Santa Fe Opera Announces Cast Updates for 5 Productions

By Francisco Salazar

The Santa Fe Opera has announced a plethora of casting updates for its 2023 season.

As previously announced, soprano Leah Hawkins will sing three additional performances in the title role of “Tosca” on June 30, July 5, and 8. She will step in for the originally scheduled Angel Blue, who withdrew to go on tour with The Metropolitan Opera. However, Blue will appear in four performances from July 14 through August 7. The company also noted that bass-baritone Dale Travis sings the Sacristan and young singer Kai Edgar makes his company debut as the Shepherd Boy. Three Santa Fe Opera Apprentice singers make company debuts: Spencer Hamlin (Spoletta); Ben Brady (Sciarrone); and Dylan Gregg (Jailer).

For “The Flying Dutchman,” Richard Trey Smagur will be replaced by Chad Shelton, who makes his company debut in the role of Erik as does Apprentice singer Gretchen Krupp who sings the role of Mary.

The company said that mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis will sing the role of Ježibaba in “Rusalka” replacing Michaela Martens. Apprentice artists Ilanah Lobel-Torres (First Wood Sprite), Lydia Grindatto (Second Wood Sprite), Meridian Prall (Third Wood Sprite), Jordan Loyd (Gamekeeper), Spencer Reichman (Hunter) will all make their company debuts. The role of the Kitchen Girl will be shared by Apprentice singers Kaylee Nichols and Tessa Fackelmann.

In the company’s production of “Pelléas et Mélisande” Ain Anger has withdrawn and will be replaced by Raymond Aceto in the role of Arkel. Former Apprentice singer Zachary Nelson joins the cast as Golaud replacing Gihoon Kim and Kai Edgar  will sing the role of Yniold. Additionally, Ben Brady will sing the Physician and Arkel while three other Apprentice singers make company debuts: Emma Rose Sorenson (Geneviève August 18), Brandon Bell (the Shepherd), and Sam Dhobhany (Physician August 18).

The company’s “Orfeo” will see bass James Creswell as Caronte, baritone Blake Denson as Plutone and second-year Apprentice singer Amber Norelai in the role of Euridice. Recent Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition winner and first-year Apprentice singer Christian Simmons makes his company debut in the role of Apollo. Other Apprentice debuts include Caitlin Aloia (Proserpina), Lucy Evans (La Ninfa through August 16, La Messaggera August 24), Meridian Prall (La Ninfa August 24), Philippe L’Esperance (First Pastore), Brandon Bell (Second Pastore), and Luke Elmer (Third Pastore).

The Santa Fe Opera will take place between June 30 and August 26, 2-23.