The Santa Fe Opera (SFO) is an American opera company, located 7 miles (11 km) north of Santa Fe in the U.S. state of New Mexico, headquartered on a former guest ranch of 199 acres (0. Opera is an art form in which Singers and Musicians perform a Dramatic work (called an opera which combines a text (called a Libretto Santa Fe ( Navajo: Yootó is the Capital of the state of New Mexico. A US state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the United States of America that share Sovereignty with the federal government New Mexico ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States of America. 81 km²). John Crosby, a New York-based conductor, founded SFO in 1956, originally as the Opera Association of New Mexico. John O’Hea Crosby (born 12 July 1926, Bronxville New York – died 15 December 2002, Rancho Mirage California) was New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous 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. Events 324 - Battle of Adrianople Constantine I defeats Licinius, who flees to Byzantium. 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. Wikipedia talkFeatured lists#Proposed_change_to_all_featured_lists for an explanation of this and other inclusion tags below -->This list provides a guide to the Since its inception, the Santa Fe Opera has staged over forty American premieres and has commissioned nine new operas. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
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. Richard Gaddes (born 23 May 1942 is an English-born Opera company administrator based in the United States 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.  In November 2007, SFO named Charles MacKay the company's next general director to succeed Gaddes, effective 1 October 2008. Charles MacKay (born May 1950 Albuquerque, New Mexico) is an American arts administrator the son of John and Margaret MacKay 
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. Alan Gilbert (born 1967 New York City) is an American violinist and conductor. The title of music director or musical director is used by many Symphony orchestras to designate the primary conductor and artistic leader of the orchestra 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. Kenneth Montgomery (born 1943 Belfast) is a British conductor the only child of Lily and Tom Montgomery  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.  In July 2007, the Santa Fe Opera named Edo de Waart their chief conductor, effective 1 October 2007. Edo de Waart (born 1 June 1941 is a Dutch conductor of symphony orchestras and Opera. 
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. Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 &ndash 8 September 1949 was a German Composer of the late Romantic era and early modern era particularly noted S. premiere of the 1938 Daphne. Daphne is an Opera in one act by Richard Strauss, his 13th opera subtitled "A Bucolic Tragedy in One Act" Finally, the fifth opera was often a work which is rarely performed.
The company has maintained this concept and, in 2006, the 50th anniversary season, it was represented by Carmen and The Magic Flute; by Thomas Adès’ The Tempest, an American premiere; by Strauss’ Salome; and by Massenet’s Cendrillon, each with a new production. Carmen is a French Opéra comique by Georges Bizet. The Libretto is by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based The Magic Flute (German Die Zauberflöte, K 620 is an Opera in two acts composed in 1791 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Thomas Adès (born in London, 1 March 1971) is a British Composer, Pianist and conductor. Henry Purcell also wrote an opera The Tempest, in 1695 For the 1993 Michael Nyman opera see Noises Sounds & Sweet Airs Salome is an Opera in one act by Richard Strauss to a German Libretto by the composer based on Hedwig Lachmann ’s German Jules (Émile Frédéric Massenet ( May 12, 1842 – August 13, 1912) was a French composer best known for his Operas Cendrillon ( Cinderella) is an Opera &mdashbilled as a "fairy tale"&mdashin four acts by Jules Massenet 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. Così fan tutte ossia La scuola degli amanti ( Thus Do They All or The School For Lovers) K WikipediaWikiProject Composers#Lead section --> Tan Dun (pinyin Tán Dùn 譚盾 谭盾 born August 18 in Changsha Daphne is an Opera in one act by Richard Strauss, his 13th opera subtitled "A Bucolic Tragedy in One Act" Jean-Philippe Rameau (ʒɑ̃filip ʀaˈmo in French (September 25 1683 – September 12 1764 was one of the most important French Composers and music theorists Platée ( Plataea) is an Opera in a prologue and three acts by Jean-Philippe Rameau with a Libretto by Adrien-Joseph Le Valois d'Orville
In May 2007, the 2008 season was announced: Verdi's Falstaff, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Kaija Saariaho's Adriana Mater (a U. Falstaff is an Operatic commedia lirica in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, adapted by Arrigo Boito from Shakespeare 's plays Le nozze di Figaro ossia la folle giornata (Trans The Marriage of Figaro or the Day of Madness) K Kaija Saariaho (ˈkɑijɑ 'sɑːriˌɑho (born October 14, 1952) is a Finnish Composer. Adriana Mater is the second Opera by the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, with a libretto in French by her frequent collaborator Amin Maalouf S. premiere), Britten's Billy Budd (reflecting Gaddes' feeling that Britten has been under-represented), and Handel's Radamisto. Billy Budd is an Opera by Benjamin Britten, first performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on 1 December 
On 30 April 2008 the soon-to-be general director, Charles McKay, announced the 2009 season program which opens on 3 July 2009 with La traviata featuring Natalie Dessay who will be making her first appearance in the role of Violetta. La traviata is an Opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. Natalie Dessay (born Nathalie Dessaix, 19 April 1965, in Lyon) is a French Soprano. Following are Donizetti's The Elixir of Love, which has not be presented by the company since 1968; Mozart's Don Giovanni; Gluck's Alceste, a company premiere; and the world premiere of a new opera, The Letter by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Terry Teachout. Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti (29 November 1797 &ndash 8 April 1848 was an Italian composer from Bergamo, Lombardy. L'elisir d'amore ( The Elixir of Love) is a Melodramma giocoso in two acts by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. Don Giovanni ( K527; complete title Il dissoluto punito ossia il Don Giovanni, literally "The Rake Punish'd or Don Giovanni Alceste is an Opera by Christoph Willibald Gluck. The Libretto was written by Ranieri de Calzabigi (in Italian and based on the play The Letter is an Opera by composer Paul Moravec and librettist Terry Teachout. Paul Moravec (born November 2, 1957, in Buffalo New York) is an American Composer and the Music Department Chair at Adelphi University Terry Teachout (born 6 February 1956, Cape Girardeau Missouri) is a Critic, biographer and blogger.  It is based on a play by W. Somerset Maugham which had been made into a successful 1940 film noir, The Letter, starring Bette Davis
