Central City Opera Opens 75th Anniversary 2007 Festival with Verdi's La Traviata June 30 Through August 16
June 14, 2007

Central City Opera Opens 75th Anniversary 2007 Festival with Verdi's La Traviata June 30 Through August 16

Central City Opera Opens 75th Anniversary 2007 Festival with Verdi's La Traviata June 30 Through August 16

75th Annual Flower Girl Presentation Kicks Off Festival June 30

Jun 14, 2007

Denver, Co. - Central City Opera’s historic 2007 75th Anniversary Festival opens with Verdi’s popular Italian opera, La Traviata, about a young courtesan stricken with consumption and her tumultuous love affair with a nobleman in Paris. This new production commemorates Central City Opera’s first festival, which opened to great fanfare on July 16, 1932 with the play Camille designed and directed by Broadway producer Robert Edmond Jones and starring Lillian Gish in the lead role. Camille and La Traviata are based on the same novel, La Dame aux Camélias, by French writer Alexandre Dumas fils.’ La Traviata opens Saturday, June 30 and runs through Aug. 16 at the Central City Opera House in Central City, Colo. This 2007 production is sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Performing Artists
Known for his interpretations of 19th century Italian repertoire, Martin André makes his Central City Opera debut conducting La Traviata. An international performer, he spent many seasons as resident conductor at Welsh National Opera and has the rare distinction of having performed for all of the major British opera companies. Recently he has conducted Koanga at Pegasus Opera Company, Rigoletto at Opera North, and Fair Maid of Perth at the Buxton Festival. Soprano Jennifer Casey Cabot returns to CCO as Violetta, after her lauded debut with the company as Alma in Hoiby’s Summer and Smoke in 2002. Having enjoyed great success in this leading role, Ms. Cabot has also performed Violetta with the New York City Opera, Washington Opera, Utah Festival Opera and Opera Festival New Jersey. Tenor Chad Shelton returns as Violetta’s love interest, Alfredo, after performing the role of Don Ottavio in last year’s Don Giovanni. Other previous credits at CCO are Fernando in Goyescas, Chivington in Gabriel’s Daughter, and Laurie in Little Women. A former CCO Apprentice Artist, Mr. Shelton has since gone on to make his international debut with the Australian Opera and is slated to make his debut with San Francisco Opera in 2008. Baritone Grant Youngblood returns as Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, after his most recent performances with CCO as The Four Villains in The Tales of Hoffmann Known for his interpretation of the role, he has performed it with New York City Opera, Orlando Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Memphis and Virginia Opera. Other previous credits at CCO include Tonio in I Pagliacci, Paquiro in Goyescas, and Escamillo in Carmen.

Production Team
Australian director Justin Way makes his CCO debut as stage director. In addition to his role as Staff Director for Royal Opera Covent Garden where he directed Das Rheingold (Warner), his work has been staged at Opera Australia-Alcina, Washington National Opera and Chicago Opera Theater-Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. Peter Harrison, who most recently created the critically-acclaimed set for The Coronation of Poppea (2006), designs the scenery reminiscent of the original Camille production that opened the company in 1932. Mr. Harrison’s additional credits at CCO include Le Jongleur de Notre Dame 2004 and I Pagliacci / Goyescas, 2003, to name a few. Costume designer for all three productions in 2006, as well as Vanessa in 2005 and Le Jongleur de Notre Dame in 2004, Alice Marie Kugler Bristow returns to design this Festival opener. David Martin Jacques returns as Resident Lighting Designer for the 2007 Festival, after his most recent appearance with the company lighting Madama Butterfly in 2005. A complete listing of the cast for La Traviata is located at the end of this release.

“We are setting this production in period costumes in the 1870s, at the end of the world that lived by the rules that Dumas and Verdi are describing,” states Director Justin Way. “The great thing about Central City is the size of the place; so you gain the immediacy. You can have it in period costume without putting it behind filters; without letting a haze of nostalgia descend over it. In inhabiting the world that is described in the libretto, you want to get good and close so you can see what’s going on underneath.”

75th Annual Flower Girl Presentation June 30
A tradition that started with the inaugural festival in 1932, Central City Opera kicks off the 2007 Festival with the oldest debutante ceremony in Colorado, the 75th annual Flower Girl Presentation and Yellow Rose Ball on Opening Night, June 30. Festivities begin at 5:00 p.m. with the presentation of this year’s 20 Flower Girls, a dynamite blast and the unlocking of the Opera House doors, signaling the official open of the season. The Flower Girls will then dance the Yellow Rose Waltz, a string trio written for the occasion, with their fathers on Eureka St. followed by a special dinner at the Teller House prior to the performance of La Traviat at 8 p.m. As the first two Flower Girls did in 1932, the debutantes will once again distribute nosegays of yellow roses to the audience during intermission to be tossed onstage during curtain calls at the end of the performance. The Yellow Rose Ball and Flower Girl Presentation began as a stimulus for young women to appreciate the importance of maintaining Colorado’s rich cultural heritage. Many of the Flower Girls are chosen based on their Colorado lineage, with some being sixth generation Coloradoans.

Ticket Information
Subscriptions to see La Traviata, Cinderella and The Saint of Bleecker Street (with exclusive subscriber-only pricing for the world premiere of Poet Li Bai) during the 2007 Festival are still available ranging from $107 to $215. Single tickets range from $43 to $87. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Central City Opera Box Office at 303-292-6700; 800-851-8175 or go online to www.centralcityopera.org.

Commemorative Book- Theatre of Dreams: The Glorious Central City Opera – Celebrating 75 Years
Central City Opera’s commemorative coffee table book, entitled Theatre of Dreams: The Glorious Central City Opera- Celebrating 75 Years, highlighting the company’s 75 year history and including never before seen photos, is now available to the public. A limited number have been published. Prices are $75 (including shipping). A copy of the book can be purchased at the Central City Opera Gift Shop in the Teller House in Central City, Tattered Cover bookstores, or by calling 303-292-6700 or visiting www.centralcityopera.org.



For tickets or additional information visit www.centralcityopera.org or call (303) 292-6700


Currently in its 75th year, the Central City Opera House Association 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 pursue its four-part mission to present artistically excellent professional opera; 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. The 2007 75th Anniversary Festival includes Verdi's La Traviata, the world premiere of Guo Wenjing's Poet Li Bai, Massenet's Cinderella and Menotti's The Saint of Bleecker Street. For tickets and information call (303) 292-6700, (800) 851-8175 or visit www.centralcityopera.org..