"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

    2013 Santa Fe Opera Season


    Co-Commissioned and Co-Produced by The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia.
    Featuring David Daniels in the title role.

    Featuring Joyce DiDonato in the title role.

    First performances since 1979. New Production.
    Featuring Susan Graham in the title role. 

    Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro  from 2008.
    Verdi, La Traviata  from 2009.
    In honor of the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.


     SUNDAY, AUGUST 4, 4:00 PM
    The Lensic Performing Arts Center
    In honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner
    and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten.
    Richard Wagner, Wesendonck Lieder
    Original version for voice and piano
    Benjamin Britten, Cabaret Songs
    Franz Liszt, Piano Transcription, Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde
    Christine Brewer, Soprano
    Joseph Illick, Piano

    SATURDAY, AUGUST 10, 6:00 PM
    SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 10:30 AM AND 1:00 PM 
    O'Shaughnessy Hall, Santa Fe Opera Ranch
    Noah’s Flood
    In honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. 

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

    May 24, 2012. Santa Fe, NM.  The 2013 Santa Fe Opera Festival Season was announced today by General Director Charles MacKay. The repertory includes a world premiere, the first Santa Fe performances of another brilliant opera by Rossini, the return of a comic opera by Jacques Offenbach, and two popular revivals. Among the returning singers are four who have become special favorites with Santa Fe audiences: countertenor David Daniels, mezzo-sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Susan Graham, and tenor William Burden.

    Heading the list is the world premiere of Oscar, composed by Theodore Morrison with a libretto by the composer and John Cox. The two-act work, which depicts the life of Oscar Wilde looking back from his time imprisoned in Reading Gaol, was written for countertenor David  Daniels. At the University of Michigan Mr. Daniels was a student of Mr. Morrison, who has also written a song cycle for the singer based on the poems of James Joyce. 

    The season opens on Friday, June 28 with a new production of Jacques Offenbach’s comedy, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, which has not been performed by the Company in 34 years. Susan Graham appears as the Grand Duchess for her first time in the role. The same opera ends the season on Saturday, August 24. Ms. Graham’s last Santa Fe operatic appearance was in the title role of Mozart’s Lucio Silla in 2005.  

    “After the enormous success of Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène,” said Susan Graham, “I’m thrilled to add The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, another of his comic masterpieces, to my repertoire! And getting to return to my beloved Santa Fe Opera is the icing on the cake. We have a wonderful team in place with the eminently creative, elegant director Lee Blakeley. It will be a beautifully comical treat, and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

    The following night, Saturday, June 29, brings the remounting of Jonathan Kent’s much-admired production of The Marriage of Figaro. Another Santa Fe favorite, Susanna Phillips, is the Countess. A former apprentice, she made her Santa Fe Opera debut as Pamina in The Magic Flute in 2006.

    “Finding the right mix of repertory is our challenge each year,” commented Mr. MacKay. “With a world premiere, a new production of a rare Rossini masterpiece, a comedy, classic Mozart and a beloved opera by Verdi, Santa Fe offers operas for the adventurous and the neophyte. To be sure, beautiful music abounds.” 

    “There are a number of commemorations in 2013. It is the 200th anniversary of the birth of both Wagner and Verdi, and the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Britten’s birth. We will honor all three in various ways. Of special significance to The Santa Fe Opera is the 50th anniversary of Igor Stravinsky’s final concert in Santa Fe, which will be recreated. Maestro Stravinsky holds a special place in our hearts for his dedication and support of the Company in its first years.”

    “Presenting a world premiere is always a daunting and thrilling experience,” continued MacKay. “Oscar Wilde is one of literature’s most fascinating individuals and I have long felt that he was an ideal subject for opera. There have been numerous biographies and films, but never an opera.”  The libretto which was written by Mr. Morrison and Mr. Cox is based on quotations from the writings of Wilde and his contemporaries. The opera’s narrator is Walt Whitman. “In preparing for the opera David Daniels has immersed himself in the study of Oscar Wilde and the period in which the opera takes place. I know audiences will see a riveting performance.”

    “Ms. DiDonato has become a champion of La Donna del Lago and has performed and recorded the work,” said Mr. MacKay. “Audiences will recall her poignant performance as Cinderella in 2006 in Massenet’s opera of the same name.”

    “I’m thrilled to be bringing Rossini’s masterpiece to the wondrous city of Santa Fe,” commented Ms. DiDonato.  “Rossini takes us on a deeply romantic journey to the highlands of Scotland and the quest for peace through his dramatic music – I can’t think of a more ideal setting than the magical Santa Fe.”

    “Presenting young American singers has long been the Company’s philosophy,” said Mr. MacKay “and there is an impressive group in 2013, including Paul Appleby, Lawrence Brownlee, René Barbera, Lisette Oropesa and Brenda Rae, as well as important international artists Marianna Pizzolato and Roland Wood. We are pleased to have Emily Fons, Anya Matanovič, Michael Fabiano, Jonathan Michie, Zachary Nelson, and Aaron Pegram, all recent members of the Apprentice Program, back as principal singers.   


    SINGERS:  Paul Appleby, René Barbera, Lawrence Brownlee, Michael Fabiano, Emily Fons, 
    Anya Matanovič, Jonathan Michie, Zachary Nelson, Lisette Oropesa, Marianna Pizzolato, Brenda Rae, Roland Wood
    CONDUCTOR: Leo Hussain
    SCENIC DESIGNER:  Adrian Linford
    COSTUME DESIGNER:  Jo van Schuppen

    SINGERS: William Burden, Kevin Burdette, Dwayne Croft, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Keith Jameson,
    Susanne Mentzer, Daniel Okulitch, Aaron Pegram, Susanna Phillips, Heidi Stober, Wayne Tigges, Dale Travis
    CONDUCTORS: Stephen Lord, John Nelson, Evan Rogister, Emmanuel Villaume   
    DIRECTORS:  Lee Blakeley, Paul Curran, Bruce Donnell, Kevin Newbury, Laurent Pelly
    SCENIC DESIGNERS:  Paul Brown, Kevin Knight, Chantal Thomas, David Korins
    COSTUME DESIGNERS:  Paul Brown, Kevin Knight, Laurent Pelly, David Woolard
    LIGHTING DESIGNERS:  Rick Fisher, Duane Schuler
    CHOREOGRAPHERS:  Seán Curran, Peggy Hickey 

    +Former Apprentice


    Jacques Offenbach
    Last performed by The Santa Fe Opera in 1979.  New Production.
    Sung in French
    With English Dialogue
    June 28, July 3, 6, 12, 19, 30, August 7, 15, 21, 24

    CONDUCTOR   Emmanuel Villaume
    DIRECTOR     Lee Blakeley
    SCENIC DESIGNER *Adrian Linford
    COSTUME DESIGNER    *Jo van Schuppen
    CHOREOGRAPHER       Peggy Hickey
    GRAND DUCHESS   Susan Graham
    WANDA +*Anya Matanovič
    FRITZ *Paul Appleby
    BARON PUCK +Aaron Pegram
    PRINCE PAUL  +Jonathan Michie
    GENERAL BOUM  Kevin Burdette


    Santa Fe Opera audiences in the 1970s loved this grande opera bouffe, and it was presented no less than four times in a decade. Mr. MacKay decided it was time to bring it back. The Grand Duchess, a young woman raised by tutors, is a tyrant, and the opera revolves around the complications of her love life. Susan Graham, one of the world’s leading dramatic mezzo-sopranos, has a virtuoso comic side which will be remembered from the 2003 performance of another Offenbach gem, La Belle Hélène. The object of her affections is a young officer, Fritz, sung by Paul Appleby in his debut. Mr. Appleby was a national winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a career grantee from the Richard Tucker Foundation in 2011, and recently, the recipient of the 2012 Martin E. Segal Award. He performs extensively with pianist Steven Blier and the New York Festival of Song. The object of Fritz’s affection, Wanda, is sung by Anya Matanovič, also making her debut. The cast also includes Kevin Burdette, remembered as Kitty’s father in the 2011 production of The Last Savage. Making their debuts are scenic designer Adrian Linford and costume designer Jo van Schuppen. Both have worked with director Lee Blakely, who returned to Santa Fe for the 2012 production of The Pearl Fishers.  


    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Sung in Italian
    Last performed by The Santa Fe Opera in 2008.  Revival.
    June 29, July 5, 10, August 3, 8, 13, 20, 23

    CONDUCTOR      John Nelson
    DIRECTOR   Bruce Donnell
    LIGHTING DESIGNER     Duane Schuler
    PRODUCTION Jonathan Kent
    FIGARO   *+Zachary Nelson
    SUSANNA   *Lisette Oropesa
    COUNTESS ALMAVIVA +Susanna Phillips
    CHERUBINO       *+Emily Fons
    MARCELLINA   Susanne Mentzer
    DON BASILIO      +Keith Jameson
    COUNT ALMAVIVA      Daniel Okulitch
    DOCTOR BARTOLO  Dale Travis

    The American soprano Lisette Oropesa will make her company debut as Susanna. Ms. Oropesa, a former member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera, has appeared in a number of operas there including Das Rheingold and Siegfried. Most recently she appeared in the Met’s production of The Enchanted Island. The Countess and Count will be sung by Susanna Phillips and Daniel Okulitch, who was last seen in 2011 as the Last Savage in the opera of the same name. Ms. Phillips has been singing leading roles both in this country and abroad, including the Metropolitan Opera. Emily Fons, an apprentice in 2008 and 2009, is Cherubino. The distinguished conductor John Nelson, who has appeared with orchestras and ensembles in this country and in Europe, led the Company’s 1997 production of Semele. Director Bruce Donnell will recreate the original production by Jonathan Kent. He has directed extensively at the Metropolitan Opera including a tour to Japan, and with opera companies in Europe, Canada and South America. He has directed a number of productions for The Santa Fe Opera, most recently Salome in 2006.


