Melissa Hampton: Steamboat’s extraordinary cultural landscape |

Melissa Hampton: Steamboat’s extraordinary cultural landscape

As new Steamboat Springs residents, recently relocating from Atlanta, I wanted to say how impressed my husband and I have been with the bounty of cultural opportunities this summer. We have attended Strings concerts, Botanic Park concerts, lectures at the Tread of Pioneers, First Friday Artwalk, Perry-Mansfield performances, Howelsen free concerts … all spectacular.

But I wanted to give a special shout-out to Opera Steamboat, formerly Emerald City Opera. I was curious to see what opera would be like in a small mountain town so during its three-week season, I attended three operas, an arias concert, master classes, not to mention a glamorous opening reception. The performances were all first rate, beautifully sung and directed with terrific costumes, sets and lighting.

A special treat was the master class experience — where visiting professional singers give one-on-one instruction to young singers as part of Opera Steamboat's Young Artist program. These young people were spectacularly talented, and I was moved to tears at the opportunity to sit and listen to voices I know will be headlining the world's great opera houses in the near future. They were that good.

You are lucky, Steamboat Springs, to have this embarrassment of riches in your backyard. I am already looking forward to Opera Steamboat's next season and hope that many more of my fellow citizens will choose to experience this gem of an organization. Full disclosure: I was so impressed I joined the opera board. See you next season.

Melissa Hampton

Steamboat Springs