The Guilds 
 of The Santa Fe Opera, Inc.

  We support the Education and Community Programs of The Santa Fe Opera

   A classic Santa Fe sunset, seen from The Santa Fe Opera looking West towards the Jemez Mountains , July 2011 .   At the Opera, it's magical!





A Narrative History of The Guilds of the Santa Fe Opera, Inc. (2002 to 2006)

Sadie Knight remained as President.

The first activity this year was the presentation of The Pirates of Penzance by The Santa Fe Opera on December 1 at the Lensic Theater.  The Santa Fe Opera Guild hosted a "Pirates Party" at the Eldorado Hotel after the performance for cast members.  It was very well attended by other guild members, who were able to meet and greet the performers of this delightful musical production.

Several of the guilds held their annual holiday parties which were also very good fund- raisers.

January was marked by the sudden death of founder and longtime director of the Santa Fe Opera, John Crosby.  Later, a memorial was held on July 12 at the Opera Theater and was attended by hundreds of guild members from around the state, together with members of The Santa Fe Opera Board of Directors, opera artists, and opera staff.

At Guilds, Inc.'s January meeting, the $125 (contributor) member category was raised to $150 (donor).  The $300 category was named “Contributor”.  These changes were made in order to mirror the modifications made to the Santa Fe Opera's annual-giving levels.

A Guilds, Inc. meeting was once again held in EI Paso with a busload of guild members from Taos, Santa Fe, Española, Albuquerque, and Las Vegas participating.  Members of the Tri-State Guild hosted an elegant dinner on March 7 for the visitors.  A presentation by the El Paso Opera of Samson and Delilah was enjoyed the evening of March 8.

Also hosting Guilds, Inc. meetings this year were the Taos and Española Guilds.  These board meetings, held at the different locations, were very well attended by members of the different statewide guilds.

Bon Appétit, new caterers for the preview dinners, received very positive comments by both guests and hosts and their popularity grew as a result.  Along with staff members, the different guilds did an excellent job of hosting at each night's dinner.  The preview talk presented by Desirée Mays became quite popular.

“A Day at the Opera Ranch” was moved to a Sunday and, thanks to a beautiful Spring day, it was attended by more than 3,000 people.  The crowds enjoyed the food provided by the guild members booths, the costume photographs, face painting and entertainment by the Desert Chorale Children’s Chorus, Taos Suzuki violin players, and other entertaining events.

A total of 16,925 students from 100 different schools enjoyed the Apprentice Tour of the Southwest with the kick-off at Taos San Geronimo Lodge.  A reception hosted by the Taos Opera Guild and underwritten by First State Bank of Taos was highly successful and enjoyed by the young artists.  A similar performance was underwritten by Bank of the Southwest in Roswell.

Three operas were offered for Youth Night at the Opera: La belle Hélène, Intermezzo, and Cosi fan tutte.  A preview talk by Jamie Allen was presented to a full Stieren Hall audience of youths and their adult sponsors.  Total attendance for the three operas was 1,535 youth and 771 adults.  Six of the eight guilds provided volunteers for these three evenings.

Included as part of  the Annual Meeting in September, there was a Guilds, Inc. Recognition Program and several guild members were recognized for their efforts on behalf of The Santa Fe Opera.  Awards included: “Guild with the highest increase in membership”; “Guild with largest financial gift to Guilds, Inc.”, and the “Guild that had the most unique community education program”.  Each member guild selected a "Volunteer of the Year" from their membership.  Prizes were awarded.

Total membership: 2003/04: 641
Guilds’ contributions: A total of $116,433 was contributed to The Santa Fe Opera this year, with several of the guilds surpassing their original commitment.  Preview Dinners contributed an additional $69,290 in revenues.


The president was Jaima Jackson of The Santa Fe Opera Guild.
In January of 2004, the Opera asked the Guilds, Inc. President to meet with members of the Opera company and staff to consider merging Guilds, Inc. with SFO and to consider the option of dissolving and becoming part of the Company.  A meeting was held with Jill Heppenheimer, mediator; SFO Board Chairman, Paul Hoffman; SFO Board member, Pauline Cuncannon; and SFO Education Director, Andrea Fellows Walters and her staff.  It ultimately was decided that Guilds, Inc. contributed a great deal to SFO and it should continue to function as a separate entity in the volunteer structure.

A planning session in conjunction with the general meeting of Guilds, Inc. was held at Stieren Hall.  Discussed were ideas on how Guilds, Inc. members wanted to evolve and how to increase community contacts in order to fulfill their mission in providing financial support for SFO,  educating, and mentoring.

Joyce Remke, Guilds, Inc. president in 1998-99 passed away in February. Guild members attended her funeral on February 28, 2004.

Jill Heath, Guilds, Inc. Liaison, announced she was taking maternity leave and introduced Jason LaLonde, who would be assisting in her absence.

On March 12, 2004, Guilds, Inc. members took a bus trip to El Paso, accompanied by Andrea Fellows Walters and Jason LaLonde of the SFO staff.  The group had dinner at Carlos and Mickey's Restaurant and stayed at El Camino Real Hotel. On March 13, Guilds, Inc. held a Board meeting attended by members from Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, and Española guild members.  Also attending was the president of Tri-State Guild, Kay Lassiter.  That evening, after a wonderful dinner in the hotel dining room, the guild members walked across the street to the Abraham Chavez Theater and enjoyed the El Paso Opera presentation of Carmen.

The Youth Operas for 2004 were Don Giovanni and Beatrice and Benedict. These were hosted by the members of the different guilds.  However, there was no report filed on numbers attending.

