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Tsar power in Vail

VAIL, Colorado – Life is better when you have options, like what to see at the theater.

Patrons should be able to see all kinds of things all the time, says Jeremy Welman of CineBistro.

So, along with the football games and other sporting events, they’re offering opera.



The CineBistro in Vail’s Solaris is bringing the New York Metropolitan Opera to the valley, broadcasting live in the theater at the top of the village.

“Of course, movies are a big part of what we do. And in our CineBistros we like to offer different entertainment options,” Welman said.



It’s called alternative entertainment, and Welman says that while someone, somewhere could have come up with a worse name if they’d thought long and hard, it actually does describe what they’re doing.

They have this beautiful theater, and it seemed a narrow vision to limit it to whatever Hollywood movie rolls through.

“We like to experiment with our programming and give people a reason to visit us besides seeing the latest blockbuster,” Welman said.



Like all successful businesses, if something works you stick with it.

“If they do well they stay and we bring more. If they don’t, they go away quickly,” Welman said.

Opera looks like it will be around Vail for a while. It’s worked well in their other CineBistros around the country, and the local opening was a big success, Welman said.

“It’s been incredibly successful and Vail was a great place to start doing it,” Welman said.

The Metropolitan Opera runs for 13 performances, about every four weeks during the winter. They started last weekend with a new production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold.

About the operas

Maestro James Levine and director Robert Lepage launched the series with “Das Rheingold,” the prologue to Wagner’s epic drama.

“The Ring is not just a story or a series of operas, it’s a cosmos,” says Lepage, who brings cutting-edge technology and his own imagination to the theatrical journey.

The live Metropolitan Opera series continues Oct. 23 with Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov.”

Rene Pape takes on one of the greatest bass roles in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth. Valery Gergiev conducts Mussorgsky’s epic spectacle that captures the suffering and ambition of a nation, with Aleksandrs Antonenko, Vladimir Ognovenko, and Ekaterina Semenchuk leading the huge cast.

Theatrical technology

Seeing one of the world’s best opera companies perform on a massive screen has its advantages, Welman said. The camera moves around and you get different perspectives. Then there’s the Dolby 701 sound system that makes the soprano sound as good as she is.

“The feedback has been great,” Welman said. “The CineBistros tend to have a more mature audience that appreciates this sort of programming. The Bravo! music series in Vail has always done well in the summer. This is a fall and winter compliment.”

They provide all sorts of unique programming. Some events are cultural, some are speakers. Some are nothing quite like anything you’ve seen in a movie theater before.

They do Monday Night Football in high definition on their 40-foot screen, so you can see the anguish on a quarterback’s face as a linebacker is about to blow him through the hole in the ozone and into a parallel universe.

They’re talking about events like the X Games. They tried a little boxing and some extreme fighting, which drew well.

“We want to bring as much alternative content to these theaters as possible,” Welman said. “We cannot do everything, but we can do all kinds of different things.”


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