CENTRAL CITY OPERA PRESENTS GIAN CARLO MENOTTI’S HOLIDAY CLASSIC FOR AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES: AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS DECEMBER 4 TO 6 IN HIGHLANDS RANCH

Central City Opera

Contact

Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing
303-292-6500, ext. 108;
vhamlin@centralcityopera.org

Heather Brecl, Associate Director of Marketing
303-292-6500, ext. 105;
hbrecl@centralcityopera.org

A TUNEFUL ONE-ACT OPERA ABOUT A MAGIC STAR, A SHEPHERD BOY, AND HOW UNSELFISH LOVE AND GOOD DEEDS CAN WORK MIRACLES

Denver, Colo. (November 5, 2014) – Central City Opera (CCO) partners with St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch to present Gian Carlo Menotti’s enduring holiday opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, December 4, 5 and 6. The production will be performed in English with a live professional orchestra at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (UMC) in Highlands Ranch with an approximate running time of one hour. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased at www.CentralCityOpera.org/amahl, by calling the Central City Opera Box Office at 303-292-6700 or in person at Central City Opera, 400 S Colorado Blvd, Suite 525, 80246. Central City Opera subscribers receive a 20% discount.

“While a good deal of our output is concentrated in the summer months, we wanted to provide the community with our brand of storytelling during the Holiday season. We are very excited to collaborate on this new staging of Menotti’s touching tale with Jim Ramsey and Kent Thompson in Highlands Ranch,” says Central City Opera General/Artistic Director Pat Pearce.

Amahl and the Night Visitors is an enduring hit that has been popular since its premier in 1951. This family-friendly opera has enjoyed thousands of performances and has been touted as an opera that remains meaningful because it’s both concisely written and has touches of whimsy with a message for the season that reaches home for the audience.

Commissioned by NBC as the first opera written for television, Amahl and the Night Visitors debuted on December 24, 1951 becoming the first network television Christmas special to become an annual tradition. Menotti drew inspiration for the opera from Hieronymus Bosch’s The Adoration of the Magi, which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and from his childhood in Italy where gifts were brought at Christmas by the Three Kings instead of Santa Claus.

Set near Bethlehem just after the birth of Christ, Amahl and the Night Visitors tells the story of Amahl, a poor shepherd boy who, despite a disability, is normal and inquisitive and is known (to his mother, at least) as a teller of tall tales.  His most recent story is about a star with a tail that moves across the sky like a chariot on fire.  When three splendid strangers knock on the door and ask to rest in their tiny home, Amahl is thrilled and fascinated by everything about them.  When the visitors describe the miraculous child they are seeking, both Amahl and his mother are moved to give reverence to the child as well. Their humble faith conjures a miracle.

Amahl and the Night Visitors Production Team and Performing Artists
Currently the Producing Artistic Director of the Denver Center Theatre Company (DCTC), Kent Thompson will debut with Central City Opera as Director of Amahl and the Night Visitors. With the DCTC, he has directed productions of Hamlet, Just Like Us, Other Desert Cities, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Plainsong, Eventide, Amadeus, The Liar and Measure for Measure, among others. Two of Kent’s major accomplishments since moving to Denver have been the establishment of the Colorado New Play Summit, a premier national festival for new American plays, and the Women’s Voices Fund, an endowment that supports the development of new plays by women. Prior to moving to Denver, he was the producing artistic director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for 16 years. In 1991, Kent created the Southern Writers’ Project (SWP), designed to commission and develop new plays, that presented 16 world premieres during his tenure.

The Director of Music and Arts at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, James Ramsey will fulfill the role of Music Director for this production. Mr. Ramsey’s credits include Music Director of the Littleton Chorale, Chorus Master for the Colorado Music Festival and Assistant Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. James has led tour performances across Great Britain, Germany, Czech Republic, and France. He holds degrees from Middle Tennessee State University and the Eastman School of Music with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

John Healy, treble, returns to Central City Opera in the role of Amahl after appearing as Miles in the acclaimed 2012 production of Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. Now a freshman at Denver School of the Arts, John sang with the Colorado Children’s Chorale from 2008-2014; his final two years were in the National Tour Choir.  He recently performed the role of Young Harvey in I am Harvey Milk with the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus.

Mezzo-soprano Valerie Nicolosi performs the role of Amahl’s mother. One of Central City Opera’s Ensemble Artists, Ms. Nicolosi not only performs year-round with CCO, but also has performed many other leading operatic roles, concert works and recitals across the country. She debuted on the American operatic stage in the title role of Rossini’s La Cenerentola with Opera Providence. She performs a variety of beloved mezzo characters from the favorite pants roles of Cherubino, Orlovskky and Hansel, to the heart-stopping Rossini Heroines like Rosina and Cenerentola. She has also appeared as a soloist with the Knoxville Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, Hartford Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, Boston Ballet and many others. In 2008 she released her first CD recording, The Rosary in Song, based on her popular recital by the same name.

Following his CCO debut performing the role of Father Grenville in Dead Man Walking this past summer, tenor Jason Baldwin will take the stage in the role of King Kaspar. Previously, Mr. Baldwin has performed the roles of Don José in Carmen with both the Utah Festival Opera and Opera Theatre of the Rockies; Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette and Ernesto in Don Pasquale with the Utah Opera; Spoletta in Tosca, Pang in Turandot, Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd with Opera Colorado, and more. Most recently, Mr. Baldwin returned to Utah Opera to sing Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas, Loveland Opera Theatre as Rodolfo in La bohème and a concert with the Longmont Symphony. Mr. Baldwin is also an Ensemble and Teaching Artist for Central City Opera.

Baritone Thomas Kittle joins the cast as King Melchior. Previous roles include Schaunard in La bohéme, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Valentin in Faust, Escamillo in Carmen, Peter, the father, in Hänsel und Gretel, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, Major-General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance, and Curly in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. Most recently, he performed the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Tom was awarded first place in the 2013 Denver Lyric Opera Guild (DLOG)’s annual vocal competition and received the Young Artist Encouragement award at the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Tom also directs with Denver-based Catchpenny Kids Theater.

Bass-baritone Antoine Hodge returns to a favorite in his repertoire as King Balthazar in Central City Opera’s Amahl and the Night Visitors following his performance in the same role for Opera Fort Collins. Recent performances included the regional premiere of Liza Lehmann’s In A Persian Garden, his debut with the Colorado Springs Chamber Orchestra as the bass soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and his debut with the Greeley Philharmonic as bass soloist in Mozart’s Requiem. Past roles include Colline in Puccini’s La bohème, Mr. Page in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Mr. Gobineau in The Medium, Yundt in Curtis Bryant’sThe Anarchists, Don Bartolo in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as a host of comprimario roles on professional stages in Colorado and Georgia, including Opera Colorado, Opera Fort Collins, Atlanta Opera, and others. This year, Antoine will make another debut as bass soloist in Gerald Finzi’s In terra pax with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

Members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church (SLUMC) and the SLUMC Performing Arts Academy will be performing as the chorus.

Discover Amahl and the Night Visitors – November 13 in Highlands Ranch
Join Central City Opera and discover the family-friendly opera Amahl and the Night Visitors through song and craft on Thursday, November 13 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm during Kids Zone at the James H. LaRue Highlands Ranch Library located 9292 Ridgeline Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80129. A Central City Opera Ensemble Artist will perform as one of the Three Kings singing about his treasure followed by a special themed craft in which children can create a treasure of their own! This event is free and open to kids in grades 2-6. No registration required. For more information, visit www.centralcityopera.org/discoveramahl.

Central City Opera 2015 Festival
July 11-August 9, 2015
La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi
Man of La Manchathe Tony Award winning musical by Leigh, Darion & Wasserman
The Prodigal Son by Benjamin Britten
The Blind by Lera Auerbach
Don Quixote and the Duchess by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier

Central City Opera’s 2015 Festival features five productions performed and delivered in non-traditional ways. Verdi’s opera about the love and loss of a tuberculosis-stricken mistress, La Traviata, and the Tony Award winning musical of a brave knight’s adventures, Man of La Mancha, will be performed in the intimate Central City Opera House. The final three shows are one-act operas with performances in alternate spaces from historic buildings in Central City to diverse venues throughout Colorado including locations in Aspen, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Denver and Boulder. The 2015 one-act operas include The Prodigal Son, Britten’s church parable about the return of a wayward son; The Blind, an operatic feast for the senses about a group of blind people who have lost their way; and Don Quixote and the Duchess, the story of a practical joke played on a courageous knight.

Two-pack subscriptions for Central City Opera’s 2015 Festival productions of La Traviata and Man of La Mancha start at just $38 and provide up to a 25% discount on single tickets. Subscribers also save $10 when they purchase the One Act three-pack which includes The Blind, The Prodigal Son and Don Quixote and the Duchess.  Single tickets for Central City Opera’s 2015 Festival will be available this spring. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.CentralCityOpera.org or call 303-292-6700.

Celebrating its 82nd 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.
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Amahl and the Night Visitors Cast List
Amahl – John Healy
Mother – Valerie Nicolosi
King Kaspar – Jason Baldwin
King Melchior – Thomas Kittle
King Balthazar – Antoine Hodge
Page (TBD)
Director – Kent Thompson
Music Director – James Ramsey
Chorus – members of St. Luke’s UMC choir and Performing Arts Academy

DENVER COMES ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC!

Central City Opera

Contact

Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing
303-292-6500, ext. 108;
vhamlin@centralcityopera.org

Kelly Nelson, Publicist
303-909-5716
kelly@citruspr.com

DENVER COMES ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC!

CENTRAL CITY OPERA WILL ENCHANT AUDIENCES YOUNG AND OLD WITH ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR MUSICALS OF ALL TIME:
THE SOUND OF MUSIC by Rodgers and Hammerstein

August 2 to 10 at Ellie Caulkins Opera House- Denver

Denver, Colo. (July 21, 2014) - “Audiences of all ages can hum along to their favorite songs like “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” and title song “The Sound of Music” when Central City Opera (CCO) brings to Denver one of the most popular Broadway productions of all time, The Sound of Music. Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s Tony Award winning musical, which was also an Academy Award winning movie, is Central City Opera’s final production for the 2014 Festival. The Sound of Music will be performed at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex for seven performances only from August 2 through August 10. Directed by Ken Cazan, who also directed CCO’s critically acclaimed production of Dead Man Walking this summer, The Sound of Music will be performed in English with a full live orchestra. Single tickets range from $30 to $106.
Based on Maria von Trapp’s memoir, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, Maria is a sweet young nun-in-training whose love of freedom makes it obvious to her superiors that she is not quite suited for religious life. She is sent off to be the governess to Captain von Trapp’s seven troublesome children, and unlike past governess’, Maria becomes friends with the children due to their mutual love of music. Even the strict Captain begins to admire Maria and, eventually, the Captain and Maria fall in love and are married. All seems right in the world of the von Trapps until the Nazis invade their homeland of Austria and the whole family is forced to flee over the Alps to escape.

