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By Special to the Monitor

“If music be the food of love, play on.” So starts Shakespeare’s play, “Twelfth Night.”

This brings to mind the beginning of the 52nd season of the Santa Fe Opera. For those who don’t know or have forgotten some of the rich, interesting history of the SFO, here are some facts.

The Los Alamos Ranch School influenced two individuals to make decisions that New Mexico and the rest of the world have reaped the benefits. One individual, J. Robert Oppenheimer, was inspired to use the Ranch facilities when he brought the highly secretive Manhattan Project to Los Alamos in 1942.

The second individual, John Crosby established the Santa Fe Opera (SFO) in 1956. Crosby, as a young student, was familiar with the Ranch School.

In July 1967, 10 years after its first SFO season opening, disaster hit. The theatre mysteriously burned down, leaving very little behind. The season concluded at Sweeney Gym of the old Santa Fe High School.

With hard work, collaboration and two shifts six days a week during construction commencing in November, the new and bigger theatre was ready in time for the 1968 season.

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