The words of Werner help one to grasp the magic and appeal of HDO. "I decided to create an opera company in Western Colorado," he says, "because I wanted to show people that anyone can create something excellent. I wanted to give talented people, in a place where singing opportunities are few, the chance to perform." The community-centered and gracious attitudes of the Werners, their few employees, and flock of volunteers and fans make opera locally accessible, and very friendly.
As HDO has grown in renown and skill, nationally recognized voices have traveled to Western Colorado to participate in its Summer Opera Festival. Puccini's Tosca, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Sorcerer, and The Mikado, are recent summer productions. Rossini's Barber of Seville will be performed this July. The HDO Summer Opera Festival expands each year, and in 2012 will stage Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. The effort and energy of James Werner and his company does not just end with fully staged shows. Each calendar year is dotted with numerous concerts, grand and intimate, and monthly Dinner and an Opera events which are designed to acquaint novices, as well as seasoned, fans with great opera music--the famous and the obscure.
An opera, it has been said, is the consummate performance: voices, symphonic orchestrations, ballet, and gorgeous costumes and sets, combine for a heady, high-culture experience. Colorado, historically, is the land where a little digging can produce silver, gold, and all manner of treasure. No digging at all is required to uncover the shining gem in Western Colorado's desert country. High Desert Opera is a gem, a local treasure; and its bling is getting the attention of opera prospectors from far and wide.