Baby Doe, Feature for MDR

The Metropolitan Opera is the biggest and most famous opera house in the United States. Its glamour represents a part of America that, in its dimensions, matches the city of New York. Another opera house that fits its environment perfectly can be found several thousand miles further West. A city nestled in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is home to the Central City Opera, which is hardly bigger than a post office. The opera house was built in 1878, five years earlier than the Met. The money came from gold and silver diggers who had callous hands. Today, the Central City Opera provides a nice change of pace for tourists from all over America. The season lasts for eight weeks, and typically, three popular operas are played. One work, however, is inseparably connected to the Central City Opera. It's Douglas Moore's "Ballad of Baby Doe," which memoralizes those who sought their fortune digging for gold or silver. Central City, a community of 300, hosted the world premiere of Moore's opera in 1956. Today, the Ballade of Baby Doe regularly appears in the repertory of American opera houses. Central City brought it back last summer, and Georg Hirsch was there to capture the Wild West atmosphere.

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