Santa Fe Opera announces world premiere, shorter '21 season - Albuquerque Journal

Santa Fe Opera announces world premiere, shorter ’21 season

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo stars in “The Lord of Cries.” (Courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera)

Top 10 Mozart warhorse “The Marriage of Figaro” will open the Santa Fe Opera’s 2021 season, followed by a Dracula-bitten world premiere.

SFO general director Robert Meya announced the Santa Fe institution’s 64th season on Wednesday.

The 2021 season will feature four productions instead of the usual five, Meya said. The more budget-friendly, shortened season will reduce the numbers of people on campus, and allow for more time cleaning and sanitizing.

Susanna Phillips stars in “The Lord of Cries.” (Courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera)

“The Lord of Cries,” a “Dracula”-meets-Euripides mashup, will mark the SFO’s 17th world premiere. The opera also will debut new productions of Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” as well as “The Marriage of Figaro.”

Opening July 10, “The Marriage of Figaro” is Santa Fe’s most-performed opera. It also ranks among the top 10 of operas performed internationally. Paris director Laurent Pelly, a Santa Fe regular, will return after helming the 2019 production of “Candide.”

Taken by film director Jean Renoir’s 1939 satirical comedy “La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game),” itself partly inspired by “The Marriage of Figaro,” Pelly will style the piece in the late 1930s.

Soprano Vanessa Vasquez stars in “The Marriage of Figaro.”

“Now, as we consider the 1930s, it was kind of a resurgence of coming out of the Great Depression,” Meya said. “You can see similar parallels of coming out of the pandemic.”

“Figaro” has had “111 performances” at Santa Fe, Meya continued. “There is not a single dull moment. It is some of the most glorious music ever written.”

“The Lord of Cries” composers John Corigliano and Mark Adamo based their work on an intersection between Euripides’ “The Bacchae” and Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” It opens July 17.

Separated by 24 centuries, the two works tell virtually the same timeless story: We must honor our animal nature lest it turn monstrous and destroy us. Famed countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, who has led performances at opera companies around the world, including numerous roles at the Metropolitan Opera, stars.

“We’ve been looking at bringing him here for years,” Meya said.

Tchaikovsky’s sweeping drama “Eugene Onegin” will open July 24. The SFO last produced the opera based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin in 2002.

“It’s about unrequited love, it’s about rejection,” Meya said. “Tatyana is rejected and she then blossoms into her full glory.”

Etienne Dupuis and Nicole Car star in “Eugene Onegin.”

The cast includes real-life husband and wife Etienne Dupuis and Nicole Car as the title character and Tatyana.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will receive its SFO premiere on July 31.

SFO folklore says the company was set to premiere the piece in 1960, but that it opened in San Francisco instead, Meya said.

“It’s perfect for our environment; it takes place outdoors,” he added.

The cast includes soprano Erin Morley as Tytania and British countertenor lestyn Davies as Oberon.

Soprano Angel Blue will lead a group of principal singers in concert on Aug. 7, with apprentice scene performances slated for Aug. 15 and 22.

British classical counter tenor lestyn Davies photographed at the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City on October 3, 2017.

The abbreviated season follows a COVID-canceled summer buttressed by grants, cost-cutting and donations, including $2 million in PPP from the federal CARES act. The company closed the fiscal year with a balanced budget of $14 million, Meya said.

Board members have discussed several options in case the pandemic still looms in 2021. The scenarios include limiting audiences to between 30% and 50% capacity, Meya said, depending on public health requirements. If COVID cancels the season again, the SFO will remain, using the same options as this year, he said.

“We’ll probably have a big deficit, but we’ll survive it,” Meya said.

Soprano Angel Blue will perform at the Santa Fe Opera on Aug. 7, 2021.

When visitors arrive at the outdoor theater next summer, they will notice such pandemic-fueled changes as acrylic shields in all public-facing locations, electrostatic disinfection in high-traffic areas, hand-sanitizing stations, enhanced ventilation and air purification in elevators and restrooms, as well as social distance markers. Opera officials also plan a ticketless entry system, as well as staggered arrival times. There will be no preview dinners and the cantina will remain closed. All employees will be tested on site.

Home » Entertainment » Arts » Santa Fe Opera announces world premiere, shorter ’21 season

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Meateor Burgers to close at end of June
ABQnews Seeker
Business was going well for the ... Business was going well for the burger joint in the 505 Central Food Hall. But the business partners found out several weeks ago that ...
Hey MVD, where’s my license plate sticker?
ABQnews Seeker
I realized I had not received ... I realized I had not received the license-plate sticker over the Memorial Day weekend, and I remembered the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division had ...
Police searching for suspect in woman's slaying
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque police are searching for a ... Albuquerque police are searching for a man who they said killed his ex-girlfriend this weekend. Police said they responded to the home of Julias ...
APD: Three killed at house party
ABQnews Seeker
Three young adults were killed and ... Three young adults were killed and a girl was injured at a shooting during a party in northeast Albuquerque early Sunday morning. It took ...
Pet care: Scratching the surface of an itchy situation
ABQnews Seeker
We learn a lot about pets ... We learn a lot about pets by watching them move. ... I observe by trying to be inconspicuous, like a fly on the wall ...
New Mexico Finance Authority launches program to rehabilitate homes
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico Finance Authority launches ... New Mexico Finance Authority launches program to rehabilitate homes.
New Mexico's free child care program a lifeline for ...
ABQnews Seeker
More than 40,000 families around New ... More than 40,000 families around New Mexico are eligible for free child care, based on income. However, only about 1 in 4 of those ...
‘We Spread’ explores what it means to grow old
ABQnews Seeker
"We Spread" is a taut novel ... "We Spread" is a taut novel packed with mysteries, starting with the title and a front cover design ...
Annual exhibit boasts layers of pastels with 'Enchanted Colors'
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico Pastel Society's annual ... The New Mexico Pastel Society's annual exhibition encompasses 73 works at the Millicent Rogers Museum, augmented by an additional 40 online.