The Boettcher Concert Hall -- home to the Colorado Symphony. We woke up to the sun on the buildings that surrounded our hotel -- but stayed in the room and hung out until just before our concert matinee.
We walked the block or two from our hotel over to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, which is worth the walk just for the lovely glass architecture.
The Hall has lovely cushioned red velvet seat with high backs, a round stage, and perfect acoustics. From the Symphony website: "Boettcher Concert Hall was the first "in the round" symphony hall in the US. Built in 1978 as home for the Denver Symphony Orchestra--now the Colorado Symphony--the hall is part of the Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC). Owned and operated by the City of Denver, DPAC is the third largest performing arts complex in the US.
The design of Boettcher is based on the European model of a symphonic facility where permanent choral seating is adjacent to the orchestra platform, like the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Ushers Hall in Edinburgh, and St. Andrews Hall in Glasgow. The hall is a 360-degree surround concert hall, designed to place the audience as close to the performers as possible, while maintaining traditional symphonic sound quality.
Boettcher seats more than 2,700, in five kinds of seating areas: the dress circle, orchestra seats, mezzanine seats, the parquet section adjoining the stage, and the overhead rings which float over the lower seats. No member of the audience is more than 85 feet from the stage, and 80 percent of the audience is within 65 feet of the stage. The arrangement of the hall creates a more intimate and less formal concert atmosphere. We sat close enough to easily see and hear the orchestra tuning up.
The most important element of Boettcher, which can be heard and not seen, is its acoustical quality. There are four key acoustical ingredients that make Boettcher an excellent place for a concert: the acoustical canopy (or cloud), the moat, the facias, and the seats. The canopy and the moat together make the hall itself similar to a musical instrument. The acoustical canopy consists of 106 circular disks suspended from the ceiling. The plexiglass reflectors serve to bounce the sound back to the stage, blend it and direct it out to the audience, who hears both the direct and reflected sound.
The moat lies beneath the stage and is a space approximately one-story high. Low frequency sound is returned to the hall through a series of sound transparent screens and grills. On each curved surface of the hall is a 4-foot-high wave-like band, called the facia, which diffuses, reflects and channels sound throughout the hall. The seating arrangement in the hall, the line of sight and proximity to the stage dictate the level of direct sound an audience member will hear. The custom-designed seats complete the acoustical elements. They are made of steam-bent plywood that actually simulates a person sitting in them, so that the acoustics are excellent, regardless of audience size. We had a chance at double hair envy -- Louise was thinking of doing her hair in this color, and the girl was envying her own hair.
In 1993, the theater underwent a major acoustical renovation. The height of the seat backs were adjusted, additional acoustical reflectors were added, and acoustic curtains were installed, which allow the theater to be tuned for specific performances." The lobby was filled with great photos of some of the orchestra members.
Brett Mitchell, Music Director, is absolutely delightful on the podium, beloved by the musicians and audiences alike. We were spellbound. The program included two pieces by Claude Debussy: Syrinx featuring principle flutist Brook Ferguson and Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, the risqué tale of a thwarted, woodland tryst. Soprano Jessica Rivera lent her exquisite voice to Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Five Images After Sappho, inspired by the ancient Greek poet’s enigmatic and incomplete writings. The second half of the concert featured Maurice Ravel's complete score for the ballet Daphnis et Chloé, based on Greek myths and accompanied by the Colorado Symphony Chorus. On the way out, one highlight post for Louise was the poster of the Orchestra Librarian.
Colorado Garden and Home Show -- Enticed by the huge blue bear peering into the front windows of the Convention Center, we wandered into the Colorado Garden and Home Show.
Sponsored by the Colorado Garden Foundation, this is the Rocky Mountain region’s oldest, largest and most prestigious garden and home show – a nine-day spectacular event at the Colorado Convention Center– where you find inspiration from the latest ideas and trends in landscaping, gardening and home improvement. There was more than an acre of professionally landscaped gardens – 11 in all. Representatives of more than 650 companies from 25 states and Canada were available for questions. What a day we had! And then the night view from our room!
Text by Louise. Pictures by Brian. Text and pictures copyright by Goin Mobyle, LLC, 2018.
Day 1Rapid City to Casper Wyoming: Day 1, 31 January 2018Day 2Casper WY to Denver CO: Day 2, 1 February 2018Day 3Around Denver CO: Day 3, 2 February 2018Day 4Native Plants and Janis Joplin: Day 4, 3 February 2018Day 5Glorious Day at the Colorado Symphony: Day 5, 4 Feb 2018