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2010 Season Opening Night at the Santa Fe Opera - Tailgate!!

7/03/10 - Santa Fe, NM

An evening of champagne, gourmet food, dramatic weather and Madame Butterfly at the gorgeous Santa Fe opera house

Late on Friday afternoon in the blazing heat of a southwestern July, we set off in a caravan of four vehicles headed for the Santa Fe opera, dressed to the nines in our opera finery.  Although the heat in Albuquerque was relentless, as we set up our tailgate on the opera theater grounds and kicked off the party with champagne cocktails, the clouds rolled in, bringing with them a wonderful cool breeze and also a few raindrops.  Luckily, our fabulous tailgate planners Erica & Eric didn't miss a beat and we set up a large tent over our table, where we enjoyed an amazing gourmet feast among friends of asparagus crepes, spicy shrimp skewers, just-from-the-garden caprese salad, wasabi salmon and cucumber cups, canapes of goat cheese, goose liver pate and olive tapenade and gooey turtle brownies for dessert, just to name a few of the delights on the menu.  Except for a very few drops, the rain held out during the meal as well as during our stroll through the parking lot in order to admire the other opera-goers' spreads.  Soon it was time to pack up our tailgate, and we slowly made our way to the opera house.  Darkness fell around us as we anxiously waited for the performance to begin.  As the story unfolded on the stage, we sat comfortably in the covered, but open-air opera house enjoying the beautiful and dramatic performance of Madame Butterfly.  Sometime during the performance, the storm began and we could hear the rain beating down, feel the cool, damp breezes brushing our exposed skin and smell the rain-soaked air.  The thunder and lightning almost seemed to be working in concert with the orchestra to punctuate the dramatic moments taking place on the stage.  It was truly a wonderful evening and an amazing multi-sensory experience!

(Many thanks to Erica for sharing her photos with us!)


Loriann assists with the food preparations


Our tailgate neighbors carried out a beautiful Japanese theme


Opera tailgate, party of 12


Paul & Sarah, having a grand time


Erica presides over the table with elegance and grace


Beatrice samples the wares






Opera divas!


Scott does a mean strut through the parking lot...


Loving Santa Fe!


Sarah & Paul, the epitome of understated elegance



First things first - Scott gets the party started with champagne cocktails!


Preparations begin


Erica & Eric - tailgate planners extraordinare!


Scott slides the goat cheese, goose liver pate and olive tapenade canapes into place


The food, oh, the food!


The Spread


"What is that I see?!  I declare, anything goes at these opera tailgates!"


Ladies of the opera - Caroline, Sarah and Erica


The perfect opera couple


Opera divas!


...and kicks up his heels in anticipation of the coming performance


Tailgate rainbow!


Caroline & Scott pause for a pose with Eric, Bob & Claudia


In keeping with the evening's theme, Sarah gets her geisha on!