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Destination Santa Fe Opera
The Santa Fe Opera
Your destination for exclusive conversations with the people behind the stories, music, and splendor onstage at the Santa Fe Opera.
Aug 19, 2022
Getting to the Next Phase in Your Opera Career featuring Technical Apprentice Khadija Ann Tarver and Apprentice Singer Thomas Cilluffo
Santa Fe Opera plays host to more than peerless productions. On stage and off, SFO apprentices spend the season learning by doing at one of the most celebrated and welcoming training grounds in the world. Host Jane Trembley chats with technical apprentice Khadija Ann Tarver and apprentice singer Thomas Cilluffo about their respective programs, what advice the pair have for aspiring apprentices, and their plans beyond Santa Fe. “I was coming in open-minded since I didn't have a traditional theater background,” admits Khadija. Talent earned her a coveted spot on this season’s props and carpentry team, while curiosity has improved Khadija’s design-and-build acumen. “There's a lot of pressure [to feel like] I'm not particularly good at this yet. Then there's a moment when you realize all of these people in the scene shop and carpentry shop are here to help me, and they want to see me learn as much as possible.” Apprentice opportunities honor SFO founder John Crosby’s vision of providing an immersive and inclusive environment in which to gain practical experience. “Once you get here, you get coachings, you get lessons, you do apprentice scenes, you do master classes, you sing in the choruses,” Tom says. While his intense performance routine doesn’t leave much downtime for anything but rest, he welcomes the challenges and is bolstered by the camaraderie. “I think the best advice I can give is always to assume positive intent because nobody is here to be your opposition.” Learn more about The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Program for Singers and the Apprentice Program for Theater Technicians. FEATURING Khadija Ann Tarver - Technical Apprentice Thomas Cilluffo - Performance Apprentice CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Additional Editing by: Helen King Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at https://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Jul 29, 2022
Kangmin Justin Kim Transports Us Through Time and Culture with M. Butterfly
Bad romances don’t come much better than the complicated relationship at the heart of M. Butterfly. Host Jane Trembley talks fantasy versus reality with countertenor Kangmin Justin Kim before his Santa Fe Opera and U.S. mainstage debut as Song Liling in this operatic world premiere. The pair also discuss the psychology behind Justin's character, transitioning from musical theater to opera, and building representation in the classical music community. “There are a lot of dichotomies in this piece,” Justin says of the lopsided love affair between French diplomat René Gallimard and Song Liling, the Beijing opera star who exploits Gallimard’s self-delusion to secure their own safety. “[There’s] lots of East and West, man and woman, truth and lies. It's very yin yang.” The highly anticipated world premiere, delayed two years by pandemic-related scheduling conflicts, is an inventive operatic reworking by David Henry Hwang of his iconic 1988 Tony Award-winning musical. Composer Huang Ruo’s score complements Hwang’s libretto perfectly, providing intelligent references to Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and an increasingly distorted soundscape against which Gallimard and Liling's relationship reaches its inevitable conclusion. Revisiting decades-old source material is not without its challenges. “I want people to understand that this is a period piece,” says Justin. “M. Butterfly lives in the past, and we need to watch this opera through the lens of the 1960s and the late 1980s when the play was first presented to the world.” He challenges audiences to consider how far we’ve come in addressing issues connected to sexual orientation, gender identity, and Imperialism––and how far we’ve yet to go. FEATURING Kangmin Justin Kim – Countertenor Website Instagram Twitter Facebook YouTube MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE DSFO0206 - Larger Than Life: Verdi’s Falstaff with Quinn Kelsey La Bien Aimée CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at https://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Jul 15, 2022
Jamie Barton on Epic Singing, Queer Characters, and the Heart and Complication in Tristan und Isolde
