James Norwood Pratt, one of the world’s best known authorities on tea and tea lore and a regular contributor to T Ching, has joined forces with The Santa Fe Opera in staging a Festival of Tea this summer in Santa Fe. “This will be the biggest tea party America has seen since the unfortunate incident in Boston some two centuries ago,” said Mr. Pratt, a popular teacher on tea and author of widely translated works on the subject.

The Santa Fe Opera’s Festival of Tea celebrates the American premiere performance of Tea: A Mirror of Soul by acclaimed Chinese composer Tan Dun, well known for his Academy Award-winning score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. First staged at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall in 2002, Tan Dun’s opera blends the organic sounds of nature with highly melodic vocal writing to create an unforgettable work of musical drama. The Festival of Tea is comprised of activities demonstrating the virtues of tea and why Asians hold it in such high esteem. “We may be 5,000 years late, but Americans are now discovering that no pleasure is simpler, no luxury cheaper, no consciousness-altering substance more benign than tea.”

An exclusive Tea Immersion Week at Sunrise Springs Resort Spa in Santa Fe will be the highlight of the festival. The week-long activities begin on July 16 and culminate in the American premiere performance of Tea: A Mirror of Soul on Saturday, July 21. This in-depth introduction to the world of tea will be limited to 30 participants, who will experience rare and legendary teas and even make their own raku pottery tea bowls. The luxurious surroundings combined with the tutelage of James Norwood Pratt will enable each guest to gaze deeply into the mirror of soul that is tea.

Other festival highlights include tea-themed dinners at leading Santa Fe restaurants, films, tastings, a panel discussion, and talks by Mr. Pratt.

More information on the Festival of Tea can be found on The Santa Fe Opera’s website.