From Page-To-Stage: The Lord of Cries

From Page-To-Stage presents a series about the creative forces behind the Santa Fe Opera’s 17th world premiere, The Lord of Cries.

AIRED: July 17, 2021 | 0:28:32

provided by the Bank of Albuquerque.

Funding for COLORES was provided in part by

Frederick Hammersley Foundation...

New Mexico PBS Great Southwestern Arts & Education

Endowment Fund at the Albuquerque Community Foundation

New Mexico Arts,

a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs

with supplemental funding by the New Mexico CARES Act

and by the National Endowment for the Arts.

and Viewers Like You.















>> Robert K. Meya: When I see the stage of the Santa Fe Opera

I think, "wow."

>> It's truly inspiring to think of all of the

incredible art that has been produced on the

stage of the Santa Fe Opera.

Over the years over 170 operas have been produced

here by 85 different composers.

There's literally something for everyone.

Each season we present familiar works, we present

lesser well-known works, and of course we present new works.

From our very first season in fact in 1957 we had a world

premiere, The Tower by Marvin David Levy, and since then

we've had 45 American premieres and 16 world premieres.


You could say that coyotes are in our backyard


>> I've spent about 20 years since I was an intern

here back in 1999, I would come back

over the summers and there are a few pieces that

really stand out in my mind as having

been truly extraordinary musical experiences.

I think back to Ainadamar by Osvaldo Golijov,

whose work had its full stage premiere here in 2005 and

was based on the life of Federico García Lorca.

That was an amazing piece with sets designed by the artist

Gronk, and that went on to huge success internationally.

Another piece I think back to was Venus and Adonis

by Hans Werner Henze.

Henze was a composer that John Crosby really

championed over the many decades but Venus and

Adonis in 2000 was absolutely amazing.

The costumes and the choreography, it was the kind

of piece that when you see you think yourself,

"opera should be more like this."

And the audience absolutely went wild for what was

otherwise an unknown and perhaps even an obscure piece.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention

Dr. Atomic in 2018 by John Adams.

Of course it was remarkable to see the participation

of our neighboring pueblos on stage dancing.

And of course when the corn dance was performed

the heavens opened and the rain came down.


>> I often think that the great success of the

Santa Fe Opera has everything to do with the

fact that it is the perfect marriage between art and nature.

There's a great story of John Crosby back in 1956,

he was an avid horseman.

He rode around the 200-acre property with a

gun apparently and he was testing the acoustics of

the various parts of the property and determined

right here where we're sitting that there was

almost a natural amphitheater built into the landscape

and decided after many gunshots with various acousticians

that it was the perfect spot to site the theater.

And so the very first theater was built right

into the side of the hill into that natural

amphitheater shape and to this day our third theater

sits on exactly that very same spot.

Well John Crosby came to New Mexico as a young boy.

His parents sent him to the Los Alamos boys'

school, I think he must have been about 12 or 13

years old at the time, and he just fell in love with

nature I think more than anything else.

He later went on to study music at Yale and

Columbia, but he would come back over the course

of the years during the summer and ride horseback

and camp and spend a lot of his time in the

outdoors and I think that's what really

connected him with this place.

After he graduated from Columbia he decided he

wanted to start an opera company.

So he came back to Santa Fe, he borrowed some money

from his parents, and he bought a dude ranch

seven miles north of Santa Fe.

And he decided that he would give it a go and

create the Santa Fe Opera.

They built the theater, it had about 480 seats, and

opened their first season in 1957.

And there's a great story after opening night,

John's parents came up to him and his father said to him,

"you've got a winner."

>> Well the Santa Fe Opera House is unlike

any other opera house in the world.

One of the most distinctive things is that

it allows the audience to commune with nature.

You're in the outdoors, you see the incredible night sky,

the wind wafting through the theater,

and oftentimes the lightning and the

thunder on cue with the stage action and the music.

But also during this current pandemic,

it affords us the opportunity to provide a much safer

environment for our audience and that is a

distinct advantage none of us expected.

