Reopening alert: San Diego Opera starts back, IRL, in April

With vaccinations taking place at an increasingly rapid clip and even arts orgs looking for performance realities that work, the season announcements are starting to roll in. Here’s one from San Diego, mixing their annual concert, a drive-in opera and the production of The Barber of Seville postponed from last season’s COVID-related shutdown. This is part of an exciting trend toward hopeful presenting and a slow return to some kind of normal. Stay tuned, as there will be plenty more to come!

See the press release below:

San Diego Opera Announces Live, Drive-In, Spring Season

  • One Amazing Night Featuring Soloists from the San Diego Opera Chorus Accompanied by the San Diego SymphonySaturday, April 24, 2021
  • Fully staged performances of Rossini’s Comic Masterpiece The Barber of SevilleApril 25, 27, 30, and May 1, 2021
  • Drive-in format and protocols ensure the safety of patrons, staff, and artists
  • Single tickets on sale March 1, 2021 to general public
  • Pechanga Arena San Diego Parking Lot (3500 Sports Arena Blvd, 92110)
  • Darlene Marcos ShileyLead Production Sponsor, The Barber of Seville

San Diego, CA – Inspired by the success from our safe drive-in performances of La bohème in the Fall, which heralded the return of live, in-person, opera to San Diego County since the start of the pandemic, and provided over 300 jobs to many who had not worked since March of 2020, San Diego Opera is pleased to announce a Spring season of safe, socially-distanced, drive-in performances. 

The Spring Season opens on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 7:30 PM with One Amazing NightSan Diego Opera’s annual concert of arias and duets with the San Diego Symphony. This year’s one-night-only event will feature soloists from the San Diego Opera chorus performing beloved operatic and musical favorites and is conducted by San Diego Opera’s Chorus Master and Music Administrator, Bruce Stasyna

The next evening, on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 7:30 PM, San Diego Opera will present the first of four performances of Rossini’s classic comedy The Barber of Seville, originally announced for the 2020 season. Additional performances are April 27, 30, and May 1, 2021 all at 7:30 PM. These performances will also feature the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera Chorus and will be a car and family-friendly 90-minute production. Like La bohème, patrons will watch the action live on stage from their cars, while video monitors placed throughout the parking lot provide close-ups of the action on stage. These drive-in performances of The Barber of Seville are made possible in part by the generous support of Lead Production Sponsor, Darlene Marcos Shiley. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Company’s previously announced mainstage performances of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi have been postponed to future seasons. The dētour Series production of Aging Magician has been rescheduled for the 2022 season at The Balboa Theatre. 

“San Diego remains one of the few cities in the nation where music lovers can attend live, in-person, performances. Our La bohème was seen by over 4,200 patrons, employed 300 individuals, and resulted in zero cases of COVID-19. Inspired by these successes, we’re incredibly excited to present our annual concert One Amazing Night and four performances of The Barber of Seville. We will once again work with our musical partners, the San Diego Symphony, and this time use the incredible talent of the San Diego Opera Chorus in both the concert and the opera,” shares San Diego Opera General Director, David Bennett. “I know many of you were excited to see the double-bill of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi with Stephanie Blythe as Principessa and in the groundbreaking debut of the title role. She remains committed to performing this with us when we present them when we return to the theatre. Aging Magician, our other announced opera this season, is now part of the 2021-2022 season.”

Since the emergence of COVID-19 San Diego Opera has continued to closely monitor the recommendations of public health and government officials and realized that a traditional season in a traditional theatre is impossible to contemplate right now. Because of this, the Company developed this alternative plan after learning about other safe and successful drive-in live performances in both Europe and the United States. Like previous San Diego Opera drive-in events, patrons will remain in their cars for the duration of the performance and socially distanced protocols will be enforced should the patron need to briefly leave their vehicle. Patrons will be able to listen to the opera through their car stereo which will be broadcast via an FM transmitter. Screens will also enhance audience members experience with footage of the singers on stage. The Company’s last drive-in offering, La bohème, resulted in zero transmissions of COVID-19 between the artists, staff, and public and was seen by over 4,200 people.