Says Cazan, “I deeply admire the Captain’s convictions to fight fascism…He chooses to demonstrate to his children that there are moments when one has to stand up for one’s beliefs, even though the penalty may be severe. I believe that he could not have done this without the support of Maria…Maria was a hearty, “peasant” woman with strong religious convictions. In using those strengths to support the Captain, she empowers him and the children to move forward…to defy what was rapidly becoming the most heinous and infamous war machine in the history of civilization.”

The original Broadway production opened in 1959, and the show has enjoyed numerous productions and revivals since then. It was adapted as a 1965 film musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and won five Academy Awards. In December of 2013, NBC presented The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood in the first live musical broadcast on television in 56 years, which drew huge ratings with more than 18 million viewers. Many songs from the musical have become classics including “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “The Sound of Music,” “The Lonely Goatherd” and many more.

Performing Artists
Rising conductor Craig Kier* makes his CCO debut this year. He made is Glimmerglass Festival debut this past summer conducting Weill’s Lost in the Stars, and also recently made his debut at the Royal Opera House leading performances of The Music Man. Mr. Kier is the Associate Conductor and Assistant Chorus Master for the Houston Grand Opera, where he serves as cover conductor and a member of the coaching faculty of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. He has also conducted with the Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Ballet, Houston Ballet, The Atlanta Opera, Seattle Opera and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. Locally, Mr. Kier previously served on the music staff of Opera Colorado and spent six years on the faculty of the Opera Theatre of the Rockies Vocal Arts Symposium. Recent credits include Die Fledermaus with the Houston Grand Opera, Il barbiere di Sivigila with the Atlanta Opera and La boheme with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

British Soprano Katherine Manley returns to CCO to perform as Maria, a role she performed to great acclaim with Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2011/12. Ms. Manley made her U.S. and CCO debuts as Oriana in the 2011 CCO production of Amadigi di Gaula. As one who “has all the makings of a star, including a commanding stage presence and a fresh, spellbinding voice,” as stated by Kyle MacMillan of The Denver Post, Ms. Manley’s roles have included Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia at Angers/Nantes Opera, Virtu in L’Incoronazione di Poppea for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Garsington Opera. Most recently, Ms. Manley performed Euridice in La descente d’Orphée with Wigmore Hall, Soprano in Natural History with Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Soprano Soloist in Memoryhouse with The Barbican, and Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady with Théâtre du Châtelet.

Baritone Troy Cook returns to CCO to perform the role of patriarch, Captain Georg von Trapp, after his performances as Gaylord Ravenal in last year’s acclaimed Show Boat. In 2012, he made his CCO debut as Marcello in 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, Morales in Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, Father Palmer in Silent Night with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and Lord Cecil in Maria Stuarda with the Washington Concert Opera. His recent credits include Paolo in Simon Boccanegra with Kentucky Opera, Riccardo in I puritani with the Boston Lyric Opera, and Marquis de la Force in Dialogues des Carmélites with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

London-based American-born soprano Lucy Schaufer* makes her CCO debut in the role of the baroness, Elsa Schraeder. She has performed all over the world in roles including Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with New Zealand Opera, Ma Moss in The Tender Land with Opéra de Lyon, Soloist in Upon Silence with Settembre Musica Festival, Milan and Turin, Page in Salome, Blumenmadchen in Parsifal and Suzuki in Madama Butterly with the Metropolitan Opera, and many more. This past spring, Ms. Schaufer recorded her first solo album, “Carpentersville,” which was co-produced with ABC Classics in Australia. Recent credits include Jenny in Higglety Pigglety Pop with the Aldeburgh Festival, the Barbican, Der Trommler in Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Opéra de Lyon, and Margaret Johnson in the European premiere of The Light in the Piazza with The Curve, Leicester.

Tenor Ian O’Brien returns to CCO for the role of Rolf, Liesl’s love interest, after performing the role of Ambrogio last year in The Barber of Seville. He was previously a CCO Bonfils-Stanton Studio Artist and in 2013 he was the recipient of the company’s John & Ginney Starkey Award. Mr. O’Brien was also an Opera Tampa Young Artist. Recent credits include Beppe in I Pagliacci, St. Brioche in The Merry Widow, and Gobin in La Rondine with Opera Tampa.

A 2014 CCO Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist, soprano Julie Tabash* makes her debut with the company as the lovesick eldest daughter of the Von Trapp family, Liesl.  Ms. Tabash was a member of the Florentine Opera Studio for the 2013-14 season and her recent roles include Despina in Così Fan Tutte, Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, and solo performances for both musical theater reviews and concerts featuring the music of Giuseppe Verdi with the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The role of the lovable and strong Mother Abbess will be played by mezzo-soprano Maria Zifchak, who returns this summer following her role as housekeeper Mrs. Grose in 2012’s The Turn of the Screw. Ms. Zifchak also sang the role of Mrs. Patrick De Rocher in this year’s Dead Man Walking.  Ms. Zifchak made her CCO company debut as Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon in 2007, and returned as Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia and Mrs. McLean in Susannah in 2008. A frequent performer with the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Zifchak has performed there as Annina in La Traviata, Inez in Il Trovatore and Kasturbai in Satyagraha. She has also played Genevieve in Pelléas and Mélisande and both the Mother and the Witch in Hänsel and Gretel with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Seattle Opera and Arizona Opera. Most recently, Ms. Zifchak sang the role of Brian’s Mother in Two Boys and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with The Metropolitan Opera, and Ruth in Pirates of Penzance with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Baritone Robert Orth makes his return to CCO to perform the role of the fun-loving and mischievous “Uncle” Max Detweiler, following his acclaimed performances in the role of Frederik Egerman in CCO’s 2009 production of A Little Night Music. He also previously performed with the company as Horace Tabor in the 50th anniversary production of The Ballad of Baby Doe in 2006. A company veteran, several previous appearances include Lescaut in Manon (1994) and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus (1991). Mr. Orth was highly touted for his portrayal of the role of Richard Nixon in Nixon in China, which he performed with Opera Colorado. Also performing the role of Owen Hart in this summer’s CCO production of Dead Man Walking, other recent credits include Simon Powers in Death and the Powers with the Dallas Opera, Howie Albert in Champion with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Stubb in Moby-Dick with the San Francisco Opera.

The additional Von Trapp children will be played by members of the Colorado Children’s Chorale (celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014): Grant Bradow as Friedrich von Trapp; Margaret Pilkington as Louisa von Trapp; Grace Pouliot as Brigitta von Trapp; Cooper Causey as Kurt von Trapp; Kaylee Rooks as Marta von Trapp; and, Lucy Crile as Gretl von Trapp.

Members of Central City Opera’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program round out the remainder of the cast: Katherine Weber as Ursula; Evan Bravos as Herr Zeller; Timothy J. Bruno as Baron Elberfeld; Kelsey Ankerson Park as Baroness Elberfeld and Chant Leader; Isaac Bray as Admiral von Schreiber; Phoenix Gayles as A New Postulant; Tatiana Ogan as Sister Berthe; Leah Bobbey as Sister Margaretta; and, Samantha Gossard as Sister Sophia.

Production Team
The director of last summer’s Our Town, Oklahoma! in 2012, and 2011’s three one-acts, Ken Cazan returns to CCO to direct Sound of Music (and Dead Man Walking) in 2014 after his other recent credits with the company of 2010′s Three Decembers, A Little Night Music in 2009 and the sold-out West Side Story in 2008. As the Chair of Vocal Performing Arts and Opera and the Resident Stage Director for the Flora A. Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Mr. Cazan is one of America’s most sought-after directors, having staged more than 150 productions of opera, musical theater, and plays in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

David Martin Jacques returns this summer for his 14th festival as Resident Lighting Designer. He has been lauded for his design of more than 300 theatre, opera, television, dance and special event productions. Recent work includes Tristan und Isolde for Teatro la Fenise, The Fall of the House of Usher for Chicago Opera Theatre and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Teatro dell’Opera Roma. Wig/Makeup Designer Dave Bova returns to CCO for the third year. Mr. Bova’s recent work has included Two Gentlemen of Verona with The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Fallow with People’s Light and Theatre and Red with the George Street Playhouse. The scenic designer for this production is James Fouchard and all costumes for Central City Opera’s production of The Sound of Music were designed by Catherine Zuber and Amanda Seymour. Scenery, props and costumes are courtesy of Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey.   

Central City Opera 2014 Festival
Central City Opera’s 2014 Festival runs June 28 through August 10 featuring Mozart’s beloved comic opera about the marriage of the famous barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro (June 28 to July 26) at the Central City Opera House; Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking (July 5 to 25) at the Central City Opera House  based on the true story and famous book written by Sister Helen Prejean about her relationship with Louisiana death row inmate Joseph De Rocher which was also an award-winning movie; and Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s glorious family musical The Sound of Music (Aug. 2 to 10) performed in Denver at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Subscriptions to see all three shows in the 2014 Festival are available for purchase starting at just $56. Single tickets for Central City Opera House productions start at $20 and tickets for The Sound of Music in Denver start at $30. For more information, visit www.centralcityopera.org/tickets or call the Box Office at 303-292-6700.

Celebrating its 82nd 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.

