CENTRAL CITY OPERA PRESENTS ITS THIRD 2013 FESTIVAL PRODUCTION IN DENVER: KERN AND HAMMERSTEIN II’S SHOW BOAT
Seven Performances August 6-11 at The Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex
Riverboat Royale Mardi Gras Ball August 10
Denver, Colo.- As its final presentation of the 2013 Festival, Central City Opera (CCO) will feature a new production of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s glorious American musical, Show Boat, in Denver at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The production opens on August 6 with seven performances running through August 11. Show Boat will be performed in English.
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).
Riverboat Royale – Mardi Gras Ball in Denver on August 10 at the Dikeou Collection
On August 10, people can top off their Show Boat in Denver experience with a fun après show masquerade ball in the heart of downtown hosted by Central City Opera’s group of young movers and shakers, The Scene. Attendees can indulge in cocktails delicious creole cuisine; test their lady luck at the Riverboat Royale casino with black jack and roulette; dance the night away to live hot jazz; and bid on silent auction items to benefit Central City Opera. Riverboat Royale will be held at the Dikeou Collection, located at 16th and California in downtown Denver. For the matinee and Riverboat Royale event, tickets are $95. The patron ticket, which includes the matinee, Riverboat Royale event with open bar, a gift bag and signed show poster is $125. Tickets to the Riverboat Royale post-show event only are $50. Visit http://www.centralcityopera.org/riverboat or call 303-292-6700 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Hal France returns to lead the Central City Opera (CCO) Orchestra after his lauded performances of Susannah in 2008. Having enjoyed a longstanding relationship with CCO, additional previous productions include The Saint of Bleecker Street (2007), L’Italiana in Algeri (2003), A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (2002) and Gloriana (2001). He has collaborated with many of this country’s great opera companies, including New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Houston Grand Opera. Hal’s 2013 conducting season also includes The Grapes of Wrath for Northwestern University and Bluebeard’s Castle and Carmen for Opera Omaha.
Following his most recent role with CCO as Ali Hakim in Oklahoma! last summer, and his prior appearances as Lutz in the 2004 production of The Student Prince and Dr. Pangloss in Candide (2000), Gene Scheer returns to CCO to play the role of Cap’n Andy. In addition to his appearances as a performer, Mr. Scheer is acclaimed for his music and lyrics. He has collaborated often with composer Jake Heggie, including the critically acclaimed 2010 Dallas Opera world premiere, Moby-Dick; Three Decembers, performed at Central City Opera in 2010; and the lyric drama To Hell and Back, featuring Patti LuPone. Mr. Scheer also worked as librettist with Tobias Picker on the 2005 Metropolitan Opera premiere of An American Tragedy. A composer in his own right, he has written pieces for singers such as Renée Fleming, Sylvia McNair, Stephanie Blythe, Jennifer Larmore, Denyce Graves and Nathan Gunn; and also wrote the music and lyrics for the song “American Anthem” featured in Ken Burns’ PBS documentary, The War performed by Norah Jones. A New York City musical theater, film and television veteran, mezzo-Soprano Denise Lute* will be making her CCO debut as Parthy Ann, Cap’n Andy’s wife and mother to Magnolia. In addition to regularly performing with theater companies throughout New York City and with regional companies including the John F. Kennedy Center, Ms. Lute has appeared in numerous episodes of Law & Order and had recurring roles in The Guiding Light and Ed. Most recently, she sung the role of The Widow Quince in The Tennessee Playboy with Triad Theatre, Mother Burnside in Mame with Goodspeed Musicals, and Dorothea in Fa La Lahwith Actors Studio. Having performed in many Off-Broadway and regional productions, soprano Julia Burrows* makes her CCO debut as Magnolia, an aspiring performer and the daughter of Cap’n Andy and Parthy Ann. Ms. Burrows recent credits include: Marian in The Music Man with the Ogunquit Playhouse; Lori-Beth in Garry Marshall’s Happy Days with the Goodspeed Opera House and Papermill Playhouse; and Cornelia in Pirates with the Papermill Playhouse.