Last presented by the Company in 2012, and originally scheduled for the 2019-2020 before being rescheduled to this season due to COVID-19, these performances of The Barber of Seville mark important debuts by baritone David Pershall as Figaro, tenor Carlos Enrique Santelli as Count Almaviva, and bass Peixin Chenas Don Basilio. They are joined by returning mezzo-soprano Emily Fons as Rosina, who was last heard in San Diego as Cherubino in 2018’s The Marriage of Figaro. Also returning is bass-baritone Partick Carfizzi as Doctor Bartolo, who was last heard as Major-General Stanley in 2017’s The Pirates of Penzance. Rounding out the cast is mezzo-soprano Alexandra Rodrick as Berta in her Company debut, returning bass-baritoneJoshua Arky as Fiorello, and returning baritone Michael Sokol as the Sergeant. San Diego Opera’s Chorus Master and Music Administrator Bruce Stasyna returns to the podium for these performances in his main stage conducting debut, having last been heard on piano for 2020’s drive-in holiday choral concert preceding the film of All is Calm. Stage Director Keturah Stickann returns after directing the drive-in season opener,La bohème. The costume designer is Amanda Seymour. The costumes come from a production that was originally created as a co-production between Opera Philadelphia and the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. It is now owned by Utah Opera. The lighting designer is Chris Rynne. The sound designer is Ross Goldman.

The Barber of Seville follows the exploits of Figaro, “barber by day, matchmaker by night” as he aids Count Almaviva in wooing the beautiful Rosina, ward of the manipulating Dr. Bartolo who intends to keep Rosina to himself and marry her. Figaro infiltrates Bartolo’s guarded estate with the Count, disguised first as a drunken sailor and then as a replacement for music teacher Don Basilio. This riotous romantic comedy will keep audience members in stitches with fast action, pranks and instantly recognizable music including its famous overture, the baritone patter song Largo al factotum, and the coloratura aria Una voce poco faThe Barber of Seville was composed by Gioachino Rossini with libretto by Cesare Sterbini and is based on the play Le Barbier de Séville by Pierre-Augustin Beaumarchais. The opera received its world premiere at the Teatro Argentina, Rome on February 20, 1816.

Sung in Italian with English translations projected on screens, these performances mark the ninth time The Barber of Seville has been performed by San Diego Opera with performances in 1966, 1971, 1982, 1987, 1993, 1998, 2006, and 2012. This production is new to San Diego Opera audiences.

Subscribers who have already subscribed to The Barber of Seville are being contacted directly by the Company to determine which performance they wish to attend. Preferred parking areas will be provided for subscribers based on their current seating sections within the Civic Theatre.

Tickets are currently on sale for subscribers only. Tickets for non-subscribers will be on sale at starting March 1, 2021. Previous drive-in presentations have sold-out. Guests are allowed to bring as many passengers as their car has seatbelts. San Diego Opera recommends guests only attend the opera with people they have already been quarantining with. All guests are required to watch the opera from their vehicle and wear face coverings if they briefly need to leave their vehicle to use the restroom facilities. Patrons may bring in food and drink as there are no concessions for sale. The non-subscriber tickets for One Amazing Night begin at $100 with a limited number of premium parking spaces at $150. Tickets forThe Barber of Seville begin at $200 per car with a limited number of premium parking spaces at $300. Every ticket sold to San Diego Opera’s 2020-2021 season includes a Ticket Purchase Guarantee. This means, if for any reason, a patron or guest feels sick or unsafe, or San Diego Opera finds it impossible to safely move forward with our plans, our Patron Services department will work with tickets holders to reschedule seats or find an agreeable solution.

Pre-production photos can be found online at:

The cast for One Amazing Night will be announced shortly. 

