"Santa Fe's objectives are distinctly American, and by making opera more compelling and more relevant, it has changed the map of musical America..."

                         Phillip Huscher
                         The Santa Fe Opera
     An American Pioneer

    Press Release: 2010 Season Update



         World Premiere of Life is a Dream by Lewis Spratlan scheduled.


    Puccini , Madame Butterfly . New Production

    Mozart,  The Magic Flute.  Revival

    Offenbach,  The Tales of Hoffmann.  New Production. First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera

    Spratlan,  Life is a Dream. World Premiere

    Britten, Albert Herring . New Production. First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera

    Plans for The Santa Fe Opera’s 2010 season have been completed. The repertory of five operas in 38 performances opens Friday, July 2, and extends through Saturday, August 28.  A new productionof Puccini’s Madame Butterfly opens the season, followed by a revival of the popular 2006 production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and the Company’s first performances of Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. The fourth opera is the world premiere of Life is a Dream by the American composer Lewis Spratlan. The work’s second act won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The season closes with Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, also a first for The Santa Fe Opera.  

    “Although 2010 is my second season in Santa Fe, it is, in a sense it is my debut,” said General Director Charles  MacKay. “I have chosen Madame Butterfly to launch the season, the first I have planned since becoming general director.  This opera has served as a cornerstone in the Company’s history, opening the very first season in 1957, and dedicating our new theater in 1998. It is my tribute to Santa Fe Opera founder John Crosby, who first hired me in 1968, and who launched my career.  For the same reason,” he continued, “Albert Herring is on the schedule as my nod to Richard Gaddes, who began the Benjamin Britten opera traversal here. He first selected the work for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’s inaugural season in 1976, and there is no doubt that it put the company on the operatic map.”

    “As everyone who follows the performing arts knows,” Mr. MacKay continued, “this is a difficult time for all of us. The Santa Fe Opera is pledged to keep the schedule as it always has been, to present five operas with the same high artistic standards our audiences have come to expect.  And this we have done.  Our staff has been diligent in trimming expenses everywhere possible without compromising what is put on the stage. I believe what operagoers see next summer will intrigue, delight and challenge them,” he said.

    “Five distinguished maestros, four of whom are making their debuts, will be in Santa Fe,” Mr. MacKay revealed. “Sir Andrew Davis will conduct Albert Herring; Leonard Slatkin, Life is a Dream; Stephen Lord, The Tales of Hoffmann; and Antony Walker, Madame Butterfly. Lawrence Renes is returning to the Company for The Magic Flute. I don’t think there has ever been such an illustrious list of conductors in a single summer,” Mr. MacKay stated.

    The Apprentice Singer Program, the first of its kind in the United States, has been training young singers  since 1957. Four former apprentices, all of whom now have important careers, are returning in major roles: Brandon Jovanovich, an apprentice in 1996 and 1997, and winner of the 2007 Richard Tucker Award, was seen here in La Belle Hélène and Intermezzo in 2003; Keith Jameson, an apprentice in 1998 and 1999, was acclaimed for his role as the Novice in the 2008 Billy Budd; Kate Lindsey, an apprentice in 2003, who garnered critical praise for her recent performances at the Metropolitan Opera, made her Company debut as Zerlina in last summer’s Don Giovanni; and Celena Shafer, an apprentice in 1999 and 2000, was last heard in Santa Fe as Giunia in the 2005 production of Lucio Silla, and as Hero in Beatrice and Benedict in 2004.


    SINGERS:  John Cheek, Ellie Dehn, Elizabeth DeShong, Erin Morley, Timothy Oliver, Gidon Saks, Alek Shrader, Ekaterina Siurina
    CONDUCTORS:  Sir Andrew Davis, Stephen Lord, Leonard Slatkin, Antony Walker
    DIRECTOR:  Lee Blakeley
    SCENIC DESIGNER: Jean-Marc Puissant
    COSTUME DESIGNERS: Constance Hoffman, Brigitte Reiffenstuel


    SINGERS: Christine Brewer, David Cangelosi, Charles Castronovo, Judith Christin,
    Jill Grove, Paul Groves, Roger Honeywell, Joshua Hopkins, Keith Jameson, Brandon Jovanovich,
    Kelly Kaduce, Anthony Laciura, Kate Lindsey, James Maddelena, Celena Shafer,
    Andrea Silvestrelli, Dale Travis, Wayne Tigges, Erin Wall, James Westman, Harold Wilson
    CONDUCTOR: Lawrence Renes
    DIRECTORS: Tim Albery, Christopher Alden, Paul Curran, Kevin Newbury
    SCENIC DESIGNERS: Tobias Hoheisel, Kevin Knight, Allen Moyer
    COSTUME DESIGNERS: Tobias Hoheisel, Kevin Knight
    LIGHTING DESIGNERS:  Rick Fisher, Duane Schuler, Jennifer Tipton