There’s no such thing as a “little” Wagner. Host Jane Trembley catches up with internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in anticipation of the epic Santa Fe Opera debut of Tristan und Isolde. The pair chat about the thrill of performing this legendary tale of love and betrayal––and why Richard Wagner’s music is totally worth leaving the house for! Jamie also discusses interpreting her characters through a queer lens and transcending the score to create meaningful art. “I love this character!” says Jamie of the empathetic Brangäne. “She reminds me of myself in a lot of ways.” For this production, loyal maid Brangäne is cast as Isolde’s sibling. That sisterly bond provides a fresh emotional counterpoint to the titular lovers’ physical attraction. Exploring such nuances suits Jamie, a big, queer girl who advocates for bringing one’s whole self to the stage. “My job is to story-tell, and one of the baseline things I allow myself to do is come with my own honest perspective.” Jamie, a self-professed Wagner nerd, asserts that Tristan und Isolde sets the bar for all other works in the German composer’s canon, if not all of modern musical composition. “It's overwhelming! This particular opera inspired so much of the 20th-century stuff that we know.” Still, some folks might need additional coaxing to venture out. For them, Jamie plays her most persuasive card: The Crosby Theatre itself. “We're starting this before sunset, so there’ll be this daytime-to-nighttime transition. That’s an element that’s difficult to get in any other sort of typical theater.” FEATURING Jamie Barton – Mezzo-Soprano Website Instagram Twitter TikTok Facebook CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at https://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Jul 1, 2022
Larger Than Life: Verdi’s Falstaff with Quinn Kelsey
Who’ll serve the infamous jolly knight his just desserts? The list of candidates is long, and their scheme is hilarious. All will be revealed when Falstaff, Giuseppe Verdi’s classic farce, arrives on the Santa Fe Opera stage. Host Jane Trembley speaks with Hawai’i native Quinn Kelsey about embodying the larger-than-life titular character and learns why comedy is more challenging to play than tragedy. Quinn also answers the million-dollar question: what would the celebrated Verdi baritone ask the great composer if given a chance? If you think you know Verdi, think again. “[Falstaff] behaves like a totally different animal,” says Quinn. The final opera of Verdi’s storied career is a comedic masterpiece propelled by complex wit, outsized swagger, and vibrant music. “John Falstaff is at that age where life is beginning to pass him by,” Quinn explains. “He still thinks he can charm the ladies, and you have to give him credit for having a huge amount of confidence.” It doesn’t take long for that swagger to get the jolly knight into riotous trouble. “I don't normally get to play comedic characters,” Quinn says. Although pompous Falstaff is more serious than his fellow characters, all the fizzy stage antics are in response to his self-delusion. In a role he’s played in different ways since 2014, Quinn is more than up to the vocal and emotional challenge, fully embracing Falstaff’s hubris, hedonism, and gullibility for Sir David McVicar’s sparkling new production. “The fact that I finally get to do something with Sir David from scratch? I'm looking forward to a really fun summer.” FEATURING Quinn Kelsey - Baritone Website Instagram Facebook CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at https://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Jun 24, 2022
A Fresh Take on The Barber of Seville with Apprentice Alumni Emily Fons and Jack Swanson
There’s a reason why The Barber of Seville remains one of the most popular operas in the world. Gioachino Rossini’s comedic masterpiece never fails to delight audiences with its lively music, whirlwind romance, and inevitable happy ending. Host Jane Trembley speaks with mezzo-soprano Emily Fons and tenor Jack Swanson about their approach to providing a fresh take on one of opera’s most familiar tales. The pair also give advice to anyone encountering The Barber of Seville for the first time and share wisdom from their time in the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for Singers. Plus, Jane learns all about playing Cards Against Humanity with like-minded company, traveling opera pets, and helping Kelsey Grammar out of a jam. “The one thing I like to say about The Barber of Seville is that it's one of those operas where they really got the story right,” Jack says. “It's so easy to follow no matter what time period, no matter what costumes they're wearing, no matter what props they're using.” Who better to evaluate Rossini’s genius than a performer who’s played Count Almaviva in guises ranging from a 19th-century nobleman to a modern-day rockstar? Emily, too, has appeared in multiple productions of this classic comedy. Her understanding of Rosina, the sparkling, rebellious recipient of Almaviva’s affections, and the opera’s themes have evolved along the way. “That's been my journey over time,” she explains, “from being bogged down in what I thought people's expectations were to finding how I wanted to tell this story.” As for returning to SFO, both Emily and Jack agree that no other organization is as supportive of apprentices and pros alike. “Thank you,” Emily says, “to the Santa Fe Opera and all those really special people.” CREDITS Hosted by Jane Trembley Featuring: Emily Fons - Mezzo-Soprano Website Instagram Facebook Jack Swanson - Tenor Website Instagram Facebook CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Jun 17, 2022
