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On a Friday afternoon in June, the cast rehearsal taking place at Gaddes Hall on the Santa Fe Opera campus is decidedly low-tech. An acoustic piano supports the naturally amplified singers in the small open-air amphitheater, and the sun alone provides a spotlight. This could be mistaken for a rehearsal leading up to SFO’s first season, rather than its 61st. Until composer Mason Bates begins triggering audio effects on his MacBook. 

Composer Mason Bates is well attuned to Steve Jobs’ stature in tech culture and beyond. The innovator’s divisive persona has captured global imagination almost as much as the products he developed.

From left, drummers John Trentacosta, Albert "Tootie" Heath, and Loren Bienvenu; photo Lea Morales

In mid-December, Loren Bienvenu was busy working on a trestle table in a Second Street woodshop. Many Santa Feans may be more familiar with this soft-spoken, good-natured guy as a musician and freelance writer, but he has also been creating in wood for about six years. 

Woodworker, freelance writer and musician Loren Bienvenu

Walter Ufer: Taos Girls, 1916, oil on canvas; courtesy University of Oklahoma Press: Norman