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Encyclopedia > Santa Fe Opera
Solid rod stays support the roof of the Crosby Theater at the Santa Fe Opera.
Solid rod stays support the roof of the Crosby Theater at the Santa Fe Opera.

The Santa Fe Opera (SFO) is an American opera company, located 7 miles north of Santa Fe in the U.S. state of New Mexico, headquartered on a former guest ranch of 199 acres. John Crosby, a New York-based conductor, founded SFO in 1956, originally as the Opera Association of New Mexico. His goal was to give American singers the opportunity to learn and perform new roles while having ample time for rehearsal and preparation. Its first season began on 3 July 1957. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2717x1167, 733 KB) This view of the Santa Fe Opera Crosby Theater shows the solid rod stays which support the roof from above. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2717x1167, 733 KB) This view of the Santa Fe Opera Crosby Theater shows the solid rod stays which support the roof from above. ... For other uses, see Opera (disambiguation). ... Nickname: Location in Santa Fe County, New Mexico Coordinates: , Country State County Santa Fe Founded ca. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Largest metro area Albuquerque metropolitan area Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ... John O’Hea Crosby (b. ... This article is about the state. ... Year 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 184th day of the year (185th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1957 Gregorian calendar). ...


SFO is internationally known for introducing new and innovative operas as well as for its productions of works from the standard operatic repertoire. Since its inception, the Santa Fe Opera has staged over forty American premieres and has commissioned nine new operas. This page lists famous operas arranged by composer. ...


Crosby remained as general director, with the longest such tenure in US opera history, until 2000. He subsequently died in December 2002. Since 2000, Richard Gaddes has been SFO's General Director. In August 2007, Gaddes stated that he wished SFO to begin a search for his successor, with him remaining in the position until the hiring of SFO's next General Director.[1] [2] Richard Gaddes (b. ...


In addition to being SFO's founding General Director, Crosby had simultaneously served as SFO's de facto first principal conductor. Alan Gilbert became the company's first music director from 2003 to 2006. In May 2007, Santa Fe Opera announced that Gilbert had officially concluded his tenure as its music director, and that Kenneth Montgomery had been named interim music director.[3] [4] Montgomery's tenure as interim music director concluded after the 2007 season. He is scheduled to continue as a guest conductor for three operas over the years 2008 to 2011.[5] In July 2007, the Santa Fe Opera named Edo de Waart their chief conductor, effective 1 October 2007.[6] Alan Gilbert is an American conductor, born in New York in 1967. ... The title of music director is used by many symphony orchestras to designate the primary conductor and artistic leader of the orchestra. ... Kenneth Montgomery (born 1943, Belfast) is a British conductor. ... Edo de Waart (born June 1, 1941) is a prominent Dutch orchestral conductor. ...

Contents

Crosby's programming and organizational philosophy

From the beginning, certain characteristics of what was to become a typical season emerged. It runs annually from late June or the beginning of July to the third week of August, with five operas presented in rotating repertory.


Generally, two popular operas opened the season, typically one by Mozart. An American (or world) premiere was generally in the program and these included works commissioned by the company. A lifelong lover of the operas of Richard Strauss, John Crosby regularly scheduled one and presented many American premieres of the composer’s work, an example being the 1964 U.S. premiere of the 1938 Daphne. Finally, the fifth opera was often a work which is rarely performed. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was one of the most significant and influential of all composers of Western classical music. ... This article is about the German composer of tone-poems and operas. ... Daphne is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by Joseph Gregor. ...


The company has maintained this concept and, in 2006, the 50th anniversary season, it was represented by Carmen and The Magic Flute; by Thomas AdèsThe Tempest, an American premiere; by Strauss’ Salome; and by Massenet’s Cendrillon, each with a new production. The 2007 season also typified this programming concept with La bohème and Cosi fan tutte; Tan Dun's Tea: A Mirror of Soul in its American premiere; Strauss' Daphne; and SFO's first production of a Jean-Philippe Rameau opera, Platée. For other uses, see Carmen (disambiguation). ... Die Zauberflöte, K. 620, (en: The Magic Flute) is an opera in two acts composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to a German libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. ... Thomas Adès (born in London, 1 March 1971) is a British composer. ... The Tempest in an opera by English composer Thomas Adès with a libretto in English by Meredith Oakes based on the play, The Tempest by William Shakespeare. ... This article is about the opera by Richard Strauss . ... Jules Massenet Jules (Émile Frédéric) Massenet (May 12, 1842 – August 13, 1912) was a French composer. ... For the English translation of the French story, see Cinderella. ... For other uses, see La bohème (disambiguation). ... Così fan tutte is an opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. ... Tan Dunn (pinyin: Tán Dùn, 譚盾; born August 18, 1957) is a Chinese composer, most widely known as the Grammy and Oscar award winning composer for the soundtracks of the movies Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero. ... Daphne is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by Joseph Gregor. ... Jean-Philippe Rameau, by Jacques André Joseph Aved, 1728 Jean-Philippe Rameau (French IPA: ) (September 25, 1683 - September 12, 1764) was one of the most important French composers and music theorists of the Baroque era. ... Platée is opera (Ballet Bouffon) by Jean-Philippe Rameau. ...


