Wheeler Opera House announces first shows of the winter season
Native American dance, Grammy Award winners, holiday jazz, and Aspen favorites to take the Wheeler stage.
The Wheeler Opera House announced the first December performances of the 2023-24 season. With events ranging from a matinee performance by Native Pride Productions, to “An Appalachian Christmas” with Grammy-winning fiddler Mark O’Connor, to a celebration of Nat King Cole’s Christmas songs by Allan Harris and special guests, as well as the return of DanceAspen to the Wheeler stage for “A Snowy Soiree,” the Wheeler has something for everyone this holiday season.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 12, at noon at the Wheeler Opera House Box Office (970.920.5770/aspenshowtix.com). The opera house is located at 320 E. Hyman Ave. More holiday and winter Wheeler shows are to be announced in early October.
“I’m happy to share the first Wheeler Presents pre-holiday shows with you and look forward to sharing even more of our community’s performances and holiday week shows in the weeks to come,” said Lisa Rigsby Peterson, executive director of the Wheeler Opera House. “Each of these four shows is very different, celebrating outstanding artists, bringing diverse and unique work to our stage, and making memories for our audiences.”
Purchase your tickets by Nov. 4 to save up to 15% off premium and standard seats.
Native Pride Productions “Inspired by Tradition. Powered by Dance.”
Sunday, Dec. 3, 1:30 p.m.
Tickets: $28 adult, $18 child
Colorful regalia, pulsating drumming, and fancy footwork are part of the excitement of a Native American powwow. Feel the excitement and experience the artistry of Native Pride Productions dancers as they perform movements passed down by their ancestors through song and dance. Founder and Artistic Director of Native Pride Productions, two-time World Champion Fancy Dancer, Men’s Northern Traditional Dancer, and Eagle Dancer Larry Yazzie (Meskwaki, Dine) grew up on the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Iowa, where he learned the traditional ways of his ancestors.
Showcasing a blend of modern and traditional Native American dance styles, the performance also features Native American regalia, including assortments of brightly colored ribbons, feathers, beads, and furs — all of which honor their nations’ elders and the legacy of their traditional arts.
“We’re excited to present Larry Yazzie and the Native Pride Dancers in this special Sunday matinee performance,” says Rigsby Peterson. “This same weekend, we will welcome Aspen Indigenous Foundation back to the Wheeler for the 5th Annual Shining Mountains Film Festival on Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2. When we can present complementary programming alongside our rental partners, we can truly see the impact and connections the Wheeler creates in our community.”
Mark O’Connor’s “An Appalachian Christmas,” featuring Maggie O’Connor
Saturday, Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $61, $51, $38
Grammy-winning composer and fiddler Mark O’Connor has created several arrangements of Christmas classics and fashions a wondrous mixture of traditional and original music — instrumental and vocal — in bluegrass and other American music genres. He performs on four instruments: fiddle, acoustic guitar, mandolin, and mandocello and is joined on fiddle and vocals by his wife, fellow Grammy Award-winner Maggie O’Connor.
“Heralded as one of the finest fiddle players of our generation, three-time Grammy Award winner and five-time Country Music Association Musician of the Year Mark O’Connor, joined by his wife Maggie, brings virtuosity to the Wheeler stage with ‘An Appalachian Christmas’ — a perfect way to greet the holiday season,” said Rigsby Peterson.
Allan Harris Sings “A Nat King Cole Christmas”
with special guests Gloria Reuben and Jumaane Smith
Sunday, Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $68, $58, $38
Join us for an evening of Nat King Cole’s music celebrating the holidays, with longtime Aspen favorite Allan Harris and special guests Gloria Reuben and Jumaane Smith and featuring Arcoiris Sandoval on piano, Marty Kenney on bass, Norman Edwards on drums, and Irwin Hall on saxophone.
“This powerhouse line-up will have the Wheeler jumping and celebrating,” said Peterson.
Gloria Reuben is an actress, singer, and author whose credits span television, film, theater, and music.
Jazz trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Jumaane Smith toured and recorded for 17 years, with Michael Buble as his lead trumpeter and vocalist.
DanceAspen, “A Snowy Soiree”
Saturday, Dec. 23, 4:00 p.m.
Tickets: $18 adult, $12 child
This holiday-themed show will be approximately thirty minutes and performed on the main stage. Featuring the DanceAspen company in vibrant, festive costumes, patrons can enjoy post-show cocoa and cookies. The Wheeler lobby will be decorated for the holidays, so you can also take a moment for photo opportunities with the dancers. Come join us for an amazing afternoon and prepare to be dazzled. All are welcome performance. Families are encouraged to attend and celebrate the holidays in the beautiful, historic opera house.
For more information about these and other upcoming events at the Wheeler, visit wheeleroperahouse.com.
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, from 5-7 p.m., Berklee College of Music / Berklee City Music and Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) will host a workshop for middle and high school students focused on pursuing a college education and careers in music and the music industry.