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The Santa Fe Opera Reveals Exciting Casting and Repertory Plans for the 2024 Season

Emily Doyle Moore | | 505-986-5908


The Santa Fe Opera Reveals Exciting Casting and Repertory Plans for the 2024 Season that include:

Opening Weekend June 28 & 29, 2024: New Productions of La Traviata and Don Giovanni

July 13, 2024: SFO’s 19th World Premiere: The Righteous by Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith

July 20, 2024: New production of Der Rosenkavalier in collaboration with Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera

July 27, 2024: Revival of beloved production of The Elixir of Love last seen on SFO stage in 2009

The 67th Festival Season showcases 20 Debuting Artists, 35 Returning Artists, the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and more than 120 young singers and technicians from the opera’s renowned Apprentice Programs

Visitor Experiences include Tailgating, Tours, Preview Dinners, Prelude Talks & More

More information, Tickets & Subscriptions on Sale Now at

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Santa Fe, NM — The Santa Fe Opera is pleased to reveal exciting casting and repertory plans for the company’s 2024 Season running June 28 through August 24, 2024. The 67th Festival Season features 38 performances of four new productions plus a beloved revival, and two special evenings of Apprentice Scenes, each in harmony with the company’s time-tested programming model of a balanced and varied repertory of new, lesser-performed and standard works. Opening Weekend centers on new productions of Verdi’s La Traviata directed by Louisa Muller and Mozart’s Don Giovanni directed by Stephen Barlow.  Next, on July 13, the company will present its 19th world premiere, The Righteous, by composer Gregory Spears and US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith in a televangelism-era styled production by Kevin Newbury. Rounding out the season’s offerings are an international co-production and the remount of a beloved SFO production: Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier opens July 20 in a highly-acclaimed staging by Bruno Ravella seen at Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera, and beginning July 27, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love is presented in a Stephen Lawless production originating from 2009. The Apprentice Scenes featuring SFO’s singing and technical apprentices in staged scenes from the operatic repertoire take center stage on August 11 and 18. Says General Director Robert K. Meya, “From iconic masterpieces to groundbreaking premieres to showcasing the most thrilling talent of today and tomorrow, our aim is to create experiences that resonate with audiences and celebrate the transformative power of the operatic art form.” First-time visitors and long-time patrons can also look forward to offerings evocative of the Santa Fe Opera experience including tailgating, Preview Dinners, Tours, free Prelude Talks and much more. Season tickets and subscriptions are on sale now at

La Traviata
Violetta is the belle of the ball at every party in Paris, until she falls in love with Alfredo. They run away from high society for a simple life in the country, where Alfredo’s father asks Violetta to sacrifice her love to save the family’s honor.

The Santa Fe Opera’s 67th Festival Season opens on June 28 with one of opera’s most enthralling works, Verdi’s La Traviata set in the late 1930s by Louisa Muller in her company debut. She writes, “In the opera world, there is an exciting movement afoot to question and re-examine the ways in which we approach the works in the canon… It can be tempting to either excuse or dismiss our beloved standards as museum pieces from another time and place, but when we look at La Traviata with fresh eyes we find at its center a truly modern heroine.” Audiences will be transported to Paris on the eve of World War II and into the passionate world of Violetta, as her tragic story unfolds amidst stunning scenery and costumes by Christopher Oram, lighting by Marcus Doshi and choreography by Matthew Steffens. The chorus master is Susanne Sheston.

Conductor and Opera Philadelphia Music Director Corrado Rovaris leads an international cast, each in their company debut and all making their names singing at major opera houses around the world: Armenian soprano Mané Galoyan sings Violetta, Uzbeki tenor Bekhzod Davronov is Alfredo and Mexican baritone Carlos Arámbula appears in the role of Giorgio Germont.

11 performances are scheduled: June 28; July 3, 6, 12, 19; August 1, 5, 10, 17, 20 and 24, 2024.

Don Giovanni
Lecherous nobleman Don Giovanni has had infamous exploits (he keeps a catalog). He kills the father of one of his victims and now, his continued debauchery will seal his fate. Who will exact revenge and make him pay the price for his misdeeds?