Isabel Leonard on Interpreting the Iconic Role of Carmen
Is there a more provocative or iconic character in all of opera than Carmen? This free-spirited, defiant factory worker reigns supreme as the original difficult woman––in the best possible way. Host Jane Trembley chats with Isabel Leonard as she gets set to play the titular diva in Bizet’s Carmen to open Santa Fe Opera’s 2022 season. The mezzo-soprano discusses her physical and emotional preparations for the role, how her Argentine-American heritage has informed her musical intuition, and her love for challenging the misconceptions that surround this charismatic, complicated heroine. Isabel is no stranger to Carmen’s illustrious (or is it infamous?) appeal nor the long line of talents that have taken on this unjustly-labeled femme fatale. “Even if the concept is a good one, it can be a challenge to break out of it simply because humans are adverse to change in some ways,” says the three-time Grammy Award-winning performer. Concepts don’t come any better than Carmen. When viewed through our modern lens, this character created in the 19th century is afforded more empathy for having to endure the limitations imposed on her. “The psychology behind her and what fascinates me in her character has everything to do with not only who she is in her time period, as a woman, but who everybody seems to think she is and how that affects their perception of the piece when they watch it, regardless of how you play it.” For her interpretation of Carmen, Isabel has reacquainted herself with the castanets, literally tapping into her Argentinian heritage and, even further back, to southern Spain. “I can only imagine the ghosts of Isabels past,” she laughs. “If I were not to fully embrace the character of Carmen, it would be somewhat sacrilegious.” FEATURING Isabel Leonard - Mezzo-Soprano Website Instagram YouTube CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
May 20, 2022
Creating New Worlds with Costume Director Blair Gulledge and Properties Director Eileen Garcia
Bringing fantastical worlds to the Santa Fe Opera stage requires creativity, communication, and compassion. Host Jane Trembley chats with Costume Director Blair Gulledge and Properties Director Eileen Garcia about the intense year-round effort that goes into planning and implementing the designs for each season. She also learns how these two department heads collaborate with one another and their commitment to providing a kinder, more supportive working environment for their teams, colleagues, and the Opera’s guest performers. Scenery may set the stage, but costumes and props establish character, telegraph motivation, and advance the action. “What I love about this discipline is just that level of collaboration. You're not doing art in a vacuum,” says Blair, who will oversee the completion of 500+ costumes for this season alone. Sure, creating alongside performing artists and backstage artisans at such a high level is available through other theatrical genres. But none deliver the visceral or emotional impact of opera––and few do so in a setting as celebrated as SFO. Maintaining creative excellence involves meeting the needs of singers, designers, and support staff equally, even when not convenient. Both Blair and Eileen know they’ve realized that objective when the magic onstage looks effortless without testing the safety or sanity of those backstage. “My goal is just to help tell that story, but it does require a balance and a delicacy,” Blair admits. That’s where having a holistic approach to expectations and artistry works in everyone’s favor, including the audience. Eileen agrees. “You really can see that designer’s original vision come to life,” she says, adding that the creative teams couldn’t accomplish such astounding theatrical feats without having first “built that relationship based in trust and understanding of what our capabilities are here at the Opera.” FEATURING Blair Gulledge Costume Director, Santa Fe Opera Eileen Garcia Properties Director, Santa Fe Opera CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
May 6, 2022
Making Magic and Managing Mayhem Backstage with Mike Ortiz, Technical Director and Tracy Armagost, Production & Recruiting Coordinator