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Central City Opera’s The Sound of Music 2014 Production Cast List
*=Central City Opera Debut     **=Member of the Colorado Children’s Chorale
The Sound of Music is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals: rnh.com
Suggested by “the Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp
Music                                                               Richard Rodgers
Lyrics                                                              Oscar Hammerstein II
Book                                                                Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Conductor                                                       Craig Kier*
Director                                                           Ken Cazan
Assistant Director                                           Corinne Hayes
Original Scenic Designer                                 James Fouchard
Original Costume Designer                              Catherine Zuber
Additional Costume Designs                           Amanda Seymour
Costume Coordinator                                      Bettina Bierly
Lighting Designer                                            David Martin Jacques
Wig/Makeup Designer                                    Dave Bova
Sound Designer                                              Nevin Steinberg
Associate Conductor/ Chorus Master             Adam Turner
Musical Preparation                                         Eric McEnaney, Jay Rozendaal, Thomas Getty
Stage Manager                                                Diane Lin
Assistant Stage Manager                                 Rachel L. Ginzberg

Cast
Maria                                                               Katherine Manley
Captain Georg von Trapp                                Troy Cook
Mother Abbess                                               Maria Zifchak
Elsa Schraeder                                               Lucy Schaufer*
Max Detweiler                                                 Robert Orth
Rolf                                                                  Ian O’Brien
Liesl von Trapp                                               Julie Tabash*
Friedrich von Trapp                                         Grant Bradow**
Louisa von Trapp                                            Margaret Pilkington**
Brigitta von Trapp                                            Grace Pouliot**
Kurt von Trapp                                                Cooper Causey**
Marta von Trapp                                              Kaylee Rooks**
Gretl von Trapp                                               Lucy Crile**
Ursula                                                              Katherine Weber
Herr Zeller                                                       Evan Bravos
Baron Elberfeld                                               Timothy Bruno
Baroness Elberfeld                                         Kelsey Park
Admiral von Schreiber                                    Isaac Bray
A new postulant                                             Phoenix Gayles
Sister Berthe                                                   Tatiana Ogan
Sister Margaretta                                            Leah Bobbey
Sister Sophia                                                   Samantha Gossard
Chant Leader                                                  Kelsey Park
Children                                                           Colorado Children’s Chorale

CENTRAL CITY OPERA AND THE COLORADO SPRINGS CONSERVATORY IN PARTNERSHIP WITH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF THE SPRINGS AND SYRACUSE POPS CHORUS PRESENT A WORLD PREMIERE: HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY

Central City Opera

Contact

Madeleine Mellini, Marketing Director
The Colorado Springs Conservatory
719.577.4556
mmellini@csconservatory.org

Kelly Nelson, Publicist
303.909.5716
kelly@citruspr.com

Colorado Springs/Denver, CO (July 10, 2014) - Central City Opera, The Colorado Springs Conservatory, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and Syracuse Pops Chorus, have joined in a unique partnership to present the world premiere of a new music-theatre piece, How Green Was My Valley, this August in Colorado Springs.

Mining brings unwelcome changes to a small community in Wales – both to their lives and to their once beloved green valley. Main character Huw Morgan finds his own way as he grows into manhood amidst family crisis.

Based on the 1939 award-winning novel by Richard Llewellyn (which subsequently inspired John Ford’s Academy Award-winning film), this story of Welsh miners at the turn of the 20th century is brought to life with music by composer Roger Ames and book/lyrics by Elizabeth Bassine. Performances are scheduled for Thursday, August 14 at 7:00 p.m. and Friday, August 15 at  8:00 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs.

General Admission tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and active military. Tickets are on sale now at csconservatory.org, centralcityopera.org, and chamberorchestraofthesprings.org.  Phone reservations can be made at 719.577.4556.

“We wish to emphasize the depth of our performing arts culture as we proudly welcome the production of How Green Was My Valley right here in our own magnificent Pikes Peak region,” comments Amy Lathen, Vice Chair – El Paso County Commissioners, District 2.  “We are honored to be recognized by world class performers and producers for the quality of our resources, and we are excited to share this new opportunity with our community and region,”
she concludes.

The semi-staged production will showcase singer-actors from Central City Opera and The Colorado Springs Conservatory, along with key performers from the New York musical theatre community, accompanied by Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and Syracuse Pops Chorus. Nationally acclaimed director/actor Billie McBride will direct. This production is designed to introduce the work to the theatrical community for future full-scale production.

The consortium of presenting organizations is proud to partner with the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau on this project.

“We are thrilled that New York-quality talent and theatre is coming to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region this summer,” says Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Doug Price. “We want to make sure that the professionals producing and performing in How Green Was My Valley love the time that they spend here. Our hope is that this collaboration becomes an annual offering that will bring out of town visitors to the area to enjoy these types
of productions.”

Content and Relevance
With the original score featuring tunes derived from hymns and folk songs of the Welsh valleys, How Green Was My Valley invites the audience to inhabit the world of a passionate people facing the extinction of their culture. Told through the eyes of one family, the story asks the question, ‘how do we balance the preservation of our earth, allow a forward movement of industry, and look ahead with care to a world that must support new generations?’ “Change is a force of nature and we can only hope to move forward with thoughtfulness and respect for our world, and mindfulness of how we change it,” says librettist Elizabeth Bassine.

“I was attracted to Valley because the novel is so rich in both drama and lyricism. The Welsh language emerges in a way that would appeal to any composer,” comments composer Roger Ames, who chose to use both original and existing regional tunes to give voice to the story. “And we were inclined to put a lens on sociopolitical issues.  During the time we’ve been writing this piece, hundreds of men have died in mining accidents, and untold damage to the environment has taken place,” he concludes.

“Central City’s history was largely shaped by Welsh and Cornish miners who brought their expertise in hard rock mining to the area after surface minerals played out.  They formed singing societies and demanded musical entertainment, and were ultimately responsible for the building of Central City Opera’s home – the 1878 Opera House.  So this homage to the lives and struggles of Welsh miners is a perfect fit for us.  In addition, Central City Opera has made a habit of partnering with cultural organizations around Colorado and has enjoyed a rewarding and enduring collaboration with The Colorado Springs Conservatory. We are delighted to add Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and Syracuse Pops Chorus to our circle of friends” says Director of Education and Community Engagement, Deborah Morrow.

Colorado Springs Conservatory’s Founding Executive Director, Linda Weise, notes, “We are proud to take part in creating and allowing new works of the highest caliber to be showcased in our region. It’s is an opportunity for our students to be exposed to the process and for the community to engage.”

About Roger Ames
Roger Ames, Pulitzer Prize nominated composer, has written music theater works for the Hartford Stage, Roundhouse Theater, Washington, Berkshire Ensemble for Theater Arts, the London Fringe, Off-Broadway, and has been commissioned to compose works for Central City Opera, Colorado, Utah Opera, Boston Lyric Opera Company, Lake George Opera, Equity Fights Aids, and numerous schools and universities. He has won a number of awards, including first prize in Boston Metro Opera’s Contempo Festival, 2010, First Prize, The International Clarinet Society, First Prize, New York City Children’s Aid Society Composition contest, numerous ASCAP classical music awards, and several National Endowment for the Arts and Meet The Composer grants. Ames has studied with Samuel Barber, John Kander, Lukas Foss, and Robert Washburn. He holds degrees in music education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, and in music composition from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He is currently Resident Composer for Central City Opera, (Community Outreach), Great Neck North High School, and is Artist in Residence at New Dramatists, New York City and at El Paso Opera, Texas.

About Elizabeth Bassine
Elizabeth and Roger have a happy working partnership. They have collaborated on songs for NYC’s Off-Broadway children’s theater, Pantomonium. They have teamed up on Roger’s choral works, including those commissioned for the Williamson Singers at Westminster Choir College, and recently won first prize in the NYC Children’s Aid Society annual composition contest.  They have recently finished writing No Parking, a poignant, new music theater piece. They have had a commissioned piece, Take Joy! premiere at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center, and presently await the staged concert of How Green Was My Valley.  How Green Was My Valley received its first workshop at the Nautilus Music-Theater in Minneapolis, funded by Meet the Composer, was a recent finalist for the O’Neill National Music Center, and had a second complete Equity Showcase reading at the Actors Studio in NYC.  In addition to having enjoyed a writing career in the publishing industry, Elizabeth is an award-winning painter.

About Central City Opera
www.CentralCityOpera.org • 303.292.6500
In a lush Rocky Mountain setting less than one hour from Denver, Central City Opera is among the nation’s elite summer music festivals. The second oldest annual professional opera festival in the country (and the fifth-oldest opera company), the company continues to make history, offering a professional summer opera festival annually, an acclaimed artist-training program, year round touring educational programs, and historic preservation. The 2014 Central City Opera Festival features The Marriage of Figaro, Dead Man Walking and Trouble in Tahiti in Central City, plus The Sound of Music in Denver.

About The Colorado Springs Conservatory
www.csconservtory.org • 719.577.4556
Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, The Colorado Springs Conservatory offers top tier instruction in all of the performing arts for students ages three through 19 seeking enrichment experiences, or rigorous preparatory studies for higher education and careers in the arts. Programming and performance opportunities include all genres of instrumental music, recording arts, vocals, theater and dance/movement in an environment that promotes mutual respect and positive peer interaction.

Our distinguished faculty and guest mentors serve students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds in after-school programs and daytime partnerships with local school districts. Adhering to the highest pedagogical standards, The Conservatory has received international recognition as a Royal Conservatory Founding School, and Arts Schools Network Exemplary School.

In addition to arts education, students learn valuable life skills such as collaboration, interpersonal communication and civic responsibility by performing at more than 300 community outreach events each year. From the boardroom to the operating room to the green room, Conservatory alumni excel because they have been trained to strive for excellence.

About the Chamber Orchestra of Colorado Springs
www.chamberorchestraofthesprings.org • 719.633.3649
The Chamber Orchestra programs blend well-known classics with more adventuresome works including those by past and contemporary composers completely new to Colorado Springs. Its performances feature guest soloists of national renown, as well as, the region’s finest artists and composers.

Under the Baton of Maestro Thomas Wilson, the orchestra has become a center of collaboration—partnering frequently, among others, with The Colorado Springs Conservatory, Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble, Gospel Music Workshop of America, Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, Ormao Dance Company, UCCS Music Program, Amateur Pianists International, Shivers Foundation Artists,  and local School Districts. These collaborations range from a Gospel/Chamber concert the 2010 Art-Creates-Community Award winner by public vote, to a most recent Hip-Hop Opera co-production with Mitchell High School.

The orchestra celebrated its 30th Anniversary Season with an International Composition Competition that attracted 170 submissions, and inauguration of KCME delay-broadcasts of its concerts to all Front Range audiences. A Colorado Springs Gazette review of its recent Ode to Joy concert stated, “It’s impossible not to be excited about what the future holds for us all from this now-mature orchestra”.

About the Syracuse Pops Chorus
www.syracusepopschorus.org
The Syracuse Pops Chorus, Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been singing under the direction of Lou Lemos since 2004, and is made up of about 100 voices, divided into 8 voice parts.  The Pops Chorus is particularly proud to have had their signature piece of music, “God Bless America the Beau-tiful,” arranged for them by Roger Ames in 2009.  The group performs often with Symphoria (formerly the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra) at the 2100 seat Crouse-Hinds Theatre in the Onondaga County Civic Center, the New York State Fairgrounds on July 4th, and regional concerts throughout Central New York. The Chorus is also regularly asked to perform concerts at a variety of venues in the Syracuse, NY area.