In his first season, Crosby created the Apprentice Program 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. William Somerset Maugham, CH ( January 25 1874 &ndash December 16 1965) was an English Playwright, Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation For the article about the 1927 play from which this film was adapted see The Letter. Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis (April 5 1908 – October 6 1989 was an American actress of Film, Television and Theatre. Unusual for its time, in America in the 1950s, the Apprentice Program helped young singers to make the transition from academic to professional life. To date, over 1,500 aspiring opera singers have participated. 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. "
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.
The Apprentice Program for Singers and Technicians continues 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.
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 27, 1941, Missoula, Montana) is an American Soprano, particularly associated with light lyric roles Ashley Putnam (born 1952 is an American Soprano from New York City. Joyce DiDonato (b 1969 is an award winning American operatic Mezzo-soprano particularly admired for her interpretations of the works of Handel, Mozart WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes and WikipediaWikiProject Musicians/Infobox --> Carl Tanner (born Chris Merritt is the name of Chris Merritt (songwriter (born 1982 songwriter pianist and singer Chris Merritt (opera singer (born Neil Shicoff (born June 2, 1949) is an American Opera singer known for his lyric Tenor singing and his dramatic emotional acting Houston Grand Opera (HGO was founded in 1955 through the joint efforts of Maestro Walter Herbert and Houston cultural leaders Mrs San Francisco Opera (SFO is the second largest Opera company in North America. Sherrill Milnes (born January 10, 1935) is an American operatic Baritone most famous for his Verdi roles James Morris is an American Opera singer boasting a stentorian bass voice best known for his role as Wotan in performances of Richard Wagner 's opera cycle The American Opera singer Samuel Edward Ramey (born March 28, 1942 in Colby Kansas) is
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. Joyce DiDonato (b 1969 is an award winning American operatic Mezzo-soprano particularly admired for her interpretations of the works of Handel, Mozart Cendrillon ( Cinderella) is an Opera &mdashbilled as a "fairy tale"&mdashin four acts by Jules Massenet Henry Purcell also wrote an opera The Tempest, in 1695 For the 1993 Michael Nyman opera see Noises Sounds & Sweet Airs WikipediaWikiProject Opera#Infoboxes and WikipediaWikiProject Musicians/Infobox --> Carl Tanner (born Turandot is an Opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, set to a Libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni
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. A mesa ( Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic for "table" is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs 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.
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. In North America, a tailgate party is a Social event held on and around the open Tailgate of a vehicle. 
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".  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.
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.
The second theatre, a new open-air house seating 1,889, was ready for the start of the new season on 26 June 1968. Events 363 - Roman Emperor Julian is killed during the retreat from the Sassanid Empire. Year 1968 ( MCMLXVIII) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Just like the company's opening night in 1957, it presented Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
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.
Renamed “The Crosby Theater” (following the founder's death in 2002 and reflecting the contributions of both of his parents in supporting the opera festival), the present theatre was designed by the architectural firm headed by James Polshek of New York. James Stewart Polshek (born 1930 Akron Ohio) is an American Architect based in New York City. New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous 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.
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. Clerestory (ˈklɪə(rstɔəri lit clear storey, also clearstory, clearstorey, or overstorey) is an architectural term denoting The presence of wind baffles and Stieren Hall has helped improve exposure on the windward side of the auditorium.
In 1999, as an alternative to translations by use of supertitles or surtitles, an electronic titles system was installed in the Crosby Theatre. Surtitles, also known as supertitles, are translated or transcribed Lyrics projected above a stage or displayed on a screen commonly used in Opera or other The Electronic libretto system is used primarily in opera houses and is a device which presents translations of lyrics into an audience's language or transcribes lyrics that 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. The Metropolitan Opera Association of New York City, founded in April 1880 is a major presenter of all types of opera including Grand Opera.
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 (1,175 m²), 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.
A $30 million capital campaign is currently underway for increasing the endowment fund ($20 million) and for improvements to and expansion of existing structures, many of which were part of the original 1950s ranch buildings on the company's 100-acre (0. 40 km²) 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 construction has begun 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.