SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Opera (SFO) announced Friday the appointment of David Lomelí as Chief Artistic Officer commencing May 1.
Lomelí will be responsible for the artistic operations of the company including casting. This newly created position combines key aspects of two current positions, that of outgoing Artistic Director Alexander Neef and recently retired Director of Artistic Administration Brad Woolbright.
“I could not be more thrilled to welcome David to the Santa Fe Opera,” SFO General Director Robert K. Meya said. “Not only is he one of the leading casting directors of his generation with a demonstrated commitment to greater diversity in casting, he also brings with him a truly impressive digital media acumen as evidenced by the extraordinary success of the TDO Network.”
Lomelí comes to Santa Fe from The Dallas Opera, where he will continue in the role of Artistic Consultant. Lomelí has served The Dallas Opera in various capacities since 2014, most recently as the Director of Artistic Administration. In addition to his role at The Dallas Opera, Lomelí acts as casting consultant for the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany.
“The Santa Fe Opera holds a great deal of meaning for me personally and as an artist. I am excited and grateful to become a part of its history,” Lomelí said. “Through our shared values of hard work, creativity, compassion, empathy and diversity, we will keep welcoming the world’s most exciting artists to the incredible creative center that is the Santa Fe Opera.”
Neef, who will conclude his tenure as artistic director of the Santa Fe Opera July 31, and who now leads Opéra National de Paris, said, “I have known David since he was in the LA Opera’s Young Artist Program and have followed his career ever since. As one of our most promising young arts administrators, he already is one of the great connoisseurs of voices and, as a former singer, he knows the business from both sides.”
SFO Music Director Harry Bicket said, “I am thrilled that David is to join the Santa Fe Opera; he brings so much experience in so many fields of the complex business of opera. I know that his passion and love of the art form, and of the Santa Fe Opera in particular, will make for an exciting future for the company.”
Before joining The Dallas Opera, Lomelí performed as a world-renowned tenor with many leading companies including the SFO, where he made his company debut in the role of Rodolfo in Paul Curran’s production of Puccini’s La bohème in 2011. Additional highlights in Lomelí’s performance career include the Berlin Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Glyndebourne Festival, Los Angeles Opera and San Francisco Opera. He is a recipient of the National Youth Prize in the Arts, presented by the Mexican government, and won first prize in both categories of opera and zarzuela in the 2006 Operalia Competition.
Lomelí is an alumnus of some of the most prestigious training programs for opera artists including the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at LA Opera, the Merola Opera Program and Adler Fellowship at the San Francisco Opera and the International Society of Mexican Art and Values in Mexico City.
In addition to his musical talent, Lomelí brings with him degrees in International Marketing and Computer Science, which aided his development of new social media programming strategies through The Dallas Opera’s TDO Network, a social media channel that attained 70 million unique views in 2020.
Born in Mexico City and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Lomelí’s tenure at The Dallas Opera represented the first time in United States history that a Latino has occupied a top position at a Level 1 opera company. Lomelí serves as a Strategic Committee Member with OPERA America’s ALAANA (African, Latinx, Arab, Asian and Native American) Steering Committee and is committed to enriching the operatic art form and industry through increased diversity and equitable practices. Lomelí is proud to say that under his leadership, The Dallas Opera achieved the highest diversity in casting in its company history from 2017 to 2019.
Lomelí will continue his involvement with The Dallas Opera as artistic consultant, in particular with the Hart Institute for Women Conductors, in tandem with his new position at the Santa Fe Opera, allowing for increased collaboration between the two companies and, most importantly, creating new opportunities for women conductors.
The 2021 Season
The Santa Fe Opera’s 2021 Season, running July 10 through Aug. 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; 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 future season is the second to be led by General Director Robert K. Meya, Artistic Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Harry Bicket, and 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 its work to expand opera’s reach to new and diverse audiences through contemporary works, world premieres and its Opera For All Voices Initiative.
“The 2021 Season will be a tribute to our unwavering optimism for the future of opera and the delight it can bring to viewers of all ages and backgrounds,” Meya said.