Historic venue hosts Pop-Up Art Gallery and Halden Wofford
Summer continues in Leadville and at the historic Tabor Opera House, where a vanguard of impassioned volunteers has finally taken the reigns. The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation has been around since 2003 but has only recently been granted full control of the building it was designed to protect. This is why the 2017 performance schedule is called its inaugural season, with a schedule booked through Aug. 12. This weekend features both a Pop-Up Art Gallery from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and honky-tonk yarn-spinners Halden Wofford and the Hi*Beams at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
While the season has stayed true to the opera house’s original purpose – hosting traditional opera and classical music – this weekend’s performance signals the beginning of the second half of a summer schedule branching out with more popular and accessible appeal.
“Neither revivalist nor retro,” Denver-based Halden Wofford and the Hi*Beams present original country music that echoes the past. In a repurposing of outlaw country and western swing that acts like Sturgill Simpson and Shooter Jennings have boosted into the mainstream, the Hi*Beams get hips swaying to rock-infused, narrative songs that relate to the modern American experience – songs like “There’s a Hippie in My House” and “Because of the Zombies.” Complete with mandolin, steel guitar, upright bass, and Wofford’s twanged-out vocals, the act conjures a graveyard shift at the rodeo.
The Hi*Beams have played all over the western U.S. and have established a professional presence in music from the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, to collaborations with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. The band has even been featured on NPR’s popular A Prairie-Home Companion radio show.
Tickets are available at the Tabor box office during regular business hours and at BrownPaperTickets.com. General admission is $20; or show your added support for the band and the opera house by purchasing a $40 VIP ticket, which includes drinks, early seating and access to the VIP lounge. Tennessee Pass Cafe will cater the event with locally-sourced food.
On Friday, July 14, as part of the Harperrose Studio’s 3-2-1 Fridays, Leadville Main Street (a chapter of the Colorado Main Street nonprofit initiative) will present a pop-up art gallery inside and outside the Tabor Opera House on Harrison Avenue. Local artists will display and sell their work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during Tabor’s regular touring hours. The collaboration aims to attract the summer crowds and gain support for the budding Leadville arts scene, generate awareness of Leadville Main Street’s continued efforts to revitalize downtown and raise funds for the Tabor Opera House, which aims to earn upward of $8 million in a long-haul rehabilitation campaign over the next decade.
Up the street, Harperrose Studios and the 321 Fridays project will feature glass artist Robert Burch on July 14 and leather-working artist Lauren Bramhall on Aug. 4. Harperrose Studios is located at 601 Harrison Ave., a gallery composed of the region’s best in visual design.
The Tabor Opera House is located at 308 Harrison Ave. in Leadville. Learn more about the foundation’s vision and the summer schedule at taboroperahouse.net.