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CENTRAL CITY OPERA PRESENTS ONE OF THE OPERA WORLD’S MOST PERFORMED CONTEMPORARY WORKS TOUTED AS A POWERFUL MODERN CLASSIC: JAKE HEGGIE’S DEAD MAN WALKING

Central City Opera

Contact

Kelly Nelson, Publicist
303-909-5716
kelly@citruspr.com

Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing
303-292-6500, ext. 108
vhamlin@centralcityopera.org

BASED ON SISTER HELEN PREJEAN’S TRUE STORY OF REDEMPTION THAT WAS ALSO AN AWARD-WINNING FILM

Denver, Colo. (June 23, 2014) – “When I came out of the execution chamber after Pat Sonnier had been killed in front of my eyes, I thought, ‘People will never be brought close enough to this.  I have to tell the story.’ That is why I wrote the book,” says Sister Helen Prejean about the genesis of her book on which Jake Heggie’s American opera, Dead Man Walking, is based.

Central City Opera (CCO) brings a new production of Heggie’s opera lauded by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a gripping, enormously skillful marriage of words and music to tell a story of love, suffering and spiritual redemption” to the stage as its second offering of the company’s 2014 Festival running July 5 through July 25. From its shocking beginning, where audiences literally see the crime committed, to the emotionally searing final scene, this human story has been touted by critics as one of the most powerful operas ever written. Based on the autobiographical book by Sister Helen Prejean about her experiences with a death row inmate, the story was also adapted into the 1995 award-winning movie starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.

Set in Louisiana in the 1980s, Dead Man Walking is about the unique relationship between a condemned killer on death row, Joseph De Rocher, and the nun, Sister Helen, who offers him love and support. Even though Joseph has committed a horrible crime and the public has condemned him, Sister Helen agrees to be his spiritual advisor, and the unlikely pair end up forming a close friendship. Right before Joseph is put to death, Sister Helen convinces him to confess his sins, beg for forgiveness and give peace to his troubled soul.

“The story isn’t just about this guy who kills the teenagers,” says composer Jake Heggie of his first opera. “It’s about Sister Helen herself, the parents, the mother, the guards, the prisoners – the entire audience is on a journey of redemption. It takes people by surprise. It creeps up on you.” Dead Man Walking premiered in 2000 at the San Francisco Opera, and has since become one of the most frequently performed contemporary operas with performances across the United States and throughout Europe.

““The question of how one maintains religious convictions when faced with the most horrific, violent crime imaginable is at the heart of Dead Man Walking,” says Stage Director Ken Cazan, who has worked often with Central City Opera and returns for both Dead Man Walking and The Sound of Music this summer after most recently directing Our Town in 2013. “What this piece does better than many others is challenge the audience,” further explains Cazan. “It doesn’t tell the viewer what to think and feel… This opera poses questions, not answers.”

Dead Man Walking will be performed in English at the Central City Opera House. Tickets range from $20 to $90.  

Dead Man Walking is rated R (17+) and is for  mature audiences only due to violence, language and nudity.

Prisons, Compassion and Redemption Project
Central City Opera’s Prisons, Compassion and Redemption Project is a series of thought-provoking events related to the themes of Dead Man Walking that kicked off in March and culminates in performances of the opera this July. Jake Heggie (composer of Dead Man Walking) and Sister Helen Prejean (whose book was the basis for the 1995 film and the opera) came to Denver in March to participate in several community events. A symposium panel of distinguished community members with Sister Helen and Mr. Heggie offered opposing views on capital punishment and responded to questions from an audience of more than 150. The events in March also included a screening of the 1995 award-winning film followed by a talkback with Sr. Prejean, and a master class for young performers at the Colorado Springs Conservatory that was led by composer Jake Heggie. Other events that have taken place as part of the Project between March and June include an Interfaith Religious Round Table discussion on the death penalty; a panel discussion entitled Rated R on Stage about sex, violence and language and how it relates to Colorado’s performing arts organizations in partnership with Curious Theatre; and book club discussions. Still to come is the more lighthearted Central City event, Central City Days: Divas and Desperados, on July 13 and 19 before performances of Dead Man Walking.

Central City Days: Divas and Desperados
(Precedes performances of Dead Man Walking July 13 and 19, 11:30am – 1:30 pm)
Central City Opera invites patrons to head to the hills for an afternoon adventure. Sponsored by the City of Central, in partnership with the Gilpin Historical Society, attendees can bring their lunch to the picturesque Central City Cemetery to hear the tales of the county’s most infamous bad boys and naughty girls. Event goers will see who spent time behind bars at Washington Hall followed by short historic tours that will introduce them to the town’s most notorious characters, ending with a gunfight. Passes are $15, and boxed lunches are available for an additional $10. A package including Central City Days and a matinee performance of Dead Man Walking on the day of the event is available for $55.

Dead Man Walking Performing Artists
Celebrating his 23rd Central City Opera Festival in 2014, CCO Music Director John Baril will serve as conductor of Dead Man Walking.  Mr. Baril has led a wide range of productions during his tenure with the company, including 2013’s The Barber of Seville, La bohème in 2012, the triple bill of one-act operas in 2011, and 2010′s performances of Three Decembers. Chorus Master for Opera Colorado since 2003, Mr. Baril made his official Opera Colorado conducting debut leading Le nozze di Figaro in 2012 and conducted the young artist performance of The Barber of Seville for the company in February 2010. He made his Opera Delaware debut in May 2010 conducting Tosca and returned there recently to conduct Pagliacci and Cavalleria rusticana. In 2010, he also made his Nashville Opera debut leading Don Giovanni. Most recently, he conducted Carmen with Nevada Opera.

Lyric mezzo-soprano Jennifer Rivera returns to CCO to perform the title role of Sister Helen Prejean. Ms. Rivera made her CCO debut last year as Rosina in The Barber of Seville, a role she has performed with numerous companies, including the New York City Opera, Florentine Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and the Berlin Staatsoper. Other credits include the title role of Stellidaura in La Stellidaura vendicante with the Innsbruck Early Music Festival, Mrs. Williamson in The Difficulty of Crossing a Field with the Nashville Opera, and Nerone in Agrippina with Berlin Staatsoper. She recently starred in Baden-Baden 1927 with the Gotham Chamber Opera, Nerone in Agrippina with Opera Omaha, and Penelope in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Boston Baroque. On June 21, 2014, Ms. Rivera made her fourth appearance on NPR’s famed radio show, A Prairie Home Companion.

With a “powerful” voice and an “arresting stage presence,” baritone Michael Mayes* will perform the role of Joseph De Rocher, a role he has become known for and has performed to critical acclaim with the Tulsa Opera in 2012, Eugene Opera in 2013 and will again sing with the Madison Opera this year. Making his professional CCO debut, Mr. Mayes was a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist in 2000. He has performed with opera companies across the United States. Some of his appearances include Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus for Opera on the James, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Pensacola Opera, the Green Mountain Opera Festival as Don Giovanni, Marcello in La bohème with Eugene Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera, the title role in Don Giovanni with Shreveport Opera, Marco in Gianni Schicchi with the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Rigoletto with the Boston Lyric Opera, and Ft. Worth Opera as Elder Thompson in the critically acclaimed world premiere of Glory Denied. His honors include the John Alexander Award, the John Moriarty Award, and an advanced division winner at the Anton Guadagno Vocal Competition.

An artist of “dramatic presence and versatility” as stated by the Washington Post, soprano Jeanine De Bique* makes her CCO debut performing the role of Sister Rose. This season, Ms. De Bique will also make her debut as Juliette in Romeo et Juliette with the St. Petersburg Opera and Clara in Porgy and Bess with the Royal Danish Opera. Previously, Ms. De Bique was a member of the Vienna State Opera House Ensemble where she appeared as Gianetta in L’elisir d’amore, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Eine Modistin in Der Rosenkavalier and Ada in Wagner’s Die Feen. Highly regarded by contemporary composers, she created the role of The Woman of the River in the opera Heart of Darkness by two-time Grammy-nominated composer Tarik O’Regan, with American Opera Projects (New York) and recorded Andrew Beall’s “Song of Almah for Soprano and Marimba” for his CD, Deliverance.  Recent credits include singing a recital at The Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with Sinfonia Rotterdam. Ms. De Bique was featured on the public radio program This American Life this month.

Baritone Robert Orth makes his return to CCO following his acclaimed performances in the role of Frederik Egerman in CCO’s 2009 production of A Little Night Music. He also previously performed with the company as Horace Tabor in the 50th anniversary production of The Ballad of Baby Doe in 2006. A company veteran, several previous appearances include Lescaut in Manon (1994) and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus (1991). Mr. Orth was also highly touted for his portrayal of the role of Richard Nixon in Nixon in China, which he performed with Opera Colorado. Recent credits include Simon Powers in Death and the Powers with the Dallas Opera, Howie Albert in Champion with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Stubb in Moby-Dick with the San Francisco Opera.

Tenor Jason Baldwin* makes his CCO debut performing the role of Father Grenville. Previously, Mr. Baldwin has performed the roles of Don José in Carmen with both the Utah Festival Opera and Opera Theatre of the Rockies; Tybalt in Roméo et Juliette and Ernesto in Don Pasquale with the Utah Opera; Spoletta in Tosca, Pang in Turandot, Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd with Opera Colorado, and more. Most recently, Mr. Baldwin returned to Utah Opera to sing Arcadio in Florencia en el Amazonas, Loveland Opera Theatre as Rodolfo in La bohème and a concert with the Longmont Symphony. Mr. Baldwin is also an Ensemble and Teaching Artist for Central City Opera.

Mezzo-soprano Maria Zifchak returns to CCO as Mrs. Patrick De Rocher following her role as housekeeper Mrs. Grose in 2012’s The Turn of the Screw. Ms. Zifchak made her CCO company debut as Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon in 2007, and returned as Bianca in The Rape of Lucretia and Mrs. McLean in Susannah in 2008. A frequent performer with the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Zifchak has performed there as Annina in La Traviata, Inez in Il Trovatore and Kasturbai in Satyagraha. She has also played Genevieve in Pelléas and Mélisande and both the Mother and the Witch in Hänsel and Gretel with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Dorabella in Così fan tutte with Seattle Opera and Arizona Opera. Most recently, Ms. Zifchak sang the role of Brian’s Mother in Two Boys and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with The Metropolitan Opera, and Ruth in Pirates of Penzance with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Tenor Joseph Gaines will perform the role of Howard Boucher, mezzo-soprano Claire Shackleton will sing the role of Jade Boucher, and the Colorado Children’s Chorale will perform the children roles.

