Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Week 42: Arias@Avo's

Other than the occasional episode of Hoarders or Dirty Jobs, I don’t watch much reality TV. (Light bulb! If Mike hasn’t helped clean a hoarder’s house, he should.) That includes reality talent shows. I’m just not interested in who’s dancing, singing, or learning circus tricks. And I don’t care to listen to snarky judges or weepy contestants. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate talent. I do, especially when the talent is something I find challenging, such as…well, pretty much anything requiring physical coordination or musical ability.


Luckily we in Fort Collins don’t have to go far to find musical talent of all kinds. Case in point: on the last Sunday of the month, Arias@Avo’s provides a showcase for established and emerging classical singers. Yes, that includes opera. At Avogadro’s. Offhand, it sounds like an unusual pairing, but there’s no better opportunity to hear an amazing sampling of vocal performances while wearing flip-flops, eating nachos, and drinking a beer. (Or in my case, wearing flip-flops and drinking peppermint tea. That’s me, livin’ on the edge.) And there’s no cover, though donations are appreciated.

A full house for any event is a good sign, and I was fortunate to find one of the last empty seats. The afternoon’s performance featured four singers—two sopranos, a lyric tenor, and a baritone. My opera knowledge is limited (though I am pretty sure The Three Tenors are Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Elmer Fudd) so I appreciated the singers’ brief introductions of each piece.

The opera selections were drawn from the likes of Schumann, Mozart, and Schubert. But the program also included Billie Holliday’s God Bless the Child and songs from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Miss Saigon, Jekyll and Hyde, and The New Moon operetta (which has nothing whatsoever to do with those angst-filled teenage vampires). It was a fine mix of themes, styles, and emotions.


But how about the singers? you ask, readying your score card. Well, they were talented, engaging, and did I mention talented? Holy cow, really, they can sing. As an added bonus, not one of them chose to partner up with a howling dog. (The accompanying pianist, however, was also outstanding.)

The next Arias@Avo’s is Sunday, June 26th. And if filling your ears and bellies with sublime goodness isn’t quite enough, Avo’s also has one of the best patios in town.

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