It’s okay to be afraid of opera; lots of people are. But here's the thing: Opera with a drink (or two, or three) in you is a whole different thing. New Yorker Eve Orenstein of Opera on Tap, which started in Manhattan and is slowly expanding to cities across the nation, firmly believes in the conviviality of opera in a bar, which is a whole different bag from that glass-breaking stuff in a stiff concert hall. Denver’s once-a-month event, which began in August, currently takes place on the last Wednesday of the month (though that might change) at Bender’s Tavern, 314 East 13th Avenue, featuring changing themed nights with opera singers. "It's a chance for singers to perform regularly in a casual way," Orenstein says. "They can sing whatever they want and try things out. There aren’t a lot of opera opportunities for singers in Denver." But it’s also great for the audiences, she continues: "We’re getting people, ideally, who’ve never been to an opera before and are possibly intimidated by spending so much money on a ticket. But also, opera lovers rarely get this kind of access to singers." What happens? Screaming and yelling and good times for all, claims Orenstein, who scoffs at the idea that Bender’s might be an antithetical venue. "That's the point!" she exclaims. "And Bender’s is my favorite place to go in Denver."
Tonight’s holiday theme is "Escape From Religious Persecution" ("We'll make like the pilgrims and get out of Dodge," Orenstein jokes). Admission is $10 at the door. Visit www.operaontap.com/colorado.
Wed., Nov. 30, 2011