Santa Fe Opera Announces 2024 Season -
Santa Fe Opera

The Santa Fe Opera is excited to announce the lineup and repertory plans for its 2024 Season, which spans from June 28 to August 24, 2024. Celebrating its 67th Festival Season, the opera will present 38 performances, including four new productions and a cherished revival, along with two unique evenings featuring Apprentice Scenes. This season continues the company’s commitment to a diverse and balanced repertory that includes new, seldom-performed, and well-known works.

Opening Weekend features fresh productions of Verdi’s La Traviata, directed by Louisa Muller, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni, under the direction of Stephen Barlow. Following this, on July 13, the company will showcase its 19th world premiere, The Righteous, a collaboration between composer Gregory Spears and US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith. This production, directed by Kevin Newbury, draws inspiration from the televangelism era.

Completing the season’s lineup are an international co-production and the return of a popular SFO production: Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier debuts on July 20 in a widely praised staging by Bruno Ravella, previously seen at Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera. Following this, starting July 27, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love is brought back in a Stephen Lawless production that first premiered in 2009. The Apprentice Scenes, showcasing SFO’s singing and technical apprentices in staged scenes from the operatic repertoire, will be highlighted on August 11 and 18.

Says General Director Robert K. Meya, “From iconic masterpieces to groundbreaking premieres to showcasing the most thrilling talent of today and tomorrow, the aim of the Santa Fe Opera is to create experiences that resonate with audiences and celebrate the transformative power of the operatic art form.”

The Santa Fe Opera’s 2024 Season

La Traviata

The Santa Fe Opera’s 67th Festival Season kicks off with one of opera’s most captivating pieces, Verdi’s La Traviata, staged in the late 1930s by Louisa Muller in her first production with the company. Audiences will be whisked away to Paris on the brink of World War II, entering the intense life of Violetta, whose sorrowful tale comes to life against the backdrop of Christopher Oram’s spectacular scenery and costumes, with lighting by Marcus Doshi and choreography by Matthew Steffens. Susanne Sheston leads the chorus.

Conductor and Opera Philadelphia Music Director Corrado Rovaris leads an international cast, each in their company debut and all making their names singing at major opera houses around the world: Armenian soprano Mané Galoyan sings Violetta, Uzbeki tenor Bekhzod Davronov is Alfredo and Mexican baritone Carlos Arámbula appears in the role of Giorgio Germont.

11 performances are scheduled: June 28; July 3, 6, 12, 19; August 1, 5, 10, 17, 20 and 24, 2024.

Don Giovanni

Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni receives a new interpretation by Stephen Barlow, who returns to Santa Fe following his highly successful production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in 2022. This production establishes connections between the infamous seducer, “D.G.,” and Oscar Wilde’s character in The Picture of Dorian Gray, who seeks pleasure and eternal youth. Set in the Victorian London era, the atmosphere is crafted by scenic and costume designer Yannis Thavoris and lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, with choreography by Mitchell Harper. Susanne Sheston serves as the chorus master.

Santa Fe Opera Music Director Harry Bicket returns to the podium to conduct an all-star cast headlined by bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green in his first turn as the titular character. Recent Santa Fe Opera Apprentice singer Teresa Perrotta sings Donna Anna, mezzo-soprano Rachael Wilson makes her company debut as Donna Elvira, and tenor David Portillo returns to the Santa Fe Opera stage in the role of Don Ottavio

Nine performances are scheduled: June 29; July 5, 10, 29; August 3, 6, 16, 21 and 23, 2024.

The Righteous

Commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera from two of America’s leading creative minds, composer Gregory Spears and US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith, The Righteous is a compelling new opera situated within the church communities of the American Southwest. It opens during the tumultuous period of the Iranian hostage crisis and the economic downturn at the end of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and extends into the early days of George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War. This opera delves into the complex dynamics of faith and loyalty; the intersections of wealth, power, and politics; as well as gender roles and sexuality, all viewed through the lens of modern American society and the distinctive phenomenon of televangelism.

