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Santa Fe Opera Announces its 2017 Season


Santa Fe Opera Announces its 2017 Season

Die Fledermaus

Johann Strauss Jr.

New production. Last performed by the company in 1992.

Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti

New production. Last performed by the company in 2001.

The Golden Cockerel

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

New production. Co-production with The Dallas Opera. A company premiere.

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Mason Bates, Composer | Mark Campbell, Librettist

A World Premiere.


George Frideric Handel

New production. A company premiere.

Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Opera’s General Director Charles MacKay announced today the repertory, principal singers, conductors, directors, and designers for the company’s 61st season in 2017. Joining MacKay for the announcement was stage director Kevin Newbury, Co-Chair of the “Setting the Stage” Campaign Charles F. Moore, and Director of Production and Facilities Paul Horpedahl.

Santa Fe Opera’s 2017 season offers 36 performances of five different operas, running from June 30 through August 26, 2017. The company’s 61st season offers the same diversity of repertory audiences have come to expect in its six decades. The season opens with Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss Jr.’s humorous and poignant view of urban life. Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor explores human psychology through the utter destruction of its tragic heroine. Meant to challenge the tyrants of his time through metaphor, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel shines with an enduring message. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs finds a For Immediate Release tangled journey to enlightenment while surveying the life of one of the greatest innovators of our time. And Handel’s Alcina proves that love always endures over evil.

“Setting the Stage” Campaign Update

The second phase of Santa Fe Opera’s renovation and building project of the public and backstage areas has been successfully completed. The Opera Club has been completely rebuilt, fitted with an elevator to increase access from the orchestra seating to the main plaza and mezzanine level, and a second story has been added with spectacular views of the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Stravinsky Terrace has been expanded and connects to the new Townsend Terrace, a raised portion to the north with expanded views of the Pojoaque Valley. The production wing has also doubled in size. Director of Facilities and Production Paul Horpedahl shared details about the next phase of the construction project, which begins in September 2016. Future projects include enhancements to the orchestra pit, a complete renovation to the main patron parking lot, and on-site storage for props and scenery.

Speaking on the status of the Campaign, Co-Chair of the Campaign Committee Charles F. Moore said, “At the August 2015 news conference, it was announced the ‘Setting the Stage’ Campaign had been increased to $45 million. I’m thrilled to report that commitments have reached more than $40 million, including nearly $7 million in planned giving. The stream of support and passion for the company is deeply gratifying.” The Crosby Society was launched in November of 2015 so that individuals could include planned gifts as part of the Campaign. In the 2016 season, a seat naming campaign will also be launched.

Now two years into its public phase, Santa Fe Opera welcomes gifts to the campaign in any amount. Naming opportunities range from large areas to the underwriting of equipment for the various production areas. For more information, contact Director of External Affairs Robert Meya at

Returning Artists


Meredith Arwady (The Impresario and Le Rossignol, 2014), Barry Banks (Intermezzo, 2003), Kevin Burdette (Cold Mountain, 2015), Anna Christy (The Daughter of the Regiment, 2015), Susan Graham (Capriccio, 2016), Devon Guthrie+ (Fidelio, 2014), Joshua Hopkins (La Finta Giardiniera, 2015), Daniela Mack (Carmen, 2014), Zachary Nelson+ (Don Pasquale, 2014), Eric Owens (Capriccio, 2016), Dimitri Pittas+ (The Elixir of Love, 2009), Brenda Rae (The Impresario and Le Rossignol, 2014), Alek Shrader (The Daughter of the Regiment, 2015), Garrett Sorenson+ (Daphne, 2007), Kurt Streit+ (Eugene Onegin, 2002), Elza van den Heever (Don Giovanni, 2009), Christian Van Horn (La Bohème, 2011)


Harry Bicket (Roméo et Juliette, 2016), Rory Macdonald (Carmen, 2014), Corrado Rovaris (Don Pasquale, 2014), Robert Tweten (The Marriage of Figaro, 2008), Emmanuel Villaume (La Fanciulla del West, 2016)


David Alden (Maometto II, 2012), Ned Canty (The Daughter of the Regiment, 2015), Paul Curran (La Donna del Lago, 2013), Ron Daniels (Don Giovanni, 2016), Kevin Newbury (Oscar, 2013)


Christopher Akerlind (Dr. Sun Yat-sen, 2014), Zack Brown (Rigoletto, 2000), Gideon Davey (Radamisto, 2008), Riccardo Hernandez (Don Giovanni, 2016), Allen Moyer (Vanessa, 2016), Peter Nigrini (Don Giovanni, 2016), Emily Rebholz (Don Giovanni, 2016), Duane Schuler (Fidelio, 2014), Japhy Weideman (Life is a Dream, 2010)

