Culture, as in the arts, is big in Santa Fe. Yes, we have many interesting galleries and artists flock here to capture the "light" but there are many aspects to our culture including music.
The Santa Fe Opera is probably the largest player on the block, with it's spectacular venue just north of the city. Did you know you can pay $10 to STAND at a railing and enjoy a performance--which runs 3+ hours--and that people DO just that? You start your evening with a high-end tail gate in the parking lot, watch the sun set to the west, and just as the Sangres start to turn pink, you teeter on your stilettos (if you are of the feminine persuasion) into the plaza areas. The building is amazing, and if you sit on the north side, you'll see the lights of Los Alamos flickering against the Jemez Mountains as the performance unfolds. I was treated to a performance last summer, and I observed that the recession does not seem to have affected ticket sales.
The Lensic is also well-known and has been the main-stay for our theatrical scene. It can be eclectic but I have never been disappointed. Believe it or not, the Lensic Performing Arts organization does not own the building (they rent, and it used to be a mainstream movie theatre) but the venue is lovingly maintained and I always marvel at the beautiful surroundings. So if it's Arabic music or Klezmer or Blues, what ever is playing, it's a worthwhile night out.
Vannessie's is a favorite spot of mine. It is an upscale bistro style eatery with a great bar area. They hire local talent and we really have talent here. For years, you would find Rabbi Helman there on a Saturday night, playfully tap dancing amongst the tables.
Then there are many, many other great establishments, hotels and restaurants, to enjoy music, including Second Street Brewery where you can sample a micro-brew and their fresh made calamari. La Fonda has a hopping jazz scene, as do a number of other hotels.
Santa Fe is a "go with the flow" kind of place so if you are here for a short time or live here but decide to go out at the last minute, you can find a performance of some kind. It may not be something you would typically seek out but go and you might be surprised.