    *Santa Fe Opera Debut
    +Former Apprentice Singer

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    Giacomo Puccini

    Sung in Italian

    New Production

    Last performed by The Santa Fe Opera in 1998

    July 2, 7, 10, 16, 23; August 2, 9, 14, 20, 26

    Conductor *Antony Walker
    Director *Lee Blakeley
    Scenic Designer *Jean-Marc Puissant
    Costume Designer *Brigitte Reiffenstuel
    Lighting Designer   Rick Fisher
    Cio-Cio San, Butterfly Kelly Kaduce
    Suzuki *Elizabeth DeShong
    Lt. B. F. Pinkerton +Brandon Jovanovich
    Goro +Keith Jameson
    Sharpless James Westman
    The Bonze Harold Wilson


    Madame Butterfly, one of opera’s perennial favorites, is thought by many to be Puccini’s masterpiece. Kelly Kaduce, who sings the title role, has been acclaimed for her interpretation of the fifteen year-old Japanese geisha who marries a handsome young American naval officer who ultimately leaves her.  Brandon Jovanovich, who has had a growing career since his apprentice years in Santa Fe, is Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton.  Making her Company debut as Suzuki is Elizabeth DeShong.  The Pennsylvania-born mezzo-soprano is a graduate of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center and made her debut with that company in 2005.  Her list of recent debuts includes Glyndebourne, Canadian Opera and the Metropolitan Opera.  Harold Wilson, who sang in La Traviata and Don Giovanni last summer, is a young American bass who has been making a name for himself in Europe.

    Four members of the creative team are debuting: Australian conductor Antony Walker, director Lee Blakeley, scenic designer Jean-Marc Puissant and costume designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel. Maestro Walker is currently music director of the Pittsburgh Opera.  He has appeared with major opera companies and symphony orchestras in his native country as well as with the Welsh National Opera, Minnesota Opera and Glimmerglass, among others. Director Blakeley has mounted major productions for opera companies throughout the U.K.  In 2008, his production of Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera (which received its American premiere in Santa Fe in 1989) was nominated for the prestigious TMA Award for Achievement in Opera.  As scenic designer, Jean-Marc Puissant has also had a long association with opera houses in the U.K., Australia, Russia and Greece. He was nominated for England’s prestigious Olivier Award in 2007 for his designs for Christopher Wheeldon’s new dance work, DGV, performed by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden.  Costume designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel recently won critical praise for her costumes for the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Il Trovatore. Lighting designer Rick Fisher has been associated with The Santa Fe Opera for nearly a decade; most recently, his work was seen in the 2008 productions of Billy Budd and Radamisto.

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    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Sung in German.  Dialogue in English.


    Last Performed by the The Santa Fe Opera in 2006

    July 3, 9, 14; August 5, 10, 16, 23, 27

    Conductor Lawrence Renes
    Director Tim Albery
    Scenic & Costume Designer Tobias Hoheisel
    Lighting Designer Jennifer Tipton
    Pamina *Ekaterina Siurina
    Tamino Charles Castronovo
    Queen of the Night Erin Morley
    Monostatos *Timothy Oliver
    Papageno Joshua Hopkins
    Sarastro Andrea Silvestrelli
    Speaker Dale Travis

    Director Tim Albery, scenic and costume designer Tobias Hoheisel and lighting designer Jennifer Tipton return to recreate their very popular production of the Mozart classic, which was first seen in Santa Fe in 2006. Lawrence Renes, who led the 2007 production of Tea: A Mirror of Soul and conducted Don Giovanni last summer, returns to lead The Magic Flute. He was born in the Netherlands and served as an assistant to Edo de Waart at the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic from 1994-1996. His conducting credits include orchestras in Europe and the U.S. and many appearances at the Netherlands Opera. Most recently he conducted the critically acclaimed U.K. premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic at the English National Opera.

    Two members of the cast, Joshua Hopkins as Papageno and Andrea Silvestrelli as Sarastro, are also returning. The lovers Pamina and Tamino will be sung by husband and wife Ekaterina Siurina, the young Russian soprano, making her debut, and Charles Castronovo, who was last seen as Ferrando in the 2003 Così fan tutte. Also debuting, in the role of Monostatos, is Timothy Oliver, a young American tenor who has been making a career for himself in Europe, and Erin Morley as Queen of the Night. A native of Salt Lake City, Ms. Morley is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, and has sung a number of roles with the company. Dale Travis, as the Speaker, most recently appeared here in the 2007 production of Cosi fan tutte.