Kevin Newbury directs the world premiere production. Conductor Jordan de Souza, in his company debut, leads the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and a talented cast. Baritone and former Apprentice singer Michael Mayes sings the lead role of David, the preacher who rises to become the governor of a state similar to Texas. American bass-baritone Greer Grimsley sings the role of Paul, American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano sings the role of Michele, American countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo takes on the role of Jonathan, Cuban American soprano Elena Villalón sings the role of Sheila, Soprano Amber Wagner makes her company debut in the role of Marilyn, and Brenton Ryan returns to the SFO stage in the role of CM, Paul’s friend.

Six performances are scheduled: July 13, 17, 26, 30; August 7 and 13, 2024.

Der Rosenkavalier

In homage to SFO founder John Crosby, the Santa Fe Opera will showcase Richard Strauss’ romantic comedy Der Rosenkavalier in an opulent and visually striking new production directed by Bruno Ravella, developed in partnership with Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera. The production features expansive, vivid scenery and elegantly tailored costumes designed by Gary McCann, whose lavish creations were previously admired in Eugene Onegin in 2021. Malcolm Rippeth’s lighting design expertly crafts moods and sets themes. This highly praised production is set to be a standout of the season, bringing audiences into the nostalgic atmosphere of 1950s Vienna with its deep orchestration and superb vocal renditions, highlighted by an unparalleled trio for female voices.

At the podium and making her Santa Fe Opera debut will be Karina Canellakis, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. The extraordinary ensemble cast includes four former Apprentice singers: Rachel Willis-Sørensen (Marshallin), Paula Murrihy (Octavian), Zachary Nelson (Faninal) and Megan Marino (Annina). English bass Matthew Rose sings Baron Ochs and Chinese soprano Ying Fang is Sophie, a role she shares with former Apprentice singer Liv Redpath. American tenor David Portillo is the Italian Singer, German tenor Gerhard Siegel makes his company debut as Valzacchi and American bass Scott Conner is the Police Commissar. Susanne Sheston is the chorus master.

Five performances are scheduled: July 20, 24; August 2, 8 and 15, 2024.

The Elixir of Love

The Santa Fe Opera revives a cherished favorite, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, in a delightful mix of comedy and melodrama under the direction of Stephen Lawless, last presented on the Santa Fe Opera stage in 2009. Drawing inspiration from Italian cinéma vérité, the setting takes place in post-World War II Italy, a time when societal hierarchies were still prevalent. Lawless’ interpretation of The Elixir offers a genuine portrayal of the Italian countryside while modernizing the timeless conflict between different social classes. In the opera, Adina, a landowner with an olive farm, educates her workers’ children. Nemorino, an uneducated auto mechanic who is smitten with Adina, resorts to the elixir of love in hopes of winning her affection. Lawless, together with scenic and costume designer Ashley Martin-Davis, preserves the opera’s Italian essence while incorporating iconic American elements. Thomas C. Hase oversees the lighting, and Susanne Sheston serves as the chorus master.

Conductor Roberto Kalb makes his company debut. Chilean soprano Yaritza Véliz, a rising star following notable debuts at Glyndebourne, the Komische Oper Berlin, Ópera Nacional de Chile, sings Adina in her company debut. Tenor Jonah Hoskins will sing Nemorino, a role he recently debuted to critical acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera. Recent Apprentice singer Luke Sutliff returns to sing the role of Nemorino’s rival, Belcore. Mexican baritone Alfredo Daza makes his house debut as the double-dealing Dulcamara.

Five performances are scheduled: July 27, 31; August 9, 14 and 22, 2024.

About The Santa Fe Opera

The Santa Fe Opera annually draws 85,000 people from New Mexico and around the globe and generates $250M for the economy of northern New Mexico. 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 179 operas by 91 composers spanning five centuries of opera, creating a legacy of 45 American premieres and 18 world premieres. In November 2022, the company was recognized as “Festival of the Year” at the International Opera Awards.

First-time visitors and long-time patrons can also look forward to offerings evocative of the Santa Fe Opera experience including tailgating, Preview Dinners, Tours, free Prelude Talks and much more. For more information about the Santa Fe Opera, and its recently announced 2024 season, or to purchase season tickets and subscriptions, visit the website.

This article was posted by David Salcido

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