A workshop reading of a brand-new opera, Lottie Silks, at the Writing the Rockies 2017 Conference in Gunnison.

Friday, July 21, 2017
4:00 pm
Taylor Hall Studio Theater, Western State Colorado University
600 N. Adams St., Gunnison, CO 81231 [map]

Tickets: All general conference registrations include admission for one person to the New Opera Workshop performance; individual tickets will also be sold at the door on a first-come, first-served basis (no reservations) to the general public for $20/person, $10/students.

Central City Opera Ensemble Artists Stephanie Ball, Ruth Carver, Eapen Leubner, Tom Sitzler, and Joshua Zabatta join the Writing the Rockies 2017 Conference in Gunnison for the 3rd Annual New Opera Workshop. Along with other musicians, they will perform a concert reading of the first act of a brand-new opera created by composer Justus (Jay) Parrotta and librettist Enid Holden. Learn more and register for the conference at the Writing the Rockies 2017 Conference website to attend workshops, lectures, and the premiere performance of Lottie Silks.

Writing the Rockies 2016

Now in its 18th year, Writing the Rockies is one of the region’s preeminent writers’ conferences. It takes place each year during the last long weekend of July as part of Western’s low-residency Graduate Program in Creative Writing, and like that program offers events in poetry, genre fiction, screenwriting for film & tv, publishing and creative nonfiction.

The conference is co-sponsored by Western’s Department of Communication Arts, Language and Literature and welcomes beginners, students, published writers in all genres, editors, teachers, and anyone else who believes in the magic and power of the written word.

Set in the beautiful Gunnison Valley of the central Colorado Rockies on the campus of Western State Colorado University, the conference offers a wide range of workshops, lectures, seminars, readings, and special events that create an intense, collegial writers’ community and retreat across four days. The conference includes a book fair featuring hundreds of titles by the speakers and presenters.

Conference faculty are highly distinguished and have published in every genre imaginable, including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, journalism, criticism and scholarship, as well as having experience as editors, publishers and agents. In addition to enrolling in workshops or seminars and attending other events, participants can sign up for manuscript reviews and pitch sessions.



Lottie Silks is a full-length opera in three acts, set in a parlor house in Gunnison, Colorado in 1885, inspired by a true Western love story. The Writing the Rockies New Opera Workshop will be presenting Act I, in piano reduction.

Herman, a butcher, falls in love with a paid dancing girl, Lottie, in a parlor house and marries her. His business partner’s wife, Adela, persuades the townsfolk that the match is not respectable. No-one attends the wedding feast and Lottie continues to be spurned, even though she wins the crown anonymously at a miners’ ball. Later, Lottie falls ill and Adela exchanges her medication with poison. Lottie dies in Herman’s arms. Adela claims it’s suicide, but Herman is able to persuade the town of Lottie’s innocence. They repent and Adela is suspected and isolated.

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