Health and Safety


January 11, 2021

The Santa Fe Opera will be updating this page regularly with our latest plans for the safe reopening of our venue. The date of the most recent update will display at the top of this page. You may also view New Mexico’s current travel guidelines.

The health and safety of our audience, staff and artists are our highest priority as we plan for our 2021 Season. Our staff is hard at work building the foundation of our health and safety protocols and we want to share our process and current plans with you.

The Santa Fe Opera has created a Reopening Advisory Group that includes health officials, board members and staff who are following the latest science and recommendations for how best to protect you from COVID-19. We are in close communication with our state and local authorities to ensure we are in compliance with official policies. COVID-19 safety practices are developing and improving every day, and as we get closer to the opening of our 2021 Season, we will adapt and better define our plans according to the latest medical advice.

Most recently, we have appointed a COVID-Compliance & Safety Manager. In his new position, Mike VanAartsen will oversee the planning, implementation and administration of all of safely reopening for our 2021 Festival Season.⁠ Mike is uniquely qualified for this position, having recently completed coursework with Yale School of Drama's Technical Design and Production Program, with a particular focus on life safety, public health, and crisis management. In May 2020, he was the recipient of the recently established William J. Reynolds Award for Excellence in Theater Safety.⁠ Mike has nineteen years of experience in the performing arts industry and holds certifications in First Aid, Mental Health First Aid, Crowd Management, OSHA-30 and 10. He has completed additional training with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), World Health Organization (WHO), the American Red Cross, the Event Safety Alliance and has been working toward his EMT-B license.⁠

Ticketing & Attendance

For now, we would like to share what we already have underway:

  • Ticket orders are accepted via phone or online. No walk-up orders will be taken by the Box Office.
  • Tickets will be delivered as print-at-home or mobile tickets only.
  • Prior to arriving at the opera, we are recommending our patrons self-screen against the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker located at the top of this page. 
  • Audience members will be required to wear facemasks at all times.
  • Acrylic shields will be placed between staff and audience members at points of contact.
  • Special cleaning equipment and supplies will be used to sanitize our bathrooms, elevator and other high touch surfaces on a regular basis.
  • Social distancing markers will be placed on the ground where lines may form.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available around the property.
  • We will not accept cash transactions. We accept all major credit and debit cards. Apple Pay and Google Pay are also available at all of our touchless credit card machines. No signatures will be required.
  • Theater restrooms are being retrofitted with touchless technology including faucets, soap dispensers, flushing systems and more.

We plan to have a ticket scanning system that will allow audience members to scan their own tickets for entry into the theater plaza. If this system is adopted, each ticket will contain a specified entry time frame and doorway to help with social distancing.

Finally, we encourage anyone who is feeling unwell not to attend a performance. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please call the Box Office prior to your performance to discuss your ticket options. We will work with patrons on a case-by-case basis to exchange or refund in order to limit possible exposure to COVID-19.

To learn more about our 2021 Season, including dates, casting, repertory information, please visit our 2021 Season Announcement Press Release