The Barber of Seville Cast

David Pershall, Figaro

San Diego Opera debut. Baritone David Pershall’s engagements include Schaunard in La bohème with the Metropolitan Opera, Lescaut in Manon, Silvio in Pagliacci, and Rocher in Andrea Chénier at San Francisco Opera, Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Des Moines Metro Opera Festival, and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Greensboro Opera. He joined the prestigious Vienna State Opera in 2014 as a Fest Artist, where he performed roles such as Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Belcore in The Elixir of Love, Sharpless, Lescaut in Manon Lescaut, and Sebastian in The Tempest. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 2015 in the role of Figaro in The Barber of Seville and returned to sing Lord Cecil in Maria Stuarda. He made an appearance at Carnegie Hall as Lord Nottingham in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux. Other notable appearances include Marcello in La bohème at the Salzburger Landestheater,  Schaunard with Norwegian National Opera, Rodrigo in Don Carlos with Opera Burg Gras in Austria, Orestes in Iphigénie en Tauride and Manfredo in L’Amore dei Tre Re with the Beethoven Easter Festival in Poland, Papageno in The Magic Flute at Washington National Opera, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro at Boston Lyric Opera, Belcore at Minnesota Opera, and Figaroat Florida Grand Opera. He has won First Prize in several international competitions, including the George London Award, the Gerda Lissner Competition, the Jensen Foundation, the Marcello Giordani Foundation, the New Jersey Verismo Competition, the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition, and the Hugo Kauder Competition for Voice. He is also the recipient of several awards from other prestigious competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Giulio Gari Foundation, the Opera Index Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and the National Bel Canto Vocal Competition. He received his training at the Yale School of Music, and is a graduate of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and the Virginia Opera Resident Artist Program.

Emily Fons, Rosina                           

American mezzo-soprano Emily Fons made her Company debut as Zerlina in 2015’s Don Giovanni and returned last season as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro. Notable appearances include Ruby Thewes in Cold Mountain for the world premiere at Santa Fe Opera and again for Opera North Carolina, Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking for Kentucky Opera, the title role in Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges, with the Berlin Philharmonic, and in Japan as part of the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nagoya, the title role in Cinderella for Opéra de Lille, Stéphano in Roméo and Juliette with the Santa Fe Opera, Cherubino for the Canadian Opera Company and The Dallas Opera, Dorabella in Opera Omaha’s Così fan tutte, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with the Florentine Opera, the title roles in Handel’s Susanna and Faramondo with the International Händel Festspiele, Sièbel in Faust with the Atlanta Opera, Prince Orlowsky in Die Fledermaus, and Nicklausse in The Tales of Hoffmann with Chicago Opera Theatre. She made her European debut in the role of Megacle in Vivaldiʼs LʼOlimpiade with Garsington Opera. She also appeared as Sesto in Michigan Opera Theatreʼs production of Julius Caesar. From 2010-2012 Fons was a member of the Ryan Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago where she portrayed, among others, Fyodor in Boris Godnuov, Mercedes in Carmen, and Peep Bo in The Mikado.

Carlos Enrique Santelli, Count Almaviva  

San Diego Opera debut. Tenor Carlos Santelli is winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a recent graduate of Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, where he covered Nadir in The Pearl Fishers. Recent appearances include Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville with Dayton Opera, Nemorino in The Elixir of Love with Virginia Opera, tenor solo in Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpurgisnacht with the Sacramento Choral Society, and performances of Salome and Wonderful Town with Los Angeles Opera. He appeared as a guest soloist in a special gala celebrating the 10-year anniversary of LA Opera’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. Further collaborations on the West Coast include numerous projects with LA Opera’s Artist-in-Residence Matthew Aucoin. Mr. Santelli was a member of Santa Fe Opera’s distinguished Apprentice Artist Program and made his principal role debut as Arturo inLucia di Lammermoor. His concert engagements have included appearances as the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiahwith the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Requiem with the University of Michigan/Yale Alumni Glee Club.

