OURAY – The Grand Old Lady of Main Street – the Wright Opera House – will have her 125th birthday fêted in style Saturday, Aug. 17, with entertainment, a dessert buffet and door prizes.
Piano/vocal duo Nancy Ziglar and Tammy Kenning will perform a mix of opera arias and show tunes. Drawings will be held for a year's worth of free attendance at Wright events. A silent auction will take place for a week in a Park City condo during ski season. And a special birthday cake, prepared by Dee James, will anchor the dessert table.
“More than celebrating this birthday, the party celebrates the amazing way the community is tackling the vision to purchase, renovate, preserve and prepare the Wright Opera House to serve future generations for another 125 years,” said Dee Williams, chair of the Friends of the Wright Opera House.
The party gets started at 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets for $15 can be purchased online at www.thewrightoperahouse.org. Tickets at the door will cost $20.
Most of the expenses for the upcoming birthday bash are covered by donations, allowing the evening's proceeds to go to the fund for the next phase of upgrading the Wright’s interior. This so-called “Access Phase” will include the installation of an elevator and the remodeling of the upper and lower lobbies and staircase. Construction of a new box office on the ground level is already well underway, freeing up office space on the ground level for a new use.
The entire cost of the Access Phase is estimated at $350,000. Grant applications to help cover much of that cost have already been submitted, and an effort is now underway to raise matching funds, should these grant applications be successful. A generous patron will match individual donations dollar for dollar, up to $40,000, from September through December, for the Access Phase.
Another challenge to match up to $50,000 to support 2013-14 operations at the Wright Opera House is in place through mid-September.
Earlier this year, the Colorado Historic Fund awarded a grant to replace the roof and add insulation at the Wright. Donors have provided the needed match for that grant, and the project is scheduled for August and September.
For information, call The Wright Opera House at 970/325-4399.