The Wheeler Opera House announces the first of their Wheeler Presents 2023-24 Season December performances. With events ranging from an afternoon matinee performance by Native Pride Productions to An Appalachian Christmas with Grammy-winning fiddler Mark O’Connor to a celebration of Nat King Cole’s Christmas songs by Allan Harris and special guests, and the return of DanceAspen to the Wheeler stage for A Snowy Soiree, the Wheeler has something for everyone this holiday season. More holiday and winter Wheeler shows are to be announced in early October. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at 12 noon at the Wheeler Opera House Box Office (970.920.5770/ The Wheeler Opera House is located at 320 E. Hyman Ave., Aspen, CO. 

 “As Aspen kicks off the busy month of December, the Wheeler will be full of activity, from movies to concerts to film screenings,” says Lisa Rigsby Peterson, Executive Director of the Wheeler Opera House. “I’m happy to share the first Wheeler Presents pre-holiday shows with you and look forward to sharing even more of our community’s performances and holiday week shows in the weeks to come. Each of these four shows is very different, celebrating outstanding artists, bringing diverse and unique work to our stage, and making memories for our audiences.”.

Purchase your tickets early this year to get the best seats at the best price! This year we’re encouraging everyone to buy early and save up to 15% off premium and standard seats, the listed price includes all ticket handling fees. Purchase your tickets by November 4, 2023, at midnight to get the best seats (your favorite seats!) at the best price. 

Native Pride Productions “Inspired by Tradition. Powered by Dance.”
Sunday, December 3, 2023 | 1:30 PM
Tickets: $28 Adult, $18 Child

Colorful regalia, pulsating drumming, and fancy footwork are part of the excitement of a Native American powwow. Feel the excitement and experience the artistry of Native Pride Productions dancers as they perform flamboyant movements passed down by their ancestors through song and dance.  Founder and Artistic Director of Native Pride Productions, two-time World Champion Fancy Dancer, Men’s Northern Traditional Dancer, and Eagle Dancer Larry Yazzie (Meskwaki, Dine) grew up on the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Iowa where he learned the traditional ways of his ancestors.

Showcasing an innovative blend of modern and traditional Native American dance styles, the performance also showcases beautiful Native American regalia, including vivid assortments of brightly colored ribbons, feathers, beads, and furs – all of which honor their nations’ elders and the legacy of their traditional arts.

“We’re excited to present Larry Yazzie and the Native Pride Dancers in this special Sunday matinee performance,” says Rigsby Peterson. “This same weekend, we will welcome Aspen Indigenous Foundation back to the Wheeler for the 5th Annual Shining Mountains Film Festival on Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2. When we can present complementary programming alongside our rental partners, we can truly see the impact and connections the Wheeler creates in our community.”.

“By sharing life stories through music, dance, and storytelling, we nurture meaningful communication among all people” – Larry Yazzie

Larry’s notable stage performances include appearances at the Walker Art Center, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Cowles Center, Reif Performing Arts Center, the Olympic Games, The Kennedy Center, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Mark O’Connor’s “An Appalachian Christmas”
Featuring Maggie O’Connor
Saturday, December 16, 2023 | 7:30 PM
Tickets: $61, $51, $38

Grammy-winning composer and fiddler Mark O’Connor has created several arrangements of Christmas classics and fashions a wondrous mixture of traditional and original music — instrumental and vocal– in bluegrass and other American music genres. Mark performs on four instruments: fiddle, acoustic guitar, mandolin, and mandocello, and is joined on fiddle and vocals by his wife, fellow Grammy Award winner Maggie O’Connor. Together on stage, Mark and Maggie have a dynamic energy that brings their individual expertise to holiday themes and classics in the most delightful and musically satisfying way!

“Heralded as one of the finest fiddle players of our generation, three-time Grammy Award winner and five-time Country Music Association Musician of the Year Mark O’Connor, joined by his wife Maggie, brings virtuosity to the Wheeler stage with “An Appalachian Christmas” — a perfect way to greet the holiday season,” says Rigsby Peterson.

Allan Harris Sings “A Nat King Cole Christmas”
With special guests Gloria Reuben and Jumaane Smith
Sunday, December 17, 2023 | 7:30 PM
Tickets: $68, $58, $38

Join us for an evening of Nat King Cole’s music celebrating the holidays, with longtime Aspen favorite Allan Harris and special guests Gloria Reuben and Jumaane Smith, and featuring Arcoiris Sandoval on piano, Marty Kenney on bass, Norman Edwards on drums, Irwin Hall on saxophone. “This powerhouse line-up will have the Wheeler jumping and celebrating!” notes Rigsby Peterson.

A New York review put it best: “The song list reads like an album from the past by only the likes of Nat King Cole, but easily ones that might have come from Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, or any number of the great recording artists of the past. “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” …even “Jingle Bells.” …the room wasn’t filled entirely with those who remember those singing stars, but were instead all ages and ethnicities, ready to indulge in nostalgia but with the twist of jazz that always keeps things contemporary.”  – Theater Pizzazz NY

Aptly described by the Miami Herald as an artist blessed with “the warmth of Tony Bennett, the bite and rhythmic sense of Sinatra, and the sly elegance of Nat ‘King’ Cole,” Allan Harris is a Brooklyn-born, Harlem-based vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and band leader. With an impressive discography boasting fourteen recordings as a leader, Harris has established himself as one of the jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance.

Gloria Reuben is an actress, singer, and author whose credits span television, film, theater, and music. She was a back-up singer for Tina Turner on tour and has recorded three of her own original albums.  Gloria’s acting credits on television include the hit television series ER (a role that garnered her two Emmy® nominations and a Golden Globe nomination. Film credits include Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (with Daniel Day-Lewis), Admission (with Tina Fey), and Reasonable Doubt (with Samuel L. Jackson). Her stage credits include Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play (Lucille Lortel Awards) for her portrayal of Condoleeza Rice in David Hare’s Stuff Happens at New York’s Public Theatre.

Jazz trumpeter, vocalist, and composer Jumaane Smith toured and recorded for 17 years with Michael Buble as his lead trumpeter and vocalist. He also was the featured guest soloist for Jackie Evancho’s Songs of the Silver Screen world tour. Smith has performed on five Grammy Award-winning records (selling more than 60 million copies), two Emmy Award-nominated TV performances, the Grammy Awards with Stevie Wonder, in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (trumpet solo), at The White House, on The Today Show, The Tonight Show, Oprah, Good Morning America, and American Idol. He also tours with his own band to such world-class venues as Jazz at Lincoln Center, Vail Jazz Festival, Joe’s Pub, and many more.

DanceAspen A Snowy Soiree
Saturday, December 23, 2023 | 4:00 PM
Tickets: $18 Adult, $12 Child 

This holiday-themed show will be approximately thirty minutes and performed on the main stage. Featuring the DanceAspen company in vibrant, festive costumes, patrons can enjoy post-show cocoa and cookies.  The Wheeler lobby will be decorated for the holidays, so you can also take a moment for photo opportunities with the dancers. Come join us for an amazing afternoon and prepare to be dazzled.  This is an all-ages, all are welcome performance.  Families are encouraged to attend and celebrate the holidays in the beautiful, historic Wheeler Opera House.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Wheeler this season.  See you at the show!