Opera Steamboat, Steamboat Creates partner to bring carols to the community
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — As we all learned in the movie “Elf,” the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.
Holiday music brings a warmth to our souls that only hot chocolate can rival. Steamboat Opera and Steamboat Creates aren’t going to let the season pass without gracing Routt County with some live(ish) caroling.
While no one has been able to experience Carol of the Bells in person this year, the two groups are bringing in Fourth Coast Ensemble for a cozy evening of carols at the house of Andres Cladera, general and artistic director at Opera Steamboat. The event will be virtual and free to watch on Youtube at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 22. Donations are encouraged, and those who donated $100 or more get a VIP Candy Cane Bag of Cheer.
“A lot of people have gone through a lot this year,” Cladera said. “It’s a tradition in Steamboat to have some caroling downtown at Christmas and holiday events. Dagny (McKinley, development director at Steamboat Creates) and I talked about it quite a bit. We were planning on doing a caroling event in person in Steamboat. We felt it was needed to lift the spirits of people. With the new restrictions, we felt it wasn’t safe to do it in person, so we’re doing it virtually from my house.”
In order to watch, people must register at operasteamboat.org/candy-cane-carols. A viewing link will be sent out to all registrants the day of the concert. The deadline to donate and reserve a bag is noon Friday, Dec. 18.
The quarter, composed of Sarah van der Ploeg, Bridget Skaggs, Ace Gangoso and David Govertsen, has been performing together throughout the pandemic and will perform a long list of holiday classics.
Caldera worked to diversify the set list a bit, including “Chanukah in Santa Monica,” “Kwanza Song” and having “Silent Night” sung in both English and Spanish.
Breaking up the songs will be a special performance by Piknik Theatre Executive Director Stuart Handloff. He will read “The Night Before Christmas” and add his own spin.
Collaboration with area nonprofits that have similar goals is one of Steamboat Creates’ goals.
“Collaboration was one of the initiatives set forth in Steamboat Creates’ strategic plan for 2020,” McKinley said. “Part of that initiative is finding ways to work with other organizations to expand exposure for both organizations and bring a greater awareness to our supporters of the six creative disciplines we serve.”
If the event were to be in person, McKinley said Steamboat Creates would have helped gather spoken word performers as well as dancers and provide food and drinks for attendees. With the virtual event, McKinley is ensuring those who get a Candy Cane Bag of Cheer have the cheeriest bag possible.
The bags are limited and include a serving of Champagne, candy canes and chocolate, lyrics to the carols, a Renaissance City Choirs Holiday CD, a Special Steamboat Christmas Gathering CD, winter socks and hot chocolate or a Starbucks gift card.
“Our job currently is to … let our supporters know about the Opera and the cutting edge work they are doing and promote this incredible nonprofit in our community,” McKinley said. “We are also helping to finance the performance, because if ever there was a year we needed some community cheer, this is the year.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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Steamboat Springs artist Greg Effinger will be a familiar name around Steamboat this October, with multiple works in exhibitions and galleries across town.