12 February 2019
The Santa Fe Opera brings non-traditional applications of welding studies to high school students
By Jackie M. and Mike Ortiz
In the spring of 2018, Danny Durkin, Assistant Master Carpenter and Mike Ortiz, Associate Technical Director, met with Estevan Ortega, welding instructor for Santa Fe’s Early College Opportunities (ECO) high school, to begin an outreach initiative of The Opera’s Young Technicians Program. They explored the possibility of ECO students working on a project that would utilize skills they are learning for an upcoming production. Students toured The Santa Fe Opera's Scene Shop to view equipment and sets, as well as other production areas to gain insights on how their training at ECO could lead to future employment.
Santa Fe Early College Opportunities (ECO) high school students and deck they helped to construct in The Santa Fe Opera Scene Shop
“When we looked at the fabrication schedule we recognized an opportunity to include the students in the construction of a portion of the raked deck for Jenůfa,” Ortiz noted. During the Fall 2018 semester, preparations were made for student involvement. At the start of this year Opera staff led an instruction workshop at ECO in layout techniques and practical math application in construction. Materials and plans were delivered to the class to complete the project to Santa Fe Opera specifications. On January 22 the students’ portion of construction was delivered to the Scene Shop, and the class returned to the shop to complete fabrication a few days later.
Beginning on July 20, performances of Jenůfa will unfold on the deck the ECO students helped to create, proving there are no small roles in opera!
The Young Technicians of The Santa Fe Opera
The Young Technicians of The Santa Fe Opera program is designed to introduce high school students to the many aspects of technical theater employed in opera productions and the process used by production teams to take a score/libretto from the page to the stage.