Kelly Nelson
Central City Opera Publicist
(303) 909-5716

Valerie Hamlin
Director of Marketing
(303) 292-6500 x 108
May 18, 2011


Central City Days
Taking Modern Fun to Historic Heights
July 30th and 31st

Denver, Colorado (May 17, 2011) - On July 30 and 31, Central City Opera (CCO) will celebrate all that's good and great about Colorado in the place it has called home for more than 75 years. Over the course of the weekend, Central City Days will feature a full smattering of family-friendly activities to discover the best of Colorado, including historic hiking, walking and biking tours, Colorado Mead, wine and beer tastings in historic places and casual performances designed to "wow".

"Central City is our summer home," says Central City Opera General/Artistic Director Pelham "Pat" Pearce. "We created the idea of a Colorado Day weekend celebration of history in our line-up of summer events because we know many Coloradans don't know Central City as we do - an enchanting mountain jewel of a town that's as steeped in history and local character as it is in beauty."

Central City Days is one weekend in a summer-long schedule of fresh, new events CCO calls 'Fringe Festival'. A complement to Central City Opera's traditional summer opera festival production schedule, these 'come as you are events for all' will allow people of all ages and interests to experience local history, nature, culture, and of course, world class opera in incomparable and unexpected historic venues.

All-inclusive one-day, weekend and VIP passes for Central City Days will allow festival-goers the ability to custom craft their adventure:

Offered throughout both days, children and adults of all ages will enjoy a variety of unplugged experiences, all included with pass purchase.

Backcountry Mountain Biking Treks
Three loops designed for mountain bikers of beginner, average and expert technical ability will be offered. Saturday and Sunday morning guided tours of the Nevadaville Loop (average technical skill) will begin at the Opera House and stop for two short tours of a historic ghost town and 19th century cemeteries in the hills above Central City before looping back into town. (Self-guided loop treks will be open to the public all day. All treks will be free with any pass purchase, but a guided trek spot must be reserved in advance and space is limited.)

Historic Tours
A bevy of guided and self-guided walking tours through Central City's storied streets, the Coeur D'Alene Mine and Central City's historic museums will be available throughout the day Saturday and Sunday, bringing 19th century Colorado to life in thrilling 21st century style. Museum/mine admission and walking/hiking tours are free with any pass purchase. (Walking tour spots must be reserved in advance and space is limited.)

Geocaching History Hunt
It's trending around the world and it's coming to Central City Days - attendees can bring their GPS device or GPS-equipped cell phone and explore Central City's historic sites for buried treasure in a high tech scavenger hunt that will delight every inner adventurer. Great fun for those of any age, these activities are free with any pass purchase and are offered all day.

Opportunities for uncommon gastro fun abound throughout the weekend.

Oskar Blues Colorado Brew & 'Q - Saturday, July 30, 4-6 p.m.
This al fresco tasting at the historic McFarlane Memorial features award-winning Colorado beer from Oskar Blues Brewery with BBQ, live musical accompaniment and incomparably scenic views. (VIP pass purchase required, 21 and older.)

Colorado Mead & Wine Tasting - Sunday, July 31, 4-6 p.m.
Colorado has been called the "Napa Valley" of meaderies. Discover this Colorado liquid gold at an al fresco tasting party at the historic Johnson House featuring a sampling of regional meads and wines, including a few from Denver's hot Infinite Monkey Theorem. Light hors d'oeuvres and live musical accompaniment. (VIP pass purchase required, 21 and older.)

Sweet Street Food All Weekend
Two of Colorado's hottest 'foodie' trucks - Mikes² Kitchen and The Crock Spot go vertical for a weekend of extraordinary palate pleasure.

The whole family will enjoy one, two or all three short opera performances in the historic Williams stables. Fun for kids of kindergarten age through high school, it's a decidedly casual and unexpected way to introduce families to Colorado history via a stage experience unlike any other. "The most important thing I learned is that opera is a great way to learn about other things." - 8th grader, Bell Middle School. Free admission to all shows with any pass purchase. (Spots must be reserved in advance and space is limited.) Shows include:

How the West was Sung
Saturday, July 30, 11:00 a.m.
No Wii? No iPod? No reality TV? What did the pioneers and miners of the frontier West do for fun? Surprise! They liked opera (among other activities), and the adventurous lives of Colorado historical figures Molly Brown, Horace and Baby Doe Tabor, and Clara Brown make great opera stories for today!

Eureka Street
Sunday, July 31, 3:00 p.m.
Stroll down Central City's Eureka Street and experience an "aha moment" as captivating characters are discovered spilling out the doors of the Opera House, singing toe-tapping tunes with wonderful words and spectacular stories form the magical world of opera. Drawing on scenes from some of opera's funniest tales, they build a unique Central City opera with help from student performers.

The Summer Performing Arts Intensive
Saturday, July 30, 2:30 p.m.
Attendees will enjoy a new piece written, produced and performed by students from the Colorado Springs Conservatory as part of Central City Opera's Summer Performing Arts Intensive program. This performance is the culmination of two weeks of summer study with visiting master teaching artists that includes the creation of an original operatic work based on the life of an historically relevant Colorado figure.

Random Acts of Opera take the opera out of the house and leave pretensions at the door for a spine tingle when and where it's least expected.

All-access Central City Days passes are on sale now:

  • One-day passes to Central City's storied past are priced at $15 for adults, $10 for kids (ages 4 to 12); or get a one-day family 4-pack for $45.
  • Two-day weekend passes are $25 for adults, $15 for kids (ages 4 to 12); or get a two-day family 4-pack for just $75 - the best value.
  • Daily VIP pass: A $25 per day VIP pass allows access to every activity plus private, nightly Colorado beer, wine and mead tasting parties in historic venues. (21 and older)

Passes may be purchased online at centralcityopera.org/centralcitydays or by calling 303-292-6700. For those who want to make it a weekend staycation, a variety of lodging options can be found online at centralcityopera.org/visitorinfo.

Guided tour and performance RSVPs may be placed at the time of pass purchase for guaranteed spot reservation OR passes for self-guided activities may be purchased all day Saturday the 30th and Sunday the 31st at the Teller House Box Office in Central City.

Central City Opera's 2011 Central City Days sponsors and supporters include Mikes² Kitchen, Oskar Blues Brewery, The Crock Spot, Infinite Monkey Theorem, The City of Central, the Gilpin County Historical Society, and the Citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.


2011 Festival Tickets on Sale Now!
Running June 25 to Aug. 7, the Festival offers a wide range of selections with something for everyone, including a new production of Bizet's Carmen; the first fully-staged production in North America of Händel's Amadigi di Gaula; and a double bill of three one act operas: Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, The Breasts of Tiresias by Poulenc and Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins. 2011 Festival subscriptions, starting at just $42, are on sale now and include Carmen, Amadigi di Gaula and two of the one-acts. Packages are also available to see all five shows this summer. Those who subscribe before May 2nd will receive a 30% discount off of regular single ticket prices and will also receive a 30% discount on most Fringe Festival events. Single tickets, starting at $20, and tickets for individual one-act performances starting at just $10, are also on sale now. For more information or to purchase tickets for 2011, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.

Central City Opera's 2011 Festival sponsors include the CCOHA Endowment Fund, Lanny and Sharon Martin, Avenir Foundation and the Citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. 2011 media sponsors are the Denver Post, 5280 Magazine and 9News.

Celebrating its 79th 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.