Soprano Angela Renée Simpson* makes her CCO debut in the role of Queenie, Joe’s wife and the ship’s cook. Critics worldwide have lauded Ms. Simpson’s voice as wonderfully powerful, fascinating, thrilling and extraordinary. Last season, she made her debut as Queenie with Lyric Opera of Chicago, she reprised the role with Washington National Opera in May and will also perform it with San Francisco Opera in 2014. She has received critical acclaim as Serena in Porgy and Bess, a role she has performed with New York City Opera, Styriarte Festival and the Malta Music Festival. She has also performed with the Los Angeles Opera, La Scala Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, San Diego Opera, Miami Opera and New York City Opera.
Soprano Emily Pulley returns to CCO in her role as leading lady Julie. A CCO regular and a former CCO Apprentice Artist, Ms. Pulley most recently appeared with the company as Beatrice in 2010′s Three Decembers and in the title role of Susannah in 2008. Having performed a wide range of roles in her career with opera companies from the Metropolitan Opera to London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and everywhere in between, Ms. Pulley has enjoyed many of her biggest successes in contemporary American operas. Her credits in the genre include Lavinia in Marvin David Levy’s Mourning Becomes Electra at New York City Opera, Lysia in Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata with Houston Grand Opera and New York City Opera, and Sarah Miles in Heggie’s The End of the Affair at Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Most recently, Ms. Pulley has performed the role of Beatrice in Three Decembers with Fort Worth Opera, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with Virginia Opera, and Georgetta in Il Tabarro with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Baritone Troy Cook will perform the role of the handsome riverboat gambler, Gaylord Ravenal. He made his CCO debut as Marcello in last season’s La bohème a role he has performed often including with Opera Company of Philadelphia and Semperoper Dresden in Germany. Some of Mr. Cook’s additional roles have included Mr. Flint in Billy Budd and Figaro in The Barber of Seville with the San Francisco Opera, Giacomo in Beatrix Cenci with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Morales in Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera. His recent credits include Father Palmer in Silent Night with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Lord Cecil in Maria Stuarda with the Washington Concert Opera.
Bass Soloman Howard* will be making his CCO debut as advice-giving dock worker Joe, a role he also played with the Washington National Opera in May. The oldest of seven children, Mr. Howard grew up homeless on the streets of Washington D.C. Feeling that a lot of what he went through and his experiences as a child made him a stronger human being, it’s no surprise that he just completed his second year of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, and performed the role of Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni with the company. His recent credits include a debut with Washington Concert Opera as Leone in Verdi’s Attila, and performances at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage with the Conservatory Project.
Baritone Curt Olds returns as actor Frank after his most recent appearance with the company as Will Parker in 2012′s Oklahoma! and John Styx in 2010′s Orpheus in the Underworld. A former Studio and Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, Mr. Olds now enjoys a career in both opera and musical theater having performed in the original German production of Cats, on Broadway in Riverdance, as well as with Arizona Opera, Edmonton Opera and Hawaii Opera Theatre, to name a few. Recent credits include Herman in The Most Happy Fella with Tulsa Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Opera on the James, and Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance with the Eugene Opera. Having grown up with Central City Opera, Denver Center Theater and the many other amazing theater companies throughout Colorado, local mezzo-soprano Ellen Kaye* will be making her CCO debut as Ellie. Having received her training throughout Europe and in New York, Ms. Kaye was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical by the Denver Post for Eva Peron inEvita in 2011 and for her role as Kate Monster in Avenue Q in 2012. Most recently, Ms. Kaye performed with the Ensemble in Romeo and Juliet with the Denver Center Theater Company, Kate Monster/Lucy in Avenue Q, The Musical with the Boulder Dinner Theater, and with the Ensemble in Chess, The Musical with the Arvada Center. See the end of this release for a full cast list.
Central City Opera’s production of Show Boat will be directed by Ray Roderick*, who will be making his debut with the company in 2013. A writer, director and choreographer Mr. Roderick has many credits to his name, the latest of which include direction of Mame that starred Tony-Nominated Louise Pitre and Broadway veteran Judy Blazer; Denver’s longest running show I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts; the writing and direction of ‘S Wonderful! The New Gershwin Musical; assistant director to the legendary Jerry Lewis and the new Broadway bound musical The Nutty Professor based on the 1963 movie; and many more. Most recently, Mr. Roderick was the Associate Director for the Broadway production of the Music Man, and Stage Director for the national tour, and was the co-author, director and choreographer of Irving Berlin’s I Love a Piano national tour.