    Gioachino Rossini
    First performances by The Santa Fe Opera.  New Production.
    Sung in Italian
    July 13, 17, 26, August 1, 6, 14

    CONDUCTOR   Stephen Lord
    DIRECTOR   Paul Curran
    LIGHTING DESIGNER  Duane Schuler
    ELENA  +Joyce DiDonato
    MALCOLM GROEME     *Marianna Pizzolato
    UBERTO   *Lawrence Brownlee
    RODRIGO DI DHU   *René Barbera
    DOUGLAS D’ANGUS   Wayne Tigges

    Rossini’s opera of 1819 is based on The Lady of the Lake by Sir Walter Scott in which a young woman, Elena, is pledged to marry one man, but loves another. Joyce DiDonato, in the title role, performed the opera in 2010 at the Paris Opera and in 2011 at La Scala.  In La Donna del Lago, her true love, Malcolm, will be sung by the Italian mezzo-soprano Marianna Pizzolato. Ms. Pizzolato has gained a reputation for her superb portrayals of Rossini roles and 18th century repertory. The brilliant American tenor Lawrence Brownlee is Uberto, the disguised King James who also loves Elena. He studied at Indiana University, making his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2000. Tenor René Barbera, a native of San Antonio, is Rodrigo. In 2011 he received the top three prizes in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, the first singer to do so. All three are making their company debuts in this new production. Stephen Lord returns to conduct. He led The Tales of Hoffmann in 2010. Director Paul Curran and scenic and costume designer Kevin Knight most recently created Albert Herring in 2010.


    Giuseppe Verdi
    Sung in Italian
    Last Performed by The Santa Fe Opera in 2009.  Revival.
    July 20, 24, 29, August 2, 5, 10, 16, 22

    CONDUCTOR      *Leo Hussain
    DIRECTOR   Laurent Pelly
    SCENIC DESIGNER  Chantal Thomas
    COSTUME DESIGNER Laurent Pelly
    LIGHTING DESIGNER    Duane Schuler
    VIOLETTA  *Brenda Rae
    ALFREDO    +*Michael Fabiano
    GERMONT     *Roland Wood (American debut)
    GASTONE    +Keith Jameson
    BARON DOUPHOL +* Jonathan Michie
    DR. GRENVIL  Dale Travis

    French director Laurent Pelly returns to Santa Fe to recreate his striking production of La Traviata with scenic designer Chantal Thomas. Making her debut as Violetta is Brenda Rae. The American soprano has been a member of the ensemble at Frankfurt Opera where she has sung major roles. Her appearances in Europe include performances at National Opera of Bordeaux, Glyndebourne Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper, and Arena di Verona. Alfredo will be sung by Michael Fabiano, a former apprentice who has been winning acclaim in this country and in Europe. He was a grand prize winner at the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was featured in The Audition, the documentary about the competition. He has made debuts at English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Dresden Semperoper, Opera Cologne, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and others. Baritone Roland Wood is a British native, having received his music education at Royal Northern College of Music and at the National Opera Studio and English National Opera where he has also performed. He has sung with opera companies throughout Scotland, England and in Europe. All three are making their first appearances in Santa Fe.  These performances also mark Mr. Wood’s American debut.


    Theodore Morrison
    Libretto by Theodore Morrison and John Cox
    World Premiere
    Commissioned and Produced by
    The Santa Fe Opera and Opera Company of Philadelphia
    Sung in English
    July 27, 31, August 9, 12, 17

    CONDUCTOR  Evan Rogister
    DIRECTOR   Kevin Newbury
    SCENIC DESIGNER   David Korins
    COSTUME DESIGNER David Woolard
    LIGHTING DESIGNER     Rick Fisher
    CHOREOGRAPHER    Seán Curran
    OSCAR WILDE   David Daniels
    ADA LEVERSON  Heidi Stober
    FRANK HARRIS  +William Burden
    WALT WHITMAN  Dwayne Croft

    David Daniels is one of music’s leading countertenors whose career spans music of the Baroque era to the contemporary. He appeared in the Company’s 2011 production of Vivaldi’s Griselda and recently in the title role of Handel’s Rinaldo at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He was the leading countertenor in the Metropolitan Opera’s Baroque pastiche, Enchanted Island, seen worldwide in theaters in HD. Heidi Stober was Musetta in the 2011 revival of La Bohéme and prior, as Tigrane in Radamisto with Mr. Daniels in 2008. She sang the role of Zdenka in the 2012 production of Arabella. Mr. Burden will be remembered for his sympathetic performance of Captain Vere in the 2008 production of Billy Budd. He appeared as the mysterious Shepherd in the 2012 production of King Roger. Kevin Newbury last directed Life Is a Dream by Lewis Spratlan in 2010. He will continue his collaboration with scenic designer David Korins. Evan Rogister, who has made his career primarily in Europe and is now in demand with opera companies in the U.S., conducted King Roger in 2012.

    Family Nights:  Mainstage performances will again be available. The modestly priced tickets are designed to allow families to introduce their young members to opera. Specific dates to be announced.

    Apprentice Scenes:  These showcases for apprentice singers and technicians are scheduled on two consecutive Sunday evenings, August 11 and 18.

    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, and the National Endowment for the Arts. American Airlines is the official airline.

    Press Contact: Joyce Idema, Cindy Layman

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