Santa Fe Opera Announces Free ‘Opera In The Park’ Screening Of 2021 Season Productions

Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin seen on a Simulcast LED wall at the Santa Fe Opera. Photo by Brandon Soder. Production photography by Curtis Brown for the Santa Fe Opera; post-digital production by Dune Alford.

SFO News:

SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Opera (SFO) announces free “Opera in the Park” screenings of 2021 Season productions in August in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

The events are part of the opera’s reopening celebrations and ongoing commitment to bring the joy of opera to the Santa Fe and Albuquerque communities.

The Santa Fe Opera wishes to acknowledge “Opera in the Park” sponsors Chester A. Gougis & Shelley Ochab and Simulcast sponsors Brooke Suzanne Gray, James V. and Dana Pope Manning and Gene and Jean Stark for their generous support in helping to realize these events.

The Simulcast recordings are directed by Bruce Bryant, with production support from Staging Solutions, db Production Services and Michael Schweppe Sound.

More information can be found online at santafeopera.org/opera-in-the-park.

Screenings on Santa Fe’s Southside:

Presented by the Santa Fe Opera, sponsored by the City of Santa Fe and hosted by the Santa Fe Kiwanis Club, the Santa Fe screenings will take place at Villa Linda Park near Santa Fe Place Mall on the Southside on the first and second Sundays and Mondays in August: 1, 2, 8 and 9. Featured will be pre-recorded performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The opera invites people to bring a picnic, spread out on the grass and enjoy the show.

Performances by local youth talent, including Maatuu Dance Group, the Erik Fender Dance Group from San Ildefonso Pueblo, Theo Kutsko, and the Choral Arts Society of St. Michael’s High School, will kick festivities off at 3:30 p.m., followed by 4 p.m. screenings. Two, 300-square foot LED walls will provide attendees with a state-of-the-art viewing experience, while sound will be broadcast via outdoor speakers. Santa Fe Opera General Director Robert K. Meya shares, “Our community has seen us through this difficult year and allowed us to return in full force. The screenings are our small thank you for their faith and support.”

City of Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber says, “I’m very grateful to the leadership of the opera for this outstanding achievement. We all agree that everyone in Santa Fe should be able to experience the magic of the Santa Fe Opera. Now families across our city can enjoy world-class opera in a neighborhood park. Let’s all go to the opera!”

Southside Screening Schedule
August 1 – The Marriage of Figaro
August 2 – Eugene Onegin*
August 8 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
August 9 – The Marriage of Figaro (encore screening)

*Parental caution for depiction of violence

Screenings at Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza:

Presented by the Santa Fe Opera and sponsored by the City of Albuquerque Department of Arts and Culture, the public can look forward to free screenings at Albuquerque’s Civic Plaza August 1 and 2. Featured will be pre-recorded performances of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Gates will open at 7 p.m. with showtime beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. “We’re excited to partner with the Santa Fe Opera to bring diverse cultural programming into the heart of downtown Albuquerque,” says Mayor Tim Keller. “Making cultural experiences accessible is a win-win for both the community and cultural institutions.” The operas will be presented on a large-scale, professional projection system and sound will be broadcast via outdoor speakers.

Civic Plaza Screening Schedule
August 1 – The Marriage of Figaro
August 2 – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The 2021 Season:

The Santa Fe Opera’s 2021 Season, running July 10 through August 27, presents 30 performances of four operas, including the world premiere of The Lord of Cries by John Corigliano and Mark Adamo directed by James Darrah; the company premiere of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed and designed by Netia Jones; Laurent Pelly’s stylish new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro; a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin directed by Alessandro Talevi; a celebratory concert featuring soprano Angel Blue in her company debut with 2021 Season artists and The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra led by John Fiore; and two Apprentice Scenes performances.

The 64th Season celebrates the inclusion of works new to the world stage alongside audience favorites by Mozart and Tchaikovsky, and features some of opera’s most exciting talent. A variety of time periods and languages are represented, with pieces and perspectives dating from 1786 to 2021, sung in English, Italian and Russian. The season perfectly fits the time-tested programming model pioneered by Santa Fe Opera founder John Crosby: a balanced and varied repertory of new, rarely performed and standard works portrayed in a new light.

