Press Release

9 May 2017

Santa Fe Opera Announces Updates to its 2017 Season

New production. Last performed by the company in 1992.

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.

ALCINA George Frideric Handel
New production. A company premiere.

Print PDF

Santa Fe, NM— Santa Fe, NM—Santa Fe Opera announces updates to the company’s 61st season. The world premiere production of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs is now a co-commission with Seattle Opera and San Francisco Opera, with support from Cal Performances. It is a co-production with Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, and The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

San Francisco Opera General Director Matthew Shilvock said, “This is a profoundly moving new opera that I am excited to bring to Northern California audiences. Steve Jobs was an iconic figure in contemporary life whose genius has impacted the very way in which we engage with the world. But he was also a real person and a member of our community. Mason Bates’ new opera is a deeply layered, moving portrayal of a man grappling with the complex priorities of life, family, and work. Like all great operas, I have been so impressed by how it speaks to the universality of the human condition. This is not just an opera about one man. It is an opera about all of us.”

“(R)evolution tells the story of a man we remember for his passion and creativity; a man who led a cultural transformation in the digital age,” said Aidan Lang, General Director of Seattle Opera. “It’s an honor for us to be creating something new with Santa Fe Opera and San Francisco Opera. From grand opera to chamber pieces performed in our community, Seattle Opera will continue to be involved in projects that push our art form to new heights.”

Baritone Tim Mix, who made his Santa Fe Opera debut in 2016 as Count Capulet in Roméo et Juliette, replaces Eric Owens as Tsar Dodon.

Previously announced cast and creative team updates, changes, and substitutions are as follows:

Conductor Nicholas Carter makes his American operatic debut this season with Die Fledermaus, replacing Rory MacDonald who has withdrawn for personal reasons. Principal conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Carter was also recently appointed as the new Chefdirigent of Stadttheater Klagenfurt and the Kärntnersinfonieorchester. Baritone Kelly Markgraf, a former Santa Fe Opera apprentice, makes his company debut in The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs as Paul, Steve Jobs’ father. Other 2017 season information has been updated, including Santa Fe Opera’s Open House on May 20, the 2017 Gala, and Backstage Tours. 

Bass-baritone David Govertsen returns as Frank in Die Fledermaus after singing the role of La Roche (Capriccio, 2016); tenor Mario Chang makes his Santa Fe Opera debut as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and soprano Jacquelyn Stucker, former Santa Fe Opera apprentice, makes her company debut as Oberto in Alcina. Paula Murrihy will sing the role of Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus on July 14 and August 1. Both members of the Die Fledermaus creative team, Christianne Myers makes her debut as costume co-designer and choreography is by Seán Curran (Vanessa, 2016). Both in company debuts, Driscoll Otto creates projection design for The Golden Cockerel, and Chloe Treat replaces Sam Pinkleton as choreographer in the world premiere of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs. Lighting for Alcina will be designed by Malcolm Rippeth (Capriccio, 2016), and choreography will be created by Beate Vollack in her company debut.

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 II’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 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.


Singers: 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), David Govertsen+ (Capriccio, 2016), Susan Graham (Capriccio, 2016), Devon Guthrie+ (Fidelio, 2014), Joshua Hopkins (La Finta Giardiniera, 2015), Daniela Mack (Carmen, 2014), Tim Mix (Roméo et Juliette, 2016), Zachary Nelson+ (Don Pasquale, 2014), 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)

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

Directors: 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)

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

Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston


Jane Archibald (Soprano), Paul Carey (Costume Design), Nicholas Carter (Conductor), Mario Chang (Tenor), Michael Christie (Conductor), Sasha Cooke (Mezzo-soprano), Venera Gimadieva (Soprano), Paul Hackenmueller (Lighting Design), Rick Jacobsohn (Sound Design), Kelly Markgraf+ (Baritone), Gary McCann (Scenic and Costume Design), Paula Murrihy+ (Mezzo-soprano), Christianne Myers (Costume Coordinator), Driscoll Otto (Projection Design), Edward Parks (Baritone), Jacquelyn Stucker+ (Soprano), Chloe Treat (Choreography), Victoria “Vita” Tzykun (Scenic Design), Beate Vollack (Choreography), Zack Winokur (Choreography), Wei Wu (Bass)

+former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


Die Fledermaus: Johann Strauss II

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 underwriting support generously provided by The Estate of Suzanne Hanson Poole and Robert & 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: Nicholas Carter*
Director: Ned Canty
Scenic Design: Allen Moyer
Costume Design: Zack Brown
Costume Co-designer: Christianne Myers*
Lighting Design: Duane Schuler
Choreography: Seán Curran
Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Gabriel von Eisenstein, a man of private means: Kurt Streit+, tenor
Rosalinda, Eisenstein’s wife: Devon Guthrie+, soprano
Frank, a prison governor: David Govertsen+, baritone
Prince Orlovsky: Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano; Paula Murrihy*+, mezzo-soprano (July 14, August 1)
Alfred, his singing teacher: Dimitri Pittas+, tenor
Dr. Falke,a notary: Joshua Hopkins, baritone
Adele, Rosalinda’s maid: Jane Archibald*, 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.
Production underwriting support generously provided by Wyncote Foundation and Robert & Ellen Vladem.

