To advance the operatic art form by presenting ensemble performances of the highest quality in a unique setting with a varied repertoire of new, rarely performed, and standard works; to help enrich the field of opera through Apprentice Programs for singers, technicians and arts administrators; and to nurture an understanding and appreciation for opera in our diverse public. From the unlikeliest of beginnings—an opera company located hundreds of miles from any major city, featuring American singers in a wide-ranging and challenging repertory, and treating theatrical and musical values as equally important in its productions—The Santa Fe Opera has grown to become recognized as one of the world's leading cultural festivals. Every July and August since 1957, opera lovers have been drawn to the magnificent northern New Mexico mountains to enjoy productions by one of America's premier summer opera festivals. Here, The Santa Fe Opera's dramatic adobe theater blends harmoniously with the high desert landscape. It is this fusion of nature and art that leaves such an enduring impression on all who come. More than half the audience of 85,000 comes from outside New Mexico, representing every state in the union as well as 25 to 30 foreign countries More than 1,600 performances of nearly 140 different operas have been given here, including nine world premieres and 40 American premieres, among them Lulu, The Cunning Little Vixen, Capriccio, and Daphne. Recent premieres include the world premiere of Madame Mao, commissioned from Bright Sheng, in 2003, the premiere of the revised version of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar, in 2005, the American premiere of Thomas Ades's The Tempest, in 2006, and the American premiere of Tan Dun's Tea: A Mirror of Soul in 2007. The 2008 season included the American premiere of Adriana Mater by Kaija Saariaho, whose L'amour de loin received its American premiere here in 2002. In 2009, the world premiere of The Letter by Paul Moravec was performed here. The Santa Fe Opera has a wide array of education and community outreach programs to make opera accessible and appealing to a broad spectrum of the New Mexico population. One, the unique Pueblo Opera Program, serves Native American youth from nineteen pueblos and three reservations in the state. The theater itself features 'Opera Titles' –- a small screen in front of every seat, which allows patrons to follow the stage action in either English or Spanish. The Santa Fe Opera has become one of New Mexico's cultural and economic leaders. Its reputation attracts thousands of patrons each year, and its impact on the New Mexico's economy has been calculated at more than $200 million each year.
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