Just in time to follow National Stock Show season, Opera Colorado presents Gaetano Donizetti's Don Pasquale, set in the 19th-century Wild West. The plot follows a calculating Don Pasquale, whose attempts to marry off and disinherit his nephew dissolve into a comical series of trickery and thwarted plans. Kevin Glavin, basso buffo extraordinaire and stage presence dynamo, makes his company debut as the Don after performing the role in numerous prestigious opera houses. Bonus: Catch the free precurtain lecture for a behind-the-scenes rundown on the production. Don Pasquale: Feb. 8-17, Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Top of the World
You can't throw a rock without hitting a mountain climber in this state, but Colorado's never had a comprehensive site to honor the sport—until now. The Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum opens this month to fill that void, a first-of-its-kind joint venture between the American Alpine Club, Colorado Mountain Club, and National Geographic Society. The state-of-the-art facility, complete with a 135-square-foot scale model of Mt. Everest, hosts interactive exhibits, historical mountaineering artifacts, and multimedia displays to educate and inspire visitors, paying homage to the American men and women who dare to scale nature's most unforgiving behemoths, so the rest of us don't have to. Grand Opening: Feb. 16, Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum, Golden
Antonia Novello is the first female U.S. Surgeon General. Mariane Pearl is an author and journalist whose husband died at the hands of terrorists. What do they have in common? This month, both speak at the Unique Lives & Experiences women's lecture series, designed to stimulate the intellect, foster dialogue, and motivate action. The chosen women, including (in subsequent months) actress and humanitarian Mia Farrow, folk singer Judy Collins, and the first female president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, share their moving personal stories of struggle, survival, and triumph with the audience. Unique Lives & Experiences Series: Feb. 4-June 2 (select Mondays), Buell Theatre
Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?
In a world where prairies have disappeared under freeways and roaming herds have been edged out by subdivisions, Mary Lucier's video installation at the Belmar Lab is a poignant reminder of just how fragile life on the plains is. On five screens, Lucier captures the splendor of the American West—the family farm, the rodeo, the rural church—but underscores it with loss and forgotten glory, taking the viewer on a melancholy journey through a transforming cultural landscape that resonates universally. Don't miss Phil Bender's companion exhibit "Last Place." The Plains of Sweet Regret: Through May 1, Laboratory of Arts and Ideas at Belmar