Based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott, Lucia di Lammermoor is Donizetti’s quintessential bel canto masterpiece that tells 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, highlighted by the “Mad Scene” — 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 Design: Riccardo Hernandez
Costume Design Emily Rebholz
Lighting Design: Christopher Akerlind
Projection Design: Peter Nigrini
Choreography: Zack Winokur*
Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Lucia: Brenda Rae, soprano
Enrico Ashton, Lord of Lammermoor, Lucia's brother: Zachary Nelson+, baritone
Edgardo, Lord of Ravenswood: Mario Chang*, tenor
Raimondo Bidebent, a Calvinist chaplain: Christian Van Horn, bass-baritone

*debut, +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.
Production underwriting support generously provided by The Tobin Endowment and James R. Seitz, Jr.

The final opera by Rimsky-Korsakov, the Russian nationalist composer best known for his exquisite symphonic suite Scheherazade, is at once a simple and complex adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s modern fairytale. 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 Design: Gary McCann*
Lighting Design: Paul Hackenmueller*
Projection Design: Driscoll Otto*
Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

Tsar Dodon: Tim Mix, baritone
Commander Polkan: Kevin Burdette, bass
Amelfa, royal housekeeper: Meredith Arwady, contralto
Astrologer: Barry Banks, tenor
The Queen of Shemakha: Venera Gimadieva*, soprano



The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

Music by mason bates
Libretto by Mark Campbell

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.
Commissioned by Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and San Francisco Opera, with support from Cal Performances. A co-production with Seattle Opera, San Francisco Opera, and The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Production underwriting support generously provided by David Henry Jacobs and The Carl & Marilyn Thoma Foundation. Additional support provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The National Endowment for the Arts. 

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. Mason Bates, a genius at combining traditional symphony orchestra with electronic sounds, composes this world premiere opera with master librettist Mark Campbell. It 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*; Robert Tweten (August 25)
Director: Kevin Newbury
Scenic Design: Victoria “Vita” Tzykun*
Costume Design: Paul Carey*
Lighting Design: Japhy Weideman
Projection Design: 59 Productions
Sound Design: Rick Jacobsohn*
Choreography: Chloe Treat*
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
Paul Jobs, his father: Kelly Markgraf*+

*debut +former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


Alcina: George Frideric Handel

July 29, August 2, 11, 17, 23
Sung in Italian with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.
Based on a co-production of Opera National de Bordeaux and Teatro Real de Madrid; reconceived for The Santa Fe Opera. A company premiere.
First performed at London’s Theatre Royal, Covent Garden on April 16,1735.
Production underwriting support generously provided by Avenir Foundation, Inc.

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 what is considered to be one of Handel’s finest scores, 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 Design: Gideon Davey
Lighting Design: Malcolm Rippeth
Choreography: Beate Vollack*

Alcina, a sorceress: Elza van den Heever, soprano
Morgana, her sister: Anna Christy, soprano
Ruggiero, a knight, betrothed to...: Paula Murrihy+, mezzo-soprano
Bradamante: Daniela Mack, mezzo-soprano
Melisso, her governor: Christian Van Horn, bass-baritone
Oronte, Alcina’s general: Alek Shrader, tenor
Oberto: Jacquelyn Stucker*+, soprano

*debut, +former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice


Mainstage Information: 2017 Season


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

We invite our patrons and friends to join us at the Opera on May 20, 2017, at our annual Open House.


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 for the following performances: Die Fledermaus on July 5 and 8, The Golden Cockerel on July 19 and August 9, and Lucia di Lammermoor on July 7 and July 21. 


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 online, by telephone 505.986.5900 (toll free 800.280.4654), or in person.


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 here

The 2017 summer gala will be held on August 5 at the Eldorado Hotel. All net proceeds support Santa Fe Opera’s apprentice programs, and this year’s party will feature a performance by renowned soprano Ana María Martínez. For tickets and information email Jessica Baxter at

Come discover how an opera production comes together. On our “behind-the-scenes” tour, you will explore many of our production and front-of-house areas. Tours for the 2017 season are offered once daily at 9:00 am, Monday through Friday: May 29, through August 25, 2017. $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and free for children and young adults up to age 22.

An extended tour of the grounds, known as the “Opera Ranch,” meets at the Box Office at 10:00 am, on June 30th, July 28th and August 25th in 2017, and includes a “Meet the Artist” presentation by one of our apprentice singers. The Ranch Tour is $10.

A free event hosted by The Guilds of The Santa Fe Opera on Saturdays (June 3– August 26, 2017). At 8:30 am, join us for coffee, juice and pastries followed by a lively talk about a particular area or opera-related craft from an opera insider, and concluding with a tour of the backstage. For those attending with children, ask about our scavenger hunt.


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.