SHERIDAN OPERA HOUSE: THE BELLE OF THE BALL

A Taste of Latin Flavor! fundraiser Friday, March 16, 2012

There’s a charming old lady who lives on Oak Street in the heart of Telluride. She throws a lot of parties and is always the belle of the ball. The most sublime music played within her walls competes for her beauty. Elegant art, magical theater and wedding celebrations are all enhanced by her timeless style – she is one class act.

She is the historic Sheridan Opera House and her stewards – the Sheridan Arts Foundation staff – have created an exciting fundraising event just for her on Friday, March 16. A Taste of Latin Flavor! features Spanish tapas, Latin American wines, traditional music and a live Tango performance. Born in 1913, the Sheridan Opera House attracted vaudeville and traveling theater productions to Telluride, providing culture and diversion from the hardships of mining in our remote, mountain town. A multitude of screen, song and stage stars have trod her storied boards through the years and all have marveled at her gracious hospitality. At nearly 100 years of age, this grand dame of Telluride culture is still a community hub, offering countless concerts, theatrical productions, film, art exhibitions, her own vibrant children’s theater program and community gatherings throughout the year.

To keep her doors open and her structure sound, the Opera House requires lots of love, expertise and creative funding. Fortunately, thanks to significant grants, generous private donations and an energetic staff whose prime directive is to care for and nurture the building and the numerous activities that take place within the hallowed theater, the Opera House has thrived.

Over 1 million dollars has been raised and spent on renovations both structural and artistic in the last decade or so of her long life. Modern safety features have been installed – water sprinklers, fire walls, improved exits – and original features such as maple flooring in the theater and gorgeously rendered stenciling on the walls make this fabled centenarian look as lovely as she did in her youth.

This Friday’s fundraiser certainly puts the fun in fundraising and it’s as classy an event as the Opera House herself. Patrons will begin the evening with a complimentary glass of sangria to get in the mood for the bountiful array of Spanish tapas prepared from scratch by Chef Mary Gallagher. A full cash bar featuring Latin wines and cocktails will also be available.

The evening’s entertainment will be highlighted by a Tango performance by Sidney Grant and his partner Gayle Madeira, professional dancers from New York City. Sidney is the Artistic Director at Ballroom Basix, a Harlem-based dance academy and program for kids. His ballroom and Latin dance career has spanned over two decades of dedication to the art of social dancing, specializing in the Argentine Tango. He won the Novice Professional title at the Fred Astaire Championships in Atlantic City in 1990, and recently won the 2011 USA Tango Championship. As a teacher and performer, Sid is in constant demand for his unique instruction and creative dance exhibitions. His passion for partner dancing has enabled him to build a worldwide clientele.

Once you’ve been wowed and inspired by the Tango performance the dance floor will be open for all, when a DJ will play a variety of Salsa, Merengue, Flamenco and modern Latin rhythms.
If her walls could talk, the Sheridan Opera House might say, “Thank you. Thank you for loving me, thank you for supporting me, thank you for helping me age gracefully.”

A Taste of Latin Flavor! is Friday, March 16 from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $50 each for general admission standing room or $75 each for reserved seats at cocktail rounds (limited). Please go to sheridanoperahouse.com or call 970-728-6363 for tickets or more information.

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