Health, safety, and a successful reopening with Chelsea Antrim Dennis, Director of Production


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What does it take to remain cool as cucumber water amid the intense technical demands of the world’s grandest art form? Jane dishes about the drama with guest Chelsea Antrim Dennis, Santa Fe Opera’s Director of Production.

Trap door danger! Raging storms! Mid-performance fainting! Chelsea has navigated a few professional storms in her 16 seasons with SFO. Her responsibilities aren’t limited to the action on stage; Chelsea is known as the voice of the Santa Fe Opera (her dulcet tones grace the pre-show announcement) and she oversees health and safety protocols throughout the opera’s sprawling campus.

Jane gets the inside scoop on what infrastructure changes patrons, staff, and artists can expect at the opera this summer in response to COVID-19.

In her current role since 2020 (the first woman to hold the position in Santa Fe Opera history!), Chelsea supervises multiple departments including scenery, props, costumes, electrics, and wigs and makeup. She approaches the dynamic needs of each artisan under her supervision with a collaborative attitude.

Each production presents its own artistic and practical pieces to puzzle out. Chelsea maintains an incomparable ability to adapt when those circumstances tip beyond her control - including that time she lost consciousness in the middle of calling a live performance! True to form, she ensured that the show went on.

Chelsea’s no less determined to provide everyone with a safe and enjoyable experience this season. The tried and true masking, social distancing, and contactless strategies the company has put in place extend far beyond the audience spaces of SFO’s majestic desert setting. “I think that everybody's so excited to be able to get back to work and are prepared to follow those in order to have a safe season.”

Jane couldn’t let her guest go without a rapid round of final questions. As expected, Chelsea remained calm under pressure!


Destination Santa Fe Opera is a Santa Fe Opera podcast, produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios.

Mixed by: Edwin R. Ruiz

Hosted by: Jane Trembley

Featuring: Chelsea Antrim Dennis, Director of Production, The Santa Fe Opera


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