The Allure of Bel Canto Opera

Wednesday March 7 - 10am


Presented by Opera Lovers Meet, join Simon Williams, Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at UC Santa Barbara, to discuss the allure of Bel Canto opera.

He is widely known as a speaker on opera, having spoken well over 200 times to several of the leading opera guilds and societies in the US and Europe.

This presentation takes place at the Odd Fellows Hall, 520 Dana St, San Luis Obispo. For information call John Frey at 549-0721 or email at JENFREY@aol.com.

About Simon Williams

Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at UC Santa Barbara, where he teaches Theater Studies. He has been engaged in the study and teaching of opera for several decades. He is widely known as a speaker on opera, having spoken well over 200 times to several of the leading opera guilds and societies in the US, Europe, and elsewhere. He speaks on a regular basis to the Los Angeles Opera League and the San Francisco Opera Guild, and has also spoken on a wide variety of composers at opera houses and organizations in Chicago, Seattle, Washington DC, New York, Boston, Honolulu, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Edinburgh, Dublin and at the Bayreuth Festival, where he delivered the English language audience lectures between 1998 and 2000.

He teaches an annual 4-day seminar on opera at Oakhurst, CA and has, for the last 16 years been one of the two leading speakers at the Wagner Society of Washington DC’s annual “Wagner in der Wildnis” meeting. He has published two books on Wagner – Richard Wagner and Festival Theatre (Greenwood, 1994) and Wagner and the Romantic Hero (Cambridge University Press, 2004) – and has published chapters in multi-authored volumes on opera including The Cambridge Companion to Grand Opera (Cambridge, 2004), The Cambridge Companion to Opera Studies (Cambridge 2012) and The Oxford Opera Handbook (Oxford, 2014).

He has also published several articles on acting and direction in opera. For the last 16 years he has reviewed regularly productions in Los Angeles and Santa Fe for Opera News and, more recently, for Opernwelt. He has served as stage director for many productions of UCSB Opera in the Department of Music, including The Turn of the Screw, La finta giardiniera, Werther, Hansel and Gretel, The Gondoliers, Così fan tutte, and L’incoronazione di Poppea. He sits on the Board of Directors of Opera Santa Barbara and is currently teaching a course entitled “The Essence of Opera” at the Life Long Learning Center of Santa Barbara City College.