Opera returns to open-air desert theater with diverse cast

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Santa Fe Opera is back at its open-air theater in the high desert of New Mexico.

The first performance over the weekend included an unmasked cast and a masked audience.

State restrictions on performances and crowds lifted last month, but the opera house is still playing it safe.

The performance of “The Marriage of Figaro” was sold out, with some seats empty for distancing.

Rehearsals are taking place with masks, another layer of difficulty for opera singers belting challenging music at Santa Fe’s high altitude.

Operas around the world are wrestling with ongoing COVID-19 safety concerns and labor negotiations.