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    Jacques Offenbach

    Sung in French

    New Production

    First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera

    July 17, 21, 30; August 3, 7, 11, 17, 24, 28

    Conductor *Stephen Lord
    Director  Christopher Alden
    Scenic Designer  Allen Moyer
    Costume Designer *Constance Hoffman
    Lighting Designer  Duane Schuler

    Antonia/Stella/Giulietta/Olympia Erin Wall
    Nicklausse +Kate Lindsey
    Voice of Antonia’s Mother Jill Grove
    Hoffmann Paul Groves
    Spalanzani Anthony Laciura
    Andrès/Cochenille/Franz/Pittichinaccio David Cangelosi

    Lindorf/Coppelius/Dr. Miracle/Dapertutto


    *Gidon Saks

    Harold Wilson

    Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann is based on the fantastical tales of author E.T.A. Hoffmann, a seminal figure in the German Romantic era, who is also the central character in the opera. Director Christopher Alden comments, “The new production will evoke that era and the reaction to the rapid advances of industrialization, which was at the root of the Romantic Movement. The battle between the artist Hoffmann and the industrialist Lindorf over possession of that glittering prize, opera star Stella, will be played out in a dreamily transforming drawing room of the time, populated by the fanciful figures of Hoffmann's excitable imagination.” Although The Santa Fe Opera has often staged Offenbach’s popular operettas, this is the company’s first production of the composer’s serious operatic masterwork.

    Stephen Lord, who will conduct, is making his Company debut. He has been the music director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for more than two decades, and has led productions there of both the standard repertory and many contemporary works.  He has appeared with the San Francisco and Dallas opera companies, and will make his debut this fall with English National Opera, and in 2010 with Chicago’s Lyric Opera. Mr. Lord is well-known as an adjudicator for the country’s leading voice competitions, and for his conducting master classes.  

    The young Canadian soprano Erin Wall, who won high praise for her performance of the title role in the 2007 Daphne, will sing all four of the opera’s heroines: Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta and Stella. In the title role of Hoffmann is Paul Groves, who made his Company debut last summer as Admète in Alceste. Mr. Groves made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1992.  He has won admirers around the world for his recitals and concert appearances in a wide range of repertory. David Cangelosi, Monastatos in the 2006 production of The Magic Flute, takes on four characters: Andrès, Cochenille, Franz and Pittichinaccio; the Canadian bass-baritone Gidon Saks, in his company debut, is Lindorf, Coppélius, Dr. Miracle and Dapertutto. Critics praised him for these portrayals at Covent Garden in 2008.    

    Director Christopher Alden returns to The Santa Fe Opera for the first time since 1992. He and his brother David (Radamisto, 2008) are known for their cutting edge interpretations, and are in demand in leading opera houses throughout Europe and the U.S.  Mr. Alden was awarded England’s prestigious 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Production for his staging of Handel’s Partentope at the English National Opera. Scenic designer Allen Moyer is well known to Santa Fe audiences, most recently for the 2008 production of Falstaff.  Constance Hoffman’s extensive list of costume credits encompasses both theater and opera. This is her Santa Fe Opera debut.

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    Composed by Lewis Spratlan

    Libretto by James Maraniss

    Sung in English

    World Premiere

    July 24, 28; August 6, 12, 19 

    Conductor *Leonard Slatkin
    Director Kevin Newbury
    Scenic Designer David Korins
    Costume Designer Jessica Kahn
    Lighting Designer Japhy Weideman

    King Basilio *John Cheek
    Segismundo Roger Honeywell
    Clotaldo James Maddelena
    Rosaura *Ellie Dehn
    Clarin Keith Jameson

    Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream, with a libretto by James Maraniss, has had a long journey to this world premiere. Written from 1975 to 1978, the opera was commissioned by the New Haven Opera Theatre, but because of the company’s demise it was never performed. The second act of this three-act work was first given in 2000, in a concert version, at Amherst College and Harvard University, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Music that year. The Santa Fe Opera performances mark the world premiere of the complete opera.

    “After thirty years of gestation, Life is a Dream is born! That the happy event is taking place at Santa Fe only adds to the excitement. Santa Fe is the right place for this opera, with its sustained wilderness scenes. This setting and the company's visionary commitment mean the piece has found its home. I couldn't be more delighted,” said Mr. Spratlan.

