Starry Nights in Santa Fe

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July 30 - August 4, 2018


Our annual visit to The Santa Fe Opera celebrates another year of wonderful programing in the City Different.   As usual, the repertoire spans the centuries and operatic genres: Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Bernstein’s Candide, Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, Adams’ Doctor Atomic, and Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri.

Five composers telling very unique stories that focus on relevant issues, past and ever present, with world class talents coming together to fully illustrate the attraction that The Santa Fe Opera extends to the world.

Once again, our hotel choice is the iconic La Fonda on the Plaza, a lively and historic hotel that boasts all the necessary contemporary comforts, while perfectly located at “the crossroads of Santa Fe”.  Just steps from galleries, restaurants, museums, St. Francis Cathedral and The Plaza, the recently renovated hotel is a premium selection.  From La Plazuela restaurant and roof top bar to luxurious spa services and excellent shops, La Fonda has it all, with the on-site French Pastry café adding to the experience.  The 5th floor Bell Tower Bar is ideally situated for sipping a cocktail while enjoying the sunset or a light lunch or dinner.

With the guidance of your host, opera lecturer and educator Desirée Mays, our program will surely be memorable with an excursion to Georgia O’Keefe’s Abiquiú Home and Studio with historian Stefanie Beninato, PhD, two Music at Noon concerts, eclectic Santa Fe dining and of course, The Santa Fe Opera’s enticing program in its 62nd season.

Arrivals: Regular flights on most major carriers arrive at Albuquerque Sunport (ABQ).  Sandia Shuttle service runs hourly to Santa Fe, dropping off at La Fonda (transfer time is one hour and fteen minutes).  A round trip reservation should be booked no later than a month ahead of arrival.  Act 1 Tours will assist upon request.  Alternatively, a private car service may be reserved: contact us for details and pricing.  Santa Fe Airport (SAF) has limited airline services, with connections to Dallas, Los Angeles and Denver.  On arrival, Roadrunner Shuttle transfers you La Fonda. 

Candide,    Madame Butterfly,     Doctor Atomic,     The Italian Girl in Algiers,     Ariadne auf Naxos.


Sunday, July 29 (Optional early arrival)

Optional independent early arrivals at La Fonda on the Plaza.

Monday, July 30

Independent arrivals at La Fonda. Early check-ins can be requested but are subject to room availability and not guaranteed.

Gather in the hotel lobby where Desirée will greet the group.  Depart by foot ( ve minutes) to La Boca for our Welcome Dinner.

Following dinner, we transfer by private coach to The Santa Fe Opera for the 8pm performance of Madame Butterfly (Fiore: Martínez, Guerrero, Marino).

Tuesday, July 31

After your daily inclusive breakfast, gather in the hotel’s The Santa Fe Room for a lecture by Desirée that will include some insight into the operas that you will be attending this week.

After a short break, Stefanie Beninato Ph.D., historian, lecturer and local guide will join us to introduce us to New Mexico and this will be followed by a short walking tour, focusing on the history of the Plaza area and ending at the St. Francis Auditorium in time for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival noon concert.  Afterwards join Desirée for a gentle walk to the iconic Santacafé for lunch.

In the evening, we transfer with our private coach to The Santa Fe Opera to hear the sensational soprano Brenda Rae and tenor Alek Shrader in Candide, joined by Kevin Burdette doing quadruple duty as Voltaire, Pangloss, Martin, and Cacambo (Bickett: Rae, Shrader, Burdette).

Wednesday, August 1

This morning we depart with Desirée and Stefanie on a guided excursion through the spectacular Northern New Mexico scenery for a private tour of the Georgia O’Kee e Home and Studio in Abiquiú.  The day will include a brief stop at Ghost Ranch with lunch at the Abiquiú Inn, arriving back at La Fonda by 4pm.  The early evening and dinner is independent.

This evening we meet again to go by coach to The Santa Fe Opera for Strauss’s most enchanting and wittiest opera, a comic collision in Ariadne auf Naxos (Gaffigan: Echalaz, Sledge, Morley). 

Thursday, August 2

After breakfast, we walk with Desirée to the Georgia O’Kee e Museum for a self-guided visit followed by a walk to St. Francis Auditorium for our second Concert at Noon.  The balance of the afternoon is independent.

In the early evening we return to The Santa Fe Opera Pavilion for a pre-performance buffet dinner and lecture on Doctor Atomic (Aucoin: McKinny, Bullock, Bliss).  This new production, staged by Peter Sellars, also marks the first John Adams work to be performed by The Santa Fe Opera. 

Friday, August 3

The final day is completely open for individual interests, with suggestions from the hotel concierge and Act 1 Tours to make your time as enjoyable as possible.

Depart by coach for our celebratory farewell dinner at Restaurant Martín. After dinner, we continue to the opera house for our nal performance, L’Italiana in Algeri (Rovaris: Mack, Swanson, Connor).

Saturday, August 4

Independent departures or extension.  


  • Five nights at La Fonda on the Plaza
  • A la carte daily breakfast
  • Prime seating for four opera performances of your choice
  • Two Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Concerts
  • Two dinners & two lunches
  • Private lecture and pre-opera lecture with dinner
  • Day coach tour to Abiquiú & Ghost Ranch
  • Private coach transfers throughout tour
  • Gratuities for drivers and guides
  • Fully escorted by Act 1 Tours host, Desirée Mays


  • Airfares
  • Airport transfers to/from hotels (arranged on request)
  • Meals and personal expenses not part of the itinerary

COST (per person)

  • $4,350 Double occupancy in Deluxe king rooms; two beds upon request
  • $4,950 Single occupancy in Traditional rooms; queen bed

​​On the reservation form please write the title of the opera you wish to NOT attend or write ALL for the operas to add an extra $280, which includes the transportation to and from the opera performance.

OPTIONS (subject to availability)

Extra night (includes breakfast): ​

  • $325 Double occupancy in Deluxe king rooms; two beds upon request
  • $290 Single occupancy in Traditional rooms; queen bed
  • Upgrade to deluxe for singles or junior suite for doubles: pricing upon request.

  • Fifth opera with transfer: $280


A deposit of $1,950 per person is due with the completed reservation and the balance by June 1, 2018.  Payment in full if registering after this date.


Trip insurance is strongly recommended to avoid nancial loss in the case the need to cancel arises.   Act 1Tours can arrange suitable coverage on your behalf and some policies waive pre-existing medical conditions if purchased within 15 days of making an initial deposit. 

How To Register

Please download and complete your reservation form. Once completed, please mail, fax or scan and email back with a check or credit card authorization for your deposit:
CLICK HERE to print your reservation form.