Festivals: Out of the Ashes

In the eternal, brooding mountains of New Mexico, things take a long time to grow and even longer to change.

Yet amid the Sangre de Cristo range outside Santa Fe this year, a dramatic new feature has jutted up in a matter of months. It is the Santa Fe Opera Company's new theater, a bold cross between an open-air arena and a Pueblo fortress. It has no side walls, and its see-through stage provides the action with a striking natural backdrop of dancing hills. Above the orchestra seats, a red wood-beamed adobe canopy sweeps up ward, then breaks off abruptly to...

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