2012 Santa Fe Opera line-up announced

Events, Things to Do, Travel Tips, What's New — By stevelarese on May 10, 2011 at 10:08 pm


Five new productions to be presented


Puccini, Tosca. New Production

Bizet, The Pearl Fishers. First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera. New Production

Rossini, Maometto II. World Premiere of the New Critical Edition. New Production

Szymanowski, King Roger. First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera. New Production

R. Strauss, Arabella. New Production

May 10, 2011. Santa Fe, NM. All five operas chosen for the 2012 Santa Fe Opera Festival Season will be presented in new productions. Three will be “firsts” for the Company. Two will not have been seen for a dozen years or more. New to the Company are Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers, Rossini’s Maometto II and Szymanowski’s King Roger. Returning to the repertory are Puccini’s Tosca, last performed in 1994, and Strauss’s Arabella, not seen since 1997. The ambitious season was announced today by General Director Charles MacKay. The opening night performance, Tosca, is scheduled for Friday, June 29. The season ends on August 25 with The Pearl Fishers.

Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will be the host for a special Gala Concert on Saturday, August 4, featuring singers appearing in the season. Chief Conductor Frédéric Chaslin will conduct. Details will be announced later.

Family Nights, which offer greatly discounted tickets at selected summer performances, will again be available in August. The program differs from Youth Nights offered at final dress rehearsals, in that Family Nights provide the opportunity to attend a regular full performance and at an early 8:00 P.M. starting time.

“2012 represents the best tradition of The Santa Fe Opera,” MacKay said in making the season announcement. “It could be called a season of history and romance. Two operas depict actual historical events, and two are passionate love stories. Among the season’s composers, Rossini and Bizet are represented by operas other than their best-known calling cards. Strauss aficionados will be happy to see his name, and Arabella is one of his most beloved works. When I first heard that Mariusz Kwiecien was eager to reprise the title role in King Roger in the United States, I thought it would be the perfect choice for The Santa Fe Opera, with its reputation for unconventional repertory.”

“There is more good news for operagoers,” MacKay continued. “Over the last several years our patrons have asked that we consider starting performances earlier. I am happy to say that from opening night on June 29 through July 28, performances will begin at 8:30 P.M.; on July 30 and for the remainder of the season at 8:00 P.M. We have studied the times of sunsets and worked closely with directors and lighting designers to make sure the performances will not be impacted by daylight.”

“There are many new names on the roster,” MacKay continued. “Conductor Evan Rogister will make his Company debut leading King Roger. Amanda Echalaz, Leah Crocetto and Andrew Richards are young singers whose careers are very much in the news these days. Also new are director Stephen Barlow and scenic and costume designers Yannis Thavoris and Jon Morrell.”

Familiar names returning are Thomas Hampson, who will sing Scarpia in the final five performances of Tosca, and Raymond Aceto, who will open the season in the role; Nicole Cabell, Luca Pisaroni, William Burden, Mark Delavan and Mariusz Kwiecien are also returning.

Four well-known directors – Lee Blakeley, David Alden, Stephen Wadsworth and Tim Albery – will be in Santa Fe again. Duane Schuler will provide the lighting for Tosca and King Roger.


SINGERS: Patricia Bardon, Zack Borichevsky, Leah Crocetto, Amanda Echalaz,

Victoria Livengood, Dennis Petersen, Andrew Richards,

CONDUCTOR: Evan Rogister

DIRECTOR: Stephen Barlow

SCENIC/COSTUME DESIGNERS: Jon Morrell, Yannis Thavoris



SINGERS: Raymond Aceto, William Burden, Nicole Cabell, Eric Cutler, Mark Delavan,

Thomas Hampson, Mariusz Kwiecien, Christopher Magiera, Erin Morley, Luca Pisaroni,

Bruce Sledge, Heidi Stober, Dale Travis, Wayne Tigges, Erin Wall

CONDUCTORS: Frédéric Chaslin, Sir Andrew Davis, Emmanuel Villaume

DIRECTORS: Tim Albery, David Alden, Lee Blakeley, Stephen Wadsworth

SCENIC DESIGNERS: Tobias Hoheisel, Thomas Lynch, Jean-Marc Puissant

COSTUME DESIGNERS: Tobias Hoheisel, Martin Pakledinaz, Brigitte Reiffenstuel

LIGHTING DESIGNERS: Rick Fisher, Duane Schuler

Complete casts are listed below.


+Former Apprentice Singer


Giacomo Puccini

New Production

Last Performed by The Santa Fe Opera in 1994

Sung in Italian

June 29, July 4, 7, 13, 20, 30, August 8, 11, 15, 18, 21, 24

CONDUCTOR Frédéric Chaslin

DIRECTOR *Stephen Barlow


` DESIGNER *Yannis Thavoris


TOSCA *Amanda Echalaz (American Debut)

CAVARADOSSI *Andrew Richards

SCARPIA Raymond Aceto, June 29 – August 8

Thomas Hampson, August 11 – 24


Puccini’s Tosca is one of the most famous and popular operas of the 19th century, consistently listed on everyone’s “Top Ten” list. The score is filled with arias, duets, and choruses of great beauty, including the show-stopping aria “Vissi d’arte.” Yannis Thavoris, the young Greek designer, will create both the scenic design and the costumes. The director is Stephen Barlow, who is artistic director of London’s Holland Park Festival. It was there that Amanda Echalaz sang the title role for the first time, and later at Covent Garden. “The young lady everyone is talking about…” said the critic of The Guardian. The American tenor Andrew Richards is Cavaradossi. Tosca marks the Santa Fe Opera debuts of Thavoris, Barlow, Richards and Echalaz and is also Echalaz’s American debut. Raymond Aceto and Thomas Hampson will share the role of Scarpia. Hampson has appeared in Santa Fe only once, in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale nearly three decades ago. Chief Conductor Frédéric Chaslin will be on the podium.


George Bizet

First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera. New Production

Sung in French

June 30, July 6, 11, 31, August 10, 13, 22, 25

CONDUCTOR Emmanuel Villaume

DIRECTOR Lee Blakeley

SCENIC DESIGNER Jean-Marc Puissant

COSTUME DESIGNER Brigitte Reiffenstuel


LEILA Nicole Cabell

NADIR Eric Cutler

ZURGA Christopher Magiera

NOURABAD Wayne Tigges

The creative team of director Lee Blakeley, scenic designer Jean-Marc Puissant and costume designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel, who gave us the highly original 2010 production of Madame Butterfly, will repeat their collaboration for the new production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. Returning after an absence of a decade is French conductor Emmanuel Villaume, most recently music director of the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston. He is a regular guest conductor at Chicago’s Lyric Opera.

Nicole Cabell, who was the fiery Musetta in the 2007 production of La Bohème, returns to sing the role of the princess Leila. Her competing love interests, who are also best friends, will be sung by tenor Eric Cutler and baritone Christopher Magiera. Their duet “Au fond du temple saint” is one of the most familiar in all of opera. Bizet was only 24 when he wrote The Pearl Fishers, which was imbued with musical brilliance that predicted what was to come.


Gioachino Rossini

World Premiere of the New Critical Edition. New Production

Sung in Italian

July 14, 18, 27, August 2, 7, 16


DIRECTOR David Alden


DESIGNER *Jon Morrell


ANNA *Leah Crocetto

CALBO *Patricia Bardon

PAOLO Bruce Sledge

MAOMETTO Luca Pisaroni

This version of Maometto II will be given its world premiere of staged performances in a new edition edited by Hans Schellevis to be published by Barenreiter-Verlag. Philip Gossett, one of the world’s leading authorities on the operas of Rossini, and the general editor of Works of Gioachino Rossini, is working closely with The Santa Fe Opera on the production. The score is being edited from the original 1820 Naples version, using Rossini’s own autograph manuscript and best available sources. The setting is 15th century Greece at war with Turkish invaders. (Later, Rossini created a major revision entitled The Siege of Corinth, which is a different opera altogether according to Gossett, not simply a name change.)

