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Side view of theater at dusk with white baffles

The Santa Fe Opera Joins the World in Mourning

By Emily Doyle Moore | 505-986-5908 |

The Santa Fe Opera joins the world in mourning the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ginsburg holds a special place in the heart of our opera company as a long-time patron and lover of the art form. She attended the Santa Fe Opera regularly for many years through 2018. The audience always seemed to know when the Justice was in the theater. A buzz would begin as the Secret Service took their places. During her last week of attendance in 2018, whenever she entered the theater she would be greeted with a standing ovation, which she humbly acknowledged with smiles and a small wave.

Santa Fe Opera Founder John Crosby meets Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Santa Fe Opera Founder John Crosby meets Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Santa Fe Opera. Year and photographer unknown.

Over the years, after the performance ended, she would often go backstage to meet the artists.⁠ In 2017, the Santa Fe Opera and the Lensic Performing Arts Center were delighted to welcome Justice Ginsburg for a one-afternoon-only event, “Justice at the Opera,” performed by members of the Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Program for Singers. The program featured select opera scenes and arias dealing with law and justice, followed by Justice Ginsburg’s engaging insights. Her love of opera was well known; she once said, “Music is the one time my head isn’t filled with briefs and opinions. All that is put on a shelf and I just enjoy.”⁠

The Impresario cast

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the cast of Mozart's "The Impresario" backstage at the Santa Fe Opera, 2014

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the cast of Lucia di Lammermoor backstage at the Santa Fe Opera, 2017. Photo by Brandon Soder.⁠

Ruth Bader Gindburg attends

Ruth Bader Gindburg attends "Justice at the Opera" presented by the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in downtown Santa Fe, NM. Photo by Brandon Soder.

The world has lost a towering intellect and we have lost a beloved and supportive opera fan and friend. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family, friends and the many artists she delighted over the years with her presence and appreciation.⁠

⁠—The Santa Fe Opera Family⁠

Video from then-Santa Fe Opera Production and Facilities Director Paul Horpedahl of a standing ovation prior to a performance of “The Italian Girl in Algiers,” on August 9, 2018.