Thornton Wilder's Our Town might be a quiet story on paper, but when composer Ned Rorem turned it into an opera, he must have relied on the characters' inner fireworks to turn it into something big -- because everyone knows that opera is neither quiet nor softspoken. And the modern work, which makes its Rocky Mountain regional premiere today as part of Central City Opera's 2013 season, will not disappoint any opera lover expecting splashes of beautiful music and certain tears, says CCO spokeswoman Valerie Hamlin. "In going through this opera for rehearsals, the performers -- and this is very rare -- have all been in tears by the end of the show. It's just such a moving experience."
A work that moving deserves all the attention it can get, and during its run, the CCO will fete the opera (and experience-seeking audience members) with two special Central City Days progressive parties that touch on an Our Town theme. "The party plays out three acts of Our Town," Hamlin explains. "The first part is the country fair, with live folk music, beer and fair food at the Gilpin History Museum. Then we'll move to the Teller House for a historical tour and mock wedding reception, complete with a performance, cake and champagne. And there'll be a little surprise at the end, something funeral-related in the garden, as people wend their way to the opera house."
Tonight's party begins at 5:30 p.m. at the museum, 228 High Street in Central City, preceding the 8 p.m. performance at the opera house, 124 Eureka Street; the second begins at the same time on July 14, following that day's 2:30 p.m. matinee. All-inclusive tickets for the party and show are $75 (or $40 for the party only); reserve a spot at centralcityopera.org/ccdays or call 303-292-6700.
Sat., July 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Sun., July 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m., 2013