Tabor Opera House

A curtain hangs above the stage at the Tabor Opera House. The Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation is hosting a workshop later this month to catalogue the opera house’s remaining historic curtains.

At a community workshop held in February of this year, the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation learned that the Tabor Opera House may house one of the largest intact collections of historic drop curtains and stage sets in the nation. Community members are invited to attend a follow-up Curtain Call workshop from Sept. 21-27 to catalog the remaining curtains and sets dating to 1879.

By attending, community members will help to preserve the opera house’s artifacts, and gain a sense of discovery. Workshop participants will assist in bringing the Tabor’s oldest curtains and stage sets out of storage to be reviewed and cataloged.

The foundation is limiting participants to six-to-eight per day. The Tabor will provide personal protective equipment, and participants will be asked to wear masks and social distance throughout the week.

Artist, designer and historical consultant Wendy Waszut-Barrett, Ph.D., of Historic Stage Services, is traveling from Crystal, Minnesota, to lead the project. She specializes in nineteenth-century through present-day painting techniques and materials and focuses on painted scenes and decor for opera houses and similar stages.

Workshop participants will learn about the significance of the backdrops and sets and the detailed processes needed to restore them. Attendees will then bring each piece onto the stage to be studied and photographed.

“We were thrilled to discover the historic significance of the Tabor Opera House curtains and sets during last winter’s workshop,” said Mary Ann Graham-Best, president of the Tabor Opera House Preservation Foundation. “Now we are excited to invite the community in to help us see and preserve the 1879 artifacts.”

The workshop runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with a one-hour lunch break. Community members may attend as many days as they are able, including half days.  Any community members who cannot volunteer to work are invited to donate a lunch on one of the work days.

The workshop is free and open to all, with advance reservations requested. To sign up, please contact Tammy Taber at tourmanager@taboroperahouse.net or call 719-486-8409.

The workshop is made possible with funding from The Virginia W. Hill Foundation; Don L. Griswold Charitable Foundation Trust; Freeport McMoRan Site Investment Fund; Janell Keyser, History Colorado, Rocky Mountain Center for Preservation; Elks National Foundation 2019-20 Gratitude Grant; Valinda Yarberry; and Stephanie R. Spong. The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors, operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has contributed $5,000.

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