Patrick Carfizzi, Dr. Bartolo

American bass-baritone Patrick Carfizzi made his Company debut in 2014 as Henry Kissinger in Nixon in China and returned in 2017 as Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance. Notable engagements include the Mandarin in Turandotand Cecil in Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera, Zeta in The Merry Widow at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Hessisches Staatstheater in Wiesbaden, Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville for Austin Lyric Opera, Mustafa in The Italian Girl in Algiers with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Music Master and Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos at Seattle Opera, the Speaker in The Magic Flute for Houston Grand Opera, title role of Don Pasquale with the Hessisches Staatstheater, Henry Kissinger at San Francisco Opera, Paolo in Simon Boccanegra for San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, and Houston Grand Opera, Belcore in The Elixir of Love for Santa Fe Opera, Don Magnifico in Cinderella for Seattle Opera and Houston Grand Opera, Dr. Bartolo in The Barber of Seville at Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Central City Opera, and Canadian Opera Company, Taddeo and Mustafa in The Italian Girl in Algiers for The Dallas Opera and Houston Grand Opera, respectively, Papageno in The Magic Flute for Houston Grand Opera and The Dallas Opera, and Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. He enjoys a good relationship with Oper Köln, where he made his European debut with the company as Leporello in Don Giovanni and returned to sing Fra Melitone in La forza del destino. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1999 and has performed over 300 times with the company in a variety of roles, including Schaunard in La bohème, the Jailer in Dialogues des Carmélites, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Haly in The Italian Girl in Algiers, Brander in La damnation de Faust, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Frank in Die Fledermaus. Other Met productions includeThe Marriage of FigaroTurandot, and Gianni Schicchi. His concert work includes performances of Handel’sMessiah with the San Francisco Symphony, Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda with the Washington Concert Opera, and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with Seattle Symphony. He has performed under the auspices of The Opera Orchestra of New York, Washington Concert Opera, and the Mostly Mozart Festival. Mr. Carfizzi is a graduate of the Yale University School of Music and the winner of several prestigious awards including the Richard Tucker Career Grant Award, the George London Award, the Sullivan Foundation Award, The Richard F. Gold Career Grant from The Shoshana Foundation, and the Sergio Franchi Memorial Scholarship from the National Italian American Foundation. He also participated in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions where he was the Connecticut District Winner.

Peixin Chen, Don Basilio                  

San Diego Opera debut. Bass Peixin Chen is a recent graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. His repertoire spans from the comic parts of Donizetti, Mozart, and Rossini to the strong and serious of Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner.  Peixin Chen has regularly worked with Harry Bicket, Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Giancarlo del Monaco, Andrés Orozco-Estrada, David Paul, Michel Plasson, David Pountney, James Robinson, Patrick Summers, Krzysztof Urbański, and Francesca Zambello. Notable appearances include Sarastro for the Metropolitan Opera and Opera Philadelphia, Colline in La bohème for Opera Philadelphia, Alaska Joe in the Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, at the Festival d’Aix en Provence, debuts at Santa Fe Opera and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Sparafucile in Rigoletto, and Dr. Dulcamara in The Elixir of Love for Washington National Opera. With his home company, Houston Grand Opera, he has bowed as Don Bartolo in The Barber of Seville, Oroveso in Norma, Ferrando in Il trovatore, Sarastro, and as Hunding in Die Walküre.  As a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program he appeared as Basilio in The Barber of Seville. The Marriage of Figaro has featured prominently in his career, appearing in the title role in a new production by David Paul for Opera Saratoga and bowing as Bartolo at the Houston Grand Opera, Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, and in fully-staged performances with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Alexandra Rodrick, Berta                                                                                                                              San Diego Opera debut. Recent engagements by mezzo-soprano Alexandra Rodrick include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Chautauqua Opera and Baltimore Concert Opera, a soloist of bel canto repertoire for Vero Beach Opera, Mercédès in Carmen with Maestro Seiji Ozawa in Japan, Angelina in Cinderella with The Atlanta Opera on their Studio Tour, and with Opéra Louisiane, Tisbe in Cinderella with Opera Delaware, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro with Point Loma Opera Theater, Roggiero in Tancredi with Baltimore Concert Opera, and La Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi/Buoso’s Ghost with Opera Delaware. As a Resident Artist at the Opera Institute at Boston University, Ms. Rodrick made several role debuts, including Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Anna I in Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins, Le Prince Charmant in Cendrillon, and Carmen in The Tragedy of Carmen. In collaboration between Beth Morrison Projects and Boston University, she sang the role of the Wife in Scott Wheeler’s Naga of the Ouroboros Trilogy. She made her international debut in 2015 singing Rosina in The Barber of Seville with Opera Tijuana. In 2014, Ms. Rodrick was a Young Artist at Aspen Opera Theater, where she sang Mercédès in Carmen, and an Apprentice Artist with Green Mountain Opera Festival, where she sang Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. As a Studio Artist with Wolf Trap Opera in 2013, she performed the role of Flora in La traviata with the National Symphony Orchestra. She is a 2018 recipient of an encouragement award from the Career Bridges Foundation and was selected to represent the United States in the final rounds of the 37th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition. In 2017, she was a winner of the Palm Springs Opera Guild International Vocal Competition and a finalist in the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, a 2016 finalist and recipient of an encouragement award from the Deborah Voigt Vero Beach Opera Foundation Inaugural International Vocal Competition, and the recipient of the prestigious Phyllis Curtin Award at Boston University. Ms. Rodrick was a winner of the 2015 Musical Merit Competition of Greater San Diego, and in 2014 was the first place winner of both the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus Young Artist Competition and the Susan and Virginia Hawk Memorial Scholarship Competition. In 2013, she won first place in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, San Diego District, and was the recipient of an encouragement award from the MONC Western Regionals.

