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  • Tuesday-Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: 10am-5pm
  • Friday: 10am-7pm
  • Saturday: 10am-5pm
  • Sunday: 10am-5pm

1606 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501


Beautiful Singing, Asides

Beautiful Singing, Asides by Andy DuCett 

an intervention and response to 

Bel Canto: Contemporary Artists Explore Opera 

appearing October 19, 2019 - January 5, 2020 

in conjunction with Bel Canto extended through January 5, 2020


special performance 

Singing Down the Sun 

Saturday, October 19, 5:30-6:45 pm 

SITE Santa Fe is pleased to present Beautiful Singing, Asides by Andy DuCett, an intervention by self-described opera amateur and Minneapolis-based artist Andy DuCett. Debuting on Saturday, October 19, 2019, with a special performance event beginning at 5:30 pm, DuCett stages Singing Down the Sun, in the Santa Fe Opera Parking Lot. The public is invited with advance tickets only. Tickets are $30 and include a tailgate Happy Hour, customized event merch, and participation in an unforgettable performance.

DuCett's Beautiful Singing foregrounds the inherent athleticism of opera singing and draw parallels to the endurance, strength, and fandom of sports in this unexpected entrée into the world of opera. Playing with themes and elements from Bel CantoDuCett creates a series of works and interventions that utilize performance, interactive installations, and humor.

Playing with themes and elements from Bel Canto, DuCett has created a series of works and interventions that utilize performance, interactive installations, and humor to frame the experience of opera from a new perspective. DuCett’s Beautiful Singing merges opera and the everyday, with unexpected mash-ups of popular culture tropes. In SITE’s lobby, a pop-up souvenir stand appears. Here, DuCett foregrounds the inherent athleticism of opera singing and draws parallels to the endurance, strength, and fandom of sports in this unexpected entrée into the world of opera. Elsewhere within Bel Canto one encounters an interactive opera performance in the form of a hand-made coin operated entertainment machine, in the spirit of vintage carnival side-shows, complete with animated lamps as protagonists.

Andy DuCett’s intervention engages with Bel Canto: Contemporary Artists Explore Opera on view at SITE through January 5, 2020. Bel Canto: Contemporary Artists Explore Opera, an exhibition that examines themes of race, gender and class within the stories, traditions, architecture, and music of opera, features the work of Vasco Araújo, Suzanne Bocanegra, Candida Höfer, William Kentridge, Guillermo Kuitca, Yinka Shonibare, CBE, Matthias Schaller, and Bill Viola.

About Andy DuCett

Andy DuCett is from Winona, MN and received his M.F.A. from the University of Illinois and his B.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin – Stout. He has over 20 years of creative experience, and has been working in higher education for the last 15, most recently as Visiting Faculty in the MFA Program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His work has been shown in galleries and museums around the country, and is in the collections of The Minneapolis Institute of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, and The Walker Art Center. He was the recipient of a 2017 McKnight Visual Arts Fellowship, and is listed on the curated registry of the Drawing Center in New York City. He is currently working on commissions, freelance projects, and exhibitions around the country.

Artist Statement

My work provides opportunities to experience the familiar in unfamiliar ways, elevating the ordinary into unexpected spaces. I’m interested in the artifacts of contemporary life, and how meaning is altered when there’s a shift in setting or context. The work I’ve created for Beautiful Singing: Asides for Bel Canto celebrates the athleticism of the performers and the opportunities for artistic intervention that surround a shared experience like live opera.

When I was invited to respond to Bel Canto, it was partly to see how I, as an opera amateur, could see the artform and the culture surrounding it in new ways and translate that through my existing practice. I was excited for the opportunity as it seemed like there was a shared space between my interests and opera: Operas make the everyday monumental. The reframing and elevating of the human condition to the soaring displays of the final staged pieces gave me a lot to work with and consider.

As part of my research, I saw my first opera, La Bohème at the Santa Fe Opera House. I was struck by the fandom and dedication that surrounded it. We all collect and appreciate and cheer and support the culture around us in different ways and at different depths of enthusiasm, and every fanbase is different. Some are more visible than others, and most offer ways to individually express loyalty. I own a Cheesehead and have made the trip to 1265 Lombardi Avenue in Green Bay. With this in mind, I created a few lines of merchandise for opera fans, using the language of sports paraphernalia paired with the history of opera.

But! It was hearing the singers perform in person that impressed me the most. The way in which an opera singer can bend and stretch the human voice is incredible, and speaks of the years spent honing their instrument. It got me thinking about the shared ability we have in our own voices, with the singing in La Bohème beautifully highlighting the distance between the amateur and professional. I sing in the shower, they sing on stage. They’re both forms of singing, but one is developed and inspiring, while the other is just enthusiastic and smells of shampoo. Which got me thinking, how else could a professional operatic voice be used? What could it uniquely celebrate or communicate that the amateur voice couldn’t? This provided a few opportunities to play with, resulting in pieces like Singing Down the Sun, and Operatic Services.

This notion of experiencing a performance in person is something I wanted to highlight as well. Why do we attend concerts or sporting events when it’s crowded or hot, when we already have the best seats at home? There is something about a shared live performance that can’t be replicated, no matter how good the technology. With Ricevete, o Padroncina, I placed domestic lamps on a small stage to perform a piece from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro in this interactive opportunity for SITE visitors to experience a live performance for one.

I invite you to see these pieces for yourself, and if you approve, toss a rose on stage, shout BRAVO!, and come back and visit us at SITE again.

Artist Bios

Andy DuCett


Irene Hofmann