Q & A With Vee Butler & Bethany Wood

August 31, 2021 | By Suzanne Whitney | OC Stories
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Two side-by-side headshots of Vee Butler (A brunette white woman with bangs wearing a red shirt) & Bethany Wood (A brunette white woman wearing a black shirt).
Welcome Vee Butler, Patron Services Manager and Bethany Wood Manager of Education & Community Engagement, the two newest full-time members of the Opera Colorado staff.

By: Suzanne Whitney

As part of our OC Stories blog series, we’re introducing you to the people that make Opera Colorado work. We are delighted to say that the Opera Colorado team is growing! For this installment, we took some time to chat with the two newest, full-time members of the Opera Colorado staff: Vee Butler, Patron Services Manager and Bethany Wood, Manager of Education & Community Engagement. We are so delighted to have both of these powerhouses on our team, and we can’t wait for you to get to know them. 

Vee Butler, Patron Services Manager

 

Headshot of Vee Butler, a brunette, white woman with bangs smiling and wearing a red shirt
Vee Butler, Patron Services Manager

Two Truths & A Lie

Vee gave us two true statements and one false statement. Which do you think is the lie? Scroll to the bottom of her interview to find out!

  • I have four older brothers
  • I went to college for criminology
  • I own a corgi named Potato

 

Tell us a little about your position at Opera Colorado…

I am the new Patron Services Manager, which ultimately comes down to customer service. I am here to help guide patrons from purchasing a ticket online or on the phone to finding parking for their performance, entering the hall with ease, and enjoying a spectacular time. My goal is to create comfort and belonging for every person who wants to participate in opera. Everyone from elementary school students to subscribers of twenty years or more, I am here to assist them all!

What do you like most about your role here?

It will never be the same! Because I get to work with a variety of opera fans, I will never have the same day at work. People are the best and most challenging part of my job. I couldn’t imagine being in a position that required more repetition of tasks. It’s a personal choice—and not the right one for everyone—but it fuels me.

Did you pick up a new hobby, habit, or mindset during the pandemic?

I most certainly fell into the cliché of learning how to cook. I have been a solid baked chicken and steamed vegetable woman for many years. Time at home really gave me the chance to learn more about the kitchen and feel what I can do. It’s all in the nuances of knowing what balances, and no one ever taught me that. I’m thrilled I can make more advanced meals for myself and my friends. 

When or where are you happiest?

Incredibly tough question. I am often categorized as a person that is obsessed with donuts. I think that is justified because I can find a moment of happiness with a traditional glaze and a hot cup of black coffee. If I’m looking for a rarer moment of happiness, I can always find it watching the perfect flakey, fluffy snowfall during winter. Sitting inside with a blanket, fireplace, good book (or all the above), I am in a complete state of contentment.

What are you most looking forward to this season?

One of my most favorite parts of any performing arts event is the seconds between silence and applause. I often try to sneak into the back of the house to catch the last song or scene so I can be present for the moment of completion and appreciation for this world we all existed in for the last two plus hours.

Two Truths & A Lie—Answered

Did you make a guess? 

  • I have four older brothers
  • I went to college for criminology
  • I own a corgi named Potato
Vee and Potato in coordinating tee-shirts.

The lie is that Vee went to school for criminology. She is the youngest of five, does have an adorable pup named Potato, and actually has a BA in Arts Admin and an MFA in Arts Leadership.

 

Bethany Wood, Manager of Education & Community Engagement

Two Truths & A Lie

Bethany gave us two true statements and one false statement. Which do you think is the lie? Scroll to the bottom of her interview to find out!

  • I am obsessed with The Shining
  • I’ve been skydiving
  • I’ve written a book

 

Tell us a little about your position at Opera Colorado…

I’m the Manager of Education & Community Engagement, working under Cherity Koepke to provide access to arts education to students across the Front Range. My day-to-day is always a little different. Yesterday, I was working to make sure the housing for the Artists in Residence was all set up—even fixing their shower. Today I’m proofing the education brochure and meeting up with the piano tuner. Every day is different, and every day is exciting.

What do you like most about your role here?

I love working with students! I’m very interested in created quality materials for students to support learning opportunities focused on the arts. Right now, I’m working on materials for one of our touring shows, an abridged production of The Barber of Seville. So, I’m researching the composer and librettist and even digging into the history of barbering. Today, I went down a rabbit hole that led me to ancient Egyptian artifacts, including razors and other shaving tools. 

Did you pick up a new hobby, habit, or mindset during the pandemic?

Well, the thing is, I moved during the pandemic. So, a lot of my habit changes are tied to where I am. I live closer to family, so I actually see a lot more of them, which is wonderful. I’ve also enjoyed going on walks in Colorado, particularly because I don’t have to worry about mosquitos anymore! I will say that I started baking pizzas during quarantine, but I’ve decided, or maybe realized, that the pizzas I can buy are better than the pizzas I can make.

When or where are you happiest?

That is an easy question for me. I’m happiest on my deck reading a book. It doesn’t matter what kind of book, I love all books. Well, I guess I’d amend that and say I love all well-written books. I’m reading a book called Mortal Fall right now. It is a mystery set in Glacier National Park.

What are you most looking forward to this season?

I’m most excited about getting opera back into the classroom. I think the Opera on Tour productions are going to be so special because we’ve all missed in-person performances so much. That is truly one thing the pandemic taught us; you can’t replace live performance with zoom or recorded performances. 

I am looking forward to seeing the students interact with the performers and helping them figure out what they are most interested in, whether it is costumes, music, or the story. Students have had to persevere through a lot to learn over the last year, and it is time to bring the fun back into learning. I think our educational programs are one way we can help educators bring fun back into the learning experience.

Two Truths & A Lie—Answered

Did you make a guess? 

  • I am obsessed with The Shining
  • I’ve been skydiving
  • I’ve written a book

 

The lie is that Bethany is obsessed with The Shining—she has actually never read it, just too spooky!

Did you guess right? What else would you like to know about the Opera Colorado team? Are there any jobs you think we should feature?

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