"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



    Five new productions to be presented.

    Call 505-986-5900 or 800-280-4654 for tickets, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, Mountain time.


    Puccini, Tosca. New Production

    Bizet, The Pearl Fishers.  First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera. New Production

    Rossini, Maometto II.  World Premiere of the New Critical Edition. New Production

    Szymanowski, King Roger.  First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera. New Production

    R. Strauss, Arabella. New Production 

    All five operas chosen for the 2012 Santa Fe Opera Festival Season will be presented in new productions. Three will be “firsts” for the Company. Two will not have been seen for a dozen years or more. New to the Company are Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Rossini’s Maometto II and Szymanowski’s King Roger.  Returning to the repertory are Puccini’s Tosca, last performed in 1994, and Strauss’s Arabella, not seen since 1997. The ambitious season was announced today by General Director Charles MacKay. The opening night performance, Tosca, is scheduled for Friday, June 29. The season ends on August 25 with The Pearl Fishers.

    Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will be the host for a special Gala Concert on Saturday, August 4, featuring singers appearing in the season. Long time Santa Fe Opera favorite Kenneth Montgomery will be on the podium. Details will be announced later.

    Family Nights, which offer greatly discounted tickets at selected summer performances, will again be available in August. The program differs from Youth Nights offered at final dress rehearsals, in that Family Nights provide the opportunity to attend a regular full performance and at an early 8:00 P.M. starting time.

    “2012 represents the best tradition of The Santa Fe Opera,” MacKay said in making the season announcement. “It could be called a season of history and romance. Two operas depict actual historical events, and two are passionate love stories. Among the season’s composers, Rossini and Bizet are represented by operas other than their best-known calling cards. Strauss aficionados will be happy to see his name, and Arabella is one of his most beloved works. When I first heard that Mariusz Kwiecien was eager to reprise the title role in King Roger in the United States, I thought it would be the perfect choice for The Santa Fe Opera, with its reputation for unconventional repertory.”

    “There is more good news for operagoers,” MacKay continued. “Over the last several years our patrons have asked that we consider starting performances earlier. I am happy to say that from opening night on June 29 through July 28, performances will begin at 8:30 P.M.; on July 30 and for the remainder of the season at 8:00 P.M. We have studied the times of sunsets and worked closely with directors and lighting designers to make sure the performances will not be impacted by daylight.”

    “There are many new names on the roster,” MacKay continued. “Conductor Evan Rogister will make his Company debut leading King Roger. Amanda Echalaz, Leah Crocetto and Andrew Richards are young singers whose careers are very much in the news these days. Also new are director Stephen Barlow and scenic and costume designers Yannis Thavoris and Jon Morrell.”

    Familiar names returning are Thomas Hampson, who will sing Scarpia in the final five performances of Tosca, and Raymond Aceto, who will open the season in the role; Nicole Cabell, Luca Pisaroni, William Burden, Mark Delavan and Mariusz Kwiecien are also returning.

    Four well-known directors – Lee Blakeley, David Alden, Stephen Wadsworth and Tim Albery – will be in Santa Fe again. Duane Schuler will provide the lighting for Tosca, King Roger, and Maometto II.


    SINGERS:  Patricia Bardon, Zach Borichevsky, Leah Crocetto, Amanda Echalaz,

                     Brian Jagde, Victoria Livengood, Dennis Petersen, Andrew Richards

    CONDUCTOR:  Evan Rogister

    DIRECTOR:  Stephen Barlow

    SCENIC/COSTUME DESIGNERS:  Jon Morrell, Yannis Thavoris



    SINGERS:  Raymond Aceto, William Burden, Nicole Cabell, Eric Cutler, Mark Delavan,

    Thomas Hampson, Mariusz Kwiecien, Christopher Magiera, Erin Morley, Luca Pisaroni,

     Bruce Sledge, Heidi Stober, Dale Travis, Wayne Tigges, Erin Wall

    CONDUCTORS:  Frédéric Chaslin, Sir Andrew Davis, Emmanuel Villaume

    DIRECTORS: Tim Albery, David Alden, Lee Blakeley, Stephen Wadsworth

    SCENIC DESIGNERS:  Tobias Hoheisel, Thomas Lynch, Jean-Marc Puissant

    COSTUME DESIGNERS:  Tobias Hoheisel, Ann Hould-Ward, Brigitte Reiffenstuel

    LIGHTING DESIGNERS:  Rick Fisher, Duane Schuler 

    Complete casts are listed below.


