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Shoes for the Santo Niño

Santa Fe Opera Presents: Shoes for the Santo Niño

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An Opera for All Ages


Friday, December 1 – 7:00 PM , Albuquerque, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Journal Theatre
Saturday, December 2 – 2:00 PM Albuquerque, National Hispanic Cultural Center, Journal Theatre
Friday, December 8 – 7:00 PM Santa Fe, The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
Saturday, December 9 – 2:00 PM Santa Fe, The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi


$7 General admission for the Albuquerque performances; $5 General admission for the Santa Fe performances, available here.

Shoes for the Santo Nino

Santa Fe, NM – This December Santa Fe Opera presents the return of Shoes for the Santo Niño, an opera for all ages originally commissioned by the University of New Mexico and co-presented by UNM and the Santa Fe Opera for the New Mexico centenary. The opera tells the story of Julianita, the youngest of eleven children, who slips out of her home one evening to take a pair of “practical” shoes she has made, to the Santo Niño. Upon entering the church, the Santo Niño and other saints come to life, whisking Julianita off into an evening of mystery, magic and miracles.

This joyous piece depicts the important role of the Santo Niño de Atocha as part of the traditional cultural fabric of northern New Mexico in both Hispanic and Native American families. The tale of Julianita and the Santo Niño, passed down from generation to generation, is adapted from the charming children’s story by Peggy Pond Church. The Santo Niño is known as an advocate for healing, primarily of children, and many believe that he wears the shoes left by pilgrims who visit his shrines to walk abroad and heal sick children while they sleep.

The opera was composed by Stephen Paulus, with a libretto by Andrea Fellows Walters, the Director of Education & Community Programs at Santa Fe Opera. Mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit and baritone Jorge Espino, both current apprentices, will sing the principal roles. Santa Fe Opera Chorus Master Susanne Sheston is music director and conductor; Carmen Florez Mansi is chorus master. Kathleen Clawson, Assistant Director of the Apprentice Program for Singers at Santa Fe Opera, is stage director, with production design by Brian J. Bustos, and stage management by Laurel Wiley. The Albuquerque performances will be accompanied by orchestra, and the Santa Fe performances by piano.

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Coit was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of St. Louis where she covered Richard in the American Premiere of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart. She recently finished a two year term as a Resident Artist at Utah Opera where she also sang with the Utah Symphony and performed the roles of Mercédès in Carmen and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. As a member of the 2016 Apprentice Singer Program at Santa Fe Opera, she covered the role of Erika in Barber’s Vanessa. She was a 2017 National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. This past summer she returned to Santa Fe as an Apprentice Singer where she sang the role of Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor and covered the role of Laurene Powell Jobs in the world premiere of Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. This fall she makes her house and mainstage role debut as Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro with Michigan Opera Theatre.

Mexican baritone, Jorge Espino continues his professional studies at Curtis Institute of Music, singing the title role in Eugene Onegin for the 2017-2018 season. This past summer he performed Prince Afron in The Golden Cockerel at Santa Fe Opera, where he made his debut in the 2016 season as Sid in The Girl of the Golden West. He is a graduate from the Academy of Vocal Arts where his performances included Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, Albert in Werther, Manfredo in L’amore dei tre re, Masetto in Don Giovanni, Wagner in Faust, Schaunard in La Bohème, Haly in L’italiana in Algeri, Lescaut in Manon and Yeletsky in Pique Dame.

The Mission Of The 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.