Flash floods. Supply chain issues. Safety briefings. Would you believe this is opera? Host Jane Trembley discovers that only at Santa Fe Opera does behind-the-scenes excitement rival onstage drama. She chats with Production & Recruiting Coordinator Tracy Armagost and Technical Director Mike Ortiz, the supportive, creative pair behind SFO backstage team. Tracy and Mike share their long histories with the opera, some of the magical (and nerve wracking!) moments they’ve helped bring to the stage, and exciting maneuvers to pay attention to in the upcoming season. “Our jobs mingle quite a bit, especially with the scheduling personnel management, on-stage rehearsals,” says Tracy of the day-to-day interaction she and Mike share. While that interaction peaks during the summer months, year-round communication between their departments is vital to maintaining SFO’s reputation as a world-class arts organization. Consider the weather-related variables of staging massive productions in an open-air theatre sat in the middle of a desert. Throw in the watchful eyes of audience members who prefer to observe change-overs at intermission rather than grab a refreshment in the lobby. Mike and Tracy fit these puzzle pieces (and many more) together on a per-show basis––often years before a production even lands on the stage. Safety is an additional concern for this duo. The onstage choreography between people and sets requires repeated practice to execute without endangering anyone. “There are sometimes multiple thousand-pound pieces of scenery moving really fast to get from point A to point B,” says Mike. “You could very easily get run over.” Both Tracy and Mike agree that as demanding as SFO productions are, there’s no place like it in all of opera. “It’s a unique place,” says Mike. “I'm very fortunate to have been able to climb the ladder here, to have a successful career, and be home in Santa Fe.” CREDITS Hosted by Jane Trembley Featuring: Mike Ortiz Technical Director, Santa Fe Opera Tracy Armagost Production & Recruiting Coordinator, Santa Fe Opera Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Apr 22, 2022
More Voices at the Table: Community Engagement and Opera with Kyle Gray
Look up the definition for community engagement, and you'll find lots of fantastic terms––Strategic! Interaction! Ally! But the word that tops them all is "relationship." Host Jane Trembley chats with Kyle Gray, Santa Fe Opera's Manager of Community Relations and Government Affairs, about how he helps foster meaningful connections between SFO and government agencies, fellow arts organizations, volunteers, and Indigenous communities. The pair also explore SFO's comprehensive DEIA initiatives and why diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are critical elements of the organization’s continued vitality. "These days, it's all about partnerships," says Kyle, offering a shorthand explanation for the long list of engagement activities his office is involved in, supporting the creation of impactful artistic work. High-level meetings with municipal and federal legislative representatives are an exciting aspect of Kyle's day-to-day, but he finds the grassroots collaborations most rewarding. "There's the Pueblo Opera Program (POP); there's music educators; there's fine arts coordinators; there's arts commissioners. It doesn't stop with Santa Fe Opera volunteers. I think everyone is an advocate for the Santa Fe Opera." Weaving on stage artistry with off-stage engagement requires a continuous exchange of ideas and invites feedback. Kyle admits that although critiques aren't always easy to hear, they're necessary for relationship-building. He points to Opera For All Voices (OFAV) as an example of how SFO explores these issues, holds space for multiple viewpoints, and processes the impact of such world premiere productions as Hometown To The World alongside the entire SFO community. SFO's strategic commitment to community ensures folks see their stories on stage and representation among the audiences, artisans, and administrators. "Opera can get you thinking," Kyle says, while engagement invites communities to shape the future of the world's most compelling art form. FEATURED GUEST Kyle Gray Manager of Community Relations and Government Affairs Santa Fe Opera CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Apr 14, 2022
Our opera oasis under the stars
Destination Santa Fe Opera welcomes you back for our 2022 season with our host, Jane Trembley. We're ready to take on 2022 with five brand new productions, including an international co-production a company premiere, and a world premiere. You could say that we're a little excited. New episodes of the podcast are coming to you all spring and summer long featuring the artists, singers, technicians, and many opera professionals working behind the scenes to bring you the stories, music and splendor onstage at the Santa Fe Opera. Make sure you follow us on your favorite podcast app so you don't miss a beat! CREDITS Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Post-Production Audio: Edwin R. Ruiz Hosted by: Jane Trembley Show Notes by: Lisa Widder *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Nov 5, 2021
Art that moves people to action with Santa Fe Opera Chief Artistic Officer David Lomelí
