The Santa Fe Opera is pleased to reveal exciting casting and repertory plans for the company’s 2024 Season running June 28 through August 24, 2024. The 67th Festival Season features 38 performances of four new productions plus a beloved revival, and two special evenings of Apprentice Scenes, each in harmony with the company’s time-tested programming model of a balanced and varied repertory of new, lesser-performed and standard works.
Opening Weekend centers on new productions of Verdi’s La Traviata directed by Louisa Muller and Mozart’s Don Giovanni directed by Stephen Barlow. Next, on July 13, the company will present its 19th world premiere, The Righteous, by composer Gregory Spears and US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith in a televangelism-era styled production by Kevin Newbury.
Rounding out the season’s offerings are an international co-production and the remount of a beloved SFO production: Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier opens July 20 in a highly-acclaimed staging by Bruno Ravella seen at Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera, and beginning July 27, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love is presented in a Stephen Lawless production originating from 2009. The Apprentice Scenes featuring SFO’s singing and technical apprentices in staged scenes from the operatic repertoire take center stage 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, our aim 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
The Santa Fe Opera’s 67th Festival Season opens with one of opera’s most enthralling works, Verdi’s La Traviata set in the late 1930s by Louisa Muller in her company debut. Audiences will be transported to Paris on the eve of World War II and into the passionate world of Violetta, as her tragic story unfolds amidst stunning scenery and costumes by Christopher Oram, lighting by Marcus Doshi and choreography by Matthew Steffens. The chorus master is Susanne Sheston.
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.
Mozart’s masterpiece Don Giovanni is given a fresh interpretation by Stephen Barlow, who returns to Santa Fe on the heels of his extremely popular production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in 2022. The production draws parallels between the notorious seducer, “D.G.,” and the eponymous character in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray who pursues pleasure and eternal youth. The Victorian London-era setting is created by scenic and costume designer Yannis Thavoris and lighting designer Christopher Akerlind; they are joined by choreographer Mitchell Harper. The chorus master is Susanne Sheston.
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.
Commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera from two of America’s most intriguing talents, composer Gregory Spears and US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith, The Righteous is a powerful new work set amid the church communities of the American Southwest. It begins during the Iranian hostage crisis and recession marking the sunset of the Jimmy Carter administration, and spans into the dawn of George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War. The piece explores the enduring interplay between faith and fidelity; wealth, power and politics; and gender roles and sexuality, all through the prism of contemporary American society and its unique invention 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.
In a nod to the artistic legacy of SFO founder John Crosby, the Santa Fe Opera will present Richard Strauss’ romantic comedy Der Rosenkavalier in a lavish and visually stunning new production directed by Bruno Ravella and created in collaboration with Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera. Scale-bursting scenery and colorful, yet classically-cut costumes are by Gary McCann, whose extravagant designs SFO audiences will recall from Eugene Onegin in 2021. Malcolm Rippeth’s lighting shapes moods and establishes motifs. The critically-acclaimed production promises to be a highlight of the season, transporting audiences to the nostalgic world of 1950s Vienna with its rich orchestration and exquisite vocal performances, including the greatest-ever 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 remounts a beloved classic, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, in a charming amalgam of comedy and melodrama directed by Stephen Lawless last seen on the Santa Fe Opera stage in 2009. Based on Italian cinéma vérité and set in Italy just after World War II when the class system was still a part of society, his Elixir is a realistic presentation of the Italian countryside paired with a modern depiction of the eternal struggle between social classes. Adina is a landowner with an olive farm who teaches the children of her workers. Nemorino is an uneducated car mechanic, in love with Adina, who uses the elixir of love to win her hand. Lawless and scenic and costume designer Ashley Martin-Davis have retained the opera’s Italian roots and added American iconic elements. Thomas C. Hase provides the lighting design and Susanne Sheston is 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