But it's our great hope that being able to perform outdoors,

both for the safety of our audience and for our performers,

will allow us to have a successful 2021 season.

From the very first seasons the very famous

composer Igor Stravinsky came to Santa Fe and he

spent five of the six first years of the

Santa Fe Opera's existence here in Santa Fe.

And I think that really put the Santa Fe Opera on

the map, both nationally and internationally, and

drew audiences immediately from all parts of the country.

In the middle of his third season at the Santa Fe Opera,

on July 13, 1959, Igor Stravinsky wrote the following

"In the Santa Fe Opera the United States

has a vital cultural resource.

Here are young artists creating productions of

opera with fresh imagination, delightful musical talent,

and a serious respect for the ensemble.

My work has been presented by this company with taste and

I wish for the Santa Fe Opera a long future of

prosperity and further artistic achievement."

>> Premiering new works and commissioning new works

has been part of the Santa Fe Opera's DNA.

Over the years we've had 16 world premieres and 45

American premieres and that has always been part

of the mix and the balance of each of our seasons.

People have really come to expect something fresh,

something new, something they've never seen before anywhere else.

Most recently with The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

we had to add a performance because the

ticket sales were so strong.

So we're seeing a real response among audiences,

in particular younger audiences, to new works.

What's next?

The safest possible reopening of the Santa Fe Opera

and the world premiere of The Lord of Cries.


>> So there are two things to know about The Lord of Cries.

The first is that it's by composer John Corigliano,

one of the greatest living American composers,

and this is only his second opera.

He's probably best well known for "The Red Violin Suite,"

from the movie made in 1998.

And of course for his opera, his first opera,

The Ghosts of Versailles which premiered at the

Metropolitan Opera in 1991.

The second thing to know about The Lord of Cries is

that it's loosely based on Bram Stoker's Dracula,

with the libretto by Mark Adamo.

>> So opera is an art form that's over four centuries old.

It's been in many ways given new life by

new stagings and new interpretations and

new ways of presenting familiar pieces.

But equally important is the creation of new works.

And one thing that we've seen tremendous success with is,

when you present something that's familiar

or topical or relevant, particularly for young people,

they respond to it so much more quickly.

In a way it's about breaking down the barriers

and giving people something familiar to them,

something that they can grasp, something that they can

By presenting The Lord of Cries, which is based on

Bram Stoker's Dracula, there's also an immediacy for new

audiences to be able to really understand what's going on.

Of course it will be presented in the English

language which makes it easier.

The Santa Fe Opera also has the luxury of a

seatback title system in order to translate operas

from other languages, but it really is about

breaking down the barriers to entry and allowing

people to really immerse themselves in the

experience and in the adventure of opera.


Hi, I'm Diana Thompson

and I'm the Director of Collections

at the National Academy of Design in New York.

The National Academy of Design is the leading

honorary society for visual arts and

architecture in the United States.

We're here behind the scenes for the

installation of our exhibition "For America"

paintings here at the society of the four arts

in Palm beach, Florida.

The show covers over 200 years.

The earliest painting in the show dates to around 1809

and goes through today.

It's organized around a concept of pairs.

One type would be the artist's portrait paired

with their representative work.

The question of why the National Academy of Design

required portraits is actually a very difficult

question because we don't know the answer to it.

One of the theories we think is that, um, this

was a way of defining yourself to your peers.

You know, you wanted to have an image of yourself

that was for posterity, that people could look at,

that people could think about.

And then when new members came on, they saw this as

a tradition, a living tradition spread up before them.

My name is Jeremiah McCarthy

and I'm the curator of the exhibition "For America."

What's really fascinating about the portrait

requirement is that the only stipulation was it

needed to be a portrait.

So it could be a self-portrait.

It could be a portrait by someone who is already a

national academician, or it could be a portrait that

someone painted or sculpted outside of the organization.

