Aria Ready?

Rex Fuller of Opera Colorado loves Brandi Shigley and Fashion Denver. He also loves the Denver Public Library’s Fresh City Life. Serendipity — and a really cool opera — brought all three together to collaborate on Zandra Rhodes’s Fashion of Desire, an introductory event at the library that highlights local designers as well as Opera Colorado’s upcoming production of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, which features the color-drenched tropical costumes and sets of Rhodes, a true original in every sense of the word.

To celebrate the opera, Shigley enlisted seven designers to create theater-going couture inspired by Rhodes’s panache; the finished garments will debut on the runway tonight to a soundtrack lifted from Bizet’s exotic opera set in Ceylon — after Rhodes herself gives a presentation on her dizzyingly gorgeous work. “It’s a great event to celebrate the opera and a fun fashion showcase for local designers,” says Shigley, who chose the participating designers because of their flair for the elegant. And Shigley, an opera newbie, is now even inspired to attend one, which should come in handy when the second half of this event, Fashion Denver’s Night at the Opera, unfolds at the Ellie for the February 20 performance of The Pearl Fishers, with a special $50 ticket price. “It’s designed to appeal to a crowd of people not familiar with Opera Colorado,” Fuller explains. (For the cheap tix, go to

Admission to today’s event, 2 to 4:30 p.m. in the Level B2 Conference Center of the Denver Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, is free; log on to or call 720-865-1205 for details.
Sat., Feb. 7, 2-4:30 p.m., 2009

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd