My second Santa Fe visit is nearly over. This trip has been observably similar but has felt pretty different.
I am more or less on vacation with a handful of house husband duties... (the same)
I am in beautiful Santa Fe... (the same)
Anne Carolyn has rehearsals and coachings from 10am-5pm Monday through Saturday... (the same)
Anne Carolyn has dress rehearsals and performances from 7pm to 12:30am 3-4 nights a week (very different). There is some union thing where they aren't suppose to be called until noon the next day if they had a dress or performance the night before. But while I have been here that has been the exception rather than the rule.
When describing Tanglewood to people I would often say that it is "Summer Camp for young professional musicians." Compared to Tanglewood, or anything for that matter, the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice program is "Bootcamp for Opera Singers." Not just any bootcamp either, this is like Navy Seals bootcamp... If you were to create a bootcamp for the next generation of Opera's Elite Special Forces what would you do? Lets make it hot (check), dry (check), throw in some altitude.. (higher than the Denver Bronco's play by at least 1000 feet) and round if off with 12 hour days. (check) Sounds about right? And just so that they won't all crack up under pressure put the facility in an extremely picturesque setting with a top notch staff.
I was able to go just hang out and watch some rehearsals and I got to say it was an extremely relaxing experience. Sitting in the shade on the grass watching Peter Sellars run through Ainadamar was spellbinding. Even without sets or costumes or orchestra I can tell it is going to emotionally powerful. Juxtapose that with: at one point the conductor's little girl came down from the pool and offered him a drink of juice. Santa Fe is very family friendly.
One other thing I want to weigh in on is the weather. I was told July would be cooler than June because of the rains. That has not been my experience. It's still been up in the 80's and 90's but instead 16% humidity it has been getting into the 30-40% range and not cooling off as much at night. We did have a crazy storm the other night with hail coming down so fast it was hard to get the windows closed because they were getting jammed up. It has been beautiful though. Just one more face of Santa Fe.