Santa Fe Opera Celebrates 60th Season: Five operas, apprentice series offered July 1 – Aug. 2

Editor’s Note: Watch for Terry Mathews’ travelogue of Northern New Mexico in September’s issues. She will review the operas, restaurants, art scene and, of course, all things O’Keeffe.

Santa Fe Opera House - USE THIS ONE - 6-30-16
Santa Fe’s spectacular “Crosby Theater” stands ready for this season’s guests.

SANTA FE, NM – “I’m very pleased to announce Santa Fe Opera’s 60th Anniversary Season, the programming of which underscores the company’s mission and honors its great traditions,” said General Director Charles MacKay during a news conference last May.Santa Fe Opera’s 2016 season offers 37 performances of five different operas, running from July 1 through August 27, and is filled with some of the world’s most powerful love stories.

The season opens with “La Fanciulla del West,” Puccini’s romantic portrait of the “Golden West” which tells a dramatic tale of love on America’s rugged frontier.

Mozart’s classically beautiful “Don Giovanni,” based on the legend of the great seducer Don Juan, and Samuel Barber’s twentieth-century masterpiece “Vanessa” both venture into the deep psychology of love defiled.

Strauss’ “Capriccio” philosophically examines love and art through its allegorical tale of two suitors, while Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette,” the enduring operatic adaptation of Shakespeare’s immortal tragedy, plumbs the very depths of human emotion.

Things you should know:

Emmanuel Villaume, entering his fourth season as The Dallas Opera’s music director, will conduct “La Fanciulla del West” in Santa Fe this summer.

La Fanciulla Del West: Giacomo Puccini

Dates: July 1, 6, 9, 15, August 2, 8, 13, 17, 23, 27

Sung in Italian with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

First performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1910.

Last performed in Santa Fe in 1995.

A “spaghetti Western” tale of love, money, deceit, and forgiveness, “La Fanciulla del West” is an authentic take on America’s iconic Golden West, set to music by the composer of “Madame Butterfly” and “Turandot.”

Full of color and action – firing pistols, poker and whiskey – Puccini’s romantic portrait of the gold-mining frontier is inhabited by pitiless bandits, compassionate but rugged prospectors and one extraordinary saloon owner named Minnie.

Don Giovanni: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Dates: July 2, 8, 13, 22, August 1, 6, 10, 15, 20, 26

Sung in Italian with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

First performed at Prague’s National Theatre in 1787.

Last performed in 2009. This is a new Santa Fe Opera production.

Based on the womanizer Don Juan of legend, and composed by one of the greatest composers of the eighteenth century, “Don Giovanni” is the story of a seducer who manipulates at least three women too many.

In Mozart’s alternately playful and terrifying drama, Don Giovanni’s unrelenting desire turns lives upside down until he finds that some of his sins are simply irredeemable.


Ailyn and Stephen - Dallas Opera - for Santa Fe Opera Piece - 6-30-16
Opera’s former “it” couple  Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello will sing the title roles in “Romeo et Juliette” in Santa Fe. Costello announced on his webpage Feb. 10 that he and Perez had separated. Earlier this year, they sang in The Dallas Opera’s production of “Manon.” (TDO Photo By Karen Almond)

Roméo et Juliette: Charles Gounod

Dates: July 16, 20, 29, August 4, 9, 16, 25

Sung in French with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

First performed at Paris’ Théâtre Lyrique in 1867.

A new Santa Fe Opera production. A company premiere.

An ageless tragic tale of two young lovers who fall victim to a family feud, Gounod’s stunning French “grand opera” is based on Shakespeare’s masterwork.

Spinning waltzes, dramatic choruses and fiery family rivalries form the epic backdrop against which our star-crossed lovers choose, in the face of parting with each other, to part with life instead.

Capriccio: Richard Strauss

Dates July 23, 27,  August 5, 11, 19

Sung in German with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

First performed at Munich’s Staatsoper in 1942.

Last performed in 1993, this is a new Santa Fe Opera production.

An elegant and witty opera about opera with an incredibly lush score, “Capriccio” was the final composition by Richard Strauss and remains one of the most captivatingly sophisticated works in the operatic repertory.

This dueling love story which explores the aesthetic debate about whether words or music are more important received its American premiere at Santa Fe Opera in 1958.

Vanessa: Samuel Barber with libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti

Dates: July 30, August 3, 12,  18,  24

Sung in English with Opera Titles in English and Spanish.

First performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1958.

A new Santa Fe Opera production and a company premiere.

The Gothic account of a woman left broken-hearted by the lover who left her, Samuel Barber’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Vanessa” is considered by many to be one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century.

Obsessively awaiting the return of a married man with whom she had an affair 20 years before, the aging but still beautiful aristocrat Vanessa lives in a world of secrets, deception and alternate realities. When a stranger arrives at the door, a new chapter begins.

Mainstage information:

Santa Fe Opera’s 2016 Season Performance Start Times: July 1-30, 8:30 p.m. – August 1-27, 8 p.m.

The cantina on Santa Fe Opera’s grounds offers a buffet supper. Call the opera for reservations, as the dining space sells out quickly. 1-800-280-4654.

Prelude Talks

These lively and informative talks are offered in Stieren Orchestra Hall twice before most performances.

The first talk begins two hours before the performance and the second is one hour before.

Prelude Talks begin Saturday, July 2, and are free to ticket holders.

For best availability, we suggest attending the first one.

Prelude Talks are not offered on July 1 and during Apprentice Scenes performance evenings, Aug. 14 and 21.

Family Nights

Special performances of all five productions during the season are designated Family Nights, providing opportunities for families to attend mainstage performances.

Tickets for both adults and accompanying children are available at a special price at the following performances:

“La Fanciulla del West” on Saturday, July 9 and August 27; “Don Giovanni” on Friday, July 8 and Saturday, August 6; “Roméo et Juliette” on Saturday, July 16 and Friday, July 29; “Capriccio” on Saturday, July 23 and Friday, August 19; and “Vanessa” on Wednesday, August 24.

Apprentice Scenes

Scenes from the repertory showcasing the remarkable talent of apprentice artists and technicians are presented on two consecutive Sunday evenings, Aug. 14 and 21.

Single Tickets

Tickets to the 2016 season are available at, by telephone 800-280-4654 or at the box office in front of the theater.

Subscription Packages

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 the Santa Fe Opera website at

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