La traviata (Galoyan, Davronov, Arámbula), Don Giovanni (Speedo Green, Perrotta, Wilson, Portillo), Der Rosenkavalier (Willis-Sørensen, Rose, Murrihy, Fang), The Elixier of Love (Véliz, Hoskins, Sutliff) and The Righteous (Mayes, Villalón, Cano), plus the Apprentice Scenes concert and two performances at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Private lectures, superb meals, Inn of the Anasazi.
Santa Fe is one of our favourite destinations, and the Santa Fe Opera Festival is one of our favourite (and most popular) tours—proof that you needn’t travel across the globe for a very special opera getaway. What makes Santa Fe different is how wonderful it feels just being there – something about the magical combination of perfect weather, breathtaking landscape, charming Southwest architecture and friendly locals, as well as the scores of shops and galleries that make it impossible to walk the historic streets of this city without a smile on your face. And of course the quality of the performances that take place each night and the quality of the venue itself, the glorious mesa-top Crosby Theatre, is often a surprise to attendees.
After our most successful Santa Fe week ever in 2023, we are excited to return in 2024 for superb opera in a stunning venue. The 2024 season is sure to please, with Verdi’s La Traviata directed by Louisa Muller, Mozart’s Don Giovanni directed by Stephen Barlow, a world premiere of The Righteous by composer Gregory Spears and U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith in a production by Kevin Newbury. Rounding out the season are a beloved SFO production of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier and a Stephen Lawless production, from 2009, of Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love. 2024 casts include Jennifer Johnson Cano, Gerhard Siegel, Amber Wagner, Rachael Wilson, Ying Fang, Ryan Speedo Green, Greer Grimsley, Jonah Hoskins, Matthew Rose, Elena Villalón and Rachel Willis-Sørensen.
As always, we include the Apprentice Scenes evening and several noontime concerts at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
With private lectures by Oliver Prezant and tour direction/guiding by Peter Camara, no one does Santa fe better. Deluxe accommodation for 7 nights at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi. Top category seats for each performance. Full breakfast each day plus 7 dinners. In addition the Santa Fe Opera programming, we will enjoy three noontime concerts at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and embark on tours that explore and celebrate the regional indigenous culture.
Our hotel will be the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, located just steps from the Historic Plaza. As always, we will include private performance lectures with Oliver Prezant, and we will enjoy superb cuisine and wine at Santa Fe’s finest restaurants.
Monday, August 5
Upon arrival in Albuquerque Sunport (or Santa Fe Airport) you are met and transferred to the elegant Rosewood , ideally located near the Plaza. This evening, we gather for introductions and a Welcome Dinner at the hotel.
Tuesday, August 6
Following breakfast (included each day), we meet our guide and depart on a private “hidden gems” tour of Santa Fe, including historic sites near The Plaza. Tonight we walk to dinner at La Plazuela and then depart by private coach to the Santa Fe Opera for Don Giovanni.
Mozart’s masterpiece is freshly interpreted by Stephen Barlow, who returns to Santa Fe on the heels of his extremely popular production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in 2022. The production draws parallels between the notorious seducer, “D.G.,” and the eponymous character in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray who pursues pleasure and eternal youth. The Victorian London-era setting is created by scenic and costume designer Yannis Thavoris and lighting designer Christopher Akerlind
Santa Fe Opera Music Director Harry Bicket returns to the podium to conduct an all-star cast headlined by bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green in his first turn as the titular character. Recent Santa Fe Opera Apprentice singer Teresa Perrotta sings Donna Anna, mezzo-soprano Rachael Wilson makes her company debut as Donna Elvira and tenor David Portillo returns to the Santa Fe Opera stage in the role of Don Ottavio. Two former Apprentice singers, bass-baritone Nicholas Newton and soprano Liv Redpath, appear as Leporello and Zerlina. Bass William Guanbo Su makes his company debut as Masetto and bass Soloman Howard is the Commendatore.
Wednesday, August 7
This morning we tour Los Alamos, including three historic buildings: Pond Cabin, a building that Nobel Laureate Emilio Segrè and his team used, Battleship Bunker, a building used for implosion diagnostic testing, and the Slotin Building, where physicist Louis Slotin succumbed to a deadly criticality accident. Lunch is at leisure. This evening we walk to dinner at Sassella prior to The Righteous at Santa Fe Opera.