Dead Man Walking Production Team
The director of last summer’s Our Town, Oklahoma! in 2012, and 2011’s three one-acts, Ken Cazan returns to CCO to direct Dead Man Walking (and The Sound of Music) after his other recent credits with the company of 2010′s Three Decembers, A Little Night Music in 2009 and the sold-out West Side Story in 2008. As the Chair of Vocal Performing Arts and Opera and the Resident Stage Director for the Flora A. Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Mr. Cazan is one of America’s most sought-after directors, having staged more than 150 productions of opera, musical theater, and plays in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.

Alan E. Muraoka returns to CCO as the Scenic Designer for Dead Man Walking following last summer’s Our Town and Oklahoma! in 2012. In his twenty-year career, Mr. Muraoka has designed for theatre, opera, television, and film, where he has been up for two Emmy nominations and three Art Director’s Guild Award nominations as a production designer and art director. Recent credits include The Tempest and Dialogues of the Carmelites for USC Opera, and The Fall of the House of Usher for Long Beach Opera and Chicago Opera Theater.

David Martin Jacques returns this summer for his 14th festival as Resident Lighting Designer. He has been lauded for his design of more than 300 theatre, opera, television, dance and special event productions. Recent work includes Tristan und Isolde for Teatro la Fenise, The Fall of the House of Usher for Chicago Opera Theatre and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Teatro dell’Opera Roma. Wig/Makeup Designer Dave Bova returns to CCO for the third year. Mr. Bova’s recent work has included Two Gentlemen of Verona with The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Fallow with People’s Light and Theatre and Red with the George Street Playhouse.

Central City Opera 2014 Festival
Central City Opera House – June 28 to July 26
The Marriage of Figaro opens the Festival in Central City on June 28 and runs through July 26. Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking, based on the true story and famous book written by Sister Helen Prejean about her relationship with Louisiana death row inmate Joseph De Rocher, which was also an award-winning movie is the second offering opening July 5 and running at the Opera House through July 25. Tickets for these two productions at the Central City Opera House range from $20 to $90.

The Sound of Music at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex – August 2 to 10
Central City Opera comes to Denver once again for seven performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s beloved classic musical, The Sound of Music. The production will run in Denver only at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House from August 2 through August 10, and features a full live orchestra. Tickets for The Sound of Music at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House range from $30 to $106.

Subscriptions for Central City Opera’s 2014 Festival start at just $56 and provide a 20% discount on single tickets.

In addition to its slate of operas for 2014, 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 82nd 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.
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Central City Opera Dead Man Walking Cast List
*=Central City Opera Debut

Dead Man Walking
Music:   Jake Heggie
Libretto:   Terrence McNally
Conductor:   John Baril
Director:   Ken Cazan
Scenic Designer:   Alan E. Muraoka
Lighting Designer:   David Martin Jacques
Wig/Makeup Designer:   Dave Bova
Supertitles:   Thomas Getty

Cast            
Sister Helen Prejean:   Jennifer Rivera
Sister Rose:   Jeanine De Bique*
Joseph De Rocher:   Michael Mayes*
George Benton:   Thomas Hammons*
Owen Hart:   Robert Orth
Father Grenville:   Jason Baldwin*
Mrs. Patrick De Rocher:   Maria Zifchak
Howard Boucher:   Joseph Gaines
Children:   Colorado Children’s Chorale

COMEDY, ROMANCE AND THE RISE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS: CENTRAL CITY OPERA’S 2014 FESTIVAL OPENS WITH A NEW PRODUCTION OF MOZART’S THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO

Central City Opera

Contact

Kelly Nelson, Publicist
303-909-5716
kelly@citruspr.com

Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing
303-292-6500, ext. 108;
vhamlin@centralcityopera.org

Denver, Colo. (June 18, 2014) – Central City Opera (CCO) opens its 2014 Summer Festival on June 28 with a new production of one of the world’s most beloved operas, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) in the intimate and historic 550-seat Central City Opera House.

Reminiscent of the popular period dramas Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, this new production explores Mozart’s groundbreaking and edgy satire of class struggle by relocating the opera to 1920s antebellum Spain.

The opera presents the continuing saga of characters familiar from Central City Opera’s well-attended 2013 production, The Barber of Seville, who are now ensconced in a Spanish country home and are being challenged by their societal roles.  A time of great upheaval among the classes, the setting of the 1920s offers audiences the opportunity to laugh, cry, and ultimately cheer for the downstairs serving couple, Figaro and Susanna, as well as the upstairs aristocratic couple, Count Almaviva and Rosina, all of whom ultimately must adjust to the changing world around them.  The production takes advantage of the changing hairstyles, fashions and mores of the decade to further illuminate the satire created by Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte.  British stage director Alessandro Talevi returns for his third Central City Opera production. The Marriage of Figaro opens June 28, with performances continuing through July 27, and will be performed in Italian with English supertitles.

Live Broadcast on Colorado Public Radio: June 28
Colorado Public Radio’s (CPR) Classical Music station, KVOD, will feature a live broadcast of Central City Opera’s opening-night performance of The Marriage of Figaro on June 28.  This will be the fourth live broadcast on CPR from the historic Central City Opera House. CPR Classical Music Host Charley Samson will present The Marriage of Figaro broadcast and provide interviews with performers and insightful commentary throughout the program. The broadcast begins at 7:55 p.m. prior to the start of the opera at 8 p.m. Listeners can tune in to: Denver 88.1 FM, Boulder 99.9 FM, Pueblo 91.9 FM, Colorado Springs 94.7 FM, Glenwood Springs 90.5 FM, Aspen 101.5 FM, Western Slope 103.3 FM, Dove Creek 88.7 FM, Gunnison 89.1 FM, Cortez 102.5 FM, Crystal River Valley / Old Snowmass 93.9 FM, Thomasville 93.7 FM, and online at www.CPR.org.

Take the Boomer Bus!
Patrons 50 to 65 can now travel to the opera in style. The Boomer Bus will be offered on July 6 to see The Marriage of Figaro. Opera goers will board a bus in Denver (10:45 a.m. from Sports Authority in Glendale and 11:15 a.m. from Simms Steakhouse off of 6th Ave), given a glass of champagne and be treated to a live history presentation of Central City and CCO, a catered lunch in the gardens, a behind the scenes experience, a Short Works program and a full live opera performance with seating in section A. The entertaining bus ride returning to Denver will include an opportunity for a Q&A session with a member of CCO’s education and community engagement team. Ticket prices are $80. The Boomer Bus will also be offered for a performance of CCO’s Dead Man Walking on July 13. Visit www.centralcityopera.org/boomer for additional information.

Production Team
Making his U.S. debut in 2011 directing CCO’s Amadigi di Gaula and returning in 2012 to direct CCO’s The Turn of The Screw, British stage director Alessandro Talevi returns once again to direct a new production of this classic. Says Talevi, “My starting point was not to reinvent the wheel. Figaro’s plot and physical comedy need to come alive without the interference of an overbearing concept…The setting of 1920s Spain was chosen because it was deeply conservative and religious in conflict with a dynamic progressive movement of secularism, universal suffrage and workers’ rights. The clash of modernity and tradition is so tangibly real and extreme.”

A prize-winning finalist for the 2007 European Opera-Directing Prize in Wiesbaden, Mr. Talevi was also the co-founder and artistic director of Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells in London where he presented acclaimed stagings of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande and Händel’s Orlando. Other successes have included The Turn of the Screw for Opera North in Leeds, La Cenerentola for Malmö Opera in Sweden, and several productions at the major London conservatories. Most recently, he directed new productions of Roberto Devereux and Anna Bolena with the Welsh National Opera, and The Turn of the Screw with the Israeli Opera.

Set Designer Madeleine Boyd also returns to CCO following her designs for the 2012 production of The Turn of the Screw and her 2011 debut with magical “Harry Potter” inspired production design and costumes for Amadigi di Gaula. Other recent designs for Ms. Boyd include La Traviata with Cape Town Opera, Djamileh and Le Docteur Miracle with Royal College of Music, and Cautionary Tales the Tour for Opera North Education. British-born Simon Anthony Wells* will be debuting with Central City Opera as the Associate Set Designer for The Marriage of Figaro. Making her American debut with Central City Opera, British-born Susan Kulkarni* will be The Marriage of Figaro Costume Designer with designs reminiscent of the popular PBS series, Downton Abbey. Ms. Kulkarni’s recent work includes costume designs for many productions in the Middle East including 1002 Nights for Aramco in Saudi Arabia, Hazawi – Eye and Mermaid, Three, and A Dream for the Doha Film Institute. She has also served as Costume Assistant to the well-loved British series, Downton Abbey. David Martin Jacques returns this summer for his 14th festival as Resident Lighting Designer.  Mr. Jacques will light all three productions for the 2014 Festival.  He has been lauded for his design of more than 300 theatre, opera, television, dance and special event productions. Wig/Makeup Designer Dave Bova returns to CCO for the third year to design for all three productions in 2014. In addition to his work with CCO, Mr. Bova’s other recent work has included Two Gentlemen of Verona with The Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Fallow with People’s Light and Theatre and Red with the George Street Playhouse.

Performing Artists
A versatile young conductor whose work has taken him to some of the world’s most renowned opera companies and festivals, Adrian Kelly* will be making his North American debut conducting CCO’s The Marriage of Figaro. In 2009, Mr. Kelly was appointed First Kapellmeister at the Salzburger Landestheater, where he conducted productions of La Traviata, Der Freischütz, Don Giovanni and Tosca. Most recently, he has conducted Die Fledermaus, Tristan und Isolde, and La Cenerentola. He has also recently conducted Così fan tutte and a new production of Werther with Salzburg Landestheater and Rinaldo with Teatro Colon.

Praised by the New York Times as “nimble of voice, body and spirit,” soprano Anna Christy continues to impress audiences with an extraordinary blend of sparkling voice, powerful stage presence and innate musicality. She returns to CCO to perform the title role of Susanna, following her past CCO roles as Emily Webb in 2013’s Our Town, Olympia in 2004’s Les contes d’Hoffmann and Tytania in 2002’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Christy made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Papagena in Julie Taymor’s new production of Die Zauberflöte, in 2005, and has since appeared there as Hortense in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, as Papagena in Die Zauberflöte, and recently as Lisette in La Rondine. Additional important past engagements include Muffin in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s A Wedding at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and with Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Zemire in Zemire et Azor, along with her San Francisco debut as Angel More in The Mother of us All; Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the Los Angeles Opera; and her Santa Fe Opera debut as Jiang Ching in the world premiere of Madame Mao.

