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Fiesta Joins Forces With Music Academy To Honor Opera Legend

It’s a pairing years in the making!

The Music Academy of the West and Old Spanish Days Fiesta are joining forces for the first time ever.

Fiesta turns 90 this year and to go along with the celebration a Music Academy legend is turning 80 years old.

Marilyn Horne is a world renowned opera singer, famous for her portrayal of Carmen in the iconic opera. She graduated from the Music Academy of the West in it’s early days and since the 1990s has been back on campus teaching young aspiring singers.


Horne calls Santa Barbara home and to honor her incredible career and contribution to music, Old Spanish Days has recognized her with the official title “Honorary La Diva of Old Spanish Days.”

“I feel really honored to just be a part of this and a part of this incredible heritage,” the 80-year-old mezzo-soprano said. “It all feels really, really good.”

This new collaboration between Old Spanish Days and the Music Academy of the West will be pooling their skills to put on a production of “Carmen.” But this opera comes with a twist.

This new version of “Carmen” will be set in Old Spanish Santa Barbara during Fiesta.

“Carmen” performances will be Aug. 1 and Aug. 3 at the Granada Theater in downtown Santa Barbara.

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