David struggles to reconcile spiritual humility with ambition. His desire for more wreaks havoc on his family, friendships, and perhaps, his own faith. His journey from preacher to governor, like the lives of those closest to him, is shaped by the current affairs of the 1980s.
Commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera from two of America’s most intriguing talents, composer Gregory Spears and US Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith, The Righteous is a powerful new work set amid the church communities of the American Southwest. It begins during the Iranian hostage crisis and recession marking the sunset of the Jimmy Carter administration, and spans into the dawn of George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War. The piece explores the enduring interplay between faith and fidelity; wealth, power and politics; and gender roles and sexuality, all through the prism of contemporary American society and its unique invention of televangelism.
Together, the creators ponder, “In the opera, we ask a big question: what does it mean to be close to God today? And what are the ways in which a search for true Righteousness can quite suddenly lead one to self-Righteousness – and how does that imperil our shared values as a society?” The Righteous marks the second operatic collaboration between Spears and Smith, whose Castor and Patience received its world premiere at Cincinnati Opera in July 2022 and was recently nominated as Best World Premiere at the International Opera Awards.
Kevin Newbury directs the world premiere production. Here at the Santa Fe Opera, Newbury directed the world premiere productions of Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream (2010), Theodore Morrison’s Oscar (2013) and Mason Bates’s The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (2017). Conductor Jordan de Souza, in his company debut, leads the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra and a talented cast. A native of Cut and Shoot, Texas, baritone and former Apprentice singer Michael Mayes sings the lead role of David, the preacher who rises to become the governor of a state similar to Texas. American bass-baritone Greer Grimsley sings the role of Paul, President of Custom Oil who mentors David and whom David succeeds as governor. American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano sings the role of Michele, David’s first wife and daughter of Paul. American countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo takes on the role of Jonathan, Michele’s brother, son of Paul and David’s best friend, who struggles with coming out in a place like West Texas in the early years of the AIDS crisis. Cuban American soprano Elena Villalón sings the role of Sheila, a member of David’s congregation who later becomes his second wife and “nurtures the wonderful-yet-terrible promise that all are worthy in God’s sight,” says Smith. Soprano Amber Wagner makes her company debut in the role of Marilyn, Paul’s wife, and Brenton Ryan returns to the SFO stage in the role of CM, Paul’s friend.
Thursday, August 8
Following a morning exploring the shops and galleries on Canyon Road, we move to the St. Francis Auditorium for our final midday concert at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival (TBA). After a lunch at leisure, we gather in our private salon at the hotel for a casual and entertaining discussion led by Oliver Prezant, lecturer at Santa Fe Opera. Tonight we dine at Sazón prior to Der Rosenkavalier at Santa Fe Opera.
In a nod to the artistic legacy of SFO founder John Crosby, Santa Fe Opera will present Richard Strauss’ romantic comedy Der Rosenkavalier in a lavish and visually stunning new production directed by Bruno Ravella and created in collaboration with Garsington Opera and Irish National Opera. Scale-bursting scenery and colorful, yet classically-cut costumes are by Gary McCann, whose extravagant designs SFO audiences will recall from Eugene Onegin in 2021. Malcolm Rippeth’s lighting shapes moods and establishes motifs. Writes Hugh Canning for The Sunday Times, “No UK production for the past 50 years, even Visconti’s at Covent Garden, has a comparable wow factor.” The critically-acclaimed production promises to be a highlight of the season, transporting audiences to the nostalgic world of 1950s Vienna with its rich orchestration and exquisite vocal performances, including the greatest-ever trio for female voices.
At the podium and making her Santa Fe Opera debut will be Karina Canellakis, Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. The extraordinary ensemble cast includes four former Apprentice singers: Rachel Willis-Sørensen (Marshallin), Paula Murrihy (Octavian), Zachary Nelson (Faninal) and Megan Marino (Annina). English bass Matthew Rose sings Baron Ochs and Chinese soprano Ying Fang is Sophie. American tenor David Portillo is the Italian Singer, German tenor Gerhard Siegel makes his company debut as Valzacchi and American bass Scott Conner is the Police Commissar.
Friday, August 9
This morning we meet in the lobby and depart by coach for a tour of the Santuario de Chimayo and the Santo Nino de Atocha Chapel, and, time permitting, an historic Trading Post. This evening we dine at Osteria d’Assisi prior to The Elixir of Love at Santa Fe Opera.
