It will come as no surprise that I visit Sante Fe when I can for the arts. The Sante Fe Opera, Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings and lots more. Sante Fe is one of the most artistic cities in the world. Though I’ve never been there, I could imagine it rivaling Vienna or Paris, both of which are much, much larger.
In a previous visit, I found the downtown Episcopal Church. It took forever for me to find downtown, but when I passed Holy Faith, I knew I was close. So I went around the block, found a parking space in front and knew I would be able to find my car at the end of the day.
Again it will be no surprise that I like to go to the Sante Fe Opera. My first year here, my colleague and I were planning our schedule of services and days off. Gerry said he and Rita (not their names) wanted this particular day as they had tickets to the opera. I tapped my head and said, “Duh! The Sante Fe Opera – one of the best companies in the country, in league with the Metropolitan and the Chicago Lyric. He gave me their brochure. “Darn you! I don’t care what it costs, I want to see…” Last year I was to see Bernstein’s Candide – one of my favorites. But a train ride home on crutches took the day.
So back to Holy Faith (‘Sante Fe’ in English – and the first Episcopal Church to be established west of the Mississippi!). I walked around their beautiful grounds. This is a parish with money! Tried the parish hall door which was open. A table inside had copies of last week’s bulletin, pamphlets on the parish, Forward Day By Day copies and so forth. On the table was a poster for a concert this afternoon at 2:00 (it was now 11:45). The Desert Chorale – a professional choral group. So I went upstairs to the Chorale’s offices and purchased a ticket. Enough time to go down to the Plaza (Central Park) and have lunch at my favorite restaurant – the Ore House (pronounce it correctly) – there’s a story there, but not now. It was four of the Chorale’s soloists accompanied by a string quartet. Phenomenal! And well worth the price. For you musical types, music by Britten, Haydn, Pergolesi, and a modern composer I hadn’t heard of but am intrigued by his harmonies especially. While I had toyed with the opera again, this was just as enjoyable.
At some point I may tell you the difference between the two Episcopal Churches in Sante Fe, but again, another time.
Perhaps you know of the Lorreto Chapel in Sante Fe with its famous circular staircase which still baffles engineers as it has no central support. There is a mystery behind its construction: a stranger carpenter appears at the abbey and offered to build a staircase to the choir loft (why hadn’t the chapel’s builder put in a staircase to the choir loft?!?). He finished anonymously and disappeared as soon as he was done. Legend questions whether this was St. Joseph the carpenter step-father of Jesus. Who knows!
And then there’s the Cathedral with a wonderful fountain/pool/baptismal font right in the middle of the congregation.