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Santa Fe's flourishing opera scene

1 Oct 2012 8:52 AM
Santa Fe's flourishing opera scene

For centuries, opera theaters have been places for art lovers and high-culture aficionados to take in the beauty and spectacle of one of the world's truly great art forms. Cities that boast an active and renowned opera house are often seen as beacons of culture - preservationists of the enduring majesty of classical music and dramatic theory.

By this metric, Santa Fe should be considered among the most sophisticated cities in the country. Opera has been in Santa Fe for more than a half a century, and over that time it has garnered a deep and loyal following. The city's well-heeled citizens and owners of luxury real estate have helped strengthen the tradition by supporting the opera house and faithfully attending its productions.

Although there are events taking place year-round, the summer plays a special role in preserving Santa Fe's opera tradition. It is then that the Santa Fe Opera hosts its annual opera festival, a time when tens of thousands of New Mexicans and out-of-state visitors gather for the historic celebration.

Over the past several decades, the opera house has hosted some of the world's most famous and historic productions, including The Tempest, Ainadamar and Lulu. These performances have treated guests to breathtaking works of operatic artistry and helped keep the city engaged with the art form as it has evolved over the 20th century.

Although the performances are the main draw, the venue itself is a testament to creative design and true craftsmanship. Known since 2002 as the Crosby Theater, the open-air, modern theater has won design and architecture awards for its creative layout and functional yet elegant space.

Santa Fe boasts one of the best opera experiences in the country, enjoyable to long-time opera lovers and relative newcomers alike, and it is a true national attraction.