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Santa Fe Opera and rooms sold out? There are ways.

Santa Fe Opera and rooms sold out? There are ways

It's July, the height of the season, and you've just decided to head for Santa Fe to see the sights and maybe take in an opera. What are your chances of A, getting a room, and B, seeing an opera?

The answer to both is "pretty good.'

Finding vacancies

The number of rooms for rent in New Mexico's capital city has increased by more than 50 percent in the past two years, for a total 3,500. To help steer visitors to vacancies, a toll-free central reservations number went into service last fall. You can get answers to questions-- which accommodations take pets, which have water beds--and book a condominium, bed-and-breakfast lodging, or a budget to luxury hotel room. Out-of-state, call (800) 982-7669; within the state, call 983-8200.

For a free list of accommodations in this adobe city, write or call the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau, Box 909, Santa Fe 87504, or call (800) 528-5369.

Catching the opera

Celebrating its 30th season this summer, the Santa Fe Opera is the nation's only outdoor repertory opera company. This year's productions include three box-office favorites--Mozart's The Magic Flute, Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea, Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus --and two repertoire rarities-- Richard Strauss's The Egyptian Helen and the American premiere of A. Sallinen's The King Goes Forth to France.

Performances start at 9 P.M. Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays June 28 through July 26, then Mondays through Saturdays July 28 through August 23. While most shows will be sold out by our press time, you should be able to wangle seats or standing room at the five productions.

For casts and performance dates, write to Santa Fe Opera, Box 2408, Santa Fe 87504, or call the box office at (505) 982-3855. Santa Fe Opera also has a box office downtown at 201 Galisteo Street, at the corner of Water Street; it's open 10 to 1 and 2 to 5 Mondays through Saturdays (advance ticket sales only).

Last-minute tickets. The opera company doesn't give refunds for tickets, but it does accept them back as "charitable donations' and resells them. Turned-in tickets ($10 to $45 Monday through Thursday, $15 to $50 Fridays and Saturdays) are available only at the box office the night of the performance. A line forms around 7:30, and the tickets go on sale at 8.

Some ticket holders try to sell unwanted tickets through a radio broadcast on Albuquerque's classical station KHFM (96.3 on the FM dial). Aired throughout northern New Mexico on weekdays June 30 through August 22 at 8:45 A.M. and 5:45 P.M. are the date, name of opera (or other sold-out cultural event), and telephone number to call to buy the ticket. This service is only for sold-out events. You can also call the station at (505) 262-2631 to check on ticket availability.

Another source to try for tickets is the concierge at major downtown hotels and at the Santa Fe Detours desk in the La Fonda Hotel.

Standing room only. Every night up to 150 standing-room tickets ($3) go on sale at the box office beginning at 8 P.M., by which time a line of several dozen has usually assembled. Theater doors open at 8:30, launching a mad scramble for space at the wooden rail. This gives you a good vantage point; at the back of the orchestra level, the standing room rail is only 90 feet from the stage. But on crowded nights, standing room can be three deep.

More than opera

Along with the opera, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Desert Chorale, and theater productions combine to give Santa Fe its reputation as the Salzburg of the U.S. For schedule and ticket information for these and other local events, see The New Mexican's Friday supplement called Pasatiempo. Or stop by the chamber of commerce information booth on the Plaza, open 9 to 4 Mondays through Saturdays in summer. Or write or call the chamber: Box 1928, Santa Fe 87504; (505) 983-7317.

Photo: As dusk approaches, standing room ticket holders await opening of doors at 8:30. They'll then rush to places along railing at rear of orchestra seats
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 1, 1986
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