Santa Fe Opera remounts a beloved classic, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, in a charming amalgam of comedy and melodrama directed by Stephen Lawless last seen on the Santa Fe Opera stage in 2009. Based on Italian cinéma vérité and set in Italy just after World War II when the class system was still a part of society, his Elixir is a realistic presentation of the Italian countryside paired with a modern depiction of the eternal struggle between social classes. Adina is a landowner with an olive farm who teaches the children of her workers. Nemorino is an uneducated car mechanic, in love with Adina, who uses the elixir of love to win her hand. Lawless and scenic and costume designer Ashley Martin-Davis have retained the opera’s Italian roots and added American iconic elements.
Conductor Roberto Kalb makes his company debut. Chilean soprano Yaritza Véliz, a rising star following notable debuts at Glyndebourne, the Komische Oper Berlin, Ópera Nacional de Chile, sings Adina in her company debut. From honing his talents as an Apprentice singer and making his company debut as the Sailor in 2022’s Tristan und Isolde, tenor Jonah Hoskins will sing Nemorino, a role he recently debuted to critical acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera. Recent Apprentice singer Luke Sutliff, with appearances in the roles of Dancaïre in Carmen (2022) and Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2021), returns to sing the role of Nemorino’s rival, Belcore. Mexican baritone Alfredo Daza makes his house debut as the double-dealing Dulcamara.
Saturday, August 10
Following a morning at leisure, we have our final talk with Oliver Prezant at the hotel. Tonight we dine at Santa Café before returning to the opera house for La traviata.
One of opera’s most enthralling works, Verdi’s La traviata is set in the late 1930s by Louisa Muller in her company debut. She writes, “In the opera world, there is an exciting movement afoot to question and re-examine the ways in which we approach the works in the canon… It can be tempting to either excuse or dismiss our beloved standards as museum pieces from another time and place, but when we look at La traviata with fresh eyes we find at its center a truly modern heroine.” Audiences will be transported to Paris on the eve of World War II and into the passionate world of Violetta, as her tragic story unfolds amidst stunning scenery and costumes by Christopher Oram, lighting by Marcus Doshi and choreography by Matthew Steffens.
Conductor and Opera Philadelphia Music Director Corrado Rovaris leads an international cast, each in their company debut and all making their names singing at major opera houses around the world: Armenian soprano Mané Galoyan sings Violetta, Uzbeki tenor Bekhzod Davronov is Alfredo and Mexican baritone Carlos Arámbula appears in the role of Giorgio Germont.
Sunday, August 11
This morning we offer a guided tour at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Tonight we depart for our Farewell Dinner at Geronimo, one of the finest restaurants in the region. Following dinner, we take our seats at the opera house one last time for the Apprentice Scenes concert, where the “Stars of Tomorrow” in the Santa Fe Apprentice Programs perform fully-staged opera scenes.
Monday, August 12
Transfers to Albuquerque or Santa Fe Airport are included and will be arranged on-site.
Top Category seats for 5 operas and 3 concerts
7 nights Deluxe accommodation at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi
Full breakfast daily, plus 7 dinners
Private tours as listed
On-site Tour Direction
Comprehensive Tour Guidebook
Flights are not included in tour pricing. Return flights should be booked to either Albuquerque (ABQ) or Santa Fe (SAF) for arrival on August 5, departure on August 12.
We provide airport/rail station—hotel transfers for arrivals and departures within within 3 days of the start/end of our tour. We also provide transfers for group meals and performances that are beyond a 10 minute walk.
There is minimal walking with some stairs and eneven terrain during the guided tours. As for all of our tours, we are happy to accommodate you regardless of your mobility level. Please make clear your mobility concerns at the time of registration. We provide transfers for group meals and performances that are beyond a 10 minute walk.
We strongly recommend that all tour members purchase cancellation insurance upon registration. We can assist you with this, though you are welcome to purchase a policy at your own discretion. For more information about our travel insurance, click here.
Your Tour Director
Peter is a professional guide with 35 + years experience who has provided engaging cultural, historical, and educational tours on all seven continents. Calling Santa Fe home since 1998, Peter was drawn here by the deep richness of people, cultures, traditions, history, art, architecture, and cuisine. It is through this passion that Peter shares and showcases Santa Fe – weaving a true understanding of Santa Fe today from the past we have journeyed.