Santa Fe Opera Trip History
From a quick count, I think that the groups I have taken to
Santa Fe have bought a total of around 186 tickets in the 9
years that we've been (excluding my first trip in 1985), and
I would estimate that 120+ different people have been on the
trip. For almost all of them it was their first experience
of the Santa Fe Opera, and for many it was their first time
at any opera.
I went to my first ever opera at Santa Fe in 1985, while
traveling round the States on a "Coolidge Pathfinder" travel
scholarship from Balliol College, Oxford. I was staying with
my friend Phil Maini in Los Alamos, and we decided at the
last minute to go to the opera. We saw the rather obscure
Die Liebe der Danae by Strauss. I remember that
it starred Ashley Putnam, who I thought was wonderful.
I moved to Denver permanently in 1994, and organized my
first group outing to Santa Fe in 1996. The first year there
were five of us - myself, Jon Bresler, Peter Knudsen and
Martin and Sheri Isdale. We saw Don Giovanni
I actually saw two operas in 1997: the group trip went to
La Traviata by Verdi, and I went on a separate
trip with my parents, who were visiting from the UK, to see
Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart. I think we had 9
people in the group that year - me and my girlfriend Patti,
Jon and Michelle Bresler, Martin and Sheri Isdale, Peter
Knudsen, and Warren and Judy Ferguson??
saw the opening of the new opera house, and a small group of
us went to the opening night - myself and my friend Kate,
and Warren and Judy Ferguson. We saw Madama Butterfly
The following night a larger group of 12 went to see
The Magic Flute by Mozart - pictured on the left at
Coyote Cafe are Noah Coccaro, Deb Miller, Martin and Sheri
Isdale, Kate Waker, me, Judy and Warren Ferguson, Jon and
Michelle Bresler, Carole Gayley and Todd Sturn.
saw Carmen by Bizet, which was great.
We had 13 attendees were Me, Jon and Michelle Bresler,
Martin and Sheri Isdale, Carole Gayley, Erica Winkler, Russ
and Leslie Chandler, Warren and Judy Ferguson, Todd Sturn
and Deb Miller.
I think that this was the first year that we had a tailgate
saw Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart. We had 21
attendees: me, Todd Sturn and Deb Miller, Jon and Michelle
Bresler, Russ and Leslie Chandler, Richard Meats, Dick and
Vida Newell, Tim and Jean Cadman, Warren and Judy Ferguson,
Steve and Fran Paine, Linda Bischoff, Diane, Joan Myhill,
Sue Foster and Carla Gravesen.
As a matter of historical interest, this trip was the
weekend before GE's due diligence for their purchase of
Smallworld began, and there were highly secret meetings at
Starbucks in Santa Fe to discuss the issue amongst the
members of the Smallworld hierarchy who were there - me,
Warren, Dick, Joan and Tim.
had 43 attendees in the main group who went to see
Lucia di Lammermoor by Donizetti, and a smaller
group also saw Mitridate by Mozart, a rarely
performed opera that he wrote when he was only 14.
had 43 attendees again, and saw La Traviata by
had a big drop in attendees down to 10 in 2003, which was
nice in a way as things had got a little out of hand! But we
had quality rather than quantity - me and Paula, Dick and
Vida Newell, Dave and Peggy O'Brien, Jon and Michelle
Bresler and Warren and Judy Ferguson (who are missing from
the photo on the left as they had gone to a lecture, being
more intellectual than the rest of us ;)!).
The full group saw Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart,
and six of us also saw Madame Mao by Bright
Sheng, which had its world premiere at Santa Fe that year.
2004 we had another exclusive group, with 12 opera goers and
3 who were just there for the tailgate party!!
We saw La Sonnambula by Bellini, featuring