In May 2007, the 2008 season was announced. It will consist of Verdi's Falstaff, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Kaija Saariaho's Adriana Mater (a U.S. premiere), Britten's Billy Budd (reflecting Gaddes' feeling that Britten has been under-represented), and Handel's Radamisto.[7] For other uses, see Falstaff (disambiguation). ... Le Nozze di Figaro, is a comic opera composed in 1786 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte, based on a stage comedy by Beaumarchais. ... Kaija Saariaho (born October 14, 1952) is a Finnish composer. ... Billy Budd is an English language opera by Benjamin Britten, first performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on December 1, 1951. ...


The Apprentice Program for Singers (and Apprentice Program for Technicians)

In his first season, Crosby created the apprentice system whereby eight young people were to be given living expenses and paid per performance to be members of the chorus and to understudy major roles.


The Apprentice Program, the most revolutionary in the world of opera in America in the 1950s, was established assist young singers in making the transition from academic to professional life and, to date, over 1,500 aspiring opera singers have participated. The Apprentice Program for Technicians was added in 1965.


The Program has formal academic goals in addition to the "hands on" experience provided by the preparation for and participation in professional productions. Seminars and master classes are conducted; singers receive coaching in voice, music, body movement, career counseling, and diction. Technical apprentices are provided with instruction in stage operations, stage properties, costume and wig construction, scenic art, wigs and make up, music services, and stage lighting.


As Crosby noted, “In this country young artists have to do something which is impossible – gain experience. But with our plan, these young people will be scheduled in small roles and will have the opportunity of working with their older brothers and sisters who have already won their spurs. To get such experience now, a young artist has to go to Europe.” [8]


The Apprentice Program for Singers and Technicians is very much alive and well at the Santa Fe Opera today. Typically, about 1,000 aspiring young singers and 600 technicians apply; in 2006, 43 singers and 61 technical apprentices worked at the opera.


The singers act as the chorus for each opera, as well as performing small roles. In addition, apprentices "cover" (understudy) some leading roles. The technical apprentices perform a variety of backstage functions (including costumes, props, and scenery making and painting) as well as being responsible for presenting the technical aspects (lighting, costumes, scenery, stage management, etc.) of two staged evenings of "Apprentice Scenes" performed by the singers.


Apprentices who have gone on to major singing careers

Some of the major names in American and international opera who have been apprentices since 1957 include the sopranos Judith Blegen (1961), Ashley Putnam (1973 and 1975), and Celena Shafer (1999-2000); mezzos Joyce DiDonato (1995), Susan Quittmeyer (1978), and Michelle DeYoung (?); tenors Carl Tanner (1992,93), William Burden (1989-90), Richard Croft (1978), Chris Merritt (1974-75), and Neil Shicoff (1973); baritones David Gockley (1965-67; he went on to become general manager of the Houston Grand Opera and, since 2005, the San Francisco Opera) and Sherrill Milnes (1959); and basses Mark Doss (1983), James Morris (1969) and Samuel Ramey (1966). Judith Blegen (April 17, 1940 – ) is an American soprano who was born in Missoula, Montana. ... Carl Tanner Carl Tanner (born 1962, Arlington, Virginia) is an American operatic tenor. ... Chris Merritt (born 1952, Oklahoma City) is an opera singer. ... Neil Shicoff (born June 2, 1949) is an American opera singer known for his lyric tenor singing and his dramatic, emotional acting. ... The Houston Grand Opera (HGO) is a Houston, Texas-based opera company. ... The San Francisco War Memorial Opera House San Francisco Opera (SFO) is the second largest opera company in North America. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... James Morris is an American opera singer, best known for his role as Wotan (Odin) in performances of Richard Wagners opera, Der_Ring_des_Nibelungen. ... The American opera singer Samuel Edward Ramey (March 28, 1942) is considered by many the finest bass-baritone singer of his generation. ...


