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Santa Fe Opera announces 2019 season

SANTA FE – The Santa Fe Opera will serve up a banquet of the Brothers Grimm, a trio of classics, a new production of Janácek’s “Jenufa” and a concert with the acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming for its 2019 season.

Retiring director Charles MacKay announced the new slate for the 63rd season along with new director designate Robert Meya on Wednesday.

The SFO will present the world premiere of “The Thirteenth Child” by Danish composer Poul Ruders (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) on July 27, 2019. The libretto by David and Becky Starobin is based on a lesser-known Brothers Grimm fairy tale. The opera will be co-commissioned by Denmark’s Odense Symphony Orchestra.

Forget about magic beans and bowls of porridge; “The Thirteenth Child” concerns a paranoid king who banishes his 12 sons so that his daughter can inherit the throne. It features an enchanted forest, riddles, a handsome prince and an ogre.

Fleming will make her Santa Fe debut with “Letters From Georgia” by Kevin Puts on Aug. 10, 2019. “Letters” was commissioned by the Eastman School of Music.

The soprano also will sing Richard Strauss’ “Four Last Songs,” performed at the 2002 memorial service for SFO founder John Crosby, MacKay said.

“Jenufa” will mark Santa Fe’s first production of the Janácek opera. The title character’s fiancé views her solely as a trophy wife. Her rejected suitor sees a chance to avenge the wrongs of the past. Her righteous stepmother sees her own past tragedy about to recur. The turmoil results in two crimes leading to the opera’s theme —— that the wounds of troubled lives can be assuaged through acceptance, forgiveness and hope.

Santa Fe also will offer new productions of Puccini’s “La bohème (beginning on June 28, 2019), Mozart’s “Cosi fan Tutte” (July 13) and Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers” (June 29).

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