The Santa Fe Opera has been working to bring this incredible art form to audiences since 1957, and will continue this work to expand opera’s reach to new and diverse audiences through contemporary works, world premieres and its Opera for All Voices initiative. Meya says, “The 2021 Season is a tribute to our unwavering optimism for the future of opera and the delight it can bring to viewers of all ages and backgrounds.”

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
Stand back and let love conquer.

What’s a bride to do to stop the unwanted advances of her employer? She teams up with his wife to teach him a lesson in fidelity.

The Santa Fe Opera commences its 64th Festival Season with a stylish new production of Mozart’s sparkling comedy The Marriage of Figaro, opening July 10, 2021. Featuring a dozen well-known and indelible arias, the work is a wealth of musical riches. Further, the operas of Mozart have held a special place at the Santa Fe Opera since the company’s opening season in 1957, when the new company mounted Così fan tutte. This repertory tradition has held strong over the decades, with a Mozart opera having been produced in 55 of 63 prior seasons, none more so than The Marriage of Figaro, which has been performed in 17 prior seasons, more than any other single opera in the company’s repertory. 

Laurie Feldman directs Laurent Pelly’s concept inspired by Jean Renoir’s La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) – itself partly inspired by The Marriage of Figaro. French director and costume designer Pelly has settled on stylings of the late 1930s, just prior to World War II, a time period closer to the present, but one that similarly was coming to an end. French set designer Chantal Thomas has chosen to build the set on a revolving turntable, alluding to the earth-shattering events that will take place not long after the close of the opera. The opera occurs within a 24-hour timeframe, with the action beginning and ending at the same hour; thus the turntable resembles a large clock, with rotating oversized brass gears to the sides of the stage.

This motif slyly refers to Louis XVI’s fondness for watchmaking and building timepieces—a common avocation of the time— as well as to the idea that the countdown to revolution has begun. As the story progresses, the characters are swept away by centrifugal forces that build over the course of the opera and which are stronger than themselves. By Act IV, the clock’s mechanism lies shattered and strewn across the stage. Internationally recognized lighting designer Duane Schuler returns to Santa Fe to further illuminate this beautiful, stylish and timeless production. Associate costume designer Jean-Jacques Delmotte rounds out the creative team.

Santa Fe Opera Music Director Harry Bicket leads a bright young cast in 10 performances that includes former Apprentice singer Nicholas Brownlee as Figaro; Colombian-American soprano Vanessa Vasquez in the role of the Countess; Chinese soprano Ying Fang in her company debut as Susanna; mezzo-soprano and former Apprentice singer Megan Marino in her first turn as Cherubino; and tenor Brenton Ryan as Basilio. Australian baritone Samuel Dale Johnson makes his exciting U.S. Debut as Count Almaviva. Mezzo-soprano Susanne Mentzer will return to the Santa Fe Opera stage as Marcellina; Apprentice singer Lindsay Kate Brown will sing Marcellina Aug. 24 and 27. Former Apprentice singer Patrick Carfizzi sings Dr. Bartolo and James Creswell makes his company debut as Antonio. Susanne Sheston is the Chorus Master.

EUGENE ONEGIN
Buried desires and dreams corroded with rust.

Potent emotion and sweeping drama take the stage as Tatyana’s confession of love is rejected by Onegin who, a little too late, realizes his mistake.

Not seen on the Santa Fe Opera stage since 2002, the company presents a new reimagining of Eugene OneginPyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous lyrical drama based on Pushkin’s famous novel, directed by European Opera-directing Prize winner Alessandro Talevi in his company debut. Scenic and costume designer Gary McCann, lighting designer Rick Fisher and fight director Rick Sordelet round out the creative team. Eugene Onegin premiered in Moscow in 1897 and though at first it was regarded only as a Russian curiosity, it has since become a standard fixture in the operatic repertoire. Tchaikovsky himself attributed its success to Mahler for having conducted a performance in Hamburg and whom he described as “not some average sort, but simply a genius burning with a desire to conduct.”

