One of the great fixtures of a Santa Fe summer is Santa Fe Opera, who recently announced the cancellation of its 2020 season due to the pandemic. Since we can’t go see the stunning sets in person, we’re revisiting our SFO behind-the-scenes series, which has profiled the champions who make up the Opera’s scene, props, and costume shops, and detail the way they turn dream-like ideas into dream-like realities.
We recently spoke with Emily Doyle Moore, the Opera’s Director of Media and Public Relations, about the resilience of the Company. “Although the Santa Fe Opera is a success story, we are not untested. In 1967, our theater burned to the ground only four weeks into the season,” she said. “Performances resumed in a local gymnasium with minimal sets and costumes, and a second theater—with four times the capacity—was built in time for the opening night of the 1968 season. The new theater and improved production facilities launched the Santa Fe Opera as an international destination. (All because of what had been a twinkle in SFO founder John Crosby’s eye—how incredible is that?!)”
we’ve taken this opportunity to reimagine how the Santa Fe Opera inspires the opera habit
Although the 2020 season is canceled, the Opera is still hard at work. As Moore notes, “Since the beginning of this pandemic we’ve doubled our social media content and activity to bring fans and followers performance video highlights, theater, campus, and behind-the-scenes photography, plus materials and stories from our rich archives. We’ve also launched several all-new video campaigns, including Conversations in Quarantine with Santa Fe Opera artists and our SFO Concertmaster series. We are committed to bringing beauty and joy to people’s lives in whatever way we can, and we’ve taken this opportunity to reimagine how the Santa Fe Opera inspires the opera habit.”
“In addition, the Santa Fe Opera has always committed significant resources, both human and financial, to our education and community engagement programs. We do plan to bring many of those programs to a virtual platform, including our Opera StoryTellers Summer Camp for families and children, and our popular adult learning seminars Opera InSight and the Spotlight Series. Through our partnership with the Santa Fe Public Library, we’ve recently brought our Opera Makes Sense program for children ages 3-5 to an online presentation called Stories that Sing!—these episodes premiere on our YouTube channel at 10 am every Saturday in May and feature the Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera. Our Active Learning Through Opera (ALTO), a program for teens in partnership with New Mexico libraries, is in beta-testing for The Power of Stories: Collaborative Online Storytelling. We look forward to sharing more details soon.”
Over the past three summers, we’ve taken a deep dive behind the scenes and into the SFO workshops. We’ve collected these articles here for you to re-explore the Props Department, Scene Shop, and Costume Shop with SWC contributor Jordan Eddy and photographer Stefan Wachs: