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The Santa Fe Opera will celebrate its 60th anniversary this summer, and the Encore program at San Juan College will be there in July to see Mozart’s magnificent Don Giovanni.

"If you haven’t been there in a while, you’ll be happy to see some renovations to the buildings and grounds as the company gets better every season," said Encore Instructor Vicki Holmsten.

Don Giovanni is widely acclaimed for composing some of the best lyric music for the stage.

"The story of Don Giovanni — or Don Juan in other versions — is funny, compelling, tragic and more. Is the Don truly evil or a hopeless romantic in overdrive? The libretto, by Lorenzo da Ponte, asks us to consider this question," Holmsten said. "We work from the premise that if you know something about opera, the story and the music before you attend a performance, you will enjoy the experience and, hopefully, become an opera fan.”

Holmsten is a long-time music lover, opera fan and amateur musician. She taught English at San Juan College for more than 25 years before she retired in 2014. Her collaborator is her husband, Don Allen, a local composer and arranger and brass player. They scheduled their wedding date around their Santa Fe opera tickets 32 years ago and have been attending performances almost every summer since then.

"Opera is so much more than the cartoon version of stuffy people in uncomfortable clothes who fall asleep during a performance. Take the opera challenge and join us. You’ll be glad you did," Holmsten said.

Registration for the class is due by June 2 to arrange logistics. Additional information on tickets and trip logistics is available at San Juan College’s Community Learning Center or by calling 505-566-3214.

Encore classes are designed for learners 50 and older but are open to all students 18 and older. Visit sanjuancollege.edu/Encore for more information about this and other Encore classes.

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