What has all the compelling drama of a marathon finish line and the adrenaline rush of a Formula One championship? Santa Fe Opera’s 2022 Season, of course! Or so says Jane’s guest. She sits down with Chief Artistic Officer David Lomelí to learn more about the incredible titles and talents set to grace the Santa Fe Opera stage next summer. The pair also charts David’s path from his hometown in Mexico to the rarified stages of Europe and, finally, to his dream job here in the desert, where he’s poised to break the clichés of opera programming, demystify the genre, and broaden the audience experience. It’s impossible to not respond to David’s enthusiasm for all things opera. Even the logistical complications brought about by COVID-19 inspire him. “It was such a beautiful challenge,” he says about the 2021 Season. “I gained so much perspective,” he adds, citing the physical safety precautions put into place, as well as the collective emotional support of everyone ea…
Aug 20, 2021
Adventures on stage and behind the scenes with Technical Apprentices Larry Ortiz & Caitlynn Sandoval
Singers aren’t the only apprentices who are put through their paces at the Santa Fe Opera. Theater technicians also participate in an intermediate-to-advanced training program that offers world-class instruction and practical experience in stage operations, properties, audio & video, costumes, production/music services, makeup and wig construction, stage lighting, and scenic art. Jane chats with Stage Crew Apprentice Larry Ortiz and Properties Run Crew Apprentice Caitlynn Sandoval about their adventures behind (and, sometimes, underneath) the scenes. “Every night, there's always a crowd of people who stay to watch,” says Larry of audience members who forgo other intermission activities so they don’t miss the second show––an intricately choreographed spectacle performed by Santa Fe Opera’s brilliant stage crew. Unlike other venues where set changes take place behind a curtain, the action’s on full display in The Crosby Theatre. Larry welcomes the chance to share this…
Aug 13, 2021
Audition videos, cover roles, and fight scenes with Apprentice Singers Teresa Perrotta & Allen Michael Jones
Audiences and staff aren’t the only ones excited for opera’s return to the desert this season. Jane Trembley chats with soprano Teresa Perrotta and bass Allen Michael Jones, two performers in the 2021 Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program for Singers. Teresa and Allen Michael take listeners inside this “summer camp” for singers which is internationally recognized as one of the first, and most exceptional programs of its kind. They share stories about the audition process, performance opportunities, and the moments that make singing in front of live audiences again so special. Teresa Perrotta is busy. When she’s not hiking desert trails (a first for this native Floridian) or training for her fight scene as Helena in SFO’s production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Teresa’s collaborating with the Apprentice Program’s world-renowned guest artists and instructors. “We get to work with a lot of different people and make new connections,” she says. “So, very busy. Lots of…
Aug 6, 2021
Take your time and other advice for young singers from soprano Angel Blue
Soprano Angel Blue makes her Santa Fe Opera debut in concert Saturday, August 7, 2021. Jane caught a spare moment with Angel upon her arrival in Santa Fe to learn more about who she is on stage, off stage, and in the practice room. Angel also shares strong opinions and guidance for young singers, who may fall into the comparison trap with “the greats” who’ve come before them. Angel’s Bio: Angel Blue has emerged in recent seasons as one of the most important sopranos before the public today. On September 23, 2019 she opened the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019/2020 season as Bess in a new production of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. These performances followed her internationally praised French Opera debut and role debut as Floria Tosca at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in July of 2019. She has also been praised for performances in many other theaters, such as the Vienna State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Theater an der Wien, Oper Frankfurt, a…
Jul 9, 2021
Welcoming you back to the Santa Fe Opera with Audience Services Director Julie Wheeler
Welcoming opera-lovers back to the Santa Fe Opera this summer requires a massive behind-the-scenes effort, much of which is coordinated by the front-of-house team. Jane Trembley talks preparations and protocols with Julie Wheeler, the Santa Fe Opera’s audience services director. Their conversation sheds light (and a few tears) on the grace, gratitude, and overwhelming emotions accompanying this season’s return to the desert stage. The 2021 Season comes with a host of new challenges. Few know better than Julie. She and key colleagues across the company have spent the last 16 months researching, planning, and implementing many of the modifications SFO has put into place this season. However, she credits the entire staff with making the adjustments look and feel effortless. From newly installed touchless technology to seamless social distancing measures, this season’s goal, says Julie, remains the same as always: to create an environment in which audiences can commune with opera su…
Jun 25, 2021
From Broadway to open-air opera with dancer, actor & choreographer Reed Luplau
