Among the 35 or so programs the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival mounts this summer, we’d have to count four quartets. Nope, not Tom Stearns Eliot’s wartime sequence. We’re talking four string quartet ensembles.
Well, finally, the curse that’s been following Gian Carlo Menotti’s 1963
“grand opera buffa,” The Last Savage, has been lifted. Just take a look
at the Santa Fe Opera’s glittering, rambunctious new production.
A concert program doesn’t just invent itself. Somebody has to visualize the thing and put it out there. Some programs stick with a single composer. Some take the thematic or nationalistic route, or just go with what a given set of artists may have in its repertorial bag. Still others choose challenging or suggestive juxtapositions, like the recent John Adams/Bruckner couplings by the Cleveland Orchestra at the Lincoln Center Festival. In its opening week’s five programs, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival offered all of the above.
Simone Weil wrote in 1943, the last year of her life, that “at the center of the human heart is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.”
While there may be plenty of excuses to head up the hill for the Santa Fe Opera’s gobsmacking new production of Gounod's Faust, there’s one for-sure reason: the fine-spun Marguerite of Ailyn Pérez in her SFO debut.