The Santa Fe Opera —It’s a Santa Fe Destination Institution!

The Santa Fe Opera

The Santa Fe Opera was founded in 1956 by New York conductor John Crosby. He started the opera in order to allow American performers sufficient time for preparing and rehearsing new operatic roles. The first season commenced in July, 1957.

The opera’s main international claim to fame is the introduction of newly minted American operas and its production of operatic repertoires. Since its inception, the Santa Fe Opera has premiered 40 American operas and 11 international operas. Nine new operas have been commissioned here.

Crosby is recognized for his sterling career here, becoming the longest operatic general director in U.S. history. He retired in 2000. The current director is Charles MacKay who stepped into the directorship in 2008.

The typical season for this opera house begins about late June and runs until about the third week in August. During the season, the opera house presents five operas in a rotating repertory.

Opera fans can expect two popular operas to open the season. Usually, an American world premiere is included in the opening weeks. These works may include operas commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera. The fifth opera is usually a rarity that is seldom heard. This repertoire was established by Crosby and has been followed since. Morrison’s “Oscar” premiered here in 2013.