Magical Evening at the Santa Fe Opera
Come and experience an opera in the City Different. From the props room to a full production on stage, join me for a photographic journal of this enchanting evening.
When Simply Social Media reached out to me about joining them for an influencer event at the Santa Fe Opera, I have to admit that I was slightly intimidated. I would not call myself an "influencer" by any means and was worried that I would stand out among experienced photographers documenting their evening with precision and expertise. However, I'm glad that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone because the wonderful individuals at this event could not have been more gracious and kind. Caitlin and Amy made sure we all felt so welcome that my fears were alleviated in the first few minutes.
Our evening began with a "behind the scenes" tour, skillfully led by some of the Opera's knowledgeable interns. What a memorable experience! Getting to see the props storage packed with multiple levels of assorted items is something I'll never forget. From the unusual disembodied heads to the 4 foot tall wedding cakes, everywhere I turned was a new treasure. I was so engaged in seeing all of these sights that I kept having to remind myself to take photos. Here are a few of my favorite:
After our tour, we were treated to a beautiful sit down dinner on the McCune Terrace with stunning views and beautiful landscaping. As we dined on delicious food and sipped champagne our evening got even better. Radiating contagious energy, the director of La Bohème, Mary Birnbaum gave us a look "behind the curtain" at the process of mounting this production.
Another stand out of the evening for me was the Opera's External Affairs Manager, Sullivan Peraino. She graciously regaled our table with colorful descriptions of upcoming pieces that got all of us excited to come back and witness the productions in their full glory. Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the servers that evening were exceptionally gracious and lovely. It's small details such as this which really sets the Opera apart from anything else in Santa Fe.
After dinner, it was time to witness what we had all come to see: La Bohème. Although an announcement informed the audience that this was a dress rehearsal, I would not have known it from the stunning production that evening. From the moment the scenery on stage parted to reveal the first scene, I was instantly drawn into 19th century Paris. The evening was unusually warm but I could instantly feel the cold being described by Rodolfo and Marcello. I almost felt myself shiver as they headed to the Café Momus and a winter scene played out before me, complete with ice skaters gliding across the stage.
It's clear that incredibly talented individuals were involved as not a single detail was missed. From the costumes, to the sets, to the performers, I was so impressed that I had to remind myself to keep glancing at the English translation on the screen in front of me. Thankfully, it was so well performed that I could almost follow the story without a translation - but it was nice to have!
It's important to mention that I am no opera aficionado, familiar with the likes of Puccini and Wagner. This was only the second opera I've had the privilege of attending. But on this night, I came to realize that the Santa Fe Opera is not some elite event reserved for only the cultured few. Rather it is a gathering space for all that can appreciate the beauty of art in many forms. Opera fan or not, I highly recommend that you go to see at least one opera this summer. You may just end up like me and begin planning your next visit before the end of the first scene.