Opera to bluegrass, the Vail Valley’s February events

· Feb. 1, 2014, 7:00 am
Photo: Infamous Stringdusters(Photo: Michael Liggett)
The Infamous Stringdusters at WinterWonderGrass in Avon, Colorado.
Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
Sometimes comedy shows require the audience to be part of the act, and this is one of those performances. Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, two improv masters, take a subject and run with it in many directions–some completely unexpected. Garnering TV fame on “Whose Line is it Anyway?”, Mochrie and Sherwood’s live (and often raucous) comedy provides just enough wit to keep you guessing.
Eagle County Avalanche Awareness Series presented by Vail and Beaver Creek Ski Patrols
Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m.
Vail Cascade Resort, Vail
Exploring untouched areas of Colorado’s mountains for backcountry adventure is exciting and rewarding for expert skiers, but there are always inherent risks like injury, hypothermia and avalanches. On January 7, an avalanche in the East Vail Chutes claimed the life of well-known professional skier Tony Seibert at the age of 24. The Vail native is featured in the recent Warren Miller Entertainment ski movie “Climb to Glory.” In the film, Tony pays homage to his grandfather Peter Seibert, who founded Vail Ski Resort in 1962 after serving in World War II’s 10th Mountain Division. Tuesday’s free avalanche awareness session will feature guest speakers from the Vail Ski Patrol, the Apex Mountain School and a recent backcountry slide survivor.
Friday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Vilar Performing Arts Center, Beaver Creek
In a venue that was built to resemble European opera houses with unadulterated acoustics, the Vilar Performing Arts Center occasionally presents a gem of a performance not seen anywhere else in the world. Grammy-winning opera sensation Joyce DiDonato has been praised by the most ardent of classical music aficionados and leaves lasting impressions everywhere she goes. The New York Times says, “Ms. DiDonato seemed the perfect 21st century diva–an effortless combination of glamour, charisma, intelligence, grace and remarkable talent.” 
February 21 to 23, 3 to 10 p.m.
Harry A. Nottingham Park, Avon
It’s a new year and a new venue for the wildly successful WinterWonderGrass Festival. The three-day community gathering features bluegrass and roots music as well as tastings from Colorado craft breweries. Having already outgrown last year’s setting in the Crazy Mountain Brewery parking lot, the festival in its second year relocates to beautiful Nottingham Park in Avon. The action is framed by two large beer halls, a main stage and two side stages for some of the best jams around, including sets by a few of Colorado’s own. Late night sessions will take place in restaurants and clubs around town. Headliners include Greensky Bluegrass featuring Sam Bush, Leftover Salmon, the Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, Head for the Hills and more. 
Daily at 3:30 p.m. 
Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse restaurants 
Seeing first-timers’ questioning expressions is priceless and so is the experience. Every day following a ceremonious ringing of the bell at 3:30 p.m., all restaurant patrons are poured a complimentary champagne toast at their table to celebrate the end of another day. What began as a 20th anniversary celebration has turned into a daily tradition at both the Vail and Beaver Creek Chophouse restaurants. The bell ringing signifies a round of drinks bought by the house–a tradition borrowed from Beaver Creek’s sister resort in Lech-Zuers, Austria. 

A native of Vail, Shelley Nottingham Woodworth has promoted artistic, cultural and sporting events in the high country for nearly two decades. Knowing that Colorado attracts and produces the world’s greatest artists and performers, she sees the most memorable events happen in the most unique surroundings – all that’s required is a sense of adventure.

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