    +Former Apprentice Singer  


    Giacomo Puccini

    New Production

    Last Performed by The Santa Fe Opera in 1994

    Sung in Italian

    June 29, July 4, 7, 13, 20, 30, August 8, 11, 15, 18, 21, 24




    Frédéric Chaslin
    *Stephen Barlow
    *Yannis Thavoris
    Duane Schuler

    *Amanda Echalaz (American Debut)
    *Andrew Richards
    Raymond Aceto (June 29 - August 8)
    Thomas Hampson (August 11 - 24)
    *Dennis Petersen
    Dale Travis

    Puccini's Tosca is one of the most famous and popular operas of the 19th century, consistently listed on everyone's "Top Ten" list. The score is filled with arias, duets, and choruses of great beauty, including the show-stopping aria "Vissi d'arte." Yannis Thavoris, the young Greek designer, will create both the scenic design and the costumes. The director is Stephen Barlow who works regularly at Opera Holland Park. It was there that Amanda Echalaz sang the title role for the first time, and later at Covent Garden. “The young lady everyone is talking about…” said the critic of The Guardian. The American tenor Andrew Richards is Cavaradossi. Tosca marks the Santa Fe Opera debuts of Thavoris, Barlow, Richards and Echalaz and is also Echalaz’s American debut. Raymond Aceto and Thomas Hampson will share the role of Scarpia. Hampson has appeared in Santa Fe only once, in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale nearly three decades ago. Chief Conductor Frédéric Chaslin will be on the podium. Tosca will be performed with two intermissions. 


    Georges Bizet

    First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera.  New Production

    Sung in French

    June 30, July 6, 11, 31, August 10, 13, 22, 25  



     Emmanuel Villaume
     Lee Blakeley
     Jean-Marc Puissant
     Brigitte Reiffenstuel
     Rick Fisher

     Nicole Cabell
     Eric Cutler
     Christopher Magiera
     Wayne Tigges

    The creative team of director Lee Blakeley, scenic designer Jean-Marc Puissant, costume designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel, and lighting designer Rick Fisher, who gave us the highly original 2010 production of Madame Butterfly, will repeat their collaboration for the new production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. Returning after an absence of a decade is French conductor Emmanuel Villaume, most recently music director of the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston. He is a regular guest conductor at Chicago’s Lyric Opera.

    Nicole Cabell, who was the fiery Musetta in the 2007 production of La Bohème, returns to sing the role of the princess Leila. Her competing love interests, who are also best friends, will be sung by tenor Eric Cutler and baritone Christopher Magiera. Their duet “Au fond du temple saint” is one of the most familiar in all of opera. Bizet was only 24 when he wrote The Pearl Fishers, which was imbued with musical brilliance that predicted what was to come. The Pearl Fishers will be performed with one intermission.


    Gioachino Rossini

    World Premiere of the New Critical Edition.  New Production

    Sung in Italian

    July 14, 18, 27, August 2, 7, 16



     Frédéric Chaslin
     David Alden
    *Jon Morrell
     Duane Schuler

    *Leah Crocetto
    *Patricia Bardon
     Bruce Sledge
     Luca Pisaroni

    This version of Maometto II will be given its world premiere of staged performances in a new edition edited by Hans Schellevis to be published by Barenreiter-Verlag. Philip Gossett, one of the world’s leading authorities on the operas of Rossini, and the general editor of Works of Gioachino Rossini, is working closely with The Santa Fe Opera on the production. The score is being edited from the original 1820 Naples version, using Rossini’s own autograph manuscript and best available sources. The setting is 15th century Greece at war with Turkish invaders. (Later, Rossini created a major revision entitled The Siege of Corinth, which is a different opera altogether according to Gossett, not simply a name change.)   