The production is led by Australian conductor Nicholas Carter in his return to the Santa Fe Opera podium. The all-star cast includes baritone Lucas Meachem in the title role and former Santa Fe Opera Apprentice singer Sara Jakubiak as Tatyana in her company debut. The production also includes contralto Avery Amereau in her company debut as Olga, mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel in the role of Filippyevna, Katharine Goeldner as Larina, German-Turkmen tenor Dovlet Nurgeldiyev in his U.S. debut as Lensky and bass James Creswell as Prince Gremin. Tenor Matthew DiBattista sings Triquet and Zaretsky will be performed by bass and Santa Fe Opera Apprentice singer Allen Michael Jones. Susanne Sheston serves as Chorus Master.

The Santa Fe Opera’s new production of Eugene Onegin opens July 24, 2021 and runs for six performances.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Out of this wood do not desire to go.

Mismatched lovers, a group of actors, fairies and their King and Queen are in the forest. Paths cross, so do lovers and, in the end, all’s well that ends well.

The Santa Fe Opera is thrilled to round out its 2021 Season with the company premiere of Benjamin
Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a new co-production with Garsington Opera directed by powerhouse Netia Jones, who also serves as the scenic, costume and projections designer. The Observer describes Jones as “the most imaginative director of opera working in Britain today.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is considered Britten’s most beguiling and enchanting opera. The orchestral music weaves a spellbinding atmosphere that immediately places one in a dreamlike realm. Britten wrote, “Operatically, it is especially exciting because there are three quite separate groups – the Lovers, the Rustics, and the Fairies – which nevertheless interact. Thus in writing the opera I have used a different kind of texture and orchestral colour for each section.”

A piece long-intended but never before performed on the Santa Fe Opera stage, this new production will be led by Harry Bicket and features soprano Erin Morley as Tytania, British countertenor Iestyn Davies in the role of Oberon, tenor Brenton Ryan as Flute, tenorMatthew Grills as Snout, bass and former Apprentice singer Patrick Carfizzi as Starveling, British baritone Ashley Riches as Bottom and bass Kevin Burdette in the role of Quince. The four lovers are performed by Santa Fe Opera Apprentice singers Teresa Perrotta as Helena, Adanya Dunn as Hermia, Duke Kim as Lysander and Michael J. Hawk as Demetrius. Australian dancer Reed Luplau performs as Puck and serves as choreographer. Rounding out the creative team is D.M. Wood, recipient of the United Kingdom’s 2012 Knight of Illumination Award, to serve as lighting designer in her Santa Fe Opera debut, and fight director Rick Sordelet. Susanne Sheston is the Chorus Master.

This long-awaited company premiere opens July 31, 2021 and runs for five performances.

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
Production support generously provided by:
The Estate of Suzanne Hanson Poole
James R. Seitz, Jr.

EUGENE ONEGIN
Production support generously provided by:
Jane Stieren Lacy in honor of Brad Woolbright
Robert & Ellen Vladem
Additional artistic support provided by:
The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
Production support generously provided by Avenir Foundation, Inc.
Sarah Billinghurst Solomon & Howard Solomon
The engagement of Harry Bicket is supported by Joseph M. Bryan Jr.
The engagement of Netia Jones is supported by The Marineau Family Foundation
The performances of Erin Morley are supported by The Peter B. Frank Principal Artist Fund
The performances of Iestyn Davies are supported by The MacKay Fund for Debut Artists

PRINCIPAL REOPENING SPONSOR
The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston

REOPENING CONSORTIUM 
Susan & Philip Marineau
Jacqueline B. Mars
Debra Turner

SIMULCAST SPONSORS
Brooke Suzanne Gray
James V. & Dana Pope Manning
Gene & Jean Stark

REOPENING PARTNERS
AXCES Research & Health
CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center
Production Safe Zone      

About The Santa Fe Opera
The Santa Fe Opera annually draws 85,000 people from New Mexico and around the globe. Nestled atop a mountain vista in northern New Mexico, the company’s iconic Crosby Theatre is open on three sides, allowing visitors to enjoy performances complemented by the elements. Since 1957 the company has presented over 2,000 performances of 175 operas by 89 composers spanning five centuries of opera, creating a legacy of 45 American premieres and 16 world premieres.

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