Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Central City Opera Weekend 2010 - Recap

Last weekend we saw two operas that couldn't be more different from one another. On Saturday it was Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, which was a total romp, a farce, in French, opéra bouffe. There was nary a serious moment from beginning to end.

On the other hand, Madama Butterfly, on Sunday, was as intense a performance as we have ever seen. By the end of this sad, tragic story, I would venture to say there was not a dry eye in the house. It was intensely emotional and powerfully performed. We thoroughly enjoyed both productions and highly recommend them.

Here we are, all gathered for breakfast at the Chase Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast. This room is so bright. It is illustrative of the entire B&B, a place full of light and peace and good food, thanks to its proprietors, Karen and Hal.

Opera a la Carte is a lot of fun, and we haven't attended in years. Just before the afternoon opera, some of the performers present three scenes from three different operas at the Williams Stables, just across the street from the Opera House. It's a great way to broaden one's opera experience. In this venue, the actors/singers are right in front of you. It's almost like being on stage with them.

One of the many relaxing features of the Chase Creek Inn B&B is the porch, with its comfortable rocking chairs. Here are Abe and Vickie enjoying the porch.

The view from the Inn's porch.

Bidding adieu to our favorite Bed and Breakfast for another year.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Friday, July 09, 2010

Central City Opera Weekend 2010

This weekend we embark on our 8th annual Central City Opera Weekend. The picture below comes from their website here. Also, I recently discovered another excellent resource, the Central City Opera Festival Blog: Behind the Curtain.

Along with two other couples, we spend Friday and Saturday night at our favorite Bed & Breakfast, the Chase Creek Inn B&B, nestled just around the corner from the hustle and bustle, the flashing lights and electronic sounds, of Blackhawk's casinos.

We see two of the three operas offered this season by the Central City Opera House Association.

On Saturday, we'll see Orpheus in the Underworld by Offenbach.

And on Sunday, we see Puccini's Madama Butterfly (photo taken from the CCOHA web site).

We relax in the B&B's hot tubs; enjoy the gentle breezes in the rocking chairs on the porch while listening to the babbling brook (Chase Creek) and watching the hummingbirds and chipmunks.

We take walks into town or into the nearby mountainous countryside. Friday night has become the night to walk to the Ameristar casino and enjoy their fine buffet. Coincidentally, the Chase Creek Inn B&B is "an historic structure saved from demolition by the Midcap family. The top of the structure was moved from the current site of the Black Hawk Casino by Hyatt (currently the Ameristar) and placed on a long abandoned mining site."

Then Saturday we reserve a table after the opera in the Teller House's Face Bar for a fine meal provided by the Kevin Taylor Group.

All in all, this is a weekend we look forward to with eager anticipation throughout the year. It is a weekend to relax, to unwind, to enjoy time with friends, and to appreciate marvelous music in the splendor of the majestic Rocky Mountains. Does it get any better than this?

Check out previous weekends here: 2009, 2008, 2007.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Independence Day 2010

"When in the course of human events..."

Seven score and seven years ago, on this date (July 4th), the United States adopted this 35-star flag, having admitted West Virginia as the 35th state. The admittance of West Virginia as a state was the result of its having broken away from Virginia over a little matter known as the Civil War or the War Between the States.

Our nation's 16th president was faced with the prospect of the dividing asunder of the country and a fundamental change in the underlying principles and character of the nation, in fact a dissolution of the Union envisioned by its founders.

Had there been no Lincoln, it's difficult to imagine what this nation would have become, or whether it would even exist today in any form we would recognize as the United States of America

Every year (2009, 2008, 2007) I find myself quoting Lincoln on the 4th of July, and perhaps it's because we find ourselves in similar circumstances today to those in which he found himself. We see our nation being pulled apart and splintered by those who would rule over us, unwilling to derive "their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed" but rather arrogating to themselves dictatorial powers.

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." My Business Law professor had a favorite, trick question. What rights are granted by the U.S. Constiitution?

The correct answer, of course, is that the Constitution grants us no rights. Governments do not grant rights. Divine Providence does. The purpose of the Constitution is to prevent government from usurping those rights. Listen to the language of the Bill of Rights. "Congress shall make no law...prohibiting...or abridging..." "the right of the people...shall not be infringed," "no soldier shall...without the consent of the owner," "the right of the people...shall not be violated," "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The rights exist; the Constitution seeks to prohibit government from preempting them, as it is so often wont to do.

We stand at a crossroads in our nation's history, much like that faced by our 16th president. There are forces at work in our land that would transform the very nature of the United States of America forever. To quote Lincoln, we are now "testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."

When I enlisted, and reenlisted, and when I was commissioned an officer in the United States Navy, I swore to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic" and to "bear true faith and allegiance to the same." Millions of my fellow Americans took the same oath. It has never been more important that we do just that.

As for me and my household...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Central City Opera July Calendar

Madama Butterfly

We'll be in attendance Sunday, the 11th of July.