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Spark of Imagination: Generations of the Pueblo Opera Program with Sonja & Seth Martinez

Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

Release Date: 07/20/2022

Music Born Out of a Modern Experience: The Pigeon Keeper Orchestral Workshop show art Music Born Out of a Modern Experience: The Pigeon Keeper Orchestral Workshop

Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

It takes a village - and multiple revisions! - to mount a modern, original opera. Key Change co-hosts Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia journey to an orchestral workshop for The Pigeon Keeper, a first for (OFAV)!  Imagine a stage filled with an eight-member student orchestra, four principal singers, and a women's chorus. Drop in the composer, librettist, and members of the OFAV team. Truncate the rehearsal period and invite an audience for a live presentation plus a feedback session. Now, you understand the excitement and angst surrounding an orchestral workshop. Andrea reconnects...

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

Cue the lights! It’s time to illuminate a vital yet often invisible component of life at Santa Fe Opera: volunteerism. Key Change co-hosts Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia chatted with Marissa Aurora, Santa Fe Opera’s , on her first anniversary in the role. And what a year it’s been!  Marissa, a multi-discipline artist and radio DJ, has worked hard to revitalize relationships between the Opera and its volunteers. She’s also introduced an exciting new performing arts production internship in collaboration with Northern New Mexico College.  So, how do you quantify the...

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Harmony in Process: The Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera with Amy Harmony in Process: The Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera with Amy "Process" Owens

Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

What does an award-winning, multi-disciplinary artist, dynamic educator, and former Sweet Potato do for an encore? She brings that boundless energy and collaborative spirit to her new Santa Fe Opera role, fueled by a deep passion for opera and music education.  Co-hosts Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia roll out a virtual red carpet welcome for Amy Owens, Director of the . Get to know this exuberant, optimistic talent and learn more about the program under her stewardship. Andrea, Anna, and Amy also explore the profound community impact of two beloved SFO programs: , a storytelling...

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

We're taking an Opera For All Voices-adjacent excursion to the realm of wiggly kiddos, innovative teachers, and fresh vocabulary words, highlighting the power of playful arts integration.  Join Key Change co-hosts Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia with special guest Charles Gamble, Santa Fe Opera's Director Of School Programs, as they introduce two of Santa Fe Opera's most dynamic community engagement programs: , a multi-session residency within the Santa Fe Public Schools that incorporates creative arts to make learning delightfully sticky; and , professional development...

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

It’s all systems go for season five of Key Change! But before we commence with the anniversary celebrations, co-hosts Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia dust off the time machine for a whirlwind tour of seasons past. Think of this episode as part process evaluation––an appraisal of Opera For All Voices (OFAV), the Santa Fe Opera initiative committed to co-commissioning and co-producing new, diverse operatic works––and part indispensable playlist for repeat audiences and newcomers alike, covering the essential artistic and emotional moments that have made Key Change an...

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

It's season 5! This season, we're inviting you, our favorite listeners, on a journey through time and space -- traveling back in time to the origins of Key Change and Opera For All Voices and forward into the future of boundless possibilities. This spring, Andrea Fellows Feinberg and Anna Garcia take you through through the community engagement portal to hear from the voices transforming the future of opera.  And in the fall, they'll offer a backstage pass to latest Opera For All Voices commissions as we continue to shift the conversation about what opera is and what it can be. New...

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

Seven years ago, Santa Fe Opera started a conversation that would reverberate throughout American Opera, shaping this celebrated art form into something more reflective of the world in which it's created. Today, Opera For All Voices (OFAV) commissions have surpassed even our wildest storytelling expectations.  Key Change co-hosts Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia tuck into the time machine for a season-ending trip around the OFAV universe, revisiting the initiative's greatest hits and offering fans a glimpse at what's to come––with Ruth Nott, consultant, Opera for All Voices;...

