Check out the Santa Fe Opera’s recent renovations and rummage through collectibles from past productions at its flea market
Batting 1,000 In 1968, the Santa Fe Opera theater was rebuilt after fire destroyed the original 1957 building. The facility will soon be a half-century old, but general director Charles MacKay wants it to feel like new. On Saturday, May 16, the community is invited to an open house at the opera to view recently completed renovations and improvements.
The project now under way will not affect the architecture of the dramatic theater, which was remodeled in 1998. At that time, stage views were opened up with the removal of pillars, the two sweeping roofs instead suspended by a mast-and-rod system. The remodel also connected the two roofs with translucent panels and added a series of flaglike wind baffles.
About the current work MacKay said, “The alterations are focusing on the support spaces, really to make the theater more comfortable for patrons and more spacious and welcoming to our artists, raising everything up to the level of the Santa Fe Opera’s reputation. It won’t be quite so much like summer camp backstage.”
The entrance to the theater has been refreshed, with a new food kiosk, box office, and gift shop; larger concession areas; and what he described as “probably a 50 percent increase in the restrooms, which will be a big help at intermission. Also, our dressing rooms are vastly expanded backstage, and the costume shop is basically doubled in size.”
The Saturday open house in the Crosby Theatre is held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “It should be great fun. Folks don’t often get a chance to go backstage and snoop around,” MacKay said. People will also get a close-up view of costumes and one of the sets — a hunting lodge — for The Daughter
of the Regiment, Donizetti’s 19th-century romantic comedy that opens the SFO season on July 3.
Also on Saturday, at O’Shaughnessy Hall on the opera’s lower grounds, the Guilds of Santa Fe Opera host Fledermarket from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Works of art, collectibles, housewares, sporting goods, jewelry, and other goods will be available. “There should be some very unusual pieces and some great bargains,” MacKay said. Entrance to both events is free.
If you desire first pick at the market goods, attend the Fleaview Preview from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15. There will be live music, hors d’oeuvres, and libations from Black Mesa Winery in Velarde. Tickets, $75, are available at www.guildsofsfo.org/flea. Proceeds from this and from the Fledermarket sales benefit the opera’s ongoing “Setting the Stage” updating project.
Above, the costume shop at the Santa Fe Opera