Bandelier Nat’l Park’s ‘Opera on the Rocks’ to feature Music of Mozart, Sept. 26

Tyuonyi Village from the Frey Trail at Bandolier National Monument (Photo courtesy Sally King/National Park Service)
Tyuonyi Village from the Frey Trail at Bandelier National Monument (Photo courtesy Sally King/National Park Service)

Chronicle staff

The classical music of Mozart will be performed at Bandelier National Monument’s Juniper Campground outdoor amphitheater during the park’s fourth annual “Opera on the Rocks,” Saturday (Sept. 26).

The family friendly event is an opportunity for those not familiar with opera, as well as opera enthusiasts, to enjoy listening in a special venue.

“We are very proud and honored to sponsor this event,” said Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott.  “It brings music back to this area where Ancestral Pueblo people played their own music for millennia.”

Respected drummer Arnold Herrera from Cochiti Pueblo will be the first performer of the evening, starting around 4 p.m. A sing-along and welcome begins at 5 p.m. followed by Opera Alta who will present the main act, “Bastien and Bastienne,” and selections from Mozart’s “Magic Flute.”

“Bastien and Bastienne” was composed by Amadeus Mozart when he was 12 years old.  It is the story of the travails of a shepherdess and her sweetheart, helped along by a would-be magician. The selections from Mozart’s famous “Magic Flute” will include “The 3 Spirits and Papageno”  and arias from Tamino and Pamina. All will be sung in English.

A sing-along prior to the main event and the two main performances will be coordinated by local opera singer Alicia Solomon. There will also be a children’s activity table before and during the event where kids and the young at heart can paint and decorate birds and crowns for Papagano  and the Queen – characters from the performance. Local wineries and breweries will feature local wines and beer prior to the performance.

The Bandelier Trading Company will sell food and the Rotary Stars will provide cheese and fruits trays for a donation.

Parking will not be available at Bandelier for the event. However; beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, visitors can take the Atomic City Transit shuttle bus from either Sullivan Field in Los Alamos or the White Rock Visitor Center to Bandelier. From the end of the performance until 7:30 p.m., shuttles will transport guests back to their vehicles.

Hosts of the event include the Los Alamos Opera Guild, the Guilds of the Santa Fe Opera and Opera Alta, and Bandelier National Monument. Transportation to and from the venue is provided by Los Alamos County’s Atomic City Transit.

Monument entrance fees are waived for this special event. Prices are: guild member $10 or $20 for a family up to four people; non-guild member $15 or $35 for a family up to four people.  Tickets for the opera can be purchased online at guildsofsfo.org/la. Admission to the opera is free for those camping at Juniper Campground.

A lunar eclipse is expected on Sunday, Sept. 27 at sunset. Bandelier will offer a special observing session with telescopes and eclipse activities at 6:30 p.m. at the Juniper Campground Amphitheater parking area. There is no charge for the event, however, entry fees to the park apply.

For further information on the opera, contact Jorge Baldonado at Bandelier, (505) 672-3861 x 713.  For information on Bandelier National Monument, contact the park Visitor Center at 505-672-3861 x 517 or check the website at nps.gov/band.