And you can trace artists relationships through the

portraits because as people start to ask their peers to

paint their portraits, you start to get these interesting

I mean, like William Glackens painted the

portrait of Ernest Lawson and when he gave him the portrait,

Lawson said, Oh, I never really realized my

face was that hard to paint.

So as far as early 19th century portraits in the

show, I would really love to tell a little story

about our portrait of Samuel Morse.

So it's the earliest work in the show.

And I think when people think of Samuel Morse,

they think of Morse, the inventor.

But he in fact had a very prolific career as an

artist in his earlier years.

So in this portrait, when you look at it, it's a

small portrait on ivory.

The artist is not even 20 years old and he is

depicting himself as already as an accomplished artist.

It's incredible what can be done on a small

miniature ivory painting.

Another great example is the relationship between

Robert Blum and William Merritt Chase.

We have in this exhibition you'll see a painting by

William Merritt chase called the "Young Orphan,"

which is unquestionably one of his masterpieces.

It's on the cover of his monograph and it's,

it's lauded the world over.

But people forget that when chase was displaying

his work, he faced really intense criticism of

critics saying that his fingers were too wooden...

there was no life in a lot of the paintings.

And so he painted Robert Blum's portrait and

Robert Blum had heterochromia where you have one eye, a

different color from the other.

And when you look there and you stand in front of this painting,

you sort of see his soul beating in his eyes.

And it's a challenge to sort of anyone to say if

William Merritt chase couldn't paint, you know,

life in a figure.

Here is this incredible portrait of his very dear friend.

It's a really moving portrait.

Charles White is one of the most important 20th

Century American artists whose, whose work focused on the

triumphs and the struggles of the African American community.

And we were really fortunate to have the

opportunity for this show to conserve a work by his,

that tells a very personal, poignant story

and it's a portrait of his great aunt, Hasty Baines.

She was born into slavery in 1857 on the Yellow Lee

plantation in Mississippi.

And there's a letter that his, that Charles White's

wife wrote shortly after the artist's death where

she explains that Hasty Baines for White served as

this symbol of courage and wisdom.

And these are universal themes that White explored

throughout his entire career in his work.

I think that when visitors come to this exhibition

and they enter the first space, they're going to

see, portraits that are very homogenous.

They're going to see people who look very similar.

And as they move through the exhibition,

they're going to see the Academy change just as America changes.

They're going to see the rise of women artists.

They're going to see the rise of artists of color.

And then by the time they get to the final section

of the exhibition, they're going to see something,

which should I hope looks more like the America we

have today than the America of the past.

You know, when you stand in the final gallery,

which we're in, you have a self-portrait by a native

You have a self-portrait by an Icelandic woman

who called New York, her home.

You have a self-portrait by a Chinese American artists.

You have all of these different viewpoints and

they come together and it shows you really that like

the more viewpoints you bring, the richer the dialogue.


>> Matt: It's this rugged place at the foot of the

Rocky Mountains with an English-style castle right

in the heart of it.

It's a little shocking the first time you come to the grounds.

>> Leah: It's so beautifully constructed.

It almost is perfection, and it looks like it's

been here for hundreds of years.

I think the way that you come into Glen Eyrie on

this winding road, up a canyon, and there at the back,

this castle is situated, looking like it's always been here.

>> The thing that makes Glen Eyrie Canyon so powerful is,

you know, it's part of the same geology as Garden of the Gods.

>> The Garden of the Gods landscape consists, of course,

of the large, famous red rock formations.

>> There are different colors of sandstones and

conglomerates and granite that were actually

uplifted during the mountain building process of Pike's Peak.

So, as the mountain built, the sandstones got tilted

>> Matt: You don't really see sandstone spires until you get

The canyon opens up to you as you arrive at the

castle and continues on.

>> Anna: It's a beautiful place, and it draws many

many people and always has.

>> Kate: One person enraptured by the views

was General William Jackson Palmer, who came

to the region on a railroad surveying trip in 1869.

After marrying his wife, Queen, they returned to the area

and soon began construction on their dream home.

