The beauty of living in a city like Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the availability of arts, theater, and culture right at your fingertips. While most people would die for a trip to a world-class opera house, Santa Fe has one right in their backyard.

The Santa Fe Opera is recognized as one of the world's leading cultural festivals. Imagine a state-of-the-art adobe theater set against a backdrop of the high desert landscape - a beautiful fusion of nature and art - and you have the Santa Fe Opera House. Located just five minutes north of downtown Santa Fe, the Opera is housed on a 99 acre property with sweeping views of the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains.

More than 1,600 performances of nearly 140 different operas, 9 world premiers and 40 American premieres - all held at this one-of-a-kind theater. Conductor John Crosby's vision was to provide American singers with an opportunity to perform in a setting that allowed ample time to prepare each and every production. With its laid back personality, tranquil setting and passion for the arts, Santa Fe was the perfect city for such a novel concept.

Open for the months of July and August, it is one of the best places to spend your time in Santa Fe. Here are a few more things to add to your list of things to do this summer in Santa Fe

The Santa Fe Opera Backstage Tours
Available: May 31-August 28
When: 9 a.m., Monday - Saturday
A docent-led, hour long sneak peak of what goes on behind the scenes of one or Santa Fe's world-class productions. Its open air stage requires hundreds of behind-the-scenes visionaries and stage hands to create the magic of the opera. Along with that, there are no curtains on the stage, so all scenery and cast changes must be built in to the production. Find out all the little secrets of the Santa Fe Opera, which is sure to lead you to an even greater appreciation for this theater.

The Tales of Hoffman
An Offenback masterpiece and never before seen in Santa Fe, this production is a must see. A poet duels with the deceitful Councilor Lindorf over the opera star Stella. Starring Tenor Paul Groves, conducted by Stephen Lord, and directed by Chirtopher Alden.

Madame Butterfly
Even the most unseasoned Opera-goer has heard of the highly regarded Madame Butterfly. There is no better time to catch this classic than at the Santa Fe Opera. Kelly Kaduce stars as Puccini's heroine Cio-Cio-San, while Antony Walker and Lee Blakely debut as conductor and stage director.

The Magic Flute
The romantic story of how the powers of music and love trump evil, this is Mozart's ultimate opera. Enough said. Sold out in 2006, you will want to get your tickets for this one now. Joshua Hopkins and Andrea Silvestrelli star as Papgeno and Sarastro, while Lawrence Renes serves as the valiant conductor.

An avid Opera-goer myself, I look forward to the opera season in Santa Fe.  Did I mention tailgating?  You need to get there early for a spot in the upper parking lot.  Fine food, wine, champagne and watch as the sun sets in the gorgeous skies.   With Madame Butterfly checked off my list, my next stop is the Magic Flute.   I can't help but appreciate living in Santa Fe when I attend productions at this fantastic opera house. You too can live in such a place. Just give me a call if you'd like to look at some Santa Fe real estate. Always happy to answer any questions, even if it's just  my review of the Opera.

Susan Orth
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
City Different Realty

Phone: 505-310-4133
Email: [email protected]
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