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Racing into a new season: Santa Fe Concert Association

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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2013 5:00 am

Until a couple of years ago, concert-goers in Santa Fe had almost a month off during the shoulder season that separated the abundance of opera, choral, and chamber music in July and August from the less intense, but nonetheless plentiful, offerings of the larger part of the year. Those times are past. Our rest-of-the-year organizations are now jumping into the breach. Santa Fe Opera brings 
down the curtain (so to speak) on its final performance of the year at about 
11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, and at 4 p.m. the very next afternoon — 
which is to say 17 hours later — the Santa Fe Concert Association gives the downbeat on what it terms its “Season Opening Gala.” Just two weeks after that, on Sept. 8, the Santa Fe Symphony’s 2013-2014 season gets underway. For the last couple of years, the symphony has officially begun its season in late September or early October, but it offered a “pre-season Showcase of the Stars” a couple of weeks earlier. This year, its season officially begins with the “Showcase of the Stars” concert, which, from a concert-goer’s perspective, is more logical.

The Santa Fe Concert Association is similarly ambivalent about just when everything starts. The organization now offers a vocal recital series during the last two weeks of the opera season, and at the first of those performances, on Aug. 11, Joseph Illick, the association’s artistic director, walked onstage to welcome the audience to what he declared to be the organization’s first concert of the new season. From that point on, the group presented three vocal recitals and two dance evenings before it reaches the opening gala, which would seem to be the sixth concert in the organization’s new season. Anyway, however music lovers choose to do their arithmetic, they should not settle too deeply into their easy chairs at this moment, since the summer season is dovetailing seamlessly with the offerings of autumn.

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