted at the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, Italy, with Madame Butterfly.  
  • Karin Wolverton, Soprano – Karin Wolverton has enjoyed a successful career on both the concert and opera stage. As a frequent guest of Opera Santa Barbara, she has sung the roles of Magda in La Rondine, and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and will appear as Leonora in the upcoming production of Il Trovatore. 
  • Deborah Nansteel, Mezzo-Soprano – Deborah Nansteel has performed in most of the leading opera companies in the US. She made her debut with The Metropolitan Opera as Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, her debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette, her Carnegie Hall debut in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and her New York Philharmonic debut in In Their Footsteps: Great African American Singers and Their Legacy.
  • Harold Meers, Tenor – Harold Meers has garnered both critical and popular praise for his work at the most important venues in North America including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Minnesota Opera, Madison Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Omaha, Des Moines Metro Opera, New Orleans Opera and Baltimore Opera, among others.
  • Timothy Mix, Baritone -Timothy Mix’s recent successes include his debut as Alberich at Opera Santa Barbara in Das Rheingold, his return to the role of Joseph de Rocher Dead Man Walking at Opera Idaho, and as Dr. Bartolo Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Delaware. Other recent engagements include Count Capulet Romeo et Juliette at Opera San Antonio, Tutor Le Comte Ory at Opera Southwest, and the title role in Sweeny Todd at Opera Tampa.
  • Anikka Abbott – Anikka Abbott is Chief Weather Forecaster for NewsChannel 3-12 and Fox 11. She was a professionally trained opera singer, member of the award-winning Choir of the West and performed with them internationally. An accomplished classical singer, her opera credits include Papagena in Mozart’s Magic Flute, Morgana in Handel’s Alcina, Tytania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Mary in Kyr’s Christmas Oratorio.

The expansive January program includes:

  • Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) | Overture to Nabucco
  • Antonín DVOŘÁK (1841 – 1904) | Song to the Moon from Rusalka
  • Pietro MASCAGNI (1863 – 1945) | “Mamma, quel vino è generoso” from Cavalleria Rusticana
  • Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835 – 1921) | “Mon cœur” from Samson et Dalila
  • Jules MASSENET (1842 – 1912) | Meditation from Thaïs
  • Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) | “Tace la notte” from Il Trovatore
  • Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868) | Overture to The Barber of Seville
  • Gioachino ROSSINI (1792 – 1868) | “A un dottor della mia sorte” from The Barber of Seville
  • Giuseppe VERDI (1813 – 1901) | “O Don Fatale” from Don Carlo
  • Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 – 1924) | “Bimba dagli occhi pieni di malia” from Madame Butterfly
  • Pietro MASCAGNI (1863 – 1945) | Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana
  • Jacques OFFENBACH (1819 – 1880) | “Belle nuit ô nuit d’amour” from Hoffmann’s Tales
  • Richard WAGNER (1813 – 1883) | The Ride of the Valkyrie from Die Walküre

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased in-person, online, or by calling the Granada Theatre box office at (805) 899-2222 or visiting

About The Santa Barbara Symphony

Now in its 71st year, The Santa Barbara Symphony delivers artistic excellence, outstanding music education stewardship and programming, and community collaboration – all through symphonic music. Under the artistic leadership of Maestro Nir Kabaretti as Music & Artistic Director since 2006, The Symphony is one of the region’s premier cultural institutions. Through his charismatic leadership, this globally admired conductor and Santa Barbara resident invigorates audiences and musicians alike through his passion, creativity, and vast experience. As the only music education program tied to a professional symphony orchestra in the region, The Symphony serves more than 4,000 students annually throughout Santa Barbara County. While The Symphony continues to evolve, bringing joy, engagement, and connection remain steadfast pillars of its mission and were evident in the organization’s ability to thrive during the pandemic including the historic announcement that board chair Janet Garufis and President & CEO Kathryn R Martin join Nir Kabaretti in making a five-year commitment to serve in their roles. For more information, visit

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