The title role will be taken by Luca Pisaroni. The fast-rising young Italian baritone charmed audiences in Santa Fe as Figaro in 2008 and also as Tiridate in Radamisto that same year. Making her Company debut as Anna, Leah Crocetto was a winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Auditions. She is also the American candidate at the 2011 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition to be held in June. Also debuting is the Irish mezzo soprano Patricia Bardon, who is singing the role of Erda in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of The Ring. She is also widely admired for her interpretation of the Baroque repertory. Bruce Sledge appeared as Count Almaviva in the 2005 production of The Barber of Seville. Stage Director David Alden was here in 2008 for Radamisto. English native Jon Morrell, with whom Alden has worked, is making his company debut as designer of sets and costumes. He has done considerable work in British theater in addition to his work in opera.


Karol Szymanowski

First Performance by The Santa Fe Opera. New Production

Sung in Polish

July 21, 25, August 3, 9, 14

CONDUCTOR *Evan Rogister

DIRECTOR Stephen Wadsworth


COSTUME DESIGNER Martin Pakledinaz


ROXANA Erin Morley

SHEPHERD +William Burden

EDRISI *Dennis Petersen

KING ROGER Mariusz Kwiecien

ARCHBISHOP Raymond Aceto

When the Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien appeared as the Count in The Marriage of Figaro in 2008, he said to Charles MacKay, “You must do King Roger,” to which MacKay responded, “It’s on the list!” The opera tells the story of a 12th century Sicilian king who is tempted to excess by a mysterious prophet from the East disguised as a shepherd. The production is the first by a major American opera company and follows the noteworthy production at Bard College SummerScape Festival in 2008.

The young American conductor Evan Rogister, who now lives in Berlin, makes his Santa Fe debut in this production. Featured in the August 2009 issue of Opera News, he has conducted extensively in Europe and in the US including the Seattle Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Atlanta Symphony and more.

Mariusz Kwiecien will repeat his role as King Roger in Santa Fe. William Burden, who last appeared in 2008 in Billy Budd, will sing the role of the Shepherd. Erin Morley as Roxana, Dennis Petersen in his debut as Edrisi, and Raymond Aceto as the Archbishop complete the cast. The creative team of director Stephen Wadsworth, scenic designer Thomas Lynch and costume designer Martin Pakledinaz collaborated here in 1997 for Peter Lieberson’s Ashoka’s Dream. Pakledinaz, a two-time Tony Award winner, was also here in 2008 for Adriana Mater.


Richard Strauss

New Production.

Last Performed by The Santa Fe Opera in 1997

Sung in German

July 28, August 1, 6, 17, 23

Co-Production with Canadian Opera Company

CONDUCTOR Sir Andrew Davis



DESIGNER Tobias Hoheisel



ZDENKA Heidi Stober

ADELAIDE *Victoria Livengood

MANDRYKA Mark Delavan


MATTEO *Zack Borichevsky

Strauss lovers especially will welcome the opportunity to see Arabella, which has not been seen here since 1997. The title role will be sung by Erin Wall, who sang the role of Daphne here in 2007, and who portrayed Hoffmann’s four loves in the 2010 production of The Tales of Hoffmann. Strauss wrote a number of great singing roles for women; Arabella is one of his finest. Heidi Stober will be remembered for her colorful trouser role performance in Radamisto in 2008. Mark Delavan’s most recent appearance was as Simon Boccanegra in 2004. The American baritone, with a repertory of more than forty roles, has a long list of distinguished opera credits in this country and abroad. Director Tim Albery and scenic and costume designer Tobias Hoheisel will work together again, having created the production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute which was revived in 2010. Sir Andrew Davis conducts.

Tickets for 2012 will go on sale at The Santa Fe Opera Box Office on July 1: (505) 986-5900/

(800) 280-4654. Online orders will be accepted beginning September 1 at www.santafeopera.org.

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