Charles MacKay, Santa Fe Opera

Air Dates: June 23-25, 2018

This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Charles MacKay, General Director of The Santa Fe Opera, discussing the upcoming 2018 Opera Season.

MacKay describes his long relationship with the Santa Fe Opera, having experienced his first opera in Santa Fe as a boy of 9. Then, as a 17-year-old, he was a French Horn player in the orchestra and a "pit boy."

This 62nd season’s lineup features such works as "Madame Butterfly," "Candide," and the much-anticipated production of "Dr. Atomic," staged by the internationally renowned director Peter Sellars.

Overall, the 2018 season presents five operas in 36 performances, running from June 29 to August 25, 2018, and offers works by American icons and European masters, four of which are repertory from the 20th and 21st centuries.

Leonard Bernstein’s 1956 smash Broadway hit opens the season in a new production of "Candide." Bernstein’s 100th birthday on August 25, 2018, also closes the season with this production.

Puccini’s "Madame Butterfly" has important, deep, nostalgic and historic roots within the Santa Fe Opera.

John Adams and Peter Sellars’ "Doctor Atomic" comes to the land of its inspiration in its third and newest production, and explores the ushering in of the Atomic Age on July 16, 1945, when the first bomb was tested in the southern New Mexican desert near Alamogordo. The opera opens at the laboratory of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, some 25 miles from Santa Fe Opera’s stage. The Opera’s audience will encounter this masterpiece under the very same night sky that Robert Oppenheimer and his team of scientists experienced nearly 75 years ago.

Rossini’s "The Italian Girl in Algiers," has been popular with audiences in Santa Fe and throughout the country since its 2002 debut, with a huge pop-up book set, crashing planes and hot air balloons, Roaring ‘20s costumes, and a very Amelia Earhart-like title character.

Richard Strauss’ "Ariadne auf Naxos," presented in the Opera’s first season along with "Madame Butterfly," returns in a new production and combines theatrical slapstick comedy with high drama set to some of Strauss’ most beautiful music.