Active Learning Through Opera

Through the Santa Fe Opera’s Active Learning Through Opera (ALTO) Program, elementary and middle school students make meaningful connections between an academic topic and an element of opera, and demonstrate their understanding of both through performance. 

In multi-week residencies, teaching artists from the Opera collaborate with classroom teachers to engage students in the experience of being composers, librettists, singers, dancers, actors or visual artists.  Students create original work based on the form they focus on and their unit of study, so classes may create dances that demonstrate the systems of the human body, or an entire through-composed opera based on the Hero’s Journey or Tall Tales.

The Santa Fe Opera continues to work with Santa Fe, Rio Rancho, Albuquerque and other public schools around the state.

Guided by theater and composer artists-in-residence, children begin by drawing from their imaginations, popular literature and culture, and social or historical themes, as well as personal mythologies, for the subjects of their own operas.  Once the stories are complete and set to music, the children design and build their costumes and scenery.

To date, more than 12,000 children have produced 175 operas, performing to audiences of parents, classmates and friends totaling nearly 50, 000 people.


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Family nights

Family Nights makes coming to the opera a more accessible experience for all, and provides an incredible opportunity for families to purchase tickets that would normally cost $100 or more.

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For more information, contact:


Active Learning Through Opera

alto@santafeopera.org