‘Night at the Opera’ Features Concert, Elegant Dinner

SOCORRO, N.M. April 23, 2013 – Enjoy a “Night at the Opera” with the Santa Fe Opera Apprentices at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, at New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center – and celebrate the evening in style, with an elegant dinner and a social hour starting at 5:30 p.m.


 The Santa Fe Opera Apprentices will perform Thursday, May 2, at Macey Center.


Tech Club-Club Macey is hosting the event, in concert with the University’s Performing Arts Series. While there is no admission charge for the performance itself, tickets are being sold for the dinner: $20 for club members, $25 for non-members and $10 for New Mexico Tech graduate students.

The Socorro performance is the next-to-last stop for the three-week spring tour, which began with a public concert in Tucumcari on April 14 and closes May 3 in Moriarty.

Soprano Sara Heaton and tenor Joshua Dennis, both former apprentices, along with Music Director Kirt Pavitt, will present Avastar, an original work written by Pavitt and Stage Director Kathleen Clawson especially for the tour.

Performing Arts Series Director Ronna Kalish said Avastar was written as an introduction to opera using contemporary themes. The 35-minute piece will cover the first half of the performance.

“The one-act operetta is staged as a singing competition which the apprentice singers have entered, and includes selections from opera, Broadway and current popular music,” Kalish said, adding that the stop in Socorro includes a youth concert for local schools.

Study guides covering subjects such as musical terms, questions and answers, and discussion topics are provided by the Opera so that teachers and students can prepare for the visits.

The Spring Opera Tour was launched more than 20 years ago, performing in cities and towns in New Mexico (and Lubbock and El Paso) for students and families who may not have an opportunity to travel to Santa Fe.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce opera to the community-at-large,” Kalish said. “We also encourage people to join us for the social hour and dinner, to truly make it a ‘Night at the Opera.’”

Meet the principals:

Sara Heaton, soprano, marks her third year with The Santa Fe Opera, having stepped in at the last minute this season to sing Serpina in Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona at Boston Baroque’s New Year’s Concerts. She has a Master of Music degree from Boston University, and a BAA in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Joshua Davis, tenor, returns to Santa Fe for his second apprenticeship following the spring tour, and will be joined by his identical twin brother, also a tenor, who begins his first apprenticeship with the company. Davis has a Bachelor of Music degree from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Pianist Kirt Pavitt has distinguished himself as both a soloist and collaborative artist. He accompanies many young singers and instrumentalists, and has performed at Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls in New York. This year marks Pavitt’s 14th year as music director and pianist for the Opera’s spring tour.

This year marks Director Kathleen Clawson’s 10th in staging productions for The Santa Fe Opera, including the world premiere of Stephen Paulus’s Shoes for the Santo Niño. Clawson is the principal voice teacher and co-director of the Young Voices of The Santa Fe Opera, and is on the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of New Mexico.

Cayley Carroll, stage manager, is a native of Washington, D.C. She has worked for a number of opera companies, including Florentine Opera, Seattle Opera, American Conservatory Theatre; and for a national tour with Aquila Theatre. Cayley is a graduate of Emerson College.

Sponsor for this evening of opera is SMPA Architects of Albuquerque.

Reservations Requested for ‘Night at the Opera’ Dinner

The Santa Fe Opera is bringing the entertainment, and Chartwells is bringing the tailgate party, indoor-style, to New Mexico Tech’s Macey Center on Thursday, May 2.

Sponsored by Tech Club-Club Macey, a social hour begins at 5:30 p.m, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. Patrons are asked to purchase or reserve their tickets by Thursday, April 25.

One of the traditions at the Santa Fe Opera is an elegant form of tail-gating, where patrons dressed in their finest evening attire dine on gourmet fare and enjoy champagne or other beverages.

Diners may choose from two options – stuffed chicken breast with poblano, portabella, pine nuts and chipotle cream sauce served with cheddar-mashed potatoes, asparagus and baby carrots; or bowtie pasta with artichokes, portabella, roasted tomato sauce, fresh basil and goat cheese.

All meals include romaine lettuce wedges served with roasted red bell pepper Caesar dressing, herbed croutons, asiago cheese and fried capers; with apple blackberry strudel and orange vanilla cream.

For tickets, call the PAS at 575-835-5688; or New Mexico Tech’s Auxiliary Services, 575-835-5050.

– NMT –