Bass-baritone Michael Sumuel* makes his CCO debut in the role of Figaro, which he recently performed with the Dayton Opera. Mr. Sumuel made his professional debut with the San Francisco Opera performing the roles of Tom and Ted in the 2011 world premiere of Heart of a Soldier. In addition to his role of Figaro with CCO in 2014, Mr. Sumuel will make his European debut as Schaunard in La bohème at the Glyndebourne Festival. Most recently he sang the role of Frank in Die Fledermaus with the Houston Grand Opera, and was a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Irish soprano Sinéad Mulhern returns to CCO, playing the role of Countess following her acclaimed debut as the Governess in CCO’s The Turn of the Screw in 2012. Ms. Mulhern studied at The Juilliard School in New York and The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and was a Young Artist at the Centre de Formation Lyrique at the Opéra National de Paris, as well as a CCO Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist in 1994. Her many roles internationally include Adina in L’elisir d’amore and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the Toulon Festival, Sifare in Mozart’s Mitridate at the Theâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin with the Nationale Reisoper in the Netherlands. Most recently, she sang the role of Maquise de Merteuil in Francesconi’s Quartett with Opéra de Lille and Teatro alla Scala, the Governess in New Israeli Opera’s production of The Turn of the Screw, and Antonia/Giulietta/Stella in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Opera Hong Kong.

Baritone Edward Parks* makes his debut with CCO as Count Almaviva. Mr. Parks has recently performed the role of Figaro in The Barber of Seville with Orlando Philharmonic, along with performances as Valentin in Faust with Atlanta Opera and Marcello in La bohème. Bass baritone Thomas Hammons* makes his CCO debut as Bartolo, a role he has performed with many companies including Barcelona’s famed Teatro Liceu, Opera Colorado, and Atlanta Opera.  A versatile singing actor, Mr. Hammons made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as the Sacristan in Tosca, and took part in the premiere of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of Le nozze di Figaro. Mr. Hammons created the role of Henry Kissinger in the world premiere of John Adams’ Nixon in China for Houston Grand Opera, a portrayal that was subsequently seen in Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, and Los Angeles, along with recent revivals including Opera Colorado and Vancouver Opera.

Mezzo-soprano Tamara Gura* will be making her U.S. and CCO debut in the role of Cherubino. Known for her rich, velvety voice and dynamic stage presence, Ms. Gura sang the title role of La Cenerentola at the Landestheater Salzburg, Hermia in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at English National Opera, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award, as well as the role of Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Semperoper in Dresden. She was a member of the prestigious Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera Hamburg State Opera and performed the title role of Handel’s Ariodante at the Landestheater Salzburg, as well as Dorabella in Così fan tutte and the title role in La Cenerentola with the Mozarteum Orchestra. In addition to her role with CCO this season, she will perform Balkis in a new production of Gluck’s La Rencontre imprévue in Salzburg and Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with the Tokyo National Symphony.

Tenor Joseph Gaines will perform the role of Basilio. Gaines made his main stage debut with CCO as Goro in 2010’s Madama Butterfly, following his appearances in L’Incoronazione di Poppea and The Ballad of Baby Doe as a 2006 Bonfils-Stanton Artists Training Program Apprentice Artist. This past spring, Mr. Gaines performed as Basilio/Curzio in Le nozze di Figaro with Pittsburgh Opera and as Cicillo in I Gioielli Della Madonna with Teatro Grattacielo in New York City. Most recently, he performed the role of Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Philadelphia, and Caius in Falstaff with the Metropolitan Opera. A 2013 CCO Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist, mezzo soprano Claire Shackleton* will make her professional debut with CCO as Marcellina after performing while an Apprentice as Mrs. Soames in 2013’s Our Town. Other past performances include Prince Charming in Cendrillon with Kentucky Opera and the Santa Fe Concert Association, and Siébel in Faust with Austin Lyric Opera. Ms. Shackleton will also appear with CCO this summer as Jade Boucher in Dead Man Walking.

Central City Opera 2014 Festival
Central City Opera House – June 28 to July 26

The Marriage of Figaro opens the Festival in Central City on June 28 and runs through July 26. Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking, based on the true story and famous book written by Sister Helen Prejean about her relationship with Louisiana death row inmate Joseph De Rocher, which was also an award-winning movie is the second offering opening July 5 and running at the Opera House through July 25.

The Sound of Music at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex – August 6 to 11
Central City Opera comes to Denver once again for seven performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s beloved classic Sound of Music. The production will run in Denver only at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House from August 2 through August 10, and feature a full live orchestra.

In addition to its slate of operas for 2014, 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 82nd 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.
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Central City Opera 2014 Production Cast List
*=Central City Opera Debut
The Marriage of Figaro

Music:   W.A. Mozart
Libretto:   Lorenzo Da Ponte
Conductor:   Adrian Kelly*
Director:   Alessandro Talevi
Scenic Designer:   Madeleine Boyd
Costume Designer:   Susan Kulkarni*
Lighting Designer:   David Martin Jacques
Wig/Makeup Designer:   Dave Bova
Associate Scenic Designer:   Simon Anthony Wells*
Supertitles:   Thomas Getty
Cast
Susanna:   Anna Christy
Figaro:   Michael Sumuel*
Countess:   Sinéad Mulhern
Count:   Edward Parks*
Bartolo:   Thomas Hammons*
Cherubino:   Tamara Gura*
Basilio:   Joseph Gaines
Marcellina:   Claire Shackleton*

CENTRAL CITY OPERA PRESENTS AN UNFORGETTABLE SUMMER OF SONG WITH 2014 FESTIVAL OFFERINGS FROM CENTRAL CITY TO DENVER, JUNE 28 TO AUGUST 10

Central City Opera

Contact

Kelly Nelson, Publicist
303-909-5716
kelly@citruspr.com

Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing
303-292-6500, ext. 108;
vhamlin@centralcityopera.org

Denver, Colo. (June 10, 2014) - Central City Opera’s (CCO) 2014 Festival kicks off on June 28 and runs through Aug. 10 with much to do and see in both Central City and Denver! This year’s Festival begins at the Central City Opera House with Mozart’s beloved comic opera, The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro); followed by Jake Heggie’s opera based on the book of the same name, Dead Man Walking; along with Bernstein’s witty one-act opera, Trouble in Tahiti, at Williams Stables Theatre in Central City. The final show of the 2014 Festival is Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s glorious musical, The Sound of Music, performed in Denver at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Festival single show tickets in Central City range from $20 to $90 and tickets to see The Sound of Music in Denver range from $30 to $106. Three-pack subscriptions start at $56 (a 20% savings) and groups of ten or more save 25% on single ticket prices.

Patrons will also enjoy a wide range of additional offerings to enhance their Festival experience. Tickets for additional Festival offerings range from free to $80 and are outlined below. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.

2014 CCO Festival Shows
The 2014 Festival opens with Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, running June 28 through July 26. The Marriage of Figaro will be performed at the Central City Opera House in Italian with English supertitles. CCO’s new production of this famous comic opera in four acts is set in 1920s Spain with Downton Abbey style costumes and speaks volumes about serious matters in the best way possible – through the disarming power of comedy.

This opera depicts a day of madness and continues from last summer’s The Barber of Seville with the story of Figaro, who is now Count Almaviva’s valet. Figaro and Susanna, the Countess’s maid, are about to be married when Figaro discovers that the Count is determined to revive an old custom – the right to have his way with a servant on her wedding night. Figaro vows to outwit his master, and by nightfall the household finds itself in the midst of trickery and mishaps that culminate in an unlikely ending.

CCO will bring Jake Heggie’s opera, Dead Man Walking, to the stage with performances opening July 5 and running through July 25. Dead Man Walking will be performed in English at the Central City Opera House. Based on the true story depicted in the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, which also was adapted as an award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, Dead Man Walking was composer Jake Heggie’s first opera with a libretto by Terrence McNally. It premiered in 2000 at the San Francisco Opera, and is now one of the most frequently produced contemporary operas.

Set in 1980s Louisiana, Dead Man Walking is about the unique relationship between a condemned killer on death row, Joseph De Rocher, and the nun, Sister Helen, who offers him love and support. Even though Joseph has committed a horrible crime and the public has condemned him, Sister Helen agrees to be his spiritual advisor, and the unlikely pair end up forming a close friendship. Right before Joseph is put to death, Sister Helen convinces him to confess his sins, beg for forgiveness and give peace to his troubled soul.

Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti will also be presented as part of the 2014 Festival with two sold-out performances on July 20 and 23 at the intimate 90-seat Williams Stables Theatre in Central City. Performed in English, the witty one-act opera  set to jazz rhythms depicts a couple’s marital challenges and longing for love beneath the sunny veneer of 1950s American suburbia.

CCO’s final 2014 Festival show is the glorious family musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein II, TheSound of Music, running in Denver only with seven performances at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex from August 2 through August 10. Central City Opera’s production of The Sound of Music will be performed with a full live orchestra in English. The original Broadway production opened in 1959, and was adapted as a 1965 Academy Award winning film musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. In December of 2013, NBC presented The Sound of Music starring Carrie Underwood in the first live musical broadcast on television in 56 years which drew more than 18 million viewers.

Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp’s The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, Maria is a free spirited nun-in-training who is not quite suited for religious life. She’s sent off to be the governess to Captain von Trapp’s seven troublesome children, becomes friends with the children due to their mutual love of music, falls in love with the Captain  and they are married. All seems right in the world until the Nazis invade their homeland, Austria, and the whole family is forced to flee over the Alps to escape. Many songs from the musical have become classics including “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “The Sound of Music,” and many more.

Full cast lists and biographies for 2014 Festival shows are available at www.centralcityopera.org/festival.

Additional 2014 CCO Festival Offerings
In addition to its slate of opera and musical theatre for 2014, Central City Opera continues to present innovative offerings that will enhance the Festival experience and engage new audiences.

Opera Notes (45 minutes before shows in the Central City Opera House)
Free pre-performance talks 45 minutes before each Central City Opera House show at the Williams Stables Theatre.

Lunch and a Song (July 2, 6, 9, 13, 16) 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 are accompanied by a lunch prepared by Kevin Taylor’s Face Bar restaurant and precede Opera House performances with a start time of 11:45 am. Tickets are just $30.

Short Works (July 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 26) See the stars of tomorrow in Short Works, featuring members of CCO’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. These 30-minute performances are staged opera scenes from the world’s most popular operas. Held at the intimate Williams Stables Theatre across the street from the Opera House at 1:15 pm, tickets are only $12 ($8 for subscribers).

