2016 Greater Colorado Tour The Final Chapter | Day One

Good morning readers! It’s Monday. How was your weekend? Did you go for a drive, run some errands, watch a movie while you did laundry? Do you know what we did this weekend? We closed a World Premiere. That’s right. On Sunday, we closed the World Premiere of The Scarlet Letter.

And today… the day after that… we left for the official Greater Colorado Tour!

To say that we’re a wee bit tired would not be incorrect. But audiences are waiting for us all across Colorado’s western slope, so we’re off!

Because our schedules have been so packed of late, today is just a travel day. Everyone needs a day to rest vocally and after today, things get really busy, so we’re using the opportunity to get halfway to our first performance stop and rest while we can. This keeps us from having a long drive immediately followed by a double bill tomorrow. We’re also stopping on the way to have lunch with two very special people – more about them later.

As I begin to pack the car, the weather isn’t working with me. It’s raining and where we’re headed, it will likely be snowing. For those of you who have been following the blog this season, you may be keeping track. This makes three, count them three, trips where we’ve had snow. I keep promising the Young Artists that they will see amazing views while we’re gone – and we have – they’ve been buried under feet of snow and hidden behind fog, but they have been there.

Everyone arrives and we pack the rental, do a double check to make sure we have everything and hit the road. Talk in my vehicle revolves around the recent experiences with The Scarlet Letter. I think it’s just now really sinking in; what we just accomplished. I think it’s also starting to sink in that this is our last jaunt. The Young Artists’ contracts end on May 31st. There’s a sense of that in the car as we travel. Eight months can go very fast. The weather outside changes just as quickly, going from rain, to snow, to sleet, to slush and back to rain. I think that about covers it Colorado – thanks, we’re good.

We make our way to Jefferson where we stop to have lunch with those special people I told you about: Joyce and Dirk deRoos. They are some of our incredible supporters who go out of their way to make sure we know that what we do is valued.

Enjoying the Cabin
Enjoying the Cabin

They have a beautiful cabin here and invited us to take a break from the road and enjoy a meal with them. We’re warmly welcomed and it’s now that I think we all take our first deep breath in weeks. Being part of a World Premiere is amazing. It’s a journey that few people in our line of work will ever have the chance to do and we know just how lucky we were to be a part of it. It’s also exhausting. I watch as everyone begins to relax and recharge. Danielle and Alaina cuddle up in blankets and sit by the fire, Will takes in the scenery, Emily and Charles talk with Dirk about the cabin and it’s décor and Ben snaps pictures of every scene he can. It’s exactly what was needed for today so we can gear up for the next two weeks.

View from the Cabin
View from the Cabin

Lunch is delicious and the company is delightful. Joyce talks about the season and their granddaughter’s upcoming graduation and Dirk tells stories about his travels and the history of the area. The weather clears up just long enough for the Young Artists to get out the off-road vehicles and then frolic through the meadow. Now, when you have opera singers frolicking, you know that there has to be singing as part of the activity, right? It’s mandatory. I think there might actually be rules written down somewhere. The next moments consist of several adlibbed Scarlet Letter motifs and a few show tunes. Alaina even does her best Sound of Music dance moves (think Maria… on a hillside). We visit with our hosts for a bit longer and then Ben gets everyone together for a group photo before we have to leave and get back on the road. What a wonderful afternoon. Joyce and Dirk – I wonder if we can tell you just how much this was both needed and appreciated. Thank you! [one-half-first]

Professor Dirk
Emily, Charles, and Professor Dirk
Emily and Joyce
Emily and Joyce
Danielle and Alaina bundled up
Danielle and Alaina Bundled up by the Fire

Back on the road, the weather comes right on cue and we hit more rain and snow. Now relaxed, everyone in my car gradually falls asleep. Well, everyone except Emily who watches the storm clouds and takes in the scenery. I make sure I keep the other car, our Opera Colorado touring vehicle (fondly called the Yeti) in my mirror as it’s carrying Will and Charles, and bit by bit we make our way into Salida, our stop for the night. We reach our hotel, check in and everyone gets settled in their rooms. We decide to meet up for dinner later, but for now, everyone is on their own. I decide to use the time to catch up on emails and get started on the blog. I look back over our last two tours; the ones that happened in March. The short trip to Steamboat Springs when we partnered with Emerald City Opera and it never stopped snowing; and the now infamous plague-ridden trip where we succumbed, one by one to the flu. I wonder if we’ll have anything like that happen this tour. I hope not. The voyage of the plagued really was rough – we even had the blasted fire alarm go off in our hotel at 3:00AM on the final day.

Readers… it is at this moment that I discover that I have psychic abilities. (At least that’s what Danielle says when I tell her about it later) It’s at this moment, when I am reminiscing about fire alarms from tours past that the fire alarm in the hotel we are currently inhabiting… goes off. True story. Everything is fine. Apparently it was someone working on something in the hotel although Ben thought it might have been set off by him using his humidifier. Alarms silenced, emails read, it’s time to meet up for dinner. We pile into the rental and head to main street.

At dinner, Emily is a picture of delight as she discovers mussels on the menu and conversation flows from one topic to the next; opera reviews, sports, movies and nicknames are among them. I would try to explain the nicknames but they can only truly be appreciated in person as they have an auditory component that really plays into the enjoyment factor. After dinner we walk around for a bit and go into the local Five and Dime store where Will plays Sheriff with a pop gun, Alaina impersonates Daniel Boone and Charles buys himself a fine pair of sunglasses complete with little purple butterflies on them. Our Charles is a man unto himself and blazes his own path. Not one to be outdone, Will dons the sunglasses and then gives us his very best runway walk and hair toss. We make it back to the car, head back to the hotel and I call a quick meeting in my room. We go over some music that we’re preparing for the Young Artist Farewell concert on Sunday (May 22nd at 2:00PM at the Studio Loft – don’t miss it!), talk about tomorrow’s schedule which could be impacted by the weather and then I tell everyone goodnight. They’re on their own tonight; I’m hibernating in my room. You see readers, in the middle of everything else that we’ve been doing; I’m also trying to create a new touring production for next season. I need some alone time – well, just me and my opera score.

Today’s blog is really just a teaser of things to come. As we travel Colorado’s high country over the next 10-days, bringing opera to communities that rarely, if ever, have the chance to experience it, there will be many more stories to tell. Hey readers… if you’re reading these blogs and plan on following our journey, take a moment to “like” or “comment” so we know you’re with us.

Oh, and if you’re in Denver this Sunday, we hope you’ll join us for the Young Artists Farewell. It’s their last performance for the public before their contracts end. We would love to see you there. You can find more information here: Young Artists Farewell

Tune in tomorrow for more tales from the road!



Charles and Alaina - ATV fun
Charles and Alaina on the ATV

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