Santa Fe Opera Seminars

2020 Season Seminar | Opera Insight Seminar

2020 Season seminar

Drama, Music, and Meaning in Opera

Join us for a guided journey into masterworks of the operatic tradition presented as only The Santa Fe Opera can with unmatched artistic excellence in a unique outdoor setting. The Santa Fe Opera offers two separate weeklong seminars, with lectures and discussions centered on Santa Fe Opera's 2020 season. Participants will learn about and discuss the 2020 operas, their composers, plots, musical characteristics and performances. The seminars will be held in a space on the Opera grounds from 10:00 am – 12:30 pm daily, with lunch provided at the Opera’s Cantina (included in cost, except for optional day). Each Seminar will offer both a backstage tour and an opera grounds tour as a part of the week’s activities.  These seminars are for those new to opera as well as those who have participated before.


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Opera Insight seminar 

Ethics, Narrative and Psychotherapy inspired by opera

Presented by The Southwestern Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy and Santa Fe Opera

Topic: Ethical Decision Making in Psychotherapy
Inspired by Tristan und Isolde, the ultimate operatic saga of star-crossed lovers.
Where: The Santa Fe Opera Conference Room (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
When: July 31 and Aug 1, 2020
Presenter: Dr. Don Fineberg

What is true in life, is also true in psychotherapy: there are decision points throughout the process. Competence involves not only what decisions are made, but also how they are made. These decisions are inherently fraught with ethical challenges. Opera InSight 2020 explores this process through the choices made by the fictional characters of Wagner’s masterwork of doomed love, Tristan und Isolde. In this way, we gain insight into the practice of psychotherapy and the psychology of choices we all must make in our lives.

The program offers 5 APA approved CE credits (qualifying for ethics requirements)

In addition to the seminar hours, the program includes a backstage tour, a prelude talk, and the performance of Tristan und Isolde on July 31, 2020.

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Program Schedule

Activities will be held on SFO campus unless otherwise stated.

Friday 7/31/20

  • 9–9:30 AM | Coffee at Dapples Pavilion
  • 9:30–10:15 AM | Introduction: Decision Making, Ethics and Psychotherapy
  • 10:15–11:30 AM | The Psychology of Tristan und Isolde
  • 11:30–11:45 AM | Break
  • 11:45–1 PM | Decision Making: Ethics and the Opera
  • 1–1:30 PM | Break
  • 1:30–2 PM | Backstage tour of opera (optional)
  • 7 PM | Prelude Opera Talk at Stieren Hall
  • 8 PM | Performance of Tristan und Isolde


Saturday 8/1/20

  • 9:30–10 AM | Coffee at Dapples Pavilion
  • 10–11:30 AM | Opera Illustrated Ethical Decision Making Relevant to Psychotherapy
  • 11:30–12 PM | Conclusion and Evaluation Forms (Mandatory for CE credit)

Core Objectives


About Presenter Don Fineberg

Presenter Don Fineberg has practiced psychiatry in Santa Fe since 1978 and since 1990 has consulted and taught English and psychology at Santa Fe Prep. He lectures on a variety of topics related to clinical practice, education, and the arts, especially opera. Over 20 years he developed a following for Opera and Psychology, seminars inspired by one of the operas from The Santa Fe Opera’s festival season. Topics included the role of time—a present that incorporates a remembered past and an anticipated future—the ethics of relationships, and the nature of love. In 2016 he introduced Opera InSight, which has since returned in an expanded format. 

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OPERA INSIGHT is Sponsored by The Southwestern Institute for the Advancement of Psychotherapy (SIAP). SIAP is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SIAP maintains responsibility for the program and its content.

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Prelude Talks

Your road map for each evening’s performance! These talks are complimentary to ticket holders and are held in Stieren Orchestra Hall twice before most performances.  

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