Santa Fe Opera
Santa Fe

The Santa Fe Opera 2019 Season

Visit 2019 Santa Fe Opera Schedule

Leader in Innovation and Excellence


 Every July and August since 1957, opera lovers have been drawn to the magnificent northern New Mexico mountains to enjoy productions by one of America's premier summer opera festivals. Here, The Santa Fe Opera's dramatic adobe theater blends harmoniously with the high desert landscape. It is this fusion of nature and art that leaves such an enduring impression on all who come. More than half the audience of 75,000 comes from outside New Mexico representing every state in the union as well as Canada and Europe.

The Santa Fe Opera has taken its place among the world's leading opera festivals. Its mission now, as it has been, is to present productions meeting the highest artistic standards in a repertory of new, rarely performed, and standard works. To that end, more than 1,500 performances of 120 operas, 40 American premieres and 9 works commissioned by the company have been given. Commenting on this historic 50th season General Director Richard Gaddes observed, “The 2006 repertory reflects the philosophy that has guided the company from the very beginning – that is, combining the old and the new, the familiar and less known. In planning for such a sentimental occasion, it is almost impossible to do everything one would wish. But we believe the season reflects the proud traditions of The Santa Fe Opera.

Santa Fe Opera House
Opera Santa Fe

Casts are drawn from the world's most talented young singers, and production teams of conductors, directors, and designers are international as well. It is a source of considerable pride that many singers whose names are now found on the rosters of the world's leading opera houses began their careers in Santa Fe. They include Susan Graham, Patricia Racette, Joyce DiDonato, William Burden, Kristine Jepson, Michelle DeYoung, and Charles Castronovo.

The company was founded by the late John Crosby, a young conductor from New York, who had an idea of starting an opera company to give American singers an opportunity to learn and perform new roles in a setting that allowed ample time to rehearse and prepare each production. At the same time, a program for young singers who were making a transition from academic to professional life, the Apprentice Program for Singers, was begun. Fifteen hundred aspiring singers have participated in the program. Many are performers, others are teachers, coaches and pedagogues. In 1965, an apprentice program for theater technicians was added, and it too has become an important training tool. Richard Gaddes is the General Director of the company, having assumed the position in 2000.

The Santa Fe Opera has a wide array of education and community outreach programs to make opera accessible and appealing to a broad spectrum of the New Mexico population. One, the unique Pueblo Opera Program serves Native American youth from nineteen pueblos and three reservations in the state.

The theater itself features the innovative 'Opera Titles' -- a small screen placed on the back of every seat which allows patrons to follow the stage action in either English or Spanish. The Santa Fe Opera has become one of New Mexico's cultural and economic leaders. Its reputation attracts thousands of tourists to the area each year, and provides employment and income both directly and indirectly.
Kiri Te Kanawa in Mozart's The marriage of Figaro, 1971
Kiri Te Kanawa in Mozart's The marriage of Figaro, 1971
Santa Fe Opera Students
2003 Student production The River Where We Dream

PERSONAL NOTE: I felt very special when I was a very young girl, getting all dressed up to go see the Santa Fe Youth Opera.

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