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Every Gift Has a Story: Keith Anderson and Barbara Lenssen
There have been many love matches that were kindled at The Santa Fe Opera, both on stage and offstage! One such couple was Barbara Lenssen and Keith Anderson. Barbara and Keith bought tickets together for the 1990 opening performance of La bohème at the Santa Fe Opera after having known each other only one week. “Of course, it was wonderful,” they both recently admitted. For them, it was love at first sight, and, for Keith, it was his first sight of live opera.
Keith began his journey into Opera out of curiosity for the art form. He had heard opera on the Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, but this experience did not really prepare him for the full-blown spectacle. “Opera continues to pull me in through orchestral music, voice, story, acting, dance, and art. There is no comparable experience in all of the arts. This is something we both enjoy,” states Keith.
Barbara's father loved opera. Every Saturday morning he would play tennis early and then lie on the living room couch and listen to the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. She was not allowed to interrupt him, but absorbed the operas from the time she was a small child. Barbara started attending the Santa Fe Opera in 1973. Her son, Andy, and she were supers in Le comte Ory in 1978. “There is nothing like experiencing the art form from an ‘insiders’ point of view. It greatly enhanced my appreciation of opera,” Barbara shared.
Barbara and Keith have continued to come every year since. “The Santa Fe Opera reaches for the stars – bringing the best in opera to our city. What could be better than jumping in the car for a 15 minute drive, and then enjoy free parking, comfortable surroundings, enchanting sky, our opera friends, and the very special art experience that is The Santa Fe Opera.”
“The modest legacy that we can offer through our estate is done with love and affection for the Santa Fe Opera. In our way, we might provide support for others to enjoy the same experience that we have had. We used a Charitable Remainder Trust because it is the best vehicle for minimizing taxes through the tax-free sale of profitable securities, the deduction received upon establishment of the Trust, and the elimination of a requirement to receive taxable income through the use of an annuity.” However, they both agree that there are other methods of estate planning that could benefit other donors and the Opera. “Don’t be afraid! the Opera staff is more than willing to assist you.”
Learn more about Charitable Remainder Trusts
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