The loss of two long-time Guilds, Inc. board members, Mary Frances Young, Youth Opera co-chairman, and Ann Foster who served as Guilds, Inc. Secretary, as Albuquerque Opera Guild president, and in many other capacities, was mourned this year.

Total membership, 2004/05: 654
Guilds’ contributions: $107, 387

The President was Nancie Dominc of the Santa Fe Opera Guild.

The years 2005/06 was a busy and eventful one for the Guilds as they collaborated with the Opera in celebrating the 50th Anniversary Season.

The Apprentice Spring Tour presenting The Elixir of Love ran from March to May.  It was presented in 13 communities in New Mexico, 2 cities in west Texas and Ajijic, Mexico.  Under the direction of Kathleen Clawson and Kirt Pavitt, music director, performers were: Arianna Wyatt, soprano; Greg Warren, tenor; and Sean Anderson, baritone. A total of 21,380 students attended.

Guild members traveled to Denver for performances of Rigoletto and the Marriage of Figaro on April 29.

Beginning in May, the “Backstage Pass” program replaced “Opera Day at the Ranch”.  It hosted a total of 2,500 guests. 

A welcome buffet for the Apprentice Singers was held on June 20 with 150 people attending, including apprentices and guild members and Opera staff. Members of the different guilds contributed the hors d’oeuvres for the occasion.

Youth Night Coordinator, Paul Young, reported a grand total of 2,940, including youth and adults for the summer program.  The three youth operas presented were: Carmen on June 26, The Magic Flute on June 27, and Cinderella on July 11.  The Pueblo Opera Program attendance was 1,229, bringing the attendance to a grand total of 4,169 for the three operas.

An Opening Night Dinner honoring Maria Benitez, renowned flamenco dancer, was hosted by Guilds, Inc. and successfully raised about $2,500.  The Santa Fe Opera Guild held a tailgate party that same evening.

On July 24, the regular meeting of Guilds, Inc. was held at the Tanoan Country Club in Albuquerque with attendees from Taos, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Los Alamos and Santa Fe.

Jill Heath, Guilds Liaison, introduced her infant daughter, Stella, to the members.  The baby made a hit, and didn't disrupt the business meeting.

The Roswell and Ruidoso Guild enthusiasts were invited to a "$50 for the 50th" dinner on August 26. The evening included an opera ticket for Carmen and a champagne/box supper on the grounds of the Opera.  Twenty-four people from Roswell and two from Ruidoso attended.

The Preview Buffets were popular with opera-goers and Guilds, Inc. members served as hosts each evening.

About 100 people attended the “Divas: Decadent and Darling” fashion show, a fundraiser held November 11.

Other events held during the year included a decision during a special retreat, which was moderated by Lucy Levy of St. Louis, that the Guilds would retain their independent status. A new mission statement was adopted.

A new membership brochure designed by Carl Bogenholm was well received.

A great deal of effort was made by Peggy Love Day, Development, to establish a guild in Ruidoso, but this effort was not met with much success.  The meetings in Roswell, however, were more rewarding, as a total of 30 people joined the Guild plus a Board of Directors was organized.

As usual, the individual guilds were very active with fundraisers and programs.  The Albuquerque Opera Guild held a Membership party, a luncheon at Four Hills, An “Opera for Fun” program, “A Cinderella Gala”, and enjoyed a bus trip to Carmen.

The Española Guild began the year with a Valentine Party at the home of their president, Marquita Sena.  The guild hosted a luncheon for the apprentice tour singers and staff members of the Santa Fe Opera at the Cafe Paris.

They sold Frito pies at the Backstage Pass and deemed it fun and successful.  Their annual membership party was held in June at the Inn at the Delta.

The Las Vegas Guild had an active year beginning with a Holiday Party in December and hosting the Spring Opera Tour at the Montezuma Castle.  Members hosted the opera singers with a reception following the program.  A Yard Sale that grossed $1,800 was held in May.  The guild exceeded their pledge, presenting Guilds, Inc. with a total of $5,000.  Also, they increased their membership to 96 members.

The Los Alamos Guild held a reception for the Santa Fe Opera’s 50th anniversary exhibit which was on display; they
hosted four Preview Buffets; and sent chaperones to the three Youth Night performances.

The Santa Fe Opera Guild Holiday Party was held at the Inn at Loretto.  The annual Valentine Party was also held at the Inn. Special guest was Mark Tiarks from the Santa Fe Opera Marketing Department, who spoke about "Bad Girls of Opera."  A well-attended tailgate party was held with 48 people present, and it was deemed to be a big success.

A highly successful golf tournament was held on September.  Several Santa Fe businesses sponsored the tournament, the mayor of Santa Fe attended the luncheon, and applauded the guild for the work they do for the school children and the community. 

Membership total, 2005/06: Total Guild membership for this year was 621 as reported by Membership Chair, Liz Crain (Albuquerque Guild).
Guilds’ contributions: For the year, contributions to the Santa Fe Opera from Guild, Inc. totaled $254,386 and $72,685 in profit credited from the Preview Buffets.

A plaque on the wall of Stravinsky Terrace honored the Guilds, which became a charter member of the Summit Society for having raised $7,736,456 as of opening week-end of 2006.

Click here to see Guilds History, 2006 to 2009

The Guilds of The Santa Fe Opera, Incorporated
O. Box 2658

 (888) 666-3430, Ext. 100

A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation founded in October 1963 

Visitor Counters
Visitor Counters

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software