New Works

The Santa Fe Opera is proud to play a major role in the commissioning and producing of new American opera. Our company has produced 14 world premieres, in addition to over 40 American premieres. 

World Premieres


The (R)evolution Steve Jobs (2017)
Music, Mason Bates & Libretto, Mark Campbell

Cold Mountain (2015)
Music, Jennifer Higdon & Libretto, Gene Scheer

Oscar (2013)
Music & Libretto, Theodore Morrison

Life is a Dream (2010)
Music, Lewis Spratlan & Libretto, James Maraniss

The Letter (2009)
Music, Paul Moravec & Libretto, Terry Teachout

Madame Mao (2003)
Music, Bright Sheng & Libretto, Colin Graham

Ashoka's Dream (1997)
Music, Peter Lieberson & Libretto, Douglas Penick

Emmeline (1996)
Music, Tobias Picker & Libretto, JD McClatchy

Modern Painters (1995)
Music, David Lang & Libretto, Manuela Hoelterhoff

The Tempest (1985)
Music, John Eaton & Libretto, Andrew Porter

The Confidence Man (1982)
Music & Libretto, George Rochberg

Yerma (1971)
Music & Libretto, Heitor Villa-Lobos

Opera (1970)
Music & Libretto, Luciano Berio

Wuthering Heights (1958)
Music & Libretto, Carlisle Floyd

The Tower (1957)
Music & Libretto, Marvin David Levy

American Premieres


Dr. Sun Yat-sen (2014)
Music & Libretto, Huang Ruo

Adriana Mater (2008)
Music, Kaija Saariaho & libretto Amin Maalouf

Tea: A Mirror of Soul (2007)
Music, Tan Dun & Libretto, Xu Ying

The Tempest (2006)
Music, Thomas Adès & Libretto, Meredith Oakes

L'Amour de Loin (2002)
Music, Kaija Saariaho & libretto Amin Maalouf

Venus and Adonis (2000)
Music, Hans Werner Henze & Libretto, Hans-Ulrich Treichel

A Dream Play (1998)
Music & Libretto, Ingvar Lidholm

Blond Eckbert (1994)
Music & Libretto, Judith Weir

The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken (1993)
Music, Kurt Weill & Libretto, Georg Kaiser

The Protagonist (1993)
Music, Kurt Weill & Libretto, Georg Kaiser

The Sorrows of Young Werther (1992)
Music, Hans-Jürgen Von Bose & Libretto, Rose and Filippo Sanjust

Judith (1990)
Music & Libretto, Siegfried Matthus

A Night at the Chinese Opera (1989)
Music & Libretto, Judith Weir

Friedenstag (1988)
Music, Richard Strauss & Libretto, Joseph Gregor

The Black Mask (1988)
Music, Krzysztof Penderecki & Libretto, Harry Kupfer

The Eqyptian Helen (1986)
Music, Richard Strauss & Libretto, Hugo von Hofmannsthal

The King Goes Forth to France (1986)
Music, Aulis Sallinen & Libretto, Paavo Haavikko

The English Cat (1985)
Music, Hans Werner Henze & Libretto, Edward Bond

A Florentine Tragedy (1984)
Music & Libretto, Alexander von Zemlinsky

Intermezzo (1984)
Music, Richard Strauss & Libretto, Joseph Gregor

We Come to the River (1984)
Music, Hans Werner Henze & Libretto, Edward Bond

L'Orione (1983)
Music, Pier Francesco Cavalli & Libretto, Francesco Melosio

Die Liebe der Danae (1982)
Music, Richard Strauss & Libretto, Joseph Gregor

Von Heute auf Morgen (1980)
Music, Arnold Schoenberg & Libretto, Gertrud Schoenberg

The Duchess of Malfi (1978)
Music & Libretto, Stephen Oliver

The Italian Straw Hat (1977)
Music, Nino Rota & Libretto, Ernesta Rota

The Cunning Little Vixen (1975)
Music & Libretto, Leoš Janáček

L'Egisto (1974)
Music, Pier Francesco Cavalli & Libretto, Giovanni Faustini

Owen Wingrave (1973)
Music, Benjamin Britten & Libretto, Myfanwy Piper

Melusine (1972)
Music, Aribert Reimann & Libretto Claus H. Henneberg

The Devils of Loudun (1969)
Music & Libretto, Krzysztof Penderecki

Help! Help! The Globolinks (1969)
Music & Libretto, Gian-Carlo Menotti

The Bassarids (1968)
Music, Hans Werner Henze & Libretto, W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman

Die Jakobsleiter (1968)
Music & Libretto, Arnold Schoenberg

Boulevard Solitude (1967)
Music, Hans Werner Henze & Libretto, Grete Weil

Cardillac (1967)
Music, Paul Hindemith & Libretto, Ferdinand Lion

The Stag King (1965)
Music, Hans Werner Henze & Libretto, Heinz von Cramer

The Nose (1965)
Music, Dmitri Shostakovich & Libretto, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Georgy Ionin and Alezander Preis

Daphne (1964)
Music, Richard Strauss & Libretto, Joseph Gregor

Lulu (1963)
Music & Libretto, Alban Berg

News of the Day (1961)
Music, Paul Hindemith & Libretto, Marcellus Schiffer

Perséphone (1961)
Music, Igor Stravinsky & Libretto, André Gide

Capriccio (1958)
Music, Richard Strauss & Libretto, Clemens Krauss


Full Repertory


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Recording of Cold Mountain

Composer Jennifer Higdon and librettist Gene Scheer’s Cold Mountain, which received its world premiere at The Santa Fe Opera, continues to garner major accolades and awards. A live recording drawn from the 2015 Santa Fe performances has been issued on the Pentatone label.

Learn More