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Friday, May 20, 2011

Fashion, Fun and Sin with Central City Opera's Young Professional Events

The following post comes from our Young Professionals (YP) Project Manager, Heather Brecl.

It might not even be fair that I have the most fun job ever! The last two nights were incredible as we unleashed our Central City Opera energy at two fantastic happenings in Denver and Boulder.

Mondo fashion night: Wednesday night, we joined forces with vitaminwater at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in a celebration of fashion and design, two of the many elements that make opera what it is! Eight young local designers created fashions inspired by the colors of this hip vita-drink. Their designs hit the runway for a crowd of 300 revved and happening Young Professionals to watch Project Runway's Mondo Guerra pick the hottest, edgiest design. The winner walked away with Mondo's stamp of approval and $1,000 from vitaminwater. The crowd also left as winners. Drinks that whet their appetite for fashion were served all evening from the bar, along with tasty bites from Three Tomatoes (including a decadent spread of desserts in the enormous elevator at the MCA. Hmmmm.... wonder how I knew about that!).  They also received colorful gift bags that included our Central City Opera Festival brochure, and tasty vitaminwater to take home.
YP Project Manager Heather Brecl with Mondo of Project Runway

The crowd applauds the winning design.
Central City Opera staff struts their stuff on the runway, too!

Central City Opera representatives Erin Joy Swank, Heather Quiroga, Valerie Hamlin and Heather Brecl

Ignite Boulder: After what seemed to be just a short break from the night before, a new Central City Opera YP friend and local Boulder comedienne, Robyn Krueger, lit up the stage at Ignite Boulder on Thursday night at the Chautauqua Auditorium. If you haven't been to an Ignite Boulder, you won't want to miss the next one. What is it? It's a cult of epic proportions. Every event is sold out. Last night, wrapped in our coats or whatever wasn't packed away for the winter, 1,300 (yes, there really were THAT many YPs out to listen to "presenters") people packed into the enormous barn to listen to "geeks" present on their favorite topics. Now, I don't know about you, but most of us can say that we are all too familiar with sin. Robyn brought the audience a little closer to "getting in touch with their inner sinner" in a hilarious and all-too-familiar glance at sin and pop-culture. Perhaps you were at home and tucked into your bed watching the live stream. If not, be sure to check out Ignite Boulder's YouTube channel in the next week or so to see what Robyn had to say. Then, go forth and sin. Where???? My best suggestion... SinFest this summer "up on the hill" in Central, July 16 and 24 from 4-8pm. Enjoy a touch of opera and a big splash of sin. [Details]
The crowd.  Also check out the line of folks waiting to get inside!

YP Project Manager Heather Brecl and Director of Marketing Valerie Hamlin

Ignite Boulder organizer, Ef Rodriguez, on guitar.

Central City Opera sponsored the evening with witty ads all night.

Presenter Robyn Krueger

Robyn, Heather and Valerie

Next time we invite you to a Young Professional event, I hope we'll see you there!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Central City Opera On The Road

One of the fun aspects of being a part of the year-round Central City Opera staff is "loading up the opera bus" and presenting our school shows around the state.  

The Central City Opera Ensemble recently headed to Leadville, Colorado 
where, with the financial sponsorship of the Breckenridge Music Festival, we performed  En Mis Palabras (In My Own Words) for Lake County middle and high school students.  A bilingual (Spanish and English) opera commissioned by Central City Opera, En Mis Palabras is a story that every student, no matter what his or her cultural background, can relate to - the adolescent dilemma of finding your own voice, learning who you are – and the adult dilemma of knowing when and how much to let go so that a young adult may safely develop that sense of self.

Central City Opera's EN MIS PALABRAS (IN MY OWN WORDS),  Pictured (L to R): Steven Taylor (Esteban), James Baumgardner (Rodolfo) and Chelsea de la Cuadra (Ana Maria). Photos by Erin Joy Swank.
In addition to the performance, we did get to spend a little time enjoying the sights of Leadville,
including the Tabor Opera House, built in 1879 by Colorado mining magnate Horace Tabor.  This building is featured in the opera The Ballad of Baby Doe, which Central City Opera premiered in 1956.  Tabor had his hand in nearly everything in Leadville and we found ourselves singing the opera lyrics out loud:

Tabor owns the op'ry house, Tabor owns the big hotel, 
Tabor owns the honkey tonk, Tabor owns the whole darn town! 
Tabor owns the groc'ry store, Tabor owns the bank as well. 
Tabor also wants to own that old Matchless Silver Mine.

In our traveling troupe that day was baritone Steven Taylor, who has portrayed Horace frequently over the years, including performances in the Tabor Opera House.  He pointed out that the 5th side window in the picture below is a little lower than the others, as there had previously been an upper walkway there to the Clarendon Hotel next door.  Apartments above the Opera House could be accessed this way as overflow for the hotel.  These days you can no longer ask Horace, "Can you direct me to the Clarendon Hotel," as it has been torn down.  Somehow "Yonder is the Kum & Go" just doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

We had a great time both presenting and reminiscing about opera on our day-outing to Leadville. If you want to learn more about the story of Horace Tabor and his wife Baby Doe, you can check out a recording of The Ballad of Baby Doe.  You can also see selections of it (as well as the story of other Colorado pioneers including the "Unsinkable Molly Brown" and "Aunt" Clara Brown) in one of our other school performances, How the West Was Sung.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seven Deadly Sins Meets Facebook

A friend of mine posted the following warning on Facebook today:

Attention! How to spot virus links on Facebook: Hackers are smart, they know what type of posts will get people to click. Think of the seven deadly sins - Envy and Pride (OMG SEE WHO VIEWED YOUR PROFILE), Wrath (OSAMA DEATH PHOTOS), Lust (PORNISH PHOTOS), Greed (FREE IPAD!), Laziness (PEOPLE NOT THINKING BEFORE THEY CLICK!).
If you want to experience the seven deadly sins IN PERSON, call the Central City Opera Box Office at 303-292-6700 and indulge in an evening of sin for just $50! Get in touch with your inner sinner on July 16th and 24th during SinFest, a progressively sinful experience. See the one-hour Kurt Weill opera The Seven Deadly Sins, followed by edgy dance, experiential art, gluttony at our very own Lucifer’s Lair Bar, and much more.