Santa Fe Opera offers ‘best of all possible worlds’

Santa Fe Opera offers ‘best of all possible worlds’

Opera highlights ‘Candide,’ ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Dr. Atomic’
“Doctor Atomic” is one of the shows being staged this summer at Santa Fe Opera.

Santa Fe Opera offers ‘best of all possible worlds’

“Doctor Atomic” is one of the shows being staged this summer at Santa Fe Opera.
The rest of the 2018 Santa Fe Opera Season

“Madame Butterfly,” by Giacomo Puccini, is possibly the most popular opera in the world next to “Carmen.” SFO has scheduled 11 performances. Based on an 1898 short novel, the opera concerns a teenage Japanese geisha and an American naval officer. He promises a lot but has no plans to stay. “Doctor Atomic,” by John Adams with a libretto by Peter Sellars, draws on primary sources. Set in Alamogordo, New Mexico, in summer 1945, the opera centers on the American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the fraught development of a weapon of mass destruction. Seller’s libretto draws on letters, declassified documents and poetry plus excerpts from the Baghavad Gita. Adams’ music ranges across styles, including Native American music. “The Italian Girl in Algiers,” by Gioachino Rossini, provides comic relief with a lecherous blowhard who covets a pretty young thing. The SFO production is set in the 1930s and stylistically promises Marx Brothers pranks and general hijinks. “Ariadne auf Naxos,” by Richard Strauss, offers a double fantasy, an elaborate dinner party with an operatic diversion tucked inside, the familiar play-within-a-play. Although Ariadne is traditionally a tragic figure, the girl Theseus left behind, this is not a rerun of “Madame Butterfly.” Strauss’ satirical view of love and loyalty salts the cordon bleu. Designed by another innovative director, Tim Albery, it’s a new SFO production, Each performance comes with translations delivered discreetly to each seat in LED panels. You can choose to turn them on or leave them off.
Half-hour Prelude Lectures will take place before each opera except opening night. Informative and engaging, they are generally excellent and worth attending. Performance times vary: From June 29 to July 28, operas will begin at 8:30 p.m. From July 30 to Aug. 25, operas will start at 8 p.m.

If you go

WHAT: The Santa Fe Opera, 2018 Season, five productions: “Candide,” by Leonard Bernstein; “Madame Butterfly,” by Giacomo Puccini; “Doctor Atomic,” by John Adams; “The Italian Girl in Algiers,” by Gioachino Rossini; and “Ariadne auf Naxos,” by Richard Strauss.

WHEN: Through Aug. 25.

WHERE: 301 Opera Drive, Santa Fe. Santa Fe Opera is seven miles north of the city on Highway 85. Free parking.

TICKETS: Single tickets range from $32 to $225 with group prices and packages also available. For more information, call (800) 280-4654 or (505) 986-5900; online sales, calendar and information:

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