Santa Fe will be well represented at the Opera America Salutes event in New York on Friday, Oct. 21. Charles MacKay, who served as the Santa Fe Opera’s general director from 2008 to 2018, will be inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame, and Sue Marineau, its board president from 2014 to 2020 and its current chairman, will receive a National Opera Trustee Recognition Award.

Opera America is the country’s service organization for opera companies and music-theater producers. It convenes a large, industry-wide annual conference and many smaller events with more focused agendas, operates several funding programs, and publishes financial and artistic data on the field. The Hall of Fame is a continuation of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Opera Honors program that began in 2008. Richard Gaddes, Santa Fe’s general director from 2001 to 2008 was one of the honorees that year, along with soprano Leontyne Price, composer Carlisle Floyd, and conductor James Levine.

MacKay is the first New Mexico native to receive an Opera America award. His career began with a 1968 summer job as the Santa Fe Opera’s “pit boy” (organizing the orchestra pit equipment, players, and music) and serving as an extra horn player in the opera orchestra. At the time he was a Santa Fe High School student, where he played the euphonium in the marching band, among other activities.

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