SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The 2020 season may be canceled, but the Santa Fe Opera is still bringing the music this summer. Like many in the performing arts, the Santa Fe Opera was hit hard by the pandemic.
“This was going to be the Santa Fe Opera’s 64th season,” said Robert Meya, general director of the Santa Fe Opera. “During the course of the summer season, we employ about 700 people.”
The summer season also brings around 80,000 people into Santa Fe each year. With their season canceled, they started thinking outside the box and behind the screen.
“We could not let the opening night of the season and the opening night of each of our five operas go unnoticed,” said Meya. Each week, they’re launching a new ‘Songs from the Santa Fe Opera’ episode online — a free, shortened opera experience the whole family can enjoy, featuring local artists as the emcees.
“We wanted to keep the programs to about 30 minutes,” said Meya. “We’re also very fortunate that Santa Fe is the home of several very well-known opera singers.”
Like a traditional summer opera season, the fashion and tailgates are still on. They’re encouraging viewers to post their opera night ‘finest’ to social media using the hashtags #sfofashion and #showusyourtailgate.
“To share in the joy and the appreciation of beautiful music, some of it performed on our very stage,” said Meya. He says they also showcase the sunset and nearby landscape.
As future seasons return to the stage, Meya hopes they can continue these digital episodes. He says they give a taste of New Mexico’s own opera to people around the world.
“We very much hope it’s something that we can continue next season and in future seasons,” said Meya. The Santa Fe Opera is moving forward with plans for the 2021 season and hope to announce the line-up early this fall.
The next ‘Songs from the Santa Fe Opera’ episode is debuting Saturday night at 7 p.m. The tribute to Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde will be hosted by Ryan McKinny, who was set to star in the opera, along with a performance by their Isolde, Tamara Wilson. The episodes will continue until Aug. 1.