Many of the former apprentice singers have returned to perform major roles with the company, notably in recent years, Joyce DiDonato in the 2006 Cendrillon, Chris Merritt also in 2006 in The Tempest, and Carl Tanner in the 2005 production of Turandot. For the English translation of the French story, see Cinderella. ... The Tempest in an opera by English composer Thomas Adès with a libretto in English by Meredith Oakes based on the play, The Tempest by William Shakespeare. ... Carl Tanner Carl Tanner (born 1962, Arlington, Virginia) is an American operatic tenor. ... For the opera by Ferruccio Busoni, see Turandot (Busoni). ...


Theaters and other facilities

There have been three theaters on the present site of the Santa Fe Opera. Each has been located on a mesa, with the audience facing West toward an ever-changing horizon of sunsets and thunderstorms, frequently visible throughout many productions when no backdrops are used. Over the years, due to the first and second theaters’ exposure to the elements, rainstorms drenched both audiences and orchestra members (and threatened their instruments), requiring occasional cancellations, postponements, or extended intermissions. This fact (plus several others, such as the desire to improve acoustics, to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, to improve patron facilities, and to provide more seating) led to the need to reconstruct the third theater. Mathematics Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) is a current program that is building in schools around the United States. ...


Three key features of each of the theaters has been the fact that, unlike a conventional theater, there is no fly system to allow for scenery to be lowered from above, there is no proscenium arch (and thus no curtain nor means of projecting surtitles), the sides of the house are open, and the rear of the stage may be completely opened to provide westward views.


Performances begin close to sunset, so that the lighting of the productions is not compromised by the sides of the theatre being open to the outside environment. More social aspects of the performance starting time include giving opera-goers the opportunity to observe New Mexico sunsets against the surrounding landscape and the tradition of tailgate dining. A tailgate party at the 2005 Big 12 Championship game - note the pickup truck tailgates In North America, a tailgate party is an often celebratory social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. ...


Original theatre, 1957 to 1967

The totally open-air theater was designed to seat 480 and was built for $115,000 on a site carefully selected by Crosby and an acoustician friend, who fired off a series of rifle shots until they found the perfect natural location for an outdoor theatre. It was "the only outdoor theatre in America exclusively designed for opera" [9]. Audience members sat on benches.


This was the location of the inaugural performance on opening night, 3 July 1957. Madama Butterfly played to a sold-out crowd. By the end of the eight-week season, the 12,000 people who attended accounted for sales at 90% of capacity. Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly) is an opera in three acts (originally two acts) by Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. ...


A mezzanine was added in 1965 but, on 27 July 1967, four weeks into the season, a fire demolished the theater, causing the company to move to a local high school for the remainder of the season. From the Sweeney Gymnasium, they created the "Sweeney Opera House", and completed the season, albeit without most of the original costumes or sets. A huge fund-raising operation took place, backed by Igor Stravinsky, and $2.4 million was raised to rebuild the theatre in time for the following season.


Rebuilt theatre, 1968 to 1997

The second theatre, a new open-air house seating 1,889, was ready for the start of the new season on 26 June 1968. Just like the company's opening night in 1957, it presented Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The new theatre was designed by the Santa Fe firm of McHugh and Kidder. One of its principal features was the partial opening of the roof towards the middle of the orchestra section, provided by the curving, audience-facing slope of the stage roof and the thrust of the mezzanine and rear orchestra roof forward. Also, the auditorium’s sides were open, as was the rear of the stage (although sliding doors could be closed). It provided for spectacular Westward views - as well as giving some centrally-located audience members a view of the night sky.


Most of the new theatre's backstage facilities, including scenery construction and storage and costume and props production, were actually constructed below the stage level in order to preserve the open views to the West. A huge elevator, located immediately behind the stage, provides the means whereby scenery can be moved up from the construction shop one level below or down to the storage area, three levels below.


Present theatre, since 1998

The view from even the most remote seats is excellent. The white sail-like wind baffles are visible on the left and the clerestory window provides light.
The view from even the most remote seats is excellent. The white sail-like wind baffles are visible on the left and the clerestory window provides light.

Renamed “The Crosby Theater” following the founder’s death in 2002, the present theatre was designed by the architectural firm headed by James Polshek of New York. It was built during extensive reconstruction which began in late August 1997, right at the end of the opera season, and which was completed in ten months for an early July 1998 opening of new season which, like the previous opening nights of 1957 and 1968, featured a performance of Madama Butterfly. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 300 KB) This view of the interior of the Crosby Theater at the Santa Fe Opera was taken from the most remote corner of the balcony section. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1024x768, 300 KB) This view of the interior of the Crosby Theater at the Santa Fe Opera was taken from the most remote corner of the balcony section. ... James Polshek (born 1930) is an American architect currently residing in New York. ... This article is about the state. ...


