Sheridan Opera House: DeVotchKa, 3/23!

Sheridan Opera House: DeVotchKa, 3/23!

Telluride’s Sheridan Arts Foundation presents DeVotchKa live at the Sheridan Opera House on Saturday, March 23. Doors, 8 p.m.; show time is 9 p.m.Tickets are $30 general admission on the floor; $40 reserved seats in the balcony. (A $5 ticketing fee is charged at all ticket outlets.) Tickets and additional event information are available at or 970.728.6363 x5.

Scroll down for a sample of the band in action.

Following the band’s 2012 tour, Devotchka frontman Nick Urata was left feeling conflicted. On one hand, his band was as popular as ever, playing their critically-acclaimed songs from over seven albums to fans at sold-out shows around the globe, and Urata was enjoying a burgeoning career as a film score composer, with a Grammy nomination already under his belt for the score to “Little Miss Sunshine.” But on the night of Devotchka’s final show of the tour, onstage in an enormous arena in Mexico, Urata belted out the first few lines only to discover his microphone powered off, a simple mistake, but one that would later cause him to reflect deeply on his stake in life.

“You try not to make a big deal out of it, but you don’t recover from that for the rest of the show,” Urata says, now smiling at the memory. “It happened more than once on that tour, I went into a bit of a tailspin after that. I wondered if the universe was trying to tell me something I didn’t want to hear. I was realizing how nearly anyone can sing, almost everybody has the ability, but if you want to perform for people, then you have to fight for it.”

Following the tour, the band – Urata (vocals, guitars, Theremin, trumpet,piano), Jeanie Schroder (acoustic bass, sousaphone), Shawn King (drums, percussion, trumpet), and Tom Hagerman (violin, viola, accordion, piano) – enjoyed a series of gigs at smaller venues. Urata spent those shows both reconnecting with his audience on a more intimate level and rediscovering his love for his craft. It was a necessary moment that inspired him to begin work on a new Devotchka album, a process that would take a lot longer than anyone anticipated, but that would prove essential.

“I realized the motivation is simply how much I love singing,” Urata says, “and I just want to keep this conversation going with people who have connected with our band. Those shows after the big tour were when things started to fall back into place, I could see that people were moved by the lyrics and singing them back to me. It is a rare and powerful thing to connect with people like this, It is the thing that keeps us going.”

And from the album’s first lines – “I can draw a straight line through my mind right back to the good times/ back when all the stars were aligned” –  it’s clear that This Night Falls Forever is a heartrending look backwards and forwards at once. It is the sound of a man searching within to face his future.

Urata cites the scope of the album as even more ambitious than Devotchka’s past work, with more detailed arrangements, more people involved including full orchestras, and an overall bigger sound. He praises the work of his band mates, whose ability to build upon his demos lends the finished songs a sense of flesh and bone:

“They enhanced it, rounded it out, and made it cool,” Urata says. “They added that live feeling that takes the songs to the next level. A big part of making a record is capturing the humanity.”

The Sheridan Arts Foundation was founded in 1991 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization to preserve the historic Sheridan Opera House as an arts and cultural resource for the Telluride community, to bring quality arts and cultural events to Telluride and to provide local and national youth with access and exposure to the arts through education. The Sheridan Arts Foundation is sponsored in part by grants from the Telluride Foundation, CCAASE and Colorado Creative Industries.

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