Magic, mischief, and mismatched lovers are at cross purposes when the Santa Fe Opera premieres one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies. Choreographer and dancer Reed Luplau says there’s no better setting for A Midsummer Night’s Dream than our glorious desert stage. Host Jane Trembley learns more about Reed’s fascinating journey from his mother’s dance studio on Australia’s West Coast to some of the world’s biggest venues. Reed also shares insight into his preparations for playing Puck, the fairy whose pranks cause so much confusion, as well as his process for crafting stories through movement. The conversation ends with Reed’s must-see, do, and eat recommendations when in Santa Fe, a list that’s sure to please locals and first-timers alike. “We're really trying to see and push how far Puck can be... how dangerous he could be, but with an innocence to him,” Reed says, offering listeners a glimpse into the collaborative relationship between choreographer and di…
Jun 18, 2021
Rising star Avery Amereau on contralto rep, advice for young singers, and Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”
Rising star Avery Amereau lends her lush contralto voice in the role of Olga in the Santa Fe Opera’s new production of Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin’s story of rakes and romantic mistakes set to glorious music by Tchaikovsky. While this marks the singer’s Santa Fe Opera debut, Avery is well acquainted with Olga and New Mexico’s great chile debate. Host Jane Trembley chats with her about the perks of possessing an authentic contralto voice, the singer’s less than traditional introduction to opera, and a favorite (shocking!) memory from her Metropolitan Opera debut. Avery also shares wise words with novice singers about staying true to one’s voice and recommends thematic elements audiences should note while attending this sumptuous opera. “There's an idea that contralto roles are usually, like, old ladies or nurses,” Avery laughs. Contraltos - singers whose vocal range is the lowest female voice type - are often cast as evil sisters or, as Avery likes to say, the wi…
Jun 11, 2021
Gender identity, American opera, and a world premiere with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo
Celebrated countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo will channel Dracula and Dionysus when he makes his Santa Fe Opera debut this season in the world premiere of The Lord of Cries. Host (and uber fan-girl) Jane Trembley chats with Anthony about what it’s like having a lead role crafted especially for him by composer John Corigliano, with libretto by Mark Adamo. The pair also discuss why this heart-stopping production is the perfect opera with which to entice audiences back to the Crosby Theatre. For those scratching their heads at the term countertenor, you know it when you hear it - and you’ve heard it. Think Prince, the BeeGees, and even Justin Timberlake “just done in a more full-throated way,” Anthony explains. He traces the style’s origins back to the castrati popular in 16th-century opera. Those performers were widely revered as the rockstars of their time. The vocal range of countertenors is our modern equivalent, minus the castration, of course. Their high-voltage sound…
Jun 4, 2021
Shattering glass and other opera singer stories with Colombian-American soprano Vanessa Vasquez
Even folks who’ve never seen a performance of The Marriage of Figaro will instantly recognize its famous overture from numerous films, commercials and cartoons. Jane Trembley talks with Colombian-American soprano Vanessa Vasquez about her upcoming turn as Countess Almaviva in the Santa Fe Opera’s 2021 Season production of Mozart’s beloved romantic comedy. Vanessa also gives listeners a glimpse into an opera singer’s life during lockdown, including the silver linings that have kept her sane, as well as her preparations for returning to peak vocal form just in time for summer. On its surface, The Marriage of Figaro is a comedic commentary on the social classes. Dig deeper, however, and audiences will find more than embarrassing situations set to catchy music. There’s a subtler supporting theme at play, one that coaxes Countess from listless, disparaging teenager to self-assured woman. “I think the strongest, most resonant theme of the opera is reconciliation,” says Vane…
May 21, 2021
Pre-professional training, virtual lessons & the young voices of the Santa Fe Opera with Kathleen Clawson & John Daugherty
A great voice isn’t the only requirement for admission into the Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera program. Nor is vocal technique the program’s sole focus. Host Jane Trembly chats with program director Kathleen Clawson and John Daugherty, a graduate of the program’s inaugural class, and now Assistant Director of Voice and Opera Program Director at the University of North Florida. They discuss the program’s early days, why such training matters, and how a pivot to virtual learning has expanded the program’s reach. Jane’s guests also share their favorite performance memories, sprinkled with a staged beheading and an Elvis impersonation! Pre-professional arts programs like the Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera shape the singing stars and music lovers of tomorrow. “And, it is the very best job,” Kathleen confirms of her most cherished role in an impressive career. As you’d expect, the program provides its participants with access to the highest caliber voice lessons,…
