"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


    55th Season Opens July 1

    2011-06-30

    The annual opening of The Santa Fe Opera is always an important and festive event.  And no more so than to many members of the audience who inaugurate the opera season by tailgating.  There will be all manner of dress and menus and part of the fun is seeing what others have planned.  There may be operatic costumes, eccentric formal attire (tuxedos, blue jeans and cowboy hats) and decorations ranging from formally set tables with candelabra, flowers and the family china, to stand-up dinners with paper plates. 

    Gounod’s Faust opens the season.  The opera is a “first” for the Company and marks the debuts of several rising young singers as well as Frédéric Chaslin as Chief Conductor.  Both Bryan Hymel in the title role and Ailyn Perez as Marguerite are singing in Santa Fe for the first time.  Veteran Mark Doss is Méphistophélès.  The set, designed by Benoit DuGardyn, is the most elaborate and complicated of the season.  Faust is a lavish, melody-filled tour de force that will enchant the opera novice and aficionado.

    At 8:00 PM complimentary champagne is served on the theatre patio, and at 9:00 PM with the capacity audience in place, the National Anthem is played – and the 55th season is underway.

    The following night, Saturday, July 2, Puccini’s beloved  La Bohème  will fill the Crosby Theatre.  A revival of the popular 2007 production, the opera never fails to touch the heartstrings.  Soprano Ana María Martínez returns to sing the role of Mimi, the young Mexican tenor David Lomelí in his debut is Rodolfo.  Leonardo Vordoni conducts.

    Three operas complete the summer schedule.  New productions of Vivaldi’s Griselda and Menotti’s The Last Savage open on July 16 and 23, respectively.  A revival of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck opens on July 30. Performances in July begin at 9:00 PM; from August 1 to August 13 at 8:30 PM and from August 15 to the end of the season, August 27, at 8:00 PM.

    Tickets for all performances are on sale at The Santa Fe Box Office in person daily except Sunday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and by telephone at 505 986 5900, toll free 800 280 4654.  They may also be purchased on-line, www.SantaFeOpera.org.  Three “Family Nights” with greatly reduced prices for families with children are being offered in August: Faust on the 20th, La Bohème on the 23rd, and The Last Savage on the 25th.  Contact the Box Office for information.  “Rush” tickets at 50% discount are available 48 hours before the performance to Seniors (65 and over), Active Students and Active Military Personnel.  Phone and in-person sales are accepted.  IDs are required and the offer is subject to availability.

    Opening weekend traditionally begins with a Gala Celebration on Thursday evening (June 30).  Held this year at Encantado, an Auberge Resort the glamorous party is underwritten by the Hotel and Spa.  Friends of The Santa Fe Opera come from all over the country for the festivities, many, year after year.  Friday night finds guests dining in some of Santa Fe’s most beautiful homes before attending the opera.  On Saturday the group has lunch and an in-depth tour of the theatre backstage and later, dinner in Gaddes Hall.  The weekend ends with a Festive Brunch at the Nedra Matteucci Galleries.  Funds support the Apprentice Programs for Singers and Technicians.  Since its inception 25 years ago, Gala Weekends have raised several million dollars for these important programs.

    Encantado, an Auberge Resort is sponsor of all five opening nights.  Opening night champagne is courtesy of Gruet Wineries.  Van Duzer winery of California is contributing wines for the season.

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

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