Opening June 29 is Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni in a fresh interpretation by Stephen Barlow, who returns to Santa Fe on the heels of his extremely popular production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in 2022. The production draws parallels between the notorious seducer, “D.G.,” and the eponymous character in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray who pursues pleasure and eternal youth. The Victorian London-era setting is created by scenic and costume designer Yannis Thavoris and lighting designer Christopher Akerlind; they are joined by choreographer Mitchell Harper. The chorus master is Susanne Sheston.

Santa Fe Opera Music Director Harry Bicket returns to the podium to conduct an all-star cast headlined by bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green in his first turn as the titular character. Recent Santa Fe Opera Apprentice singer Teresa Perrotta sings Donna Anna, mezzo-soprano Rachael Wilson makes her company debut as Donna Elvira and tenor David Portillo returns to the Santa Fe Opera stage in the role of Don Ottavio. Two former Apprentice singers, bass-baritone Nicholas Newton and soprano Liv Redpath, appear as Leporello and Zerlina. Bass William Guanbo Su makes his company debut as Masetto and bass Soloman Howard is the Commendatore.

Nine performances are scheduled: June 29; July 5, 10, 29; August 3, 6, 16, 21 and 23, 2024.

The Righteous
David struggles to reconcile spiritual humility with ambition. His desire for more wreaks havoc on his family, friendships, and perhaps, his own faith. His journey from preacher to governor, like the lives of those closest to him, is shaped by the current affairs of the 1980s.

Commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera from two of America’s most intriguing talents, composer Gregory Spears and US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith, The Righteous is a powerful new work set amid the church communities of the American Southwest. It begins during the Iranian hostage crisis and recession marking the sunset of the Jimmy Carter administration, and spans into the dawn of George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War. The piece explores the enduring interplay between faith and fidelity; wealth, power and politics; and gender roles and sexuality, all through the prism of contemporary American society and its unique invention of televangelism.

Composer Gregory Spears says, “As David gets caught up in local politics, his connection to God is weakened by his worldly ambition. And this is a time when the AIDS crisis and the war on drugs and the rise of feminism is very much front and center in American discourse.” Librettist Tracy K. Smith states, “We’re interested in the ways that genuine faith and actual power inform and change one another. We’re interested in the role of politics in religion and the role of women in the church.”

Together, the creators ponder, “In the opera, we ask a big question: what does it mean to be close to God today? And what are the ways in which a search for true Righteousness can quite suddenly lead one to self-Righteousness – and how does that imperil our shared values as a society?” The Righteous marks the second operatic collaboration between Spears and Smith, whose Castor and Patience received its world premiere at Cincinnati Opera in July 2022 and was recently nominated as Best World Premiere at the International Opera Awards.

Kevin Newbury directs the world premiere production opening July 13. Newbury shares a close working relationship with Gregory Spears, having directed five world-premiere productions of his operatic works. Here at the Santa Fe Opera, Newbury directed the world premiere productions of Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream (2010), Theodore Morrison’s Oscar (2013) and Mason Bates’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (2017). Scenic design is by Mimi Lien, costumes by Devario D. Simmons, lighting by Japhy Wiedeman and projections by Greg Emetaz. Susanne Sheston is the chorus master.

Conductor Jordan de Souza, in his company debut, leads the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and a talented cast. A native of Cut and Shoot, Texas, baritone and former Apprentice singer Michael Mayes sings the lead role of David, the preacher who rises to become the governor of a state similar to Texas. American bass-baritone Greer Grimsley sings the role of Paul, President of Custom Oil who mentors David and whom David succeeds as governor. American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano sings the role of Michele, David’s first wife and daughter of Paul. American countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo takes on the role of Jonathan, Michele’s brother, son of Paul and David’s best friend, who struggles with coming out in a place like West Texas in the early years of the AIDS crisis. Cuban American soprano Elena Villalón sings the role of Sheila, a member of David’s congregation who later becomes his second wife and “nurtures the wonderful-yet-terrible promise that all are worthy in God’s sight,” says Smith. Soprano Amber Wagner makes her company debut in the role of Marilyn, Paul’s wife, and Brenton Ryan returns to the SFO stage in the role of CM, Paul’s friend. 

Six performances are scheduled: July 13, 17, 26, 30; August 7 and 13, 2024. Hear from the creators.

Der Rosenkavalier
In the decadent world of Vienna, a story of romantic entanglements unfolds between a youthful nobleman, his mature mistress, and a young woman engaged to be married to an older Baron. Who is to give in or give up their heart?

In a nod to the artistic legacy of SFO founder John Crosby, on July 20, the Santa Fe Opera will present Richard Strauss’ romantic comedy Der Rosenkavalier in a lavish and visually stunning new production directed by Bruno Ravella and created in collaboration with Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera. Scale-bursting scenery and colorful, yet classically-cut costumes are by Gary McCann, whose extravagant designs SFO audiences will recall from Eugene Onegin in 2021. Malcolm Rippeth’s lighting shapes moods and establishes motifs. Writes Hugh Canning for The Sunday Times, “No UK production for the past 50 years, even Visconti’s at Covent Garden, has a comparable wow factor.” The critically-acclaimed production promises to be a highlight of the season, transporting audiences to the nostalgic world of 1950s Vienna with its rich orchestration and exquisite vocal performances, including the greatest-ever trio for female voices.

At the podium and making her Santa Fe Opera debut will be Karina Canellakis, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. The extraordinary ensemble cast includes four former Apprentice singers: Rachel Willis-Sørensen (Marshallin), Paula Murrihy (Octavian), Zachary Nelson (Faninal) and Megan Marino (Annina). English bass Matthew Rose sings Baron Ochs and Chinese soprano Ying Fang is Sophie, a role she shares with former Apprentice singer Liv Redpath who steps in for the final performance on August 15. American tenor David Portillo is the Italian Singer, German tenor Gerhard Siegel makes his company debut as Valzacchi and American bass Scott Conner is the Police Commissar. Susanne Sheston is the chorus master.

Five performances are scheduled: July 20, 24; August 2, 8 and 15, 2024.

The Elixir of Love
Nemorino, a not-so-clever mechanic, has fallen for Adina, a schoolteacher. He desires her attention but doesn’t feel worthy. Fortunately, he meets Dr. Dulcamara (most certainly a quack) who sells him a “magic elixir” that can make his dreams come true.

On July 27 the Santa Fe Opera remounts a beloved classic, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, in a charming amalgam of comedy and melodrama directed by Stephen Lawless last seen on the Santa Fe Opera stage in 2009. Based on Italian cinéma vérité and set in Italy just after World War II when the class system was still a part of society, his Elixir is a realistic presentation of the Italian countryside paired with a modern depiction of the eternal struggle between social classes. Adina is a landowner with an olive farm who teaches the children of her workers. Nemorino is an uneducated car mechanic, in love with Adina, who uses the elixir of love to win her hand. Lawless and scenic and costume designer Ashley Martin-Davis have retained the opera’s Italian roots and added American iconic elements.
Thomas C. Hase provides the lighting design and Susanne Sheston is the chorus master.

Conductor Roberto Kalb makes his company debut. Chilean soprano Yaritza Véliz, a rising star following notable debuts at Glyndebourne, the Komische Oper Berlin, Ópera Nacional de Chile, sings Adina in her company debut. From honing his talents as an Apprentice singer and making his company debut as the Sailor in 2022’s Tristan und Isolde, tenor Jonah Hoskins will sing Nemorino, a role he recently debuted to critical acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera. Recent Apprentice singer Luke Sutliff, with appearances in the roles of Dancaïre in Carmen (2022) and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2021), returns to sing the role of Nemorino’s rival, Belcore. Mexican baritone Alfredo Daza makes his house debut as the double-dealing Dulcamara.

Five performances are scheduled: July 27, 31; August 9, 14 and 22, 2024.

