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What: Don Pasquale: Gaetano Donizetti’s famous opera of romance, comedy, and deception takes a trip to the American West. Over three acts, the young couple Ernesto and Norina try to dupe Ernesto’s uncle Don Pasquale into letting them marry. It’s an opera with all the right twists for an old-school Western showdown.
Why: Bass Kevin Glavin, a veteran of the San Francisco and New York City operas, makes his Colorado Opera debut in the title role.
Bonus: Valentine’s Day may be a week away, but why not treat your beloved early? Before Friday’s opening night production, stop by the Opera House for an exclusive cocktail followed by a three course dinner at Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House. Individual tickets are $100.
Details: Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.; Tue 7:30 p.m. Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 950 13th St. $28-$157. Call 303-468-2021 or visit www.operacolorado.org.
What: 14th Annual Heart Art Auction: Check out local artists’ sculpture, jewelry, furniture, and paintings while raising money for two Denver charities. The non-profits AIGA Colorado and Project Angel Heart deliver over 1,000 meals every week to homebound individuals living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses.
Why: Need to spruce up the living room? There can’t be a better way to do it than while supporting local art and charities.
Bonus: Live jazz by The Dave Solzberg Trio, food, drinks, and a ton of goodwill.
Details: Thu 5:30-9 p.m. Mile High Station, 2027 W. Lower Colfax Ave. $20. Visit www.aigacolorado.org.
What: Jamaica Kincaid: Influential author of Autobiography of My Mother makes an appearance at the Denver Botanic Gardens. In her evening lecture “The Writer in the Garden: The Garden as Metaphor and Paradox,” Kincaid, an avid gardner, explores the karmic pratfalls of seeking pleasure and knowledge and man’s fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.
Why: The Harvard visiting professor is an engaging public speaker and will have you hanging on her every Caribbean-accented word.
Bonus: Bring your copy of Kincaid’s award-winning My Garden (Book) for a book signing immediately following the lecture.
Details: Tue 7 p.m. Denver Botanic Gardens, 1005 York St. $17-$25. Call 720-865-3500 or visit www.botanicgardens.org.
What: The Punk Rock Flea Market: Every second Saturday of the month at 3 Kings Tavern on South Broadway, Suburban Home Records and Vinyl Collective lay out a cornucopia of CDs, vinyl, clothing, and art for a rock ‘n roll shopping extravaganza.
Why: If you’re still kicking yourself for getting rid of all your early Ramones records, here’s a chance to right your wrongs.
Bonus: 3 Kings Tavern offers happy hour prices all day. Grab a cool brew and listen to the live acoustic sets.
Details: Sat noon-5 p.m. 3 Kings Tavern, 60 S. Broadway. Free. Visit www.suburbanhomerecords.com.
What: 2008 Roller Derby Season Opener: The football season may have ended but don’t put away the drink coolers or whistles. This weekend, the Red Ridin’ Hoods and Sugar Kill Gang, of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls (RMRG), compete in a brute bout of full-contact roller skating.
Why: Where else do you meet women who call themselves Tia Juana Pistola and Green Venom?
Bonus: Check out the moves of The Belles Performance Team, which accompanies all RMRG’s competitions. The rhythms of this non-profit women’s dance group have shaken up the Pepsi Center and Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
Details: Sat 8 p.m. Fat City Event Center, 9670 W. Coal Mine Ave., Littleton. $13-$15. Call 720-984-3132 or visit www.rockymountainrollergirls.com.