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Gail Lucas, Soprano

Gail Lucas has sung in the soprano section of the  Santa Barbara Choral Society since 1995, but that is far from where her musical and artistic journey began.  Gail graduated from UCLA with a BFA in painting and illustration and a minor in performance music.  After graduation, she pursued a career in the arts, acting in roles on stage, radio, and television (including the popular Andy Griffith Show) and, of course, singing.  In New York City, she played Polly in the original production of The Three Penny Opera and has sung several leading roles in operettas of the Santa Barbara Gilbert and Sullivan Company, as well as the role of Sally in Santa Barbara Civic Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus. She elected to put her acting and singing career on hold for several years to raise her two children.  But as she herself would say, ‘Out of practice does not mean incapable.’  And thus back into the artistic world she went after they were old enough to learn on their own.

As an illustrator and artist, she painted the four-wall mural for the Boy’s Club, depicting the fight against drugs and has illustrated several children’s books, including two she wrote herself, titled ‘Trevor the Traveling Tree’ and ‘Trevor Goes to Venice’; both these books have been translated into Esperanto.  She has illustrated for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and is the artist for the Pearl Chase Society’s Historic Homes Tour and CAMA Garden Tour brochures. Her illustrations are also found in the Easton Gallery book, Gardens of Santa Barbara.

What you may not know about her is that back in 1987, divorced, her children grown, and on the verge of turning 50, she decided to join a young (male) friend on a motorcycle trip through Europe.  What she didn’t realize at the outset was that the trek would last for 5 years!  During that time, she lived in a tent, rode a motorcycle, and earned her keep by doing drawings for people on the street.  She wrote a book about those experiences titled Over the Hill and Around the Bend, a tongue-in-cheek reference to her age at the time and her companion’s craziness for suggesting the adventure in the first place.  Those who know her would say that this attitude of adventure and joie d’vivre has not diminished with the years!