Baritone Zachary Nelson replaces Darren Drone for the “Night at the Opera” show on Christmas Eve!



SANTA FE –Announcement of the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and the Santa Fe Opera late Monday night, baritone Zachary Nelson would replace Darren Drone, who is unable to perform in the Christmas Eve performance of “A Night at the Opera” this week at the Lensic.

Nelson, who resides in Santa Fe, is a former opera apprentice in Santa Fe and appears frequently with opera, including its 2019 production. of Bohemian and 2017 production of Lucia di Lammermoor. Nelson made his professional debut as main character in the 2013 production of the Santa Fe opera The Nozze di Figaro and returned in 2014 as Malatesta in Don Pasquale. He has performed with prominent companies around the world, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Dresden Semperoper, and more. This spring Nelson will perform with the St. Bart’s Music Festival, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and the New Orleans Opera.

“I’m really happy to intervene at the last minute for this concert. Santa Fe holds a special place in my heart, especially because I now call it home! I love the Santa Fe Opera and The Symphony and it’s great that they collaborate in this way. This program features some of my favorite repertoires, from Mozart to Leoncavallo, and I’m delighted to be performing here again! —Zachary Nelson, baritone

It is with great anticipation that The Santa Fe Symphony presents this spectacular Christmas Eve collaboration with one of its sister organizations, the Santa Fe Opera. On Friday evening, concert attendees are promised a delicious entertainment program. renowned arias, duets, trios, quartets and overtures from some of the world’s most beloved operas, under the direction of the Principal Conductor of The Symphony, Guillermo Figueroa. In addition to former SFO apprentice Zachary Nelson, “A Night at the Opera” features three other brilliant voices hand-selected by The Symphony from the 2021 Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers program: Soprano, Marlen Nahhas; Mezzo Soprano, Ana Mora; and the tenor, Duke Kim.

Marlen Nahhas, soprano

Mexican-Lebanese soprano Marlen Nah recently completed the Cafritz Young Artists program with Washington National Opera. Highlights from her time at WNO include The Magic Flute (Pamina), La traviata (Violetta) directed by Francesca Zambello, The Lion of Tesori, The Unicorn and I (Flamingo), The Consul (Foreign Woman), the world premiere of Taking Up Serpents (Queer Kid) by Sankaram and a concert of comedic masterpieces conducted by Maestro Joseph Coloneri. Next season, she will debut with Virginia Opera in La bohème (Musetta), a role she performed. with Opera Naples and Finger Lakes Opera. Recent orchestral debuts include the National Symphony Orchestra in excerpts from La bohème (Mimì) conducted by NSO musical director Maestro Gianandrea Noseda and Kansas City Symphony for extracts from Le nozze di Figaro (Susanna). She was a member of the Merola Opera program at the San Francisco Opera Center where she performed scenes from Il tabarro, Don Giovanni, Don Carlo and La rondine in the Schwabacher and Grand Final concerts. She was also an apprentice artist at the Central City Opera where she covered roles in Tosca (title role) and Così fan tutte (Fiordiligi). Additional show experience includes Madama Butterfly (title role) and Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde).

Marlen Nahhas was a National Semi-Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a graduate of University of Oklahoma City and Indiana University.

Ana Mora, Mezzo-soprano

Venezuelan mezzo-soprano Ana Mora began her career in 2013, when she made a name for herself performing oratorio directory. Mora made her opera debut in 2015, playing the role of Giovanna in Rigoletto and The Page of Herodias à Salomé at the Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Bogotá, Colombia. She later played the role of Hermia in A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Emilia in Willy Decker’s production of Otello at the Teatro Colón in Bogota. Mora always has had an interest in new music, which led her to participate in the premieres of Aproximación a la patria de Sergio Cote, Opúsculo a la Noche by Felipe Hoyos, Mestizaje by Sergio Martínez and the operas Chanson de Nadja de Lucy Armstrong, Melpomene: drama lírico en un acto, by Felipe Hoyos and ¡Dime! by Sergio Martínez. During his studies at at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Mora performed the roles of Mum in The Child and the Spells, Estelle in Later the same evening, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Mezzo in Postcard from Morocco, Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust, La badessa in Suor Angelica, Miss Jessel in Tour d’écrou and Idamante in Idomeneo. She also played and recorded From Jewish Folk Poetry by Shostakovich, op. 79 at Jordan Hall at NEC. Mora was a Boston District winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council 2019 auditions.

In 2021, Mora performed the roles of Madame Flora in The Medium and Mother Mary in Dialogues des Carmélites. In the summer 2021, Mora was an apprentice singer at the Santa Fe Opera. Her assignments included covering the role of Larina in Eugene Onegin and Smeton in a scene by Anna Bolena. Additional roles include title roles at Carmen and Serse.

duke kim, Tenor

Tenor Duke Kim was Grand Final winner and Dominique Laffont Award recipient at Metropolitan 2021 Eric and Dominique Laffont Opera Competition. Kim was recently seen at the Santa Fe Opera House as an apprentice artist, where he played Lysander in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. During his studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, he performed Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, Laurie in Little Women and Count Belfiore in La Finta Giardiniera. After graduation he was in the studio program at Wolf Trap Opera, and also in the Benenson Young Artist Program at the Palm Beach Opera. Also a concert enthusiast, he was the tenor soloist in Mozart’s Requiem, Handel Messiah, Mendelssohn Elijah, Bach Magnificat and Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio. Duke has received numerous awards including 1st place in Shreveport Singer of the Year competition, 2nd place in Gwendolyn Roberts Young Artist Auditions and 1st place at the New Century Singers Whittier Competition. Also he was one finalists in the Eleanor McCollum competition at the Houston Grand Opera.

Kim is currently in the Cafritz Young Artist program at the Washington National Opera.

Zachary nelson, Baritone

Zachary Nelson, originally from Annapolis, Maryland, studied vocal performance at the Catholic University of America, and later the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He sang several roles for the Santa Fe Opera, including the title role in Le nozze di Figaro, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Malatesta in Don Pasquale, and more recently Marcello in La bohème. The baritone made his major role debut in the summer of 2021, as the title role in Stephen Sweeney Todd of Sondheim with Des Moines Metro Opera. During the 2021-2022 season, Zachary is engaged with Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of L’elisir d’Amore, and sings Marcello in La bohème with the two New Orleans Opera and the Jacksonville Symphony.

Nelson was a member of the ensemble at Semperoper Dresden, where roles included Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Marcello in La bohème, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Guglielmo in a new production by Così fan tutte. Additional career credits include: Donner in Das Rheingold, Ping in Turandot and Marcello in La bohème with Lyric Opera from Chicago; Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy; Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Pittsburgh Opera; and Escamillo in Carmen with Den Norske Opera in Oslo, Canadian Opera Company and San Francisco Opera.


Tickets starting at $ 25 are still available at or via The Symphony Box Office at 505.983.1414 or 505.983.3530.

Subscription packages are also available for the rest of the season. Half-price tickets are available on request for children 6-14 years old. No children under 6

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