>> Leah: John Blair, the landscape architect, saw

an eagle's nest or an eyrie on the side of a beautiful

rock here and gave the name Glen Eyrie to the space.

>> The carriage house at Glen Eyrie was built in 1871.

It was the first building built on the property, and

William and his new wife, Queen, lived in the upper stories

while they were waiting for their main house to be built.

The original Glen Eyrie was a Gothic-style house,

and it was built in the form of a Latin cross.

And it had about 27 rooms, and it was built on the

banks of Camp Creek that flows from the mountains

down the Glen Eyrie Valley.

>> Kate: Years of expansions and renovations

created the estate we know today.

After Palmer's death, Glen Eyrie was eventually

purchased by The Navigators,

an international ministry, becoming a conference center.

The region has long been affected by natural

disasters, including fires and floods.

While surveying a site flood mitigation work,

the city of Colorado Springs' lead archeologist, Anna Cordova,

stumbled upon something left behind.

The site of Palmer's trash dump.

This is where one man's trash became a treasure

for local historians.

>> Context is everything in archeology, and I

started thinking of, you know, what am I close to?

Who was living in this area at the time?

>> Susan: An archeology dig of this nature is actually

>> Anna: To find more about Palmer over a

hundred years after he's gone.

>> It's once in a lifetime.

>> You can't tell a lot about one particular

family in a public dump because lots of families

are putting their trash in those places.

The really unique thing about this site is that

everything that's out there we know came from this estate,

which it was apparently a really rare thing in archeology.

>> The number of artifacts that we actually recovered

were about 65,000.

We have looked at every one of those artifacts.

We have recovered and identified probably at

least 50 different types of ceramics, buttons,

forks, knives, cooking utensils, cups, stemware,

liquor bottles, pipes, flower pots, lots of

different animal bones, wooden furniture pieces,

just identified a tree cleat, which was really interesting.

A cleat that you attach to the toe so you could climb the

There's also industrial items so a fire hose.

We also have bottles that went into early fire extinguishers.

Photographic equipment so we have dark room elements.

There's a lot of medicinal things too, as well as

medicine bottles, medicine jars, vials for

homeopathic type of medicines.

>> And a lot of people ask why we care about trash,

why it matters, but trash can tell you a whole lot

about households and people.

It can speak sometimes even to ethnicity,

socioeconomic status, to gender.

It can answer so many questions that will talk

about the daily lives of these people.

So, what they ate, what they wore, what they read.

>> It's unedited, and that's where its power

lies because it's literally the raw material

of their lives out here at Glen Eyrie.

>> For example, we now know that Palmer really

liked Worcestershire sauce.

>> Apparently, there are many many Worcestershire bottles.

>> We're seeing very few items in the scheme of

thousands that we've looked at that are domestically produced.

Most everything that we're finding is being imported.

I think that's another evidence of his wealth.

>> I've got some mineral water from Budapest even

though he had some mineral water right next door

in Manatee Springs.

As far as historic archeology goes, it's

probably one of the most significant finds that

we've had definitely in Colorado Springs in the

Pike's Peak region.

Archeology is important in that it connects us to the past.

I think that helps people to form connections with

those places, and I think if you're connected to

those places, you take care of them more as well.

>>Leah: Having an English Tudor castle in the

Colorado hillside helps remind us how people have continued

to reshape Colorado over time in their own vision.

This place remains as a symbol of those dreams, visions,

and ideas of that founding generation of Colorado


New Mexico PBS dot org and look for COLORES under

What We Do and Local Productions.



Funding for "From Page to Stage: The Lord of Cries" series

provided by the Bank of Albuquerque.

Funding for COLORES was provided in part by

Frederick Hammersley Foundation...

New Mexico PBS Great Southwestern Arts & Education

Endowment Fund at the Albuquerque Community Foundation

New Mexico Arts,

a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs

with supplemental funding by the New Mexico CARES Act

and by the National Endowment for the Arts.

and Viewers Like You.



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