SANTA FE, N.M., Aug. 4, 2016 — We’ve been out in America’s great Southwest this week on what’s turning out to be our annual pilgrimage to the Santa Fe Opera in New Mexico’s colorful, artsy, always interesting capital city. It’s the 60th anniversary year for America’s most unusual opera company, and they’re celebrating in style, offering five very distinctive productions of five very different operas ranging from the tried-and-true to the relatively unknown.
In the tried-and-true category, we have Mozart’s immortal moral comedy, “Don Giovanni.” In the nearly-tried-and-true category, we have Puccini’s “Girl of the Golden West” and Gounod’s “Romeo et Juliet.” Residing in the relatively unknown precinct, the company is offering Richard Strauss’ “Capriccio” and Samuel Barber’s “Vanessa.” The latter two are not unfamiliar to long-time opera fans, but tend not to surface very often for various reasons. Similarly, the Puccini and the Gounod seem to go through cycles of relative neglect followed by enthusiastic revivals.
Thus far, we’ve attended four of this season’s five SFO offerings and will be attending a performance of “Capriccio” this evening before departing for Albuquerque and thence back to Washington, D.C. Watch this space for our individual reviews of each opera, incoming shortly.
Additionally, we were privileged to get a personal backstage tour of the Santa Fe Opera’s impressively expanded facilities, and we’ll be posting a feature on this tour as well.
Spoiler alert: Productions thus far have been firing on all cylinders. Better yet, the Hand of God (or Zeus) has even intervened with timely assists to the special effects department for at least two of this week’s performances. Stay tuned.