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Steamboat Springs Institute
Freedom Conference
Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel
Steamboat Springs, CO
August 19, 2011
This year, for my 29th (give or take a few…) birthday, my sweet husband ordered tickets for me to see Anthony perform in Die Fledermaus in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Since my husband has been in Iraq for the past year and wouldn’t be home in time to attend with me, I asked my friend Fay if she would like to go. Fay and I met over the internet twelve years ago and so it was way past time that we got to meet in person!

The opera (of course) was amazing - with Anthony stealing the show as Alfred. It was almost like it was written for him. It was the first time that I had ever seen Anthony in an opera and I pray that it won’t be the last! We also had tickets to go to the Diva Gala after the show and had a great time talking to Anthony (as well as the rest of the cast) and getting pictures taken. We didn’t leave the restaurant until after 12:30 am. He is such a sweet person and I love how he treats his fans like friends. He even asked our friend Sharon to help him blow out his birthday candles!

The next day, I drove Fay to Denver to fly out and turned around to drive back to Steamboat Springs. There had been a mix up with my flight out on Saturday and since I didn’t have to be at the airport at 5 am, I was going to go to the Steamboat Institute Freedom Conference to hear Anthony perform a second time!

I made it to the hotel with only minutes to change and drive up the mountain to catch the gondola. Of course, by this time, it was raining and I wasn’t exactly dressed for wind or rain or walking all over the ski area! The trip to the top of Mt. Werner was beautiful, with the gondola going right up through the middle of the most beautiful rainbow I had ever seen.

The program was getting under way when I was seated and so unfortunately, I was farther back than I would have liked. Thankfully, I had a decent view of Anthony when he came out to sing. He was dressed in suit and tie and not a tux like I had seen in last year’s pictures (I felt a bit overdressed at this point!). The wall behind him was made up of windows and the view was amazing!

The program had Anthony listed as “A Musical First Course”, accompanied by Marie Carmichael and again as performing after the keynote speaker. I am not sure why, (maybe because he had told us the previous night that he was feeling a bit under the weather) he did his entire performance at once.

(Please excuse any errors in the songs - I should have taken better notes, but I was too busy listening!)

Down by the Sally Gardens
Terrance’s Farewell to Kathleen
Younger than Springtime
Trees
I’ll Walk Beside

Then he took and ‘air’ break – since we were so high up!

Funiculì, Funiculà
Ave Maria (Gounod) – Which he dedicated to those who serve and their families left behind and received a standing ovation!

Then, while everyone was already standing, he invited us to sing along to “God Bless America” before he finished the evening with “Danny Boy”.

It was a grand evening and I am waiting (very impatiently) for the next time I get to see him perform!
by Athena Hall
Thanks to Athena Hall