For Immediate Release

Contact:Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing, Central City Opera

303-292-6500, ext. 108; vhamlin@centralcityopera.org

Kelly Nelson, Public Relations Consultant, Citrus PR

303-909-5716, Kelly.nelson@mac.com
January 05, 2011


Grant will Support Central City Opera’s 2011 Festival Production of Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula


Denver, CO (January 5, 2010) -- Rocco Landesman, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), announced that Central City Opera has been approved for a grant of $25,000 to support the company’s 2011 Festival production of Handel’s Baroque opera, Amadigi di Gaula. Central City Opera is one of 1,057 not-for-profit organizations recommended for a grant as part of the federal agency’s first round of fiscal year 2011 grants. In total, the Arts Endowment will distribute $26.68 million to support projects nationwide. This marks the tenth consecutive year that Central City Opera has received funding from the NEA for its programs. Other Colorado-based organizations that received direct grant funding for 2011 include Aspen Music Festival & School, National Repertory Orchestra, Bravo! Vail Valley, Denver Center for Performing Arts, Denver Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

An independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts advances artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, “I continue to be impressed with the creative, innovative, and excellent projects brought forward by arts organizations across the country. Our grantees are not only furthering their art forms but also enhancing their neighborhoods by making them more vibrant, livable, and fun.”

“One of Central City Opera’s primary goals is to contribute to the strength and vitality of the operatic art form by offering artistically excellent, relevant and rarely seen works,” explains Central City Opera General/Artistic Director Pelham G. Pearce. “Funding support from the NEA makes it possible for us to realize this goal by introducing opera goers to significant yet rarely staged operas, as well as providing internationally renowned vocal and production artists the opportunity to present new productions and advance their skill sets.”

The grant money will go towards presenting Central City Opera’s new production and North American premiere of the first fully staged version of Handel’s Baroque opera, Amadigi di Gaula, with a libretto by an unknown author. British stage director Alessandro Talevi makes his U.S. debut, while lauded Baroque conductor Matthew Halls returns after leading Handel’s Rinaldo in 2009 and Madama Butterfly last summer for this “magic” opera by Handel. This knight in shining armor love story follows Amadigi and Dardano, who are both determined to win the hand of Princess Oriana. Challenged by the potions and power of a sorceress with the help of demonic spirits, true love prevails in the end. Having worked as a staff director at English Touring Opera and under such renowned directors as John Copley and James Conway at English National Opera, Mr. Talevi co-founded Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells in London in 2005 and was its artistic director until 2008. He has also recently directed Ariadne auf Naxos with Teatro La Fenice, Peter Grimes for the Teatro San Carlo and several productions for the Royal Academy of Music. An internationally renowned conductor, Mr. Halls is the Artistic Director for the Retrospect Ensemble based in the U.K. Following their successful May 2009 inaugural performance at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the Ensemble performed in 2010 at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London, as well as, tours to Korea, Israel, Portugal and Switzerland.In January, Mr. Halls will conduct the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for one of the most popular works of all time: Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Amadigi di Gaula will be performed at the historic Central City Opera House from July 9 to August 7, 2011.

In addition to Amadigi di Gaula, Central City Opera’s 2011 Festival will feature a new production of Bizet’s Carmen, directed by Metropolitan Opera choreographer Danny Pelzig, and a double bill of three one act operas: Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, Les Mamelles de Tiresias by Poulenc and Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins. Subscriptions for Central City Opera’s 2011 Festival are on sale now starting at just $42. For more information or to purchase tickets for 2011, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government that has awarded more than $4 billion on projects of artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.  To join the discussion on how art works, visit the National Endowment for the Arts at arts.gov

Celebrating its 78th 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; 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.