Colorado Historic Opera Tour Launches, More Creative Options – by Merrell Bergin

Launch of the Colorado Historic Opera Tour

The very first Colorado Historic Operas Tour, which connects five mountain opera houses, launched on June 23, 2022. This new cultural heritage travel offering invites visitors to discover Colorado’s Silver Rush past and the enduring importance of the arts and culture. culture in today’s remote mountain towns, all in elegant buildings. The Colorado Historic Opera Tour encourages visitors to “step away from their screens and reconnect with the energy of live performances.”

All of the opera houses on the circuit are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, were built from 1878 to 1913, and retain their original character:

  • Central City Opera (Central City)
  • Sheridan Opera (Telluride)
  • Opera Tabor (Leadville)
  • Wheeler Opera (Aspen)
  • Opera Wright (Ouray)

Events to come

Summer events include music and film festivals, concerts and art exhibitions. This is followed by a month-long opera festival (Central City Opera, July 2-31), the Telluride Plein Air Festival (Sheridan Opera House, June 28-July 4), the immersive performance Ghosts of the Tabor (Tabor Opera House, July 8-9), and at Wheeler Opera House, Opera Encounters (July 2) and Aspen Rocks (July 5), and Corrine Bailey Rae (July 22).

Start your trip planning here:

Tabor Opera, Leadville, Colorado. Image courtesy of Craig Hensel

The Tabor Opera House in Leadville, a short hour’s drive from Salida, just won the 2022 Endangered Places Progress Award statewide for its preservation efforts. For a full day outing, backtrack a bit south to the turnoff for Twin Lakes. As you pass the reservoir, enjoy a beautiful winding road over the Col de l’Indépendance (no vehicles over 35′) in Aspen. Here you will find the luxurious Wheeler’s Opera with weekly tours and scheduled dates for shows of all kinds. You could spend the night in the Roaring Fork Valley and retrace your steps to Salida, but why stop now?

For a real Grand Tour (without having to go to the Continent), it will take several days to avoid sensory overload. From Aspen, head to Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction. For a change of pace, don’t forget the 2 miles long Downtown Grand Junction Creative District, with over 100 works of outdoor public art. Accommodations in the Grand Valley may offer more affordable options than Aspen’s “Glitter Gulch” and offer even more outdoor entertainment.

Wright Opera House, Ouray, Colorado. Image courtesy of the Colorado Office of Tourism via Donna Childress

From Grand Junction, US 550 takes you south to Telluride and Ouray, the home of the Sheridan’s Opera and the Opera Wright. All of these destination locations will be busy this summer, so you’ll need to plan ahead.

Make it a “Two-Fer”: Explore the Colorado Creative CorridorSalida and beyond

Map of the Colorado Creative Corridor courtesy of the Colorado Office of Tourism

There is something for everyone in Colorado and especially in the summer. In addition to the performing arts and outdoor recreation, the visual arts are well represented among Colorado’s Creative Districts, including the Colorado Creative Corridor.

While it is possible to combine a few of these locations with the historic Colorado Opera House Tour (Carbondale and Ridgway for example), to expand your sensory pleasures, consider another multi-day expedition to experience all that this neighborhood has to offer. to offer.

Carbondale, Crested Butte, Paonia, Ridgway and Salida combine to offer “a collective experience of programming unique events and activities, alongside the eclecticism of mountain towns, majestic vistas and outdoor recreation, and authentic Colorado mountain culture”. Wildflowers bloom at Crested Butte, there’s good high altitude wine along Paonia West Elk Loop and mountain biking almost everywhere. A the guide is here.

Within easy driving distance of Chaffee County, there’s a whole summer of art, music, recreation, adventure and culture easily accessible. No need to walk to the Front Range, DIA or beyond, there’s plenty to do in our very own backyard.

Feature image: Colorado Historic Opera Houses Map courtesy of the Colorado Office of Tourism

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