The Santa Fe Opera

Skip to main content Skip to search
Looking down on people moving stage sets in scene shop

About the Technicians Program


Become an Integral Part of Our Productions

Our Production Staff is comprised of experienced designers, technicians and craftspeople from regional theaters, opera companies and universities from around the world. Over 60% of our staff are former Santa Fe Opera technical apprentices. Staff compensation varies with responsibilities of the position and experience of the applicant. Staff housing is arranged by the Opera. Housing deductions are based on a percentage that is deducted weekly from your base pay. All staff receive assistance towards the cost of long distance travel to and from Santa Fe.

Alongside our professional staff are apprentice technicians from colleges and theater conservatories across the country. The Apprentice Program for Theater Technicians, established in 1965, is an intermediate to advanced training program. The program offers instruction and practical experience in stage operations, properties, audio/video, costumes, production/music services, wigs and makeup, electrics and scenic art. Apprentices receive an hourly wage with overtime and assistance with travel to and from Santa Fe, NM. Apprentice housing is located in Opera owned apartments. Housing deductions are based on a percentage that is deducted weekly from the base pay.

Director and Designer presentations, resumé reviews, master classes, specialty workshops and portfolio reviews by our professional staff and guest designers are offered throughout the season. Once all of the season’s repertory productions have opened, technical apprentices participate in the production of fully staged opera scenes presented in two evening concerts featuring the apprentice artists. We also host a Portfolio Fair in which seasonal employees can share their work with fellow employees, designers and invited guests. This presentation will be scheduled for midseason. Please bring your portfolio fully prepared, for there is very limited time to work on it once you arrive.

The production of the Santa Fe Opera season is rigorous, personally and professionally demanding and physically taxing. The schedule includes many continuous periods of long work days and nights. Twelve-hour-plus days and six to seven day workweeks can be the norm. Since we are an outdoor venue, technical rehearsals must begin after sunset and end well in the post-midnight hours. The Santa Fe Opera Summer Festival presents five productions in repertory.

Apprentice technician positions typically begin mid-May and often require availability through late August.

a women working on lace for a costume
Man working backstage on machine
a male performer having makeup done in costume shop