opera tells two tales, separated in time but parallel in characters
and theme. In present day Central City, CO, Isabel, a member of
the opera chorus, and her friend Larry visit the Teller House bar.
Larry orders champagne and asks about the face painted on the floor.
Tom, the bartender, tells the story, which is enacted as he becomes
a 19th century bartender named John, who welcomes the bargirl Madeline
(played by Isabel) as they toast to the future.