Central City Days: Divas and Desperados (July 13 and 19, 11:30am -1:30pm) Head to the hills for an afternoon adventure. Sponsored by the City of Central, in partnership with the Gilpin Historical Society, attendees can bring their lunch to the picturesque Central City Cemetery to hear the tales of the county’s most infamous bad boys and naughty girls. See who spent time behind bars at Washington Hall followed by short historic tours that will introduce you to the town’s most notorious characters, ending with a gunfight. Passes are $15, and boxed lunches are available for an additional $10. A package including a matinee performance of Dead Man Walking on the day of the event is available for $55.

Post-Op (Formerly Après-Opera) (July 11, 12, 18) Following select evening Central City Opera House shows, festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy cocktails and impromptu performances by the company’s talented 2014 performers at the Teller House. Free admission.

Nina Odescalchi Kelly Family Matinee (July 15, 2:30 pm) Attendees can introduce themselves and their children to opera at a special matinee of The Marriage of Figaro at the Central City Opera House 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.

Boomer Bus (July 6 and 13) Opera goers between the ages of 50 to 65 can travel to Central City in style in 2014! The Boomer Bus will be offered on two dates for two productions, July 6 to see The Marriage of Figaro and July 13 to see Dead Man Walking. Boomers will board a bus in Denver (10:30 a.m. from Sports Authority in Glendale and 11:00 a.m. from Simms Steakhouse off of 6th Ave), given a glass of champagne and be treated to a live history presentation of Central City and CCO, a catered lunch in the gardens, a behind the scenes experience, a Short Works program and a full live opera performance with seating in section A of the Opera House. The entertaining bus ride returning to Denver will include an opportunity for a Q&A session with a member of CCO’s Education and Community Engagement team. Ticket prices are $80. Visit http://centralcityopera.org/visit/opera-bus for additional information.

Colorado Performing Arts Intensive Performances (July 25 at 7 pm; July 26 at 10:30 am) See two special performances by the high school kids attending this nationally renowned two-week summer opera camp collaborative between Central City Opera and Colorado Springs Conservatory.  Performances take place at the Williams Stables Theatre with all tickets available for just $5.

Gay Friendly Events (June 18 and August 7) CCO will be hosting two special gay-friendly events during the 2014 Festival season. On August 7, prior to a performance of The Sound of Music at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, patrons are invited to dress in costume and attend a fun pre-show happy hour at the Curtis Hotel in the heart of downtown Denver. There will be a costume contest and a post-show gathering. The Sound of Music tickets start at just $30 and attendees can take advantage of a special discount on tickets.

On June 18, Central City Opera will be sponsoring the Denver Gay Professionals Pride Kick-Off Party at the X Bar from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. The model for CCO’s Dead Man Walking promotional image will be signing posters. The opera company will also be passing out a special code for tickets to Dead Man Walking and giving away a pair of tickets. Visit CentralCityOpera.org/DGP for more information on 2014 Festival Gay-Friendly events.

Central City Opera expresses its sincere gratitude to 2014 Festival sponsors including: Citizens of the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, El Pomar Foundation and Colorado Creative Industries.  CCO also thanks 2014 Festival media sponsors: The Denver Post Community, 5280 magazine and 9 News.

Celebrating its 82nd 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 engagement programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.

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CENTRAL CITY OPERA AND CURIOUS THEATRE COMPANY PRESENT RATED “R” ON STAGE: COMMUNITY PANEL ON SEX, VIOLENCE AND NUDITY IN THE PERFORMING ARTS

Central City Opera

Contact

Contact: Sara M. Poorman
Director of Marketing, Curious Theatre Company
sara@curioustheatre.org
303-800-3030

OR

Contact: Valerie Hamlin
Director of Marketing, Central City Opera
vhamlin@centralcityopera.org
303-292-6500, ext. 108

Denver, CO – Central City Opera and Curious Theatre Company presentRated “R” on Stage: Community Panel on Sex, Violence and Nudity in the Performing Arts. The free event will be presented June 3, 2014 from 6-8 pm at Curious Theatre located at 1080 Acoma Street, Denver. Cocktails, snacks and a video presentation featuring the play Venus in Fur and the opera Dead Man Walking will be offered from 5:30 to 6 p.m. 
Join Central City Opera Director of Production Karen Federing, Curious Theatre Company Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton, Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret Emcee Selene Karavites-Valdez, Wonderbound Artistic Director Garret Ammon, and performing artists Karen Slack from Curious Theatre Company’s Venus in Fur and Michael Mayes from Central City Opera’s Dead Man Walking for an invigorating discussion on the high-stakes process of producing gutsy, risqué and sensual art in Denver. Emmy Award-winning FOX31 TV host Chris Parente moderates.

Garret Ammon (Artistic Director – Wonderbound) is an acclaimed choreographer who began his tenure as artistic director of Wonderbound (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado) in 2007. Since that time, Wonderbound has garnered national attention and praise for its daring work, including being named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” (2009). Ammon was also recently honored as a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellow (2011); named one of Denver Westword‘s “Ten People to Watch in 2013″ and is the recipient of the 2013 Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. A prolific dance maker, serial collaborator and self-professed tech geek; Ammon has created over 50 dance works over the past 14 years. He has conspired with artists across an array of disciplines and developed a trademark aesthetic that seamlessly blends tradition with adventurous new ideas. Ammon has forged a deep creative relationship with poet Michael J. Henry which has produced When the Power Goes Out (2009) and the multimedia, evening length production Intersection (2009). In 2014, Ammon and Henry will work with musician Ian Cooke to create the all new full length piece Gone West. He has also worked closely with director Chip Walton to create Curious Theatre Company‘s award-winning production of Sarah Ruhl‘s Eurydice (2009) and with painter/sculptor Mark Allen Henderson to create in pieces (2010).

Karen Federing (Director of Production – Central City Opera) Karen is beginning her 13th festival as Director of Production with Central City Opera. A native New Yorker, Karen just completed her first season as Production Manager for Gotham Chamber Opera, having previously worked with Gotham in 2013 and 2009. From 1992 to 2004 she was a Stage Manager with New York City Opera and stage managed over 45 productions, including seven Live From Lincoln Center telecasts.  Karen has stage managed for many regional opera companies over her 20-year plus career and was also part of the stage management team for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Michael Mayes (Joseph De Rocher in Central City Opera’s Dead Man Walking) is a past Central City Opera Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist and makes his debut in a leading role with the company this July in Dead Man Walking. Mr. Mayes is a baritone known for his consummate portrayals of iconic characters in the operatic repertoire. Originally from Conroe, Texas, Michael has performed with opera companies across the United States including the Metropolitan Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Arizona Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, and Fort Worth Opera. Mr. Mayes has appeared internationally in conjunction with La Fenice in Castel-Franco Veneto, Italy.  His honors include 3rd place winner at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Chicago, the Entergy Young Texas Artist Competition Vocalist Award, John Alexander Award, the John Moriarty Apprentice Artist Award, and an advanced division winner at the Anton Guadagno Vocal Competition.

Karen Slack (Vanda in Curious Theatre Company’s Venus in Fur) is an Artistic Company Member and a member of the Artistic Council at Curious Theatre Company. She has appeared in several productions including The Long Christmas Ride Home, 9 Parts of Desire, Eurydice, Homebody/Kabul, 9 Circles, Maple and Vine, God of Carnage, Rancho Mirage and most recently Venus in Fur. Other favorite roles include Lady Macbeth in Macbeth (Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Listen Productions), Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing (Colorado Shakespeare Festival), Frida Kahlo in Pain (Theatre on Broadway), Piper Cummington in DNC Mediamockracy (Listen Productions), Berthe Morisot in Morisot Reclining (Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company) and The Syringa Tree (Alliance Stage @Buntport Theatre, TheatreWorks, Town Hall Arts Center, Backstage Theatre). She has received awards and recognition from The Denver Post, Best of Westword and the Colorado Theatre Guild Henry Awards, among others. Slack received her training at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and HB Studio in New York.

Selene Karavites-Valdez (Emcee/Performer - Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret) currently emcees and performs at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, where she has found a niche singing and joking in burlesque and variety shows, whilst never “revealing” herself. Having studied theatre, classical music, and musical theatre in Colorado and NYC, she can play the violin, make her puppy leap through circus hoops, and chug a full beer in less than 20 seconds.

Chip Walton (Producing Artistic Director – Curious Theatre Company) founded Curious Theatre Company in 1997, serving as Producing Artistic Director since its inception. Named Denver’s “Theatre Person of the Year” in 2005, he has directed 37 shows for Curious over the past 16 years, and his work has garnered more than 50 local and national awards. In 2008, Curious was honored with the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Walton has served as the President of the National New Play Network, a network of 25 theatres across the country dedicated to the development and production of new plays for the American theatre. Walton was also selected in the inaugural class of Livingston Fellows, as one of five individuals from across Colorado selected by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation as exceptional non-profit leaders with significant potential for contribution, change and leadership in Colorado’s nonprofit sector. He has directed in the National New Play Network Showcase of New Plays, the Kennedy Center’s MFA Playwriting Festival in Washington, D.C., and accepted a National Theatre Company Award in New York for Curious from the prestigious American Theatre Wing. Most recently, Walton participated in the Visiting Professionals program at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, and is currently serving on the Leadership Group for Imagine 2020: Creating a Future for Denver’s Culture.

Rated “R” on Stage will be presented June 3, 2014 from 6-8 pm. The event is free, however, an RSVP is requested by June 2, and available through the Curious Theatre Company Box Office, 1080 Acoma Street, Denver; 303-623-0524 or online at curioustheatre.org.

About Central City Opera

Celebrating its 82nd year in 2014, 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 engagement programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.
Central City Opera’s 2014 Festival runs June 28 through August 10 featuring Mozart’s beloved comic opera about the marriage of the famous barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro; Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking, based on the true story and famous book written by Sister Helen Prejean about her relationship with Louisiana death row inmate Joseph De Rocher which was also an award-winning movie; and Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s glorious family musical The Sound of Music performed in Denver at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Subscriptions to see all three shows in the 2014 Festival are available for purchase starting at just $56 and single tickets for each production are also now available starting at $20. For more information, visit www.centralcityopera.org/tickets or call the Box Office at 303-292-6700.

About Curious Theatre Company
“No guts, no story” embodies the ethos of Curious Theatre Company. Established 16 years ago by a vanguard Artistic Company that has since grown to 28 professional actors, designers, and directors at its core, Curious brings the best new theatre to Denver, producing thought-provoking plays designed to challenge ideas, stir emotions, and leave audiences talking.

Under the artistic leadership of founding Producing Artistic Director Chip Walton, Curious Theatre Company reaches more than 17,500 individuals each year through: five main-stage productions; the innovative Curious New Voices youth education program; the unique Denver Stories original play commissions that honor area luminaries; and a range of Curious 360º audience enrichment activities.

