The high-desert city of Santa Fe has been an arts mecca for decades, and one of its leading draws among culture aficionados, as well as gay and lesbian visitors, is the acclaimed Santa Fe Opera, which celebrates its 58th season in 2014.
The opera season in Santa Fe is July and August (from June 27 through August 23, 2014), which also happens to be one of the most beautiful times to visit this dry, sunny city nestled beneath the 12,500-foot Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Also in summer, such hugely popular festivals as the Indian Market and the Spanish Market come to town. The opera presents five major productions on a rotating basis during its summer season, with performances several nights a week in late June and July, and then daily in August.
Top performers and fans come from all over the world to attend not only the opera but the variety of pre-parties and events surrounding these shows, including pre-performance talks and numerous opportunities to dine at the opera, from tailgating picnics to preview buffets. Gay Santa Fe's social scene also kicks into gear, as many locals have parties, and you're apt to find gay employees of the opera as well as fans hanging out at Santa Fe's many gay-friendly bars, restaurants, and lounges.
History and Overview
The opera, which was founded by openly gay conductor John Crosby (1926-2002) in 1957, employs some of the world's top talents. Performances are held in the stunning, open-air Santa Fe Opera Theater, which is perched on a sage-studded hillside just north of the city, where it enjoys unparalleled views of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains as well as the Rio Grande valley. The facility is known not only for its amazing views but also perfect acoustics and a high-tech libretto screens.
The 2014 Santa Fe Opera Season
The 2014 Santa Fe opera season, which kicks off on June 27, includes five acclaimed works: the legendary Bizet masterpiece Carmen, Donizetti's comic delight Don Pasquale, Beethoven's one and only operatic work Fidelio, the American premiere of Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo's epic Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, and - for the first time in two decades - a double-bill of two shorter works: Mozart's The Impresario and the always provocatively iconoclastic Stravinsky's Le Rossignol.
Buying 2014 Santa Fe Opera Tickets
You can purchase tickets for the Santa Fe Opera by calling 505-986-5900 or 800-280-4654 or online. Tickets vary greatly in price depending on where you sit, with costs ranging from around $35 in the cheap seats to about $200 in the orchestra. Subscriptions are also available, starting at just $153 for the entire season, again for the least expensive seats, midweek - for weekend orchestra-seat subscriptions, prices range from about $920 to $940. Some of the more popular shows do sell out early, and this is especially the case on weekends, so try to book as soon as you can if you're coming to Santa Fe with high hopes of seeing the opera.