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Any Opera tips?

Connecticut
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Any Opera tips?

I intend to get tickets for a late August performance of Madame Butterlfy. I was wondering if anyone had any tips for an evening at the Santa Fe Opera such as whether we should bring our own picnic or order the boxed dinners, whether we should drive ourselves or use the shuttle service and any other venue tips. What do you do to have a fabulous evening?

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The Santa Fe Suites
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Aurora, Illinois
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1. Re: Any Opera tips?

It really is a matter of preference. All are good choices.

I've been before and will be attending all five operas this summer. I've chosen to do 4 of the boxed dinners (which I've had before) and 1 preview dinner (which will be new to me). I found the boxed dinners to be expensive BUT very good. If you bring your own picnic, you'll be able to do it so much cheaper.

As far as eating in the parking lot, it's not all the pictures on the website make it out to be...especially for those coming into town. There are very few picnic tables and you're unlikely to have tables/chairs to tailgate. Still, that's what I'm planning on doing.

I DO recommend arriving early enough to take in one of the pre-opera talks. There's one 2 hours before the opera and then another 1 hour before the opera. Also, if you decide to go the route of the preview dinner (the most expensive option), there's a talk given there as well over dessert.

I have always chosen to drive in order to save money. The shuttle could be very convenient however, You have two options from Santa Fe...one that will get you there in time to eat AND hear a talk or one that's just a bit before the start of the opera. I think (I was unable to confirm this online) that the return shuttle exits via a different route than the parking lot and so returns to Santa Fe more quickly.

There is no problem parking, although the traffic can become congested right before the opera. The traffic leaving the opera is always congested.

All this said, if you want to have the MOST fabulous (and most expensive) evening with the least to think about, take the shuttle and go to the preview dinner.

No matter what options you choose, you will love your night at the opera!

Keith

Edited: 07 June 2018, 23:20
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Santa Fe
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2. Re: Any Opera tips?

Thank you! I overlooked the obvious that I would not have folding chairs with me, as I am flying to Santa Fe. Lol.

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Santa Fe
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3. Re: Any Opera tips?

I'd have an early dinner in Santa Fe and then drive up to the Opera, for the opera. Maybe take some dessert to eat while up there during intermission. Plenty of great places in Santa Fe to dine.

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Santa Fe
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4. Re: Any Opera tips?

We have enjoyed the preview dinner greatly with my late, lamented mother-in-law, who was a big opera fan. Honestly, though, it's not great value for dollar, and there are so many good places to eat in Santa Fe (notably Gabriel's, which is on the "wrong" side of the opera and therefore may have easier traffic to negotiate in getting there) that I'm not sure I'd recommend it for the short-time visitor. You really can't go wrong with any of these choices, though.

Keith pretty well nails it as regards traffic, etc. Since we live here, I have never tried the shuttle and have no information on whether and how it beats the traffic jams. However, there really aren't many ways out of the place. You just have to grin and bear the crowds and congestion -- but it's worth it.

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Santa Fe
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Gabriel's
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5. Re: Any Opera tips?

Hi all (and a hearty hello to an old friend who always has great advice). I don't think there's much better in life than going to the santa fee opera. So my first tip is GO! When I've gone, I do the park and tailgate. I go early enough to park in the second row or so and see the sunset reflecting on the sangre de cristos. Maybe I've just been lucky. We set up our chairs and a small TV table, open a bottle of wine and lay out a simple picnic behind the back hatch of our car. There's usually many other couples and small and large groups doing the same around us, some more elaborate. I suppose one tip to consider is taking something for when it cools down, especially if a rainy storm passes its way behind the stage. No tips offered on what to wear other than: it's Santa Fe! I like to become familiar with the libretto and last time I downloaded the music to my running ipod. (Maybe that's a tip.)

(I also very much like the open air bar between acts.)

Edited: 08 June 2018, 09:24
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Santa Fe
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6. Re: Any Opera tips?

Thank you all for your amazing advice!

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