May 7, 2021
Health, safety, and a successful reopening with Chelsea Antrim Dennis, Director of Production
What does it take to remain cool as cucumber water amid the intense technical demands of the world’s grandest art form? Jane dishes about the drama with guest Chelsea Antrim Dennis, Santa Fe Opera’s Director of Production. Trap door danger! Raging storms! Mid-performance fainting! Chelsea has navigated a few professional storms in her 16 seasons with SFO. Her responsibilities aren’t limited to the action on stage; Chelsea is known as the voice of the Santa Fe Opera (her dulcet tones grace the pre-show announcement) and she oversees health and safety protocols throughout the opera’s sprawling campus. Jane gets the inside scoop on what infrastructure changes patrons, staff, and artists can expect at the opera this summer in response to COVID-19. In her current role since 2020 (the first woman to hold the position in Santa Fe Opera history!), Chelsea supervises multiple departments including scenery, props, costumes, electrics, and wigs and makeup. She approaches the dynamic ne…
Apr 23, 2021
Setting the bar high with Santa Fe Opera General Director Robert K. Meya
The Santa Fe Opera is back! Actually, SFO never went away (hello, digital performances, and nice to meet you, TikTok!) It’ll take more than a pandemic to knock a 60-something legend off its game. Still, 2020 served this iconic organization its share of questions to consider. How does a world-class company safely reintroduce audiences to its artistry (and vice versa)? Which “lockdown lessons” does it carry forward? And what conversations should it advance - both onstage and off - in support of our country’s racial reckoning? In this episode, host Jane Trembley and special guest Robert K. Meya, General Director, discuss the exciting return of artists and audiences to SFO’s striking, spaceship-like open-air stage. But before live music rings out across the high desert, the pair pull back the curtain on challenges and changes prompted by the past year. But the reveal doesn’t end there. Jane and Robert also discuss exciting programming planned for 2021 and announce exclusive…
Apr 21, 2021
Welcome to Destination Santa Fe Opera
Welcome to Destination Santa Fe Opera, a fresh take on our former “Beyond the Opera” podcast with even more episodes, a new host, and a deep dive into what’s happening on stage AND behind the scenes. Meet your host, Jane Trembley, an arts administrator and podcast host by day, opera singer and House Manager at Santa Fe Opera by night... But not on the same nights. New episodes of the podcast are coming to you all spring and summer long featuring the artists, singers, technicians, and many opera professionals working behind the scenes to bring you the stories, music, and splendor on stage at the Santa Fe Opera. *** Destination Santa Fe Opera is produced for the Santa Fe Opera by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Audio Engineer: Edwin Ruiz Host: Jane Trembley Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok @santafeopera.
Aug 8, 2019
Renee Fleming - Portraying Georgia O'Keeffe, singing and neuroscience, and arts education advocacy
For opera lovers, today's guest needs no introduction. Renée Fleming is one of the most celebrated and cherished singers worldwide. In the midst of a whirlwind tour, Renée had a moment to chat with dramaturg Cori Ellison about her Santa Fe Opera debut in a concert featuring Letters from Georgia by Kevin Puts and Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) of Richard Strauss. Renée shares a peek inside her preparation and collaborative process for singing the role of New Mexico icon artist Georgia O'Keeffe, reflects on one of her most sung pieces of repertoire by Strauss, and shares the drive behind the growing body of arts education advocacy and neuroscience research she is championing. Follow Renée and learn more about her advocacy work at https://reneefleming.com and on Facebook and Instagram @reneeflemingmusic and on YouTube @ReneeFlemingTV. *** Learn more about the Santa Fe Opera and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitt…
Jul 26, 2019
The Thirteenth Child - A fairytale collaboration with first time librettists Becky & David Starobin
