By Leah Bobbey
Joyce de Roos wears many hats at Opera Colorado: subscriber, donor, volunteer, and even performer. From the audience to the stage, she has experienced our productions from almost every angle. A devoted ticket holder, Joyce has an infectious love of the opera and we are lucky to call her a member of the Opera Colorado family. Here, she took a few moments to share with us her connection to this beloved art form.
How did you first get involved at Opera Colorado, and do you have a favorite memory?
I have always enjoyed music. When my late husband, Dirk, became a board member, I knew I wanted to become a part of Opera Colorado as well.
I have countless wonderful memories with Opera Colorado. In addition to enjoying my time with the Artists in Residence, and having been a volunteer coordinator, my most memorable experiences were as a supernumerary in three Opera Colorado productions: Tosca, Rigoletto, and the 90-minute chamber opera As One.
“A live opera production is a deeply moving experience, being a full visual and auditory feast.”
Do you have a favorite opera?
My favorite opera is La bohème. My first experience with a live opera was a production of La bohème at the Boston Opera House while I was in college. Many of the arias are memorable. My late husband and I had the opportunity to attend La bohème at the State Opera House in Prague, Czech Republic. This production exemplified, for me, how opera is truly a universal language, understood by vocal arts aficionados worldwide.
I was deeply touched and moved when Opera Colorado dedicated the 2017 performances of La bohème in memory of my husband.
What makes live opera exciting?
A live opera production is a deeply moving experience, being a full visual and auditory feast. The humble dramas portrayed in each opera are expertly produced through creative, highly artistic sets and accompanied by beautiful, memorable, and often haunting melodies. The respectful interactions between the artists and the audiences are incomparable, making each performance a sight to behold.
In live performances, all your senses come alive. One sees, hears, breathes, and feels the performance.
“The recent pandemic has led to large budget cuts in our country’s educational system, which often includes slashing funding for the arts. Allowing Opera Colorado to continue to foster artistic development in our youngest citizens through continued exposure to quality creative expression will help keep a treasured art form accessible and alive.”
You have been involved with the Artist in Residence program for several years now. What makes this program so special?
Opera Colorado’s Educational and Artist in Residence programs are as successful and noteworthy as they are due to the tireless efforts and good-natured energies of its director, Cherity Koepke. The program educates and enriches our communities statewide, touching the lives of over 40,000 students of all ages each season.
Watching the students’ faces come alive and hearing their laughter as they watch the superbly produced Cinderella or Hansel & Gretel speaks to one’s soul. Cherity’s leadership, vision, and industry insight successfully guides and encourages the artists to help spark student curiosity and passion for the vocal and performing arts.
Why is it important to you to remain involved with Opera Colorado, especially during this unusual and challenging 2020-21 Season?
The recent pandemic has led to large budget cuts in our country’s educational system, which often includes slashing funding for the arts. Allowing Opera Colorado to continue to foster artistic development in our youngest citizens through continued exposure to quality creative expression will help keep a treasured art form accessible and alive. Music plays a vital role in all our lives and Opera Colorado plays an equally vital role in continuing to bring world-class opera to Denver.