Top World Class Cultural Opportunities In Colorado’s High Country

July 28, 2014 5:00 AM

(credit: Central City Opera)

Central City Opera (credit: Central City Opera)

Art and culture doesn’t stick to the Denver area. In fact, there are many amazing cultural activities to enjoy in Colorado’s High Country and what could be more fun than exploring some brilliant artistic work among the beauty of the Rocky Mountains? From theater and opera to film, art and music, there are many different ways to incorporate some culture into your next visit to the mountains, so check out a few of these great cultural opportunities in Colorado’s High Country. You’ll love the artistic inspiration, the cultural beauty and the scenic wonder that only Colorado can provide.

Breckenridge Backstage Theatre
121 S. Ridge St.
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(970) 453-0199

Breckenridge Backstage Theatre sprang to popularity in the early 1980s, and it’s been home to many amazing productions featuring some of the best talent in Colorado year after year. The current home of Backstage Theatre was opened in 2002, offering a lovely and intimate venue for the many different shows that this fantastic company produces. The remaining shows in its 40th season include “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” playing through August 9, and “Oz,” a children’s theatre production playing through August 2. In addition, the show “Shrek the Musical” will be playing August 28 through 31 plus September 5 and 6 at the Riverwalk Center Amphitheater in Breckenridge, allowing for a much larger audience and bigger spectacle for this huge, blockbuster musical. If you enjoy live theatre, and you love visiting the beauty that is Breckenridge, then you simply must make time during your visit to head to Backstage.

Telluride Film Festival
Telluride, CO 81435

Date: Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, 2014

The small town of Telluride triples in size over Labor Day weekend every year as hoards of film enthusiasts flock to the town for four days of independent filmmaking. Many well-known films premiered at the Telluride Film Festival including “Juno,” “The Crying Game” and “Brokeback Mountain.” The specific films are not announced until the festival begins but there are always so many incredible filmmakers represented that you won’t want to miss a moment. If you are on a budget, there are four free film screenings in the Open Air Cinema, one each night, and the three Filmmakers of Tomorrow programs are free as well. Grab your passes, pack up the car and head up to beautiful Telluride for this amazing annual festival.

Related: Top Budget Arts & Culture Events In Denver

Aspen Art Museum
590 N. Mill St.
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 925-8050

The beautiful Aspen Art Museum is a non-collecting museum, meaning its exhibitions change frequently, as it strives to always offer the latest work from artists all over the world. Currently on display is the work of Ernesto Neto, a Brazilian artist with international critical acclaim for his huge immersive, environmental artistic displays. Neto specializes in a unique style that evokes the internal bodily systems and works to challenge the way space and environment transform relationships. His work, using a variety of media including fabric, spices and crochet, is truly stunning and very thought provoking, making this a must-see for any art fan in the area. Neto will also be honored at the Aspen Art Museum on August 1st as the Aspen Art Honoree during the museum’s summer ArtCrush. The museum is also currently working on a brand new facility, due to open later in 2014.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass Town Park
Aspen, CO 81611
(970) 920-4996

Date: Aug. 29-31, 2014

Speaking of Aspen, you can’t talk about culture in Aspen without mentioning the huge annual Aspen Snowmass Experience. This annual festival brings in many huge names in jazz for a three-day festival over Labor Day weekend. The 2014 lineup includes such impressive names as Ziggy Marley, One Republic, Earth, Wind and Fire, Carrie Underwood, Diana Krall and Tony Bennett. Each Labor Day weekend, Snowmass Town Park is filled with eager music fans for this massive celebration of all styles of music. There is a reason some of the biggest names in the music industry sign on for this massive festival, so get up to Aspen over Labor Day weekend to see for yourself.

Related: Top 2014 Summer Festivals In Denver

Central City Opera
124 Eureka St.
Central City, CO 80427
(303) 292-6700

Did you know that the fifth-oldest opera company in the country is just an hour from Denver? Central City Opera presents three productions every year including one classic opera favorite, a lesser-known piece and one American work. The stunning Central City Opera House itself is worth the visit,  it was built in 1878 and is a National Historic Landmark. The lineup for 2014 includes “The Marriage of Figaro,” “Dead Man Walking” and “Trouble in Tahiti.” There are a lot of other ways to explore the historic town of Central City while you are there, just be sure to get your tickets for this world-renowned opera company in advance, as some shows are already selling out.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at