Joshua Arky, Fiorello

Bass-baritone Joshua Arky made his Company debut in 2018’s All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. Recent engagements include a return to Virginia Opera. As a Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist, Joshua performed the role of Vincent Jones, and covered the roles of Frank Maurrant and Carl Olsen in Street Scene. In November 2018, Joshua will cover the role of Leporello in Don Giovanni with Virginia Opera. Joshua began his 2017-2018 season by performing Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Opera San José. He then joined Virginia Opera as a Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist, where he performed Jake Wallace and covered Ashby in La fanciulla del West, and he sang in a touring production of The Billy Goats Gruff. He then performed Don Basilio in The Barber of Seville with Sugar Creek Opera. Joshua finished the season with La cena è pronta, a recital series with pianist Ines Irawati in San Diego, CA, that combined music and cooking. Other operatic highlights include Figaro in The Marriage of Figarowith Point Loma Opera Theatre; Hidraot in Gluck’s Armide with OperaNEO; Alidoro in an English version of Cinderella and Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance with Opéra Louisiane; Colline in La bohème with the Manhattan School of Music; the Captain of the Inquisition in Man of La Mancha and Dr. Grenvil in La traviata with Central City Opera; Collatinus in The Rape of Lucretia with the Green Mountain Opera Festival; and Zuniga inCarmen with the Aspen Opera Theater Center. In concert, Joshua has performed as a soloist in Beethoven’sSymphony No. 9 with the Binghamton Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with Hunter College, Händel’s Messiah with Columbia University, and Puccini’s Messa di Requiem with the Greenwich Choral Society. Joshua was the 2016 recipient of the Rohatyn Great Promise Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Eastern Region). He was also a 2015 Regional Finalist for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Eastern Region). Joshua holds a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he was a recipient of the President’s Award and the Alexandra Hunt Endowed Vocal Scholarship. 

Michael Sokol, Sergeant

American Baritone Michael Sokol made his Company main stage debut in 2017 as the Sergeant of Police in The Pirates of Penzance and was heard in 2018’s All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914. He has appeared at venues from the Metropolitan Opera, to the Philadelphia Orchestra, to Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. As a performer in theatre and opera, he has performed roles from The Count in The  Marriage of Figaro, Marcello in La bohème, and Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. Very active in the creation of new music theatre, he created the role of Frank Lloyd Wright in the world premiere of Darren Hagen and Paul Muldoon’s opera Shining Brow and the role of the Magician in the American premiere of Stephen Oliver’s Mario and the Magician. An expert in the comic masterpieces of Gilbert and Sullivan and Offenbach, he has appeared in, and directed, over 17 of their respective works. He is the director of the San Diego Summer Gilbert and Sullivan Workshop.

