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Monday, December 6, 2010
The Talon 4
By Molly Dougherty
Confdent smile, steady eye contact and
a frm handshake—Dustin West brought all
these things and more to the McNutt Campus
Center to share with me his experiences from
his summer as a paid apprentice technician
with the Santa Fe Opera.
West, is a William Woods University
junior who traveled to Santa Fe, N.M., from
his hometown in Kansas City, Mo., for an
extraordinary summer experience. While
many college students were working a
minimum-wage summer job or getting a tan,
West was working behind the scenes on such
productions as Puccini’s “Madame Butterfy”
and Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.”
The apprenticeship gave the 20-year-
old musical theatre performance major the
opportunity to use skills and knowledge he
had acquired from his theatre experience,
while learning the unique aspects of
opera and working alongside
professional technicians.
Joe Potter, WWU assistant professor
of performing arts, has always had a high
opinion of West.
“He has been an integral member of the
WWU production staff pretty much since he
arrived. His management skills and attention
to detail were immediately recognized.”
The Santa Fe Opera, recognized as one
of the world’s leading cultural festivals, is
housed in an open-air theatre located between
the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains.
One of West’s favorite parts of the summer
was watching the stunning New Mexico
sunset every evening through the back of the
opera house.
He said he would defnitely recommend
this apprenticeship to others. West hopes
to return to the Opera House next year to
complete another summer apprenticeship.
West was a standout apprentice, receiving
the Albuquerque Guild Technician Apprentice
Award for his work on the crew. Potter
believes West will also make an exceptional
professional technician.
“Dustin has the experience and drive that it
takes to be a working professional and we are
very proud of all he has accomplished.”
Student Serves Apprenticeship
Santa Fe Opera