FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
What/Who: Grassroots marketing business Simply Social Media invites Instagram photographers backstage for a sneak peek at Steve Jobs opera.
When: InstaMeets will take place during dress rehearsals on June 26 and 29, and July 13, 20 and 27. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs officially debuts on July 22 and runs through August 25.
Where: Santa Fe Opera, 301 Opera Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87506
Contact: Amy Tischler and Caitlin Jenkins, email@example.com.
SANTA FE OPERA PREMIERES STEVE JOBS PRODUCTION,
OPENS ITS DOORS TO REGIONAL INSTAGRAM MOVEMENT
Santa Fe, NM— The Santa Fe Opera brings the epic tale of Steve Jobs to the stage this summer, complete with high tech set pieces and a kinetic electro-acoustic score. When The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs makes its world premiere at the legendary Southwestern opera house in late July, the set won’t be the only thing that glows. Some of the region’s top Instagram photographers will light up the mezzanine—and infiltrate hidden corners of the iconic plein air performance venue. Santa Fe Opera’s partnership with Simply Social Media, a Santa Fe-based digital marketing consultancy, breaks all the rules of traditional opera outreach efforts. Their ongoing series of gatherings, known as “InstaMeets," broadcasts spectacular imagery by independent photographers to an audience of millions. Together, they’re stoking a regional photography movement that’s shaping the story of the Southwest on the world stage. Apple’s most groundbreaking invention kickstarted it all.
“This is a confluence of everything we’re about: art making, storytelling, iPhone photography,” says Amy Tischler, cofounder of Simply Social Media. “After our first meeting with the Santa Fe Opera, we just about exploded with excitement.” That was in spring 2015, a few weeks before the opera season started. Tischler and her business partner, Caitlin E. Jenkins, were working on transforming their popular local Instagram account @simplysantafenm and its accompanying hashtag #simplysantafe into a grassroots marketing business. They swiftly planned two InstaMeets that invited local photographers to explore traditionally off-limits parts of the opera house with iPhones in hand. Since then, they’ve produced a number of gatherings at the venue with an exponentially growing online impact. “Last season, we had over 1.25 million Instagram impressions and 6 million Twitter impressions,” says Jenkins. “We told Santa Fe Opera’s story to an international audience.”
Santa Fe Opera’s 2017 season, which runs from June through August, marks the third year of the collaboration. It’s a remarkable shift for the 61-year-old institution: just a few years ago, photography was universally banned inside the venue. “We know that word of mouth is the top seller, so it was time to embrace that social media is the most useful outreach tool we have,” says Daniel Zillmann, Santa Fe Opera’s Director of Media & Public Relations. “The whole experience is so visual, and you can’t encompass that enough by just talking about it. You have to show it to the people.” Tischler and Jenkins had never attended an opera before the InstaMeets, and many of the photographers they attract represent a brand new audience as well. “There are a lot of perceived barriers to opera,” says Daisy Geoffrey, who is Zillmann’s assistant. “These social media events show that everyone is welcome, and anyone can really enjoy it. It’s the most direct way to reach everyone in town—and a much larger audience beyond that.”
A new series of InstaMeets for the Steve Jobs production will take place during dress rehearsals on June 26 and 29, and July 13, 20 and 27. The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs officially debuts on July 22 and runs through August 25. For Tischler and Jenkins, planning events for the show was a moment of pure, Silicon Valley-level synergy. “It’s the pinnacle of what we’ve been doing,” says Tischler. “We rely so heavily on the iPhone in our business, and now we’re literally going behind-the-scenes to explore the life of Apple’s top mastermind.” The opera is non-linear, illuminating dramatic moments in Jobs’ life that culminate in his quest for human connection and spiritual transcendence. That’s the goal of the InstaMeets as well: to convert digital links into “IRL” interactions. “We’re closing that loop, one photography adventure at a time,” says Jenkins. “It starts in the virtual world, enters the real world, and then lights up the digital landscape again.”