    The play upon which Life is a Dream is based, La vida es sueño, by seventeenth century Spanish writer Pedro Calderón de la Barca, is to the canon of Spanish literature what Hamlet is to English.  Life is a Dream is a dark and powerful meditation upon the nature of humanity and reality, centering upon the journey of a young prince who is imprisoned by his father from birth, but eventually regains the throne. The question remains, is the story real, or only a dream?

    Conductor Leonard Slatkin makes his Santa Fe Opera debut at these performances. His distinguished career includes a 20 year directorship of the St. Louis Symphony. He also led the National Symphony Orchestra, and has just become music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.  During his tenure in St. Louis, Mr. Slatkin brought unexplored American music to the forefront and made the orchestra one of the nation’s most honored. The list of his associations is extensive: Blossom Festival, Hollywood Bowl, Royal Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, BBC Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra of London and major orchestras and opera companies throughout the world.

    Versatile bass John Cheek has had a distinguished career, encompassing a wide-ranging repertoire on operatic and concert stages throughout the United States and Europe.  Mr. Cheek created the role of King Basilio in the 2000 Amherst premiere of the second act of Life is a Dream.  This marks his Santa Fe debut.  Tenor Roger Honeywell, who appeared in last summer’s world premiere production of Paul Moravec’s The Letter, will be remembered for his portrayal of the Prince in the 2007 production of Tea: A Mirror of Soul.  James Maddelena also appeared in last summer’s The Letter.

    Director Kevin Newbury, who made his Santa Fe Opera directorial debut with 2008’s Falstaff, will return to Santa Fe after a busy 2008-09 season that includes La Cenerentola at Glimmerglass, Eugene Onegin at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Le Voyage Dans La Lune at the Wexford Festival, Roberto Devereux, Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda at Minnesota Opera, and the world premiere of An Inspector from Rome at Wolf Trap and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

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    Benjamin Britten

    Sung in English

    New Production

    First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera

    July 31; August 4, 13, 18, 21, 25

    Conductor *Sir Andrew Davis
    Director Paul Curran
    Scenic &Costume Designer Kevin Knight
    Lighting Designer Rick Fisher

    Lady Billows Christine Brewer
    Miss Wordsworth +Celena Shafer
    Florence Pike Jill Grove
    Nancy Kate Lindsey
    Mrs. Herring Juidth Christin
    Albert Herring *Alek Shrader
    Mayor Anthony Laciura
    Sid Joshua Hopkins
    Vicar Wayne Tigges
    Budd Dale Travis

    Albert Herring, Britten’s 1947 chamber opera, is a comedy in three acts. It concerns a small English town whose big civic celebration is the annual May Day Festival and the inevitable complications that arise. Its endearing characters are archetypes that can be found throughout English literature. Britten’s music is reminiscent of Gilbert and Sullivan, with echoes of Richard Strauss. There is even a quote from Tristan and Isolde in Act II. It is said that Britten’s contemporaries saw in the title character a satirical self-portrait of the composer himself.

    Sir Andrew Davis, currently music director of Lyric Opera of Chicago (since 2000) and one of the world’s most distinguished conductors, has served as principal conductor of the Toronto Symphony, as well as music director of the BBC Symphony and of Glyndebourne. The list of his engagements includes major opera companies and symphony orchestras world-wide. He is an enthusiastic advocate of twentieth century masters, including Janáček, Messiaen, Boulez, Tippett, Elgar and Britten.

    Internationally acclaimed dramatic soprano Christine Brewer has sung leading roles with The Santa Fe Opera for a decade, including Ellen Orford in the 2005 production of Peter Grimes.  She appeared last summer in the title role of Alceste.  Making his Santa Fe debut in the title role is Alek Shrader, a rising young singer who can be seen in The Audition, the documentary about the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, of which he was a winner. Veteran Judith Christin, a long-time Santa Fe Opera favorite, last appeared here in 2005 as Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes.  

    This marks Paul Curran’s third production in the Company’s traversal of the Britten canon following Peter Grimes (2005) and Billy Budd (2008). Sets and costumes will be designed by Kevin Knight, who made his Santa Fe Opera debut with La Bohème in 2007.            

    View the  JULY  or  AUGUST  Festival Season performance calendar now. 

    Click here  for online ticketing or call the box office at 800-280-4654 or 505-986-5900.

    The Santa Fe Opera receives funding from the City of Santa Fe Arts and the 1% Lodgers’ Tax; New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs; New Mexico Department of Tourism; and the National Endowment for the Arts. American Airlines is the Company’s official airline.

    CONTACT:  Joyce Idema, Cindy Layman                     press@santafeopera.org



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