2024 Debuts

+Former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice

Carlos Arámbula (Baritone); Karina Canellakis (Conductor); Jennifer Johnson Cano (Mezzo-Soprano); Bekhzod Davronov (Tenor); Alfredo Daza (Baritone); Jordan de Souza (Conductor); Mané Galoyan (Soprano); Roberto Kalb (Conductor); Mimi Lien (Scenic Design); Michael Mayes+ (Baritone); Louisa Muller (Director); Christopher Oram (Scenic and Costume Design); Bruno Ravella (Director); Gerhard Siegel (Tenor); Devario D. Simmons (Costume Design); Matthew Steffens (Choreographer); William Guanbo Su (Bass); Yaritza Véliz (Soprano); Amber Wagner (Soprano); Rachael Wilson (Mezzo-Soprano)

Returning Artists

With most recent or upcoming opera appearance
+Former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice

Scott Conner (Falstaff, 2022); Anthony Roth Costanzo (The Lord of Cries, 2021); Ying Fang (The Marriage of Figaro, 2021); Ryan Speedo Green (The Barber of Seville, 2022); Greer Grimsley (Fidelio, 2014); Jonah Hoskins+ (Tristan und Isolde, 2022); Soloman Howard (La Bohème, 2019); Megan Marino+ (Falstaff, 2022); Paula Murrihy+ (Orfeo, 2023); Zachary Nelson+ (La Bohème, 2019); Nicholas Newton+ (The Barber of Seville, 2022); Teresa Perrotta+ (Falstaff, 2022); David Portillo (The Lord of Cries, 2021); Liv Redpath+ (Ariadne auf Naxos, 2018); Matthew Rose (Don Giovanni, 2009); Brenton Ryan (The Marriage of Figaro, 2021); Luke Sutliff+ (Carmen, 2022); Elena Villalón (Falstaff, 2022); Rachel Willis-Sørensen+ (The Magic Flute, 2010)

Harry Bicket (Pelléas et Mélisande, 2023); Corrado Rovaris (The Italian Girl in Algiers, 2018)

Stephen Barlow (The Barber of Seville, 2022); Stephen Lawless (Roméo et Juliette, 2016); Kevin Newbury (The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, 2017)

Christopher Akerlind (The Barber of Seville, 2022); Marcus Doshi (Don Giovanni, 2016);
Greg Emetaz (Tristan und Isolde, 2022); Thomas C. Hase (Ariadne auf Naxos, 2018); Ashley Martin-Davis (Tosca, 2023); Gary McCann (Eugene Onegin, 2021); Malcolm Rippeth (Rusalka, 2023); Yannis Thavoris (Tosca, 2012); Japhy Weideman (The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, 2017)

Mitchell Harper (The Barber of Seville, 2022)

Chorus Master
Susanne Sheston (2023 Season)

+Former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice

La Traviata

Music by Guiseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesca Maria Piave
Premiered March 6, 1853, Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy
A New Santa Fe Opera Production
11 performances — June 28; July 3, 6, 12, 19; August 1, 5, 10, 17, 20 & 24
Sung in Italian with opera titles in English and Spanish
The engagement of Louisa Muller is supported by The Marineau Family Foundation

Creative Team
Conductor Corrado Rovaris
Director Louisa Muller*
Scenic and Costume Design Christopher Oram*
Lighting Design Marcus Doshi
Choreographer Matthew Steffens*
Chorus Master Susanne Sheston 

Violetta Mané Galoyan*
Alfredo Bekhzod Davronov*
Giorgio Germont Carlos Arámbula*

The Santa Fe Opera Chorus & Orchestra

*Santa Fe Opera debut, +Former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice 


Don Giovanni

Music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
Premiered October 29, 1787, Estates Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic
A New Santa Fe Opera Production
9 performances — June 29; July 5, 10, 29; August 3, 6, 16, 21 & 23
Sung in Italian with opera titles in English and Spanish
Production support provided by:
The Tobin Endowment
The Robert & Ellen Vladem Perpetual Fund for Opera Production

Creative Team
Conductor Harry Bicket
Director Stephen Barlow
Scenic and Costume Design Yannis Thavoris
Lighting Design Christopher Akerlind
Choreographer Mitchell Harper
Chorus Master Susanne Sheston 

