"Join the Opera Guild," a friend counseled, "it's the best ticket in town!"

And she was right. Throughout the year, the Guild plans wonderful social and educational events that are beautifully organized and fun. I'm proud to say that I'm a graduate of Opera 101 - a two-part class easing neophytes into the delightful mysteries and magic of opera.  Taught by the charming and wonderfully-funny, Oliver Prezant - he's the Musical Director of the Santa Fe Community Orchestra - the first class - at Collected Works - had us delving into the language of arias and the methods behind operatic composing.

The second session - held at the opera house rehearsal space - was pure fun. We learned  operatic lingo like: leitmotif, recitativo and singspeal,  and all about how the magnificent costumes are designed for each opera - the process begins a good year and a half out and there are 65 costume designers behind the scenes for each opera season.  During the last hour of class we actually created and staged an abbreviated opera (of sorts) - some of us wore costumes and the rest wrote the dialog. It was a hoot. Oliver Prezant is a genius teacher!

Here are costumes from last season's Madam Butterfly that were on display. The detail work is amazing; something you just never see from the audience.

A kimono detail

The process begins with drawings

The patterns are made. A  garment of muslin is created and fitted
 and then the real work begins.

(click this link)

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