Scenic Designer James Youmans* will make his CCO debut with Show Boat. Mr. Youmans has designed award-winning scenery for Broadway, Off-Broadway, television, regional theater, touring productions, and theme parks. On Broadway, Mr. Youmans has designed the revival of Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly Away, Swinging on a Star, and revivals of West Side Story and Gypsy. Other live events Mr. Youmans has designed include The Music City Holiday Spectacular at Opryland and the NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show for NBA Entertainment. Costume Designer Tracy Christensen* will be making her CCO debut withShow Boat. Having designed costumes for Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theater, dance, concert and touring productions, Ms. Christensen received the 2007 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Costume Design – Large Theater for the production ofSouvenir with the Brentwood Theater. Recent credits include: My Fair Lady for the Kennedy Center Spring Gala Benefit; Good News with the Goodspeed Opera House; and, Abundancewith the Hartford Stage. Also making his CCO debut is Nevin Steinberg*, who will be the sound designer for Show Boat. A founding principal of the sound design firm Acme Sound Partners, Mr. Steinberg provided sound design services for dozens of Tony Award-winning Broadway shows including In the Heights, Hair, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Light in the Piazza, Avenue Q and La bohème. While with the company, Acme was nominated for Tony Awards for Best Sound Design for The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Fences, Hair and In the Heights. The company also won the Drama Desk Award four times, for Porgy and Bess, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Ragtime, and La bohème. Mr. Steinberg is currently preparing for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella at Carnegie Hall. Recent sound designs on Broadway include the Performers and Magic/Bird, both of which opened (and closed) in 2012. David Martin Jacques returns this summer for his 13th festival as Resident Lighting Designer. He has been lauded for his design of more than 300 theatre, opera, television, dance and special event productions. The Wig/Makeup Designer is Dave Bova, who made is his CCO debut in 2012. Mr. Bova’s recent work has included Cabaret and Death of a Salesman with The Dallas Theater Center, Sweeney Todd with Barrington Stage, and Annie Get Your Gun with the Ravinia Festival.
Central City Opera 2013 Festival – Tickets on Sale Now!
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 Our Town is the second offering opening July 6 and running at the Opera House through July 28.
Central City Opera Comes to Denver’s Buell Theatre – August 6 to 11
Central City Opera comes to Denver for seven consecutive performances of Kern and Hammerstein II’s Broadway classic musical, Show Boat 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. Single tickets start at $20 with two-show subscriptions starting at just $32. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.
(Costume designs and headshots available upon request.)
Music Jerome Kern
Book and Lyrics Oscar Hammerstein II
Conductor Hal France
Director Ray Roderick
Assistant Director Kyle Lang
Scenic Designer James Youmans
Costume Designer Tracy Christensen
Assistant Costume Designer Jennifer Raskopf
Lighting Designer David Martin Jacques
Wig/Makeup Designer Dave Bova
Assistant Choreographer Becky Timms
Sound Designer Nevin Steinberg
Associate Conductor/Chorus Master Levi Hammer
Guest Chorus Master Carmen Marie Coleman
Musical Preparation Bonnie Koestner, Tatiana Vassilieva
Stage Manager Diane Line
Assistant Stage Manager Rachel L. Ginsberg
Steve Baker Patrick Murray
Queenie Angela Renée Simpson
Parthy Ann Hawks Denise Lute
Cap’n Andy Hawks Gene Scheer
Ellie Mae Shipley Ellen Kaye
Frank Schultz Curt Olds
Julie LaVerne Emily Pulley
Gaylord Ravenal Troy Cook
Magnolia Hawks Julia Burrows
Joe Soloman Howard
Pete Wesley Gentle
Sheriff Vallon Max Wier
Jim Greene Robert Murphy
Windy Galeano Salas
Young Kim Grace Pouliot**
Jake D. Justin Carpenter
Adult Kim Leah Bobbey
Card Dealer Alexander Elliott
Backwoodsman Nicholas Ward
Jeb Matthew Opitz
Ethel Jasmine Habersham
Mrs. O’Brien Nicole Woodward
Mother Superior Monica Soto-Gil
Charlie Jeffrey Grayson Gates
Lottie Adria Caffaro
Dottie Leah Edmondson Dyer
Old Lady on the Levee Kerriann Otaño
Ensemble Bonfils-Stanton Apprentice Artists and Guest African-American Chorus
*Indicates Central City Opera debut
**Member of Colorado Children’s Chorale