Chorus Master:

Susanne Sheston


Jane Archibald (Soprano), Paul Carey (Costume Designer), Michael Christie (Conductor), Sasha Cooke (Mezzo-soprano), Venera Gimadieva (Soprano), Paul Hackenmueller (Lighting Designer), Gary McCann (Scenic and Costume Designer), Paula Murrihy+ (Mezzo-soprano), Edward Parks (Baritone), Sam Pinkleton (Choreographer), Victoria “Vita” Tzykun (Scenic Designer), Wei Wu (Bass)

+former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice

Die Fledermaus

Johann Strauss Jr.

June 30, July 5, 8, 14, August 1, 7, 14, 19, 26

Sung in English with English dialogue, and Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

A new Santa Fe Opera production. Last performed in 1992.

First performed at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien on April 5, 1874.

Production underwritten by a generous gift from Bob and Ellen Vladem.

Die Fledermaus, the greatest example of the Viennese operetta style, centers on a brilliant masked ball, given by a Russian prince, which brings together its main characters. This three-act excursion from bedchamber to ballroom to prison explores both the comic and serious aspects of human emotion.

“We’ve set the production in the late 19th century to fully embrace the carnival atmosphere in which the Eisensteins are allowed to break all the rules…but only for a night,” said Director Ned Canty. “And as happens in ‘one crazy night’ stories from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the 1980s cult classic Sixteen Candles, the characters in Die Fledermaus throw themselves into their adventures with gusto, returning to reality the next morning with a renewed appreciation for the life they had all along.”

Conductor: Rory Macdonald

Director: Ned Canty

Scenic Designer: Allen Moyer

Costume Designer: Zack Brown

Lighting Designer: Duane Schuler

Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Gabriel von Eisenstein: Kurt Streit+, tenor

Rosalinde, Eisenstein’s wife: Devon Guthrie+, soprano

Adele, Rosalinde’s maid: Jane Archibald*, soprano

Alfred, a music teacher: Dimitri Pittas+, tenor

Dr. Falke, a notary: Joshua Hopkins, baritone

Prince Orlofsky: Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano; Paula Murrihy*+, mezzo-soprano

Frosch, a jailer: Kevin Burdette, bass

*debut, +former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice

Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti

July 1, 7, 12, 21, 31, August 5, 8, 12, 16, 24

Sung in Italian with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

A new Santa Fe Opera production. Last performed in 2001.

First performed at Naples’ Teatro San Carlo on September 26, 1835.

Based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott, Lucia di Lammermoor is the story of a desperate woman who is caught between her duty to her family and her love for the man who is her family’s enemy. She is conspired against, betrayed, bullied, and blackmailed, and finally takes refuge in her own madness, set to one of Donizetti’s most powerful and provocative arias.

“This is an opera about the imagination – about reality becoming so intolerable that the mind retreats into itself – into madness, or into suicide and death,” said Director Ron Daniels. “The world is a dreamscape! Perspectives are lost. Realities shift and transform. Vanishing points vanish. And it all happens in the mind.”

Conductor: Corrado Rovaris

Director: Ron Daniels

Scenic Designer: Riccardo Hernandez

Costume Designer: Emily Rebholz

Lighting Designer: Christopher Akerlind

Video Designer: Peter Nigrini

Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Lucia: Brenda Rae, soprano

Lord Enrico Ashton, Lucia’s brother: Zachary Nelson+, baritone

Raimondo Bidebent, a Calvinist chaplain: Christian Van Horn, bass-baritone

+former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice

The Golden Cockerel

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

July 15, 19, 28, August 3, 9, 18

Sung in Russian with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

A co-production with The Dallas Opera. A company premiere.

First performed at Moscow’s Solodovnikove Theatre on October 7, 1909.

Rimsky-Korsakov’s final opera is at once a simple and complex adaptation of a modern Russian fairytale set by Alexander Pushkin. Like a Fabergé egg, The Golden Cockerel is a brilliantly constructed and ornamented work of art containing an even greater and more surprising treasure—a moral for those in power who do not take their responsibility seriously.

“Our production evokes the world of Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes while taking us on a journey via modern technology and video,” said Director Paul Curran. “The music is truly magical and sensual, comic and deeply moving. It’s a hugely surprising undiscovered jewel of an opera.”

Conductor: Emmanuel Villaume

Director: Paul Curran

Scenic & Costume Designer: Gary McCann*

Lighting Designer: Paul Hackenmueller*

Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Tsar Dodon: Eric Owens, bass-baritone

General Polkan: Kevin Burdette, bass

Amelfa, a housekeeper: Meredith Arwady, contralto

Astrologer: Barry Banks, tenor

Tsaritsa Shemakha: Venera Gimadieva*, soprano


The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Mason Bates, Composer | Mark Campbell, Librettist

July 22, 26, August 4, 10, 15, 25

Sung in English with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

A Santa Fe Opera World Premiere production.

Commissioning and development supported by a generous grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs begins at a critical moment in Jobs’ life and circles back to examine the people and experiences that shaped one of the most influential figures of our time: his father’s mentorship, his devotion to Buddhism, his relationships, his rise and fall as a mogul, and finally his marriage to Laurene Jobs, who showed him the power of human connection. This world premiere opera, with music by Mason Bates and libretto by Mark Campbell, captures the buzzing sphere of Silicon Valley with a kinetic electro-acoustic score, an absorbing non-linear narrative, and a high-tech production.

Conductor: Michael Christie* (July 22, 26, August 4, 10, 15); Robert Tweten (August 25)

Director: Kevin Newbury

Scenic Designer: Victoria “Vita” Tzykun*

Costume Designer: Paul Carey*

Lighting Designer: Japhy Weideman

Projection Design: 59 Productions

Choreographer: Sam Pinkleton*

Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Steve Jobs: Edward Parks*, baritone

Laurene Powell Jobs, his wife: Sasha Cooke*, mezzo-soprano

Kôbun Chino Otogawa, his spiritual advisor: Wei Wu*, bass

Woz, his friend and business partner: Garrett Sorenson+, tenor



George Frideric Handel

July 29, August 2, 11, 17, 23

Sung in Italian with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

A new Santa Fe Opera production adapted from the 2012 Opera Bordeaux staging. A company premiere.

First performed at London’s Theatre Royal, Covent Garden on April 16,1735.

The sorceress queen Alcina has created a paradise to lure her many lovers into her power. Although Ruggiero forsakes his duty and his betrothed while under the enchantress’ spell, Alcina’s humanity is ultimately exposed. In Handel’s most magical and exotic opera, true love triumphs, restoring all that had been transformed.

“David Alden’s production, first seen in Bordeaux in 2012, turned Alcina’s island into a theatre,” said Opera in its review of the remount in November 2015 at Madrid’s Teatro Real. “We were drawn into a stage-within-a-stage atmosphere where the enchantress was a voluptuous singer and the other principals were the audience or theatre employees. The production shone with colour, brimming imagination and intriguing shadow-effect lighting, with a menagerie of different animals bounding and breakdancing about the stage.”

Conductor: Harry Bicket

Director: David Alden

Scenic & Costume Designer: Gideon Davey

Alcina, a sorceress: Elza van den Heever, soprano

Morgana, her sister: Anna Christy, soprano

Ruggiero, a knight: Paula Murrihy+, mezzo-soprano

Bradamante, Ruggiero’s bethrothed: Daniela Mack, mezzo-soprano

Oronte, lover of Morgana: Alek Shrader, tenor

Melisso, former tutor of Ruggiero: Christian Van Horn, bass-baritone

+former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice

•further casting and creative team details to be announced•

Mainstage Information: 2017 Season

Performance Start Times

June 30-July 29, 8:30 PM July 31-August 26, 8:00 PM

Family Nights

Special performances of all five productions during the season are designated Family Nights, providing opportunities for families to attend mainstage performances. The prices for both adults and accompanying children are greatly discounted from the regular ticket prices. Dates and prices are to be announced. Family Nights are made possible, in part, with support from Gemini Rosemont.

Apprentice Scenes

Fully-staged scenes from the operatic repertory showcasing the remarkable talent of Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers and Technicians will be presented on two consecutive Sunday evenings, August 13 and 20, 2017, at 8:00 PM.


Tickets to the 2017 season are on sale now by telephone 505.986.5900 (toll free 800.280.4654) or in person. On-line sales begin in the fall.

Subscription Packages

2017 season ticket buyers can save up to 15% and choose from seven renewable series or select the best dates to fit their schedule with a flexible Compose-Your-Own package. A payment plan is also available for all subscriptions, and renewable series subscribers have the added benefit of making ticket exchanges for the same production without incurring a service charge. For further information, please visit Santa Fe Opera’s website at

The mission of Santa Fe Opera is to advance the operatic art form by presenting ensemble performances of the highest quality in a unique setting with a varied repertory of new, rarely performed, and standard works; to ensure the excellence of opera’s future through apprentice programs for singers, technicians, and arts administrators; and to foster and enrich an understanding and appreciation of opera among a diverse public.