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                         Phillip Huscher
                         The Santa Fe Opera
                        
     An American Pioneer


    Susan Graham and Friends

    2012-07-24

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    AN ENCHANTED EVENING WITH SUSAN GRAHAM AND HER FRIENDS

    A concert by The Santa Fe Opera is a rarity; there hasn’t been one since the fiftieth anniversary celebration in 2006. It is time for another, and Saturday, August 4, 8:00 PM is it. Susan Graham, who has been away from the Santa Fe Opera stage since 2005, and who will return in 2013 in the title role of Jacques Offenbach’s comic operetta The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, will be the host and will also sing in an evening of arias, duets and songs with her friends who are appearing on the mainstage this summer.

    The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, one of the nation’s best opera orchestras and usually hidden from the audience, will be center stage. Kenneth Montgomery, who has led the Opera Orchestra in seventeen memorable productions, will be on the podium.

    Festivities begin with champagne before the concert and continue with music that runs the gamut from Mozart to Bernstein, with a catalogue of all-time favorites by Meyerbeer, Berlioz, Gounod, Massenet, Rossini, Verdi, Lehár and a variety of American composers. Maestro Montgomery and the Opera Orchestra will start the evening off with the overture to The Magic Flute. Santa Fe Opera newcomer Zach Borichevsky, the entire group of 2012 apprentice singers, and the cast of “friends,” will send the audience home with Leonard Bernstein’s “Make Your Garden Grow” from Candide.

    The enchanting Ms. Graham will open with Mozart’s concert aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te” accompanied by Chief Conductor Frédéric Chaslin as pianist, followed by  two works by Berlioz, one with last year’s Faust, Brian Hymel, and pieces by Lehár and Sondheim. Luca Pisaroni offers an aria from Faust and “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific. Santa Fe favorite William Burden will sing “Yours Is My Heart Alone.” The tender duet from Carousel, “If I Loved You,” joins Erin Wall and Christopher Magiera. Mark Delavan will partner with Ms. Wall in Massenet’s Thaïs; he has also chosen a song from Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Leah Crocetto, making her Santa Fe Opera debut in Maometto II, offers an aria by Verdi and a song by Gershwin.

    Ms. Graham, one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos, is acclaimed for her gleaming golden voice and intelligent musicianship. Her intense operatic portrayals and recital programs are in great demand wherever she appears. She recently toured the U.S., and in June, Europe, giving a program inspired by iconic women of history, literature and song. January finds her embarking on a recital tour with Renée Fleming. She will appear as Dido in Berlioz’s Les Troyens at the Metropolitan Opera in the 2012-2013 season.

    Tickets from $25 to $125 are on sale online www.santafeopera.org, 505 986 5900 and 800 280 4654, and at the Box Office. There is a gala party afterwards in Dapples Pavilion with the singers and orchestra. Tickets are $375 for this Special Performance Package ($195 tax-deductible) and include a front orchestra seat, reserved parking and buffet supper. The package is available online, by telephone and in person at the Box Office.

    July 11, 2012

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

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