Bruce Stasyna, Conductor

Conductor Bruce Stasyna made his Company conducting debut with As One in 2017 and returned to conduct Maria de Buenos Aires in 2018 and One Amazing Night with Stephen Costello and Stephen Powell in 2019. He was last seen on stage as the pianist for the Company’s holiday choral concert in 2019. He has been on the conducting rosters of the New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Sugar Creek Opera, and has held positions as Chorus Master for New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera, Wolf Trap Opera and Des Moines Opera. He was Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for the Green Mountain Opera Festival, and Head of Music and Director of the Young Artist Program at Palm Beach Opera. He has collaborated on many notable North American premieres including Anna NicoleThe Handmaid’s TaleOrazi e Curiazi, and Joseph Merrick dit Elephant Man. As a pianist he has concertized with such artists as Marcello Giordani, Deborah Voigt, J’nai Bridges, Irene Roberts, Marina Costa-Jackson, and Richard Troxell.  The Canadian born conductor is currently the Chorus Master and Music Administrator for San Diego Opera, Chorus Master and Assistant Conductor for Washington Concert Opera, and Music Director of Vero Beach Opera.

Keturah Stickann, Stage Director

Stage director Keturah Stickann’s work for San Diego Opera includes Pagliacci (20098, choreographer); Rigoletto(2009, choreographer); Peter Grimes (2009, choreographer); Romeo and Juliet (2010, choreographer); Moby-Dick(2012, choreographer); Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (2013, choreographer); Don Quixote (2104, Stage Director); Turandot (2018, Stage Director), and La bohème (2020, Stage Director). Her work has been seen in countless opera houses across the United States and Canada, as well as in Chile, Japan, France, Germany, Hungary, and Australia.  A champion of new American opera, she has worked extensively with director and librettist, Leonard Foglia, helping to bring new operas to the stage by Ricky Ian Gordon, Jennifer Higdon, Jose “Pepe” Martinez, and Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer.  Her work on the premieres of Moby-Dick (2010), and It’s A Wonderful Life (2016) prompted Jake Heggie to ask her to helm the premiere of his newest opera, If I Were You (2019), at the Merola Opera Program.  In addition, she has directed works by Mr. Gordon (Orpheus and Euridice), Laura Kaminsky and Mark Campbell (As One), Anthony Davis and Allan Havis (Lilith), and Robert Aldridge and Herschel Garfein (Sister Carrie). Ms. Stickann has directed many new productions including Candide (Michigan Opera Theatre), La clemenza di Tito (Opera in the Heights),Dialogues of the Carmelites (Rutgers University)Don Giovanni (Janiec Opera Company)Don Pasquale (Opera in the Heights), The Elixir of Love (Opera Birmingham),  L’enfant et les sortileges (Opera Steamboat), Jonathan Dove’s Flight (Opera Fayetteville), Macbeth (Kentucky Opera), Norma (Opera Southwest), Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Chautauqua Opera)Pelléas et Mélisande (West Edge Opera)Rusalka (Madison Opera), The Seven Deadly Sins/Pagliacci (Virginia Opera)Tosca (Knoxville Opera)The Tragedy of Carmen (Janiec Opera Company), and La traviata (Knoxville Opera, Chautauqua Opera), among others. Born and raised in the Midwest, Ms. Stickann had an early career as a classical and contemporary dancer, dancing extensively in opera toward the end of her performing career, most notably at San Diego Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, New York City Opera, and Chicago Opera Theater. Her background in dance and theater has made her a sought-after movement coach, working with young artists at the La Jolla Playhouse, the Brevard Music Center, Stephen’s College, DePaul University, Opera Memphis, San Diego Opera, and Virginia Opera.

Amanda Seymour, Costume Design              

San Diego Opera debut. Notable work by costume designer Amanda Seymour includes Candide for Tanglewood Music Festival, Romeo and JulietIdomeneo: King of Crete, Les Mamelles de Tiresias, and La Pauvre Matelot for Wolf Trap Opera, La Finita Giardiniera, Don Pasquale, and Armide for The Julliard School, Julius Caesar for Boston Baroque Opera, The Barber of Seville for Virginia Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Philadelphia, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Ariadne auf Naxos for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Rusalka for San Antonio Opera, and Paul’s Case for UrbanArias. Other notable theatre work includes Diner the Musical for Delaware Theatre Company,Macbeth and Ping Pong for The Public Theatre, The Ragged ClawsExile, and Lawnpeople for Cherry Lane Theatre, and Oliver! and The Sound of Music for Papermill Playhouse, among others.  

