Santa Fe is known as “The City Different,” so it should come as no surprise that the Santa Fe Opera provides an opera experience like no other. Since its inception in 1957, Santa Fe Opera has emerged as one of America’s premier summer opera festivals.
Each year during July and August, they present five productions of the highest artistic standards. Their repertory always includes a mixture of new, rarely performed and standard works, giving patrons an opportunity to see performances that they may not have experienced before.
The Santa Fe Opera House is like no other.
Surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains, the setting is unforgettable. The stage and seating are covered, but the sides of the theater and the rear of the stage are completely open, giving the audience views of the stunning landscape and dramatic summer thunderstorms in the distance.
Because the open walls and ambient light of dusk can be challenging for stage lighting, performances traditionally begin at 9:00 p.m., but this year they are starting earlier at 8:00 or 8:30 p.m. with live sunsets as a dazzling backdrop to the stage set. Another innovative feature of the Santa Fe Opera House is the use of “Opera Titles” – a small translation screen (English or Spanish) on the back of every seat that helps the audience follow the story line of the opera as it is performed.
Tailgating is a popular tradition.
An evening at the Santa Fe Opera actually begins hours before the curtain goes up. Hundreds of people arrive as much as three hours early for traditional tailgating. Yes, tailgating at the opera! You can bring your own picnics, tables and chairs and dine in the parking lot or at adjacent picnic tables. Alternatively, you can purchase dinner, including wine and dessert, at the open-air cantina on the beautifully landscaped rehearsal grounds.
If you are not yet convinced that the Santa Fe Opera is a unique opera experience, one look at the audience’s collective sense of style will surely persuade you. Any choice of attire is welcomed and attendees come in everything from casual shorts to formal gowns.
Get Insider information.
There are several opportunities to learn more about the productions before the actual performances. A free and informative Prelude Talk is usually given twice (one hour and two hours prior to the performance) each night. To learn the intricacies of opera production, one-hour backstage tours ($5) are given Monday through Friday at 9:00 a.m. and on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., the Opera Guild offers Opera Insiders Days with free backstage tours, entertainment and refreshments. 30-Minute Ranch tours, followed by a continental breakfast ($10) are available on select Friday mornings.
Opera Lovers specials
This year during special performance weeks of July 30-August 3, August 6-10 and August 13-17, patrons can see all five of this season’s operas in five days and the season ends August 25, 2012. The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado is a luxury resort in Santa Fe offering an Opera Lover’s Package throughout the season that includes:
- Daily breakfast for two in Terra restaurant
- Two tickets to the Santa Fe Opera production of your choice
- Three-course pre-opera dinner for two (excludes alcoholic beverages)
- Round-trip transfers with Mercedes-Benz to the Santa Fe Opera
- $200 Spa credit per room, per stay
- Luxurious accommodations
Santa Fe itself is a top destination for culture, art, history, cuisine and scenery and the Santa Fe Opera is a must-do when visiting this “City Different.” For more information and reservations for a truly unique vacation this summer, contact Covington’s expert advisors.