Beloved musicians and founders of Bridge Records, Becky and David Starobin make their debut as librettists in collaboration with composer Poul Ruders on this brand new fairytale thriller opera adapted from "The Twelve Brothers" by the Brothers Grimm. Cori digs deep with Becky and David into the collaborative process, the necessary changes to the source material to make it stage worthy, and addressing universal themes of family, love and loss. We also hear how the Bridge Records recording for The Thirteenth Child (recently released) almost went horribly awry and how David saved the day. Follow Becky, David and The Thirteenth Child at http://the13thchild.com. *** The Thirteenth Child runs at the Santa Fe Opera July 27 - August 21, 2019. Learn more and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @santafeopera. *** Beyond the Opera is produced for the Santa Fe Opera by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Stud…
Jul 19, 2019
Jenufa - Preparing for new roles and the evolution of a career with singing actress Patricia Racette
All eyes in the village are on Jenufa. Her fiancé sees only a trophy wife. Her rejected suitor sees a chance to avenge the most cutting wrongs in his past. Her righteous stepmother sees her own life’s tragedy about to play out again for her child. The results are two unspeakable crimes which lead to the opera’s true theme—that the wounds of troubled lives can be assuaged through acceptance, forgiveness, and hope. Patricia Racette returns to the Santa Fe Opera for her 10th role on our stage in this production of Jenufa by Leos Janáček, staged by David Alden. Having performed the role of Jenufa many, many times, Patricia now takes on the role of the stepmother, Kostelnicka. Cori and Patricia talk about what it's like to prepare for a new character in an opera she knows so well; her career expansion from ingenue to more mature, dramatic roles; her passion for coaching young singers; a return to her musical theatre roots; and the answer to the burning question on all Santa Feans…
Jul 12, 2019
Cosi fan tutte - Mythic characters, implausible plots, and the art of being watched with stage director R.B. Schlather
What makes the seemingly ridiculous plot of Così fan tutte such a compelling study of the duality of human nature that we revisit time and again? How do we understand the play of gender norms and societal pressure through a contemporary lens? And what's a director to do about a plot point that revolves around mustaches? R.B. Schlather is one of the most creative and exciting new opera directors on the scene in America, with a strong emphasis on the visual aspect of performance. He recently he made a huge splash with a production of The Mother of Us All by Virgil Thomson at the Hudson Opera House in upstate New York, which was named as one of the 10 best opera performances of 2017 by the New York Times. R.B. makes his Santa Fe Opera directorial debut with our new production of Così fan tutte, Mozart’s and Da Ponte’s final collaboration (after Don Giovanni and Le nozze di Figaro), which has delighted and confounded viewers ever since its 1790 premiere in Vienna. Find out why C…
Jun 28, 2019
The Pearl Fishers - Strong Women's Roles in Opera with director Shawna Lucey & soprano Corinne Winters
A conversation from the "feminine perspective" about the often underestimated opera by Georges Bizet, The Pearl Fishers, reveals insights into key themes of power dynamics, the intrinsic conflict of character Leïla, and what it means to be a leader in this day and age. Director Shawna Lucey, soprano Corinne Winters, and host Kathleen Clawson give us a fresh take on the 2019 revival of our stunning 2012 production, which was called “The best of this summer’s season,” by The Wall Street Journal. They also offer advice for opera newcomers and veterans alike to get the richest possible experience during your visit. Follow Shawna at https://www.shawnalucey.com, on Instagram @29flames, and on Twitter @shawna_lucey. Follow Corinne at http://corinnewinters.com, on Facebook @cmwsoprano, and on Instagram @cmwsoprano. *** The Pearl Fishers runs at the Santa Fe Opera June 29 - August 23, 2019. Learn more and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join u…
Jun 26, 2019
La Boheme - From Apprentice Opera Singer to Main Stage Artist with Zachary Nelson as Marcello
Baritone Zachary Nelson started his professional opera singing career as an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera, following college and swiftly made his way onto the main stage in what to him felt like a dream come true. In the 2019 season, he's singing Marcello in the Santa Fe Opera's new production of Puccini's La bohème. Kathleen Clawson talks with Zach about all things La bohème, his whirlwind stint in Germany, and what it's like to revive a role he's done in multiple productions. Follow Zach at http://www.zacharynelsonbaritone.com on Twitter @ zacharybaritone and on Instagram @zacharynelson410. *** La Boheme runs at the Santa Fe Opera June 28 - August 24, 2019. Learn more and plan your visit at http://www.santafeopera.org. We'd love for you to join us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @santafeopera. *** Beyond the Opera is produced for the Santa Fe Opera by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios. Our audio engineer is Kabby at Kabby Sound Studios in Santa Fe. O…