With fewer storm-related problems (and, with a higher stage roof providing a better view of the Westward landscape), the theater now seats 2,128 plus 106 standees, although it has a strikingly intimate feel. It added a wider and more complete roof structure, joining the front and rear portions (by means of a cantilevered structure supported by cables) with a clerestory window, which offers protection from the sky, but with the sides still remaining open to the elements. The presence of wind baffles and Stieren Hall has helped improve exposure on the windward side of the auditorium. Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. ...


In 1999, as an alternative to translations by use of supertitles or surtitles, an electronic titles system was installed in the Crosby Theatre. Invented by Figaro Systems of Santa Fe, and only the second one after the Metropolitan opera's MetTitles installed in 1995, the system provides individual screens in front of each patron's seat, showing a translation of the sung text in either English or Spanish with the possibility of handling up to six other languages. Supertitles or surtitles are commonly used in opera or other musical performances. ... The Electronic libretto system is used primarily in opera houses and is a device which presents translations of lyrics into an audiences language or transcribes lyrics that may be difficult to understand in the sung form. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, the lead section of this article may need to be expanded. ...


Stieren Orchestra Hall

Completed for the 2001 season under the patronage of Arthur and Jane Stieren, the hall fulfills the long-standing need for an orchestra rehearsal hall. Constructed on three levels with a total of 12,650 square feet, the building is also used for lectures, recitals, and social events. Its main level features a space which is the replica of the main stage and offstage wings, and is thus used for stage rehearsals. Large sliding doors provide access from the scenery deck level for fully-staged rehearsals.


Future expansion plans

A $30 million capital campaign is currently underway for improvements to and exapansion of existing structures, many of which were part of the original 1950s ranch buildings on the company's 100-acre grounds. These include the creation of a new cantina (which supplies season-long food and drink for the staff and artists, as well as functioning as the location for pre-performance buffet dinners for the general public). The 1970s building has been demolished and contruction will commence for a new cantina to be ready by opening night 2008. In addition, new rehearsal studios are planned, adding to the smaller existing facilities and more closely matching the size of the stage.


References

  1. ^ Craig Smith. "SFO to hunt for director’s successor", The New Mexican, 9 August 2007. Retrieved on 2007-08-10. 
  2. ^ Matthew Westphal. "Santa Fe Opera General Director Submits (Eventual) Resignation", Playbill Arts, 9 August 2007. Retrieved on 2007-08-10. 
  3. ^ Matthew Westphal, "Alan Gilbert Steps Down as Music Director of Santa Fe Opera". Playbill Arts, 8 May 2007.
  4. ^ Anne Constable, "Santa Fe Opera music director steps down". The Santa Fe New Mexican, 9 May 2007.
  5. ^ Matthew Westphal. "Santa Fe Opera Names Edo de Waart Chief Conductor", Playbill Arts, 24 July 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-25. 
  6. ^ Craig Smith. "Dutch maestro takes over as chief conductor", The New Mexican, 24 July 2007. Retrieved on 2007-07-25. 
  7. ^ Anne Constable, "SFO lineup includes U.S. debut, favorites", The Santa Fe New Mexican, 10 May 2007.
  8. ^ quoted in Eleanor Scott, The First Twenty Years of the Santa Fe Opera (see below)
  9. ^ Eleanor Scott, The First Twenty Years of the Santa Fe Opera (see below)
  • Huscher, Phillip, The Santa Fe Opera: an American pioneer, Santa Fe, New Mexico: Sunstone Press, June 2006. ISBN 0-86534-550-3
  • Scott, Eleanor, The First Twenty Years of the Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe, New Mexico: Sunstone Press, 1976.
  • Unk., The Santa Fe Opera − Miracle in the Desert, Santa Fe Opera Shop, 2003.
  • Various authors, The Santa Fe Opera - 50th Anniversary supplement to The Santa Fe New Mexican, 28 June 2006. (An illustrated overview of the SFO's 50 years).

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 222nd day of the year (223rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 206th day of the year (207th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

See also

This is an inclusive list of opera festivals and summer seasons, and music festivals that have opera productions. ... Nickname: Location in Santa Fe County, New Mexico Coordinates: , Country State County Santa Fe Founded ca. ...

External links

  • Santa Fe Opera website

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MSN Encarta - Santa Fe (New Mexico) (401 words)
Santa Fe (New Mexico), capital city of New Mexico and seat of Santa Fe County, located on the Santa Fe River in the north central part of the state.
The city is the seat of the College of Santa Fe (1947), St. John's College (1964), the Institute of American Indian Arts (1962), a community college, and the New Mexico School for the Deaf.
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On a plateau at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains -- at an elevation of 7,000 ft -- Santa Fe is surrounded by remnants of a 2,000-year-old Pueblo civilization and filled with reminders of almost four centuries of Spanish and Mexican rule.
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