A scene from a rehearsal of Opera Colorado's production "The Scarlet Letter."

(Brad Turner/CPR)

Opera Colorado debuts "The Scarlet Letter" on Saturday at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver. The two-act opera is based on the famous Nathaniel Hawthorne 1850 novel of the same name, and had a number of financial setbacks that delayed its initial professional premiere in 2013.

Former state poet laureate David Mason.

(Courtesy Chrissy Mason)

This adaptation could not exist without David Mason, a former Colorado poet laureate who now is a professor in the English Department at Colorado College. He wrote the libretto -- the words in the opera. It was his first time, but he says it wasn't much of a stretch going from poetic to melodic verse.

Mason spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner.

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