Don Giovanni Ryan Speedo Green
Donna Anna Teresa Perrotta+
Donna Elvira Rachael Wilson*
Don Ottavio David Portillo
Leporello Nicholas Newton+
Zerlina Liv Redpath+
Masetto William Guanbo Su*
Commendatore Soloman Howard

The Santa Fe Opera Chorus & Orchestra

*Santa Fe Opera debut, +Former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


The Righteous

Music by Gregory Spears
Libretto by Tracy K. Smith
A World Premiere Commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera
6 performances — July 13, 17, 26, 30; August 7 & 13
Sung in English with opera titles in English and Spanish 

Creative Team
Conductor Jordan de Souza*
Director Kevin Newbury
Scenic Design Mimi Lien*
Costume Design Devario D. Simmons*
Lighting Design Japhy Weideman
Video Design Greg Emetaz
Chorus Master Susanne Sheston 

David Michael Mayes*+
Sheila Elena Villalón
Michele Jennifer Johnson Cano*
Jonathan Anthony Roth Costanzo
Marilyn Amber Wagner*
Jacob Nicholas Newton+
Paul Greer Grimsley
CM Brenton Ryan

The Santa Fe Opera Chorus & Orchestra

*Santa Fe Opera debut, +Former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


 Der Rosenkavalier

Music by Richard Strauss
Libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Premiered 26 January 1911, Königliches Opernhaus Dresden
A co-production with Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera
5 performances — July 20, 24; August 2, 8 & 15
Sung in German with opera titles in English and Spanish
The performances of Karina Canellakis are supported by Susan Esco Chandler and Alfred D. Chandler
The performances of Ying Fang are supported by The Peter B. Frank Principal Artist Fund

Creative Team
Conductor Karina Canellakis*
Director Bruno Ravella*
Scenic and Costume Design Gary McCann
Lighting Design Malcolm Rippeth
Chorus Master Susanne Sheston

Marschallin Rachel Willis-Sørensen+
Baron Ochs Matthew Rose
Octavian Paula Murrihy+
Sophie Ying Fang
Sophie Liv Redpath+ (August 15)
Faninal Zachary Nelson+
Italian Singer David Portillo
Valzacchi Gerhard Siegel*
Annina Megan Marino+
Police Commissar Scott Conner

The Santa Fe Opera Chorus & Orchestra

*Santa Fe Opera debut, +Former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


The Elixir of Love

Music by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Felice Romani
Premiered 12 May 1832, Teatro della Canobbiana, Milan
A Santa Fe Opera Revival, 2009
5 performances — July 27, 31; August 9, 14 & 22
Sung in Italian with opera titles in English and Spanish

Creative Team
Conductor Roberto Kalb*
Director Stephen Lawless
Scenic and Costume Design Ashley Martin-Davis
Lighting Design Thomas C. Hase
Chorus Master Susanne Sheston 

Adina Yaritza Véliz*
Nemorino Jonah Hoskins+
Belcore Luke Sutliff+
Dulcamara Alfredo Daza*

The Santa Fe Opera Chorus & Orchestra

*Santa Fe Opera debut, +Former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


About The Santa Fe Opera – The Santa Fe Opera annually draws 85,000 people from New Mexico and around the globe. Nestled atop a mountain vista in northern New Mexico, the company’s iconic Crosby Theatre is open on three sides, allowing visitors to enjoy performances complemented by the elements. Since 1957 the company has presented over 2,000 performances of 179 operas by 91 composers spanning five centuries of opera, creating a legacy of 45 American premieres and 18 world premieres. In November 2022, the company was recognized as “Festival of the Year” at the International Opera Awards.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility at the Santa Fe Opera – Opera has the power to speak truth, broaden perspectives and invite empathy. The Santa Fe Opera is committed to the continuous work of becoming an antiracist and anti-oppressive organization and incorporating the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. Our goal is to create a joyful and engaging environment in which a diverse community of artists, staff, volunteers and audiences alike belong.