Songs from the Santa Fe Opera to Bring 2020 Operas to Digital Format

From Broadway World

June 30, 2020

The Santa Fe Opera announces Songs from the Santa Fe Opera, a digital performance series celebrating the opening nights of the five originally-scheduled operas that were to comprise the 2020 Summer Festival Season.

Susan Graham, acclaimed mezzo-soprano and Santa Fe Opera audience favorite, hosts the Opening Night of the season and a celebration of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville from the stage of the Santa Fe Opera on Friday, July 3, followed by other opera luminaries in later presentations. Then, from July 11 through August 1, viewers can tune in each Saturday evening to enjoy well-known arias by artists who were scheduled to grace the Santa Fe Opera stage, along with insights from conductors, directors and more.

Free to watch, each video premieres on the Santa Fe Opera’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and website at 7 pm MT, and will remain available to view thereafter. Pre-recorded from the Santa Fe Opera stage and in artist’s homes around the world, Songs from the Santa Fe Opera presents fresh content and never-before-seen archival footage. All activities are done in accordance with current safety guidelines.

This new, first-ever digital performance initiative by the company follows the cancellation of the 2020 Season as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Says General Director Robert K. Meya, “We feel strongly about bringing the joy of opera to our communities during this difficult time. What’s exciting about Songs from the Santa Fe Opera is that it affords everyone around the globe a front row seat. Through these digital opening nights, we can come together while remaining safely apart and enjoy the beauty and inspiration opera provides. It is my hope that the events offer a spiritual healing of sorts for the loss of our season, as well as the cancellation of so many other arts and cultural events here in Santa Fe and around the world. I encourage opera lovers and opera newcomers alike to join us virtually and raise a glass in celebration until we can meet in person next season.”

The Santa Fe Opera encourages audiences to dress up in their most festive opera-going attire (#SFOFashion) and experience each virtual Opening Night with a tailgate party from their homes and gardens (#ShowUsYourTailgate), with takeout from local restaurants. The opera will also partner with its longtime Opening Nights sponsor, The Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, to create opera-themed cocktail recipes that viewers can create at home.

The Santa Fe Opera wishes to thank Thornburg Investment Management for their generous sponsorship of Songs from the Santa Fe Opera. “Both the Santa Fe Opera and Thornburg have long histories in Santa Fe, and we are so pleased to partner with them on their virtual Songs from the Santa Fe Opera program,” shares Garrett Thornburg, founder and chairman of Thornburg Investment Management. “As avid supporters of arts and culture in our community, we applaud the opera for boldly reimagining this season, and the opportunity to enjoy performances from timeless masterpieces and new works.”

Following the cancellation of the opera’s 2020 Season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 3,000 patrons have donated the value of their tickets back to the opera. The Santa Fe Opera extends deepest thanks to these supporters for their enormous help in ensuring the organization’s future. The value of all donated tickets is being matched dollar-for-dollar by a group of generous friends. The opera is delighted to announce that the Matching Challenge Campaign also applies to contributions going forward. The Campaign will extend through the end of September, aiming to raise an additional $1 million to help offset lost revenue in the wake of the pandemic. The Santa Fe Opera asks supporters to consider a gift during this time of great need. Upon the premiere of each Songs from the Santa Fe Opera episode, patrons and viewers will have the opportunity to make a donation online.

The opera previously announced its commitment to providing a level of compensation to all artists, musicians, artisans and seasonal employees who were engaged for the 2020 Season. Says baritone Joshua Hopkins, “I hold my past experiences working and creating in Santa Fe among the most rewarding of my career. I was incredibly touched that the Santa Fe Opera is supporting its artists to help keep us afloat during this challenging time. We all appreciate this and I’m so grateful for my Santa Fe Opera family.” Joshua Hopkins, who was scheduled to sing Figaro in a new production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, will now appear in the Opening Night celebration episode on July 3.

The Santa Fe Opera’s 64th Festival Season was scheduled to open on July 3 and run through August 29 to present 39 performances of five operas, including the world premiere of Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly; two company premieres, Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and Dvořák’s Rusalka; Steven Barlow’s inventive new production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville; the revival of Tim Albery’s much-loved production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute; and two Apprentice Scenes performances. The 2020 Season reflected the time-tested programming model pioneered by Santa Fe Opera founder John Crosby: a balanced and varied repertory of new, rarely performed and standard works portrayed in a new light.

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