Opera Theatre of the Rockies has announced a special event coming up on Friday, September 25 at the Damon Runyon Theatre, 611 N. Main in Pueblo. This is the culmination of a southern Colorado tour of a wonderful concert performance of Douglas Moore works. “Douglas Moore in Colorado” features a narrated version of the beloved Colorado mining days-work, The Ballad of Baby Doe. Second on the program is Moore’s one-act opera Gallantry.
The Ballad of Baby Doe tells the true and bittersweet story of Horace Tabor and his beloved Elizabeth “Baby Doe” Tabor. Scandal and true love, along with rags to riches … and back to rags … compose a story more compelling than fiction! Soprano Amy Mushall is featured as Baby Doe, along with a superb supporting cast including Stephanie Brink, Douglas Denning, Malcolm Ulbrick, and Victoria Hansen, who also directs the production.
Set in Leadville during the great Silver Boom of the late 1800s, The Ballad of Baby Doe debuted in Central City in 1956. Moore based his work on actual historical figures, the famed Horace Tabor, his first wife Augusta Tabor and the young Elizabeth “Baby” Doe Tabor. In 1878, Tabor’s successful ownership of the Matchless Mine afforded him the opportunity to found Leadville’s newspaper, a general store and the postal service as well as the renowned Tabor Opera House. After meeting Baby Doe in 1879, Horace divorced Augusta, married Baby Doe in 1882, and served a short term as U.S. Senator. Tabor ran three times unsuccessfully for Colorado Governor. The repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase ruined his fortune but he was respected in public life, having been appointed as Postmaster of Denver until his death. Baby Doe maintained the claim to the Matchless Mine in Leadville but eventually lost control of it. Horace and Baby Doe are buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Jefferson County
The concert continues with a hilarious one-act opera called Gallantry, a parody of American soap opera that is written complete with sung commercial breaks. The fantastic ensemble of Mushall, Brink, Ulbrick and Denning bring this comedy to life, and Hansen directs. Daniel Brink is the Music Director and Accompanist, and Martile Rowland is the Producer.
Having premiered in New York in 1958, this comic piece has an English libretto by Arnold Sungaard and is often performed on college campuses throughout the U.S. and Canada. Several university productions have toured Europe. The first professional opera performance of Gallantry was at the Detroit Opera in 1962. That same year, CBS adapted it for television and broadcast it. Moore’s one act opera has now been produced by the Metropolitan’s Touring Company, Canadian Opera Company and by the Lake George Opera as well as various stage ensembles.
This wonderful opera concert features five well-known Colorado singers: Amy Mushall, Malcolm Ulbrick, Stephanie Brink, Douglas Denning and Victoria Hansen. Daniel Brink is the pianist for this production.
This will surely be a memorable opera program as you hear rarely-performed melodic gems by Douglas Moore with the opportunity to feel connected to Colorado history through his beautiful music. Opera Theatre of the Rockies encourages and supports the vocal development of young Colorado singers, with many of its artists going on to noteworthy careers. It is also renowned for its award-winning Opera Theatre Goes to School program, sharing the art form with young school children across southern Colorado.
For Pueblo Tickets for the September 25 evening performance: Call the Damon Runyon Theater at 719-564-0579 or visit www.runyontheater.org. Tickets range from $16-$18.