    The title role will be taken by Luca Pisaroni. The fast-rising young Italian baritone charmed audiences in Santa Fe as Figaro in 2008 and also as Tiridate in Radamisto that same year. Making her Company debut as Anna, Leah Crocetto was a winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions. She was also the American candidate at the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition held in June. Also debuting is the Irish mezzo soprano Patricia Bardon, who is singing the role of Erda in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of The Ring. She is also widely admired for her interpretation of the Baroque repertory. Bruce Sledge appeared as Count Almaviva in the 2005 production of The Barber of Seville. Stage Director David Alden was here in 2008 for Radamisto. English native Jon Morrell, with whom Alden has worked, is making his company debut as designer of sets and costumes. He has done considerable work in British theater in addition to his work in opera. Maometto II will be performed with one intermission.


    Karol Szymanowski

    First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera.  New Production

    Sung in Polish

    July 21, 25, August 3, 9, 14  



    *Evan Rogister
     Stephen Wadsworth
     Thomas Lynch
     Ann Hould-Ward
     Duane Schuler

     Erin Morley
    +William Burden
    *Dennis Petersen
     Mariusz Kwiecien
     Raymond Aceto

    When the Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien appeared as the Count in The Marriage of Figaro in 2008, he said to Charles MacKay, "You must do King Roger," to which MacKay responded, "It's on the list!" The opera tells the story of a 12th century Sicilian king who is tempted to excess by a mysterious prophet from the East disguised as a shepherd. The production is the first by a major American opera company and follows the noteworthy production at Bard College SummerScape Festival in 2008.

    The young American conductor Evan Rogister, who now lives in Berlin, makes his Santa Fe debut in this production. Featured in the August 2009 issue of Opera News, he has conducted extensively in Europe and in the US including the Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Atlanta Symphony and more.

    Mariusz Kwiecien will repeat his role as King Roger in Santa Fe. William Burden, who last appeared in 2008 in Billy Budd, will sing the role of the Shepherd. Erin Morley as Roxana, Dennis Petersen in his debut as Edrisi, and Raymond Aceto as the Archbishop complete the cast. Director Stephen Wadsworth and scenic designer Thomas Lynch collaborated here in 1997 for Peter Lieberson’s Ashoka’s Dream.  Ann Hould-Ward is the costume designerShe made her Santa Fe Opera debut with the 1992 production of Don GiovanniKing Roger will be performed without intermission.


    Richard Strauss

    New Production.

    Last Performed by The Santa Fe Opera in 1997

    Sung in German

    July 28, August 1, 6, 17, 23

    Co-Production with Canadian Opera Company




     Sir Andrew Davis
     Tim Albery
     Tobias Hoheisel
    *David Finn

     Erin Wall
     Heidi Stober
    *Victoria Livengood
     Mark Delavan
     Dale Travis
    *Zach Borichevsky
    *Brian Jagde


    Strauss lovers especially will welcome the opportunity to see Arabella, which has not been seen here since 1997. The title role will be sung by Erin Wall, who sang the role of Daphne here in 2007, and who portrayed Hoffmann’s four loves in the 2010 production of The Tales of Hoffmann. Strauss wrote a number of great singing roles for women; Arabella is one of his finest. Heidi Stober will be remembered as Musetta in last summer's La Boheme. Mark Delavan’s most recent appearance was as Simon Boccanegra in 2004. The American baritone, with a repertory of more than forty roles, has a long list of distinguished opera credits in this country and abroad. Director Tim Albery and scenic and costume designer Tobias Hoheisel will work together again, having created the production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute which was revived in 2010. Sir Andrew Davis conducts. Arabella will be performed with one intermission.

    Support for The Santa Fe Opera comes from the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission and the 1% Lodgers’ Tax, New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, New Mexico Department of Tourism, and National Endowment for the Arts. American Airlines is the official airline. Opening Nights are sponsored by Encantado, An Auberge Resort.

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

    Call 505-986-5900 or 800-280-4654 for tickets, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, Mountain time.

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