Santa Fe Opera taps creator of operatic 'Handmaid's Tale'

File - In this May 9, 2017 file photo, Santa Fe Opera General Director Charles MacKay speaks at a news conference in Santa Fe, N.M. The Santa Fe Opera will hold the world premiere in 2019 of a suspenseful fairy-tale from a Danish composer who created the operatic version of "The Handmaid's Tale." Directors of the Santa Fe Opera on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, announced the new work from Poul Ruders that is inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. "The Thirteenth Child" is described as a down-to-the wire thriller for audiences of all ages. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, File)
File - In this May 9, 2017 file photo, Construction workers put final touches on parking lot renovations at the Santa Fe Opera in Santa Fe, N.M. The Santa Fe Opera will hold the world premiere in 2019 of a suspenseful fairy-tale from a Danish composer who created the operatic version of "The Handmaid's Tale." Directors of the Santa Fe Opera on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, announced the new work from Poul Ruders that is inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. "The Thirteenth Child" is described as a down-to-the wire thriller for audiences of all ages. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. — A fairy-tale thriller from a Danish composer who created an operatic version of "The Handmaid's Tale" will make its debut at the Santa Fe Opera in the summer of 2019, as the open-air desert venue shifts course under new management.

Leaders of the Santa Fe Opera on Wednesday announced the new work from composer Poul Ruders titled "The Thirteenth Child." It is described as a down-to-the-wire thriller inspired by a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

Ruders previously set "The Handmaid's Tale" to music more than a decade before the dystopian novel about life under theocratic dictatorship became a hit online television series.

Opera General Director Charles MacKay said the opera, underwritten in part by a Danish symphony orchestra, holds appeal for youthful audiences without being strictly children's fare.

"This is one of the elements that drew us to this production, the fact that it is based on a not-terribly-well-known Grimm fairy tale," he said.

The open-air summer opera stage in the foothills of New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains is the backdrop this year for "Doctor Atomic." The opera revolves around the dawn of the atomic age in 1940s New Mexico.

Emily Johnson, the choreographer on "Doctor Atomic," acknowledged the enduring tensions surrounding the development of the world's first nuclear weapons at Los Alamos. Her creative team informed their work by listening to stories from the nuclear laboratory scientists, Native American tribes and communities in southern New Mexico that trace health issues to nuclear fallout from the first test explosion, she said.

"We have this story to tell of the twenty-four hours leading up the first atomic bomb test," she said. We also "have the responsibility and honor to share more than that story, to first listen and learn and then share more."

Last year, the Santa Fe Opera staged the world premiere of a techno-infused opera about the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. An audio recording compiled from the performances is set for commercial release in mid-June through major media download and streaming services.

MacKay is handing over the opera's top job at the end of the summer to Robert Meya, who will guide the company in cooperation with its first artistic director, Alexander Neef, also the general director at the Canadian Opera Company.

Immediately adjacent to the opera property, Tesuque Pueblo is building a casino on Native American tribal property, fueling concerns of changes to the opera's views and quiet setting. Surveyors and cranes were at work Wednesday, as the steel outline of the building takes shape.

MacKay said he could not say specifically how the casino might affect the opera.

"We've been very encouraged by our conversations thus far," he said. "And we, as I said, look forward to learning more about the project as it evolves and takes shape."

___

This story has been corrected to show opera of Handmaid's Tale was composed more than a decade ago, not decades.

You may also interested in

Biden calls on Turkey to be patient in Gulen case

Aug 24, 2016

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has called on Turkish authorities to be patient with the U.S. legal system as Turkey seeks the return of a cleric accused of masterminding last month's failed military coup

AP EXPLAINS: Why burkini swimsuits are causing controversy

Aug 25, 2016

French mayors are drawing international anger for banning the burkini, an all-encompassing swimsuit worn by a small minority of Muslim women

Senegal clamps down on Quranic schools that exploit children

Aug 26, 2016

'A child's place is not in the streets:' Senegal targets Quranic schools that send kids to beg

Syok Asia welcomes the generations to witness the beautiful world of art and creativity in Malaysia and the rest of the world.

Contact us: sales@syokasia.com