Chris Rynne, Lighting Designer

American lighting designer Chris Rynne was the assistant lighting designer for the Company from 2000-2008. He has lit La traviata in 2004, La bohème in 2005, Aida in 2008, Madama Butterfly in 2016, As One in 2017, Carmen in 2019, and La bohème in 2020.  He has designed for Madison Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Houston Grand Opera.  His off-Broadway credits include The Pianist of Willesden Lane.  Regional/Local Theatre lighting credits include: The Old Globe, San Diego Rep, Berkeley Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Laguna Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, Cygnet Theatre, North Coast Rep, Diversionary Playhouse, Starlight Theatre, San Diego Musical Theatre. He also designs lighting for museum exhibitions, special events, architectural features, and lighting systems for new venues.

Ross Goldman, Sound Design

American sound designer Ross Goldman previously worked on the Company’s presentation of Soldier SongsMaria de Buenos Aires, and La bohème. Other notable work includes CompanyMan of La ManchaParade at Cygnet Theatre and I’m Sorry at FringeNYC. Other credits include plays and musicals at the Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Rubicon Theater, and with Reprise! Theater Company and Cabrillo Music Theatre. Ross has also designed and mixed special events, benefits, and concerts featuring Stevie Wonder, Alan Cumming, Dustin Hoffman, Hillary Clinton, and Itzhak Perlman. Ross is a graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.  

Spring Festival Performance Schedule

One Amazing Night    

Saturday, April 24, 2021, 7:30 PM

The Barber of Seville

Sunday, April 25, 2021, 7:30 PM
Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 7:30 PM
Friday, April 30, 2021, 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 1, 2021, 7:30 PM

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Purchasing Tickets

Tickets are now on sale for subscribers. Single tickets go on sale March 1, 2020. Single tickets for One Amazing Night are $150. A limited number of premium tickets are available for $150. Tickets for The Barber of Seville are $200 per car. A limited number of premium tickets are available for $300 per car. Ticket holders may bring as many guests as their car has seatbelts. Guests are required to watch the opera from their vehicle and wear masks should they need to briefly leave the vehicle to use the restroom facilities. Please visit or call 619.533.7000 for more information or to view our FAQs about this event. 

San Diego Opera Purchase with Confidence Program

If you purchase tickets to a San Diego Opera performance and are unable to attend because you are not feeling well or do not feel safe, we will work with you to discuss options such as exchanging your ticket for a different performance or holding the value of your purchase to use for a future event, or other options. 

San Diego Opera 2020-2021 Season

La bohème
Giacomo Puccini
October 24, 27, 30, and November 1, 2020

All is Calm Encore Drive-In Film
Peter Rothstein
December 21, 2020

One Amazing Night                                                                                                 April 24, 2021

The Barber of Seville
Gioachino Rossini
April 25, 27, 30, and May 1, 2021

San Diego Opera Mission Statement

The mission of San Diego Opera is to deliver exceptional vocal performances and exciting, accessible programs to diverse audiences, focusing on community engagement and the transformative power of live performance.

San Diego Opera Vision Statement

San Diego Opera will be recognized internationally as a leading example of adaptability, innovation and sustainability in the operatic arts, promoting diversified programming and unique performance venues with world-class and emerging talent.

San Diego Opera Core Values Statement

Through excellence in innovative programming and education, SDO provides a lasting cultural service to the community.

·         Our tradition of excellence in fully staged opera is augmented with new models of opera and venues. Our unique and deep commitment to the community propels us to explore ways of increasing affordability and accessibility.

·         Through fiscal responsibility and nimble adaptation to the changing marketplace, we protect the future of San Diego Opera.

·         Our educational and community involvement coupled with relevant programming will build the audience of the future.

For more information, go to

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Featured image courtesy of Kelly & Massa

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