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

Roadtrip! After many long months of necessary virtual collaboration, the creative team behind The Pigeon Keeper, a Santa Fe Opera Opera For All Voices (OFAV) commission, finally got to spread their wings for an emotional workshop in San Francisco.  Key Change co-hosts Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia discover what it was like to have everyone (well, almost everyone) in the same room for the very first time––featuring composer David Hanlon, librettist Stephanie Fleischmann, stage director Mary Birnbaum, music director Kelly Kuo, dramaturg Cori Ellison, Ruth Nott, consultant for...

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

If a chorus of 12 teens can provide compelling commentary on immigration enforcement from the stage of a venerable performing arts center in Santa Fe, how might ten times that number of voices impact the debate? From a Broadway venue that has welcomed some of the twentieth century’s most influential social justice visionaries?  Key Change co-hosts Andrea Fellows-Fineberg and Anna Garcia pilot the time machine east to find out, setting a course for the 2022 premiere of  at New York’s storied . Adding their insights to this aural postcard are Hometown’s composer Laura Kaminsky...

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

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If you’re unfamiliar with Santa Fe Opera’s Pueblo Opera Program (POP), take a quick journey back in time for part one of this conversation. Go ahead; we’ll wait. In it, you’ll meet Renee Roybal and Claudene A. Martinez, both members of Pueblo of San Ildefonso. The pair recall the early days of POP and the formation of the Pueblo Opera Cultural Council (POCC).

Now that you’re sufficiently caught up, join Andrea Fellows Fineberg as her time machine co-pilot Kyle Gray, SFO’s Manager of Community Relations & Government Affairs, wraps up the conversation (for now.) 

Renee and Claudene return to share recollections of their early collaborative interactions with legendary director Peter Sellars in conjunction with the 2018 world premiere of Doctor Atomic. Then Sonja and Seth Martinez, Renee’s daughter and grandson, share memories of the SFO visits that shaped their affinity for opera. The discussion concludes with a roundtable wishlist of future POP-lead initiatives.

“I definitely remember paying attention to the weather,” Sonja laughs, recalling stormy visits to the outdoor opera house before its much-anticipated roof upgrade. The unexpected theatrics only added to the excitement of attending world-class opera in her own backyard.

What could compare to opera amid wild thunderstorms? The thrill of watching family and friends perform on that same majestic stage. “It was very exciting!” says Seth of the corn dance that POCC created as part of Doctor Atomic. He hopes SFO continues to integrate Indigenous traditions into its future seasons (along with more comedy, operas about space, and significant historical events). Meanwhile, his mother envisions expanded opportunities for Indigenous children to explore performance- and stagecraft-based endeavors.

POP and POCC ensure that that future is within reach.

FEATURING

Andrea Fellows Fineberg - Host, Key Change

Kyle Gray, Santa Fe Opera Manager of Community Relations & Government Affairs

Renee Roybal, Pueblo of San Ildefonso

Claudene A. Martinez, Pueblo of San Ildefonso

Sonja Martinez

Seth Martinez

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Doctor Atomic - Santa Fe Opera, 2018

RELATED EPISODES

Season 4, Episode 4: Story With Purpose: The Origin of the Pueblo Opera Cultural Council with Renee Roybal and Claudene A. Martinez

Season 2, Episode 6: The Universe is Made of Stories: A conversation with Peter Sellars 

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Key Change is a production of The Santa Fe Opera in collaboration with Opera for All Voices.

Produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios

Hosted by Andrea Fellows Fineberg

Audio Engineer: Kabby at Kabby Sound Studios in Santa Fe

Show Notes: Lisa Widder

Theme music by Rene Orth with Corrie Stallings, mezzo-soprano, and Joe Becktell, cello

Cover art by Dylan Crouch

This podcast is made possible due to the generous funding from the Melville Hankins Family Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and an OPERA America Innovation Grant, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.  

To learn more about Opera For All Voices, visit us at SantaFeOpera.org.