Denver, Colo.- Central City Opera’s (CCO) 2013 Festival is officially underway, and there’s much to do between now and mid-August! Running June 29 – Aug. 12, this year’s Festival begins at the Central City Opera house with new productions of Rossini’s comedic opera, The Barber of Seville and Ned Rorem’s opera, Our Town, based on the classic Pulitzer Prize winning play by Thornton Wilder.
The festival continues in Denver with a new production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s glorious American musical, Show Boat, performed only in the Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Patrons will also enjoy a wide range of additional Festival offerings to enhance their opera experience.
2013 CCO Festival Main Stage Productions
The 2013 Festival opens with a new production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville,running June 29 through July 27. The opera is one of the most beloved and performed operas throughout the world. The Barber of Seville had its world premiere in 1816 in Italy and was one of the first Italian operas performed in the United States. This Italian comic opera in two acts about a matchmaking barber is set among the everyday places and characters of 17th century Seville, Spain. It tells the story of Rosina, a young woman who is a ward to an older man, Dr. Bartolo, who plans to marry her when she is of age so he can have her dowry. But Rosina is in love with the poor student, Lindoro, who has been serenading Rosina and is really the nobleman Count Almaviva in disguise. Figaro, the barber of Seville, is asked by Almaviva to help him lure Rosina so he can tell her he loves her. Figaro’s advice and actions lead to the adventures and mistaken identities for which the opera is known. The Barber of Seville will be performed at the Central City Opera House in Italian with English supertitles.
CCO will bring a new production of Ned Rorem’s opera Our Town to the stage for nine performances opening July 6 and running through July 28. Rorem, an award-winning composer, worked with librettist J.D. McClatchy to transform Thornton Wilder’s classic American play into an opera that premiered in 2006. Known as a quintessential American play, Our Town tells the story of the ordinary and extraordinary events in the lives of those in Grover’s Corners, a small New Hampshire town in 1901. A story that delves into three critical components of the human experience – daily life, love/marriage and death/loss – Wilder won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work in 1938. Our Town will be performed in English.
As its final production for the 2013 Festival, CCO will feature a new production with seven performances of Show Boat running in Denver only at the Denver Performing Arts Complex’s Buell Theatre from August 6 through August 11. This musical, written in 1927 by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, tells the story of the workers on a Mississippi showboat over the course of 50 years, from 1880 to 1927. The musical was innovative for its time, combining the lightness and spectacle of musical theater with the serious themes of racial prejudice and tragic love. Revivals of Show Boat, which features songs such as “Ol’ Man River”, “Make Believe”, and “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” have won both the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (1995) and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival (2008). Show Boat will be performed in English.
Full cast lists and biographies for the main stage productions are available atwww.centralcityopera.org/festival.
Additional 2012 CCO Festival Offerings
In addition to its slate of operas for 2013, Central City Opera continues to present innovative offerings that will enhance the Central City experience and engage a broader and younger audience.
Lunch and a Song (July 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 24, 28) Lunch and a 30-minute performance by a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Training Program Artist will whet audience member’s opera appetite at the relaxed Teller House. Performances, which begin at 11:45 am and are accompanied by a lunch prepared by Kevin Taylor’s Face Bar restaurant, precede main stage opera performances and take place at 11:45 am. Tickets are $30.
Short Works (July 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 17, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28) A wide array of short opera and musical theater scenes will surely excite both the opera virgin and the opera veteran. Performed by members of CCO’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. Held at the intimate Williams Stables Theatre at 1:15 pm, tickets are only $12 ($8 for subscribers).
Central City Days (July 6 and 14, 5:30-7:30pm) An extraordinary celebration of Our Town, this progressive party leads participants through a tour of historic Central City locales based on the three acts of Our Town. Activities include a country fair with food, beer, wine and live music and a short walk led by one of Colorado’s celebrated storytellers to a wedding reception complete with cake, champagne and special performances. Passes are $40. CCO Subscribers may purchase two passes for just $75. A package including a performance of Our Town on the day of the event is also available for $75.
Après Opera (July 13, 19, 20, 26) After evening opera performances, festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy cocktails and impromptu performances by the company’s talented 2013 performers at the Teller House. Free admission.
Nina Odescalchi Kelly Family Matinee (July 18, 2:30 pm) Attendees can introduce themselves and their children to opera at a special matinee of The Barber of Seville that includes a narrator’s preview before each act and an autograph session with the singers. Tickets are $15 for kids (6-18), and $20 for adults. For an extra $10, festival goers can add pre-show Central City activities.
Riverboat Royale (August 10) Following a performance of Show Boat at the Buell Theatre, patrons are invited to experience with this fun après show masquerade ball in the heart of downtown Denver, hosted by Central City Opera’s young professionals group, The Scene. Participants will enjoy cocktails, creole cuisine, live jazz music and a silent auction. The “Riverboat Royale Casino” will host craps, black jack and roulette. Several packages are available, ranging in price from $50 to $125.
Central City Opera 2013 Festival
Central City Opera House – June 29 to July 28
The Barber of Seville opens the Festival in Central City on June 29 and runs through July 27. Ned Rorem’s operatic adaptation of Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town about not-so-ordinary life in small town America is the second offering opening July 6 and running at the Opera House through July 28.
Show Boat at Denver’s Buell Theatre – August 6 to 11
Central City Opera comes to Denver for seven consecutive performances of Show Boat,Kern and Hammerstein II’s Broadway classic slice-of-life musical of workers on a Mississippi showboat at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex from Tuesday, Aug. 6 to Sunday, Aug. 11.
In addition to its slate of operas for 2013, CCO will continue to present innovative initiatives that will engage a broader audience with exciting enhancements to the Festival experience. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.
Celebrating its 81st year, Central City Opera is the nation’s fifth-oldest opera company, located just 35 miles west of Denver in one of Colorado’s official National Landmark Historic Districts. The company continues to present artistically excellent professional opera in its annual summer festival; to offer career-entry training to young singers; to produce education and community service programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.