A recipient of more than one hundred local and national awards, Curious includes among its most prized accolades the 2011 Denver Post Ovation Award for Best Year by a Theatre Company, 5280 Magazine 2011 Top of the Town Editor’s Choice for Best Theatre Company, Westword Reader’s Choice for Best Theatre in 2012, and the 2013 Colorado Theatre Guild’s award for Outstanding Season.

About Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret
Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret is located underground in the historic D&F Clocktower in the heart of the Denver theatre, hotel and shopping district. Sensual decor, cocktails, appetizers, dessert, and the most eclectic entertainment around, make Lannie’s the coolest room in town.

About Wonderbound
Wonderbound uses dance to deepen humankind’s common bond through uncommon endeavors of discovery and creation. At Wonderbound, we embrace the human form as a vehicle for invention and understanding. We cherish the human spirit as a catalyst for inspiration and creativity. And, we regard the human intellect as an escort for wisdom and character. We believe in the strength of the individual, the power of community, and the immeasurable potential of collaborative endeavors. We revel in the intersections of tradition and ingenuity, vulnerability and courage, and intimacy and openness. We value quality, rigorously pursued; passion, tenaciously engaged; and dreams followed, relentlessly.

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CENTRAL CITY OPERA ANNOUNCES TEN ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME DREAM EVENTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ONLINE

Central City Opera

Contact

Heather Brecl, Associate Director of Marketing

303-292-6500, ext. 105; hbrecl@centralcityopera.org

Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing

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

Dream Events are Part of the April 5th Theatre of Dreams Gala 

Denver, Colo. (March 10, 2014) — Central City Opera (CCO) announces a unique online opportunity to support the company’s opera and musical theater productions and year-round programs. Tickets to ten exclusive Dream Events will be available for purchase atwww.CentralCityOperaGala.com beginning Thursday, March 13.

Dream Events include behind-the-scenes access to the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens and the soon-to-be-unveiled Crawford Hotel at Denver’s historic Union Station. Private curated art tours and lectures at the Denver Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art will also be featured. Three elegant dining experiences paired with musical performances will headline local artist Zach Heckendorf and three CCO Summer Festivalproductions. An inside look into Colorado’s burgeoning marijuana industry will be available with the “Ganjapreneurs” event. Prices range from $100 to $1,000 for Dream Events.

To purchase a ticket to one or more of the events, visit the www.CentralCityOperaGala.com website and fill out the online form. Spots are limited for each event and sales will take place until all tickets are sold.

“We’re thrilled to offer these amazing adventures,” says Theatre of Dreams Gala Chair Anne McGonagle. “They have been generously donated by individuals and businesses in the Denver community who value our efforts to sustain the creative and enriching mission of Central City Opera.”

The following is a full list of the ten Dream Events:

  • Twilight and Chihuly at the Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Denver Art Museum Curated Tour followed by Reception at the Martin Museum Residence
  • Private Evening with Adam Lerner at the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Expanding Frontiers: VIP Reception and Tour of Union Station and The Crawford Hotel
  • Ganjapreneurs: A Unique and Educational Look Inside the Marijuana Industry
  • The Marriage of Figaro and a Private Dinner in Central City Plus Behind-the-Scenes Access
  • Dead Man Walking Following an Elegant Al Fresco Dinner in Central City
  • The Sound of Music with a Sneak Peek Inside the Ellie Caulkins Opera House
  • Tequila Sunset Concert with Zach Heckendorf and Gourmet Barbeque Supper in Cherry Hills Village
  • Stranahan’s Whiskey: Exclusive Taste of Colorado’s Most Precious Gold

The Central City Opera Theatre of Dreams Gala event begins at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 5 at the newly renovated McNichols Civic Center Building located at 144 West Colfax in Denver. The evening includes a cocktail reception & seated dinner with musical guestFORTE, a multicultural tenor trio whose performances on NBC’s 2013 America’s Got Talentcaptivated millions and launched the group into the national spotlight. Proceeds from the Gala support Central City Opera’s productions and year-round programs. For more information or to purchase Gala tickets, visit www.CentralCityOperaGala.com.

Celebrating its 82nd year in 2014, 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 engagement programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.

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CENTRAL CITY OPERA ANNOUNCES THE PRISONS, COMPASSION AND REDEMPTION PROJECT, ENGAGEMENTS EXPLORING THE THEMES OF THE OPERA DEAD MAN WALKING

Central City Opera

Contact

Heather Brecl, Associate Director of Marketing

303-292-6500, ext. 105; hbrecl@centralcityopera.org

Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing

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

Project Kicks Off with FREE Book Signing, Film Screening and Symposium

on the Death Penalty/Dead Man Walking
March 12 and 13 
Denver, Colo.—  Central City Opera (CCO) announces the Prisons, Compassion and Redemption ProjectThis series of thought-provoking engagements from a book signing, film screening and panel discussions in Denver to a cemetery crawl and historic tours in Central City, culminates in the main stage production of Jake Heggie’s opera, Dead Man Walking, at the Central City Opera House this summer.

To further explore the themes of the company’s 2014 production of Dead Man Walking,through the Prisons, Compassion and Redemption Project, CCO has partnered with the City of Glendale, the Greater Glendale Chamber of Commerce, DU Constitutional Rights and Remedies, Jewish Community Center, Tattered Cover, Greek Orthodox Metropolis Cathedral, Colorado Springs Conservatory, the City of Central and Gilpin History to present happenings beginning in March and running through July.

CCO’s Prisons, Compassion and Redemption Project presents the community with a number of opportunities to engage in discussions about challenging topics such as the death penalty and are, therefore, intended for mature audiences (17+). The events kick off in Glendale and Denver in March and include:

Book Signing and Film Screening – Wednesday, March 12, 6:00-9:00 pm 
Wolf Theatre at the Jewish Community Center
Meet Sister Helen Prejean, author of the book Dead Man Walking, at a screening of the award-winning film by the same name starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, followed by a book signing hosted by the Tattered Cover. FREE admission. Bring your own book or buy one on site. The evening kicks off with a special preview performance of the operaDead Man Walking by Central City Opera Ensemble Artists. The event will take place in the Wolf Theatre at the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center located at 350 S Dahlia St, Denver, CO 80246.

Death Penalty/Dead Man Walking Symposium - Thursday, March 13
3:30-5:30 pm – Symposium
5:30-6:30 pm – Reception

Greek Orthodox Metropolis Cathedral, Annunciation Room 
Join panelists Sister Helen Prejean, opera composer Jake Heggie, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District George H. Brauchler, Defense Mitigation Specialist Greta Lindecrantz and victim survivor Dana Sampson for a symposium on the death penalty and other themes related to Dead Man Walking. The symposium is hosted by the University of Denver’s (DU) Constitutional Rights and Remedies Program and moderated by the Program’s Director, Professor Sam Kamin. FREE admission. 5:30-7:00 pm: VIP reception by invitation only. The venue is located at 4610 E Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80246. The City of Glendale and the Greater Glendale Chamber of Commerce have generously sponsored the Symposium.

Master Class with the Composer – Friday, March 14, 4:30-6:00 pm, 6 pm Central City Opera Performance, Colorado Springs Conservatory, Colorado Springs
Central City Opera partners with The Colorado Springs Conservatory on a special master class with opera composer Jake Heggie. Students, faculty and alumni from the Colorado Springs Conservatory, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, and Colorado College will be selected to participate. The Master Class is open to the public and provides a unique opportunity to learn the magic behind creating a piece likeDead Man Walking. Jake Heggie will coach Dead Man Walking scenes with Central City Opera Ensemble Artists and a reception for attendees with the composer will be held following. Seating is limited. Please RSVP by March 13 to aschubauer@csconservatory.org or via phone at 719.577.4556. The Colorado Springs Conservatory is located at 415 S. Sahwatch Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

Interfaith Religious Round Table – Thursday, April 10, 6-8 pm
Sturm College of Law, University of Denver
Sponsored by and hosted at DU’s Sturm College of Law, this interfaith discussion on the death penalty will be led by leaders in the Catholic, Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Buddhist and Unitarian Universalist faiths. All are welcome and admission is FREE. The round table will be held in room 165 at DU’s Sturm College of Law located at 2255 E Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80210.

Central City Days: Divas and Desperados - July 13 and 19, 11:30-1:30 pm
Followed by Dead Man Walking matinee at 2:30 pm, Central City

Adventurers are invited to head to the hills of Central City for an afternoon introduction to some of the county’s most infamous bad boys and naughty girls. After meeting at the entrance of the picturesque Central City Cemetery for a picnic lunch, event participants will be treated to graveside tales reenacted by costumed Gilpin History docents. The tours will continue from the historic Washington Hall jail across the street from the Opera House, relaying stories of the town’s most notorious characters. An old-fashioned outlaw gunfight tops off the event in front of Main Street’s Dostal Alley Brewpub & Casino. Tickets for Central City Days are only $15 and include a FREE drink at Dostal Alley Brewpub. Boxed lunches can be purchased in advance for $10. For $55, patrons can enjoy Central City Days and the matinee performance of the opera Dead Man Walking in the intimate Central City Opera House. The $55 ticket also includes a FREE drink in the Teller House’s Terrace Room during intermission of the opera. To purchase tickets or for more information visit CentralCityOpera.org/ccdays or call the Central City Opera Box Office at 303-292-6700.The City of Central has generously sponsored Central City Days.

Book Clubs
Readers are invited to join book clubs through the Tattered Cover in Denver in reading the book Dead Man Walking to explore the themes of this powerful true story. For more information about book clubs, visit www.tatteredcover.com/regionalcatalog/215909 or denverlibrary.org/content/dpl-book-clubs.

For more information about the Prisons, Compassion and Redemption Projectvisit www.CentralCityOpera.org/project or email Heather Brecl, Associate Director of Marketing, at hbrecl@centralcityopera.org

Central City Opera 2014 Festival
Central City Opera’s 2014 Festival runs June 28 through August 10 featuring Mozart’s beloved comic opera about the marriage of the famous barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro; Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking, based on the true story and famous book written by Sister Helen Prejean about her relationship with Louisiana death row inmate Joseph De Rocher which was also an award-winning movie; and Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s glorious family musical The Sound of Music performed in Denver at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Subscriptions to see all three shows in the 2014 Festival are available for purchase starting at just $56 and single tickets for each production are also now available starting at $20. For more information, visit www.centralcityopera.org/tickets or call the Box Office at 303-292-6700.
Celebrating its 82nd year in 2014, 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 engagement programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.
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Central City Opera Guild Presents 2014 Opera Teaser

Central City Opera

Contact

Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing
303-292-