Saturday, July 18, 2009

La Traviata at the Santa Fe Opera, Part I

The Santa Fe Opera is an event that engages you even before the singing begins. The opera house itself is open to the air, and the opera always begins immediately after sunset. After making your way three miles north of town to the opera house, you can enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sun set behind the mountains:

Regardless of your mood beforehand, you’d need to be pretty unhappy not to feel good afterwards.

If you need even more of the way of encouragement, then you could always participate in a Santa Fe tradition: tailgating at the opera:

This being the opera, we aren’t talking burgers and beer. People bring white table cloths, champagne and fois gras.

This year my wife and I attended the opera on opening night for the first time, and discovered another Santa Fe opera tradition. The audience stands and sings the Star Spangled Banner before the opera begins on opening night. The opera always opens on the weekend closest to July 4 so the timing is appropriate—and the Star Spangled Banner rarely sounds as good as it did with a full orchestra playing and an audience of opera buffs singing.

After all the preliminaries, at times the opera itself can seem almost an after thought, but that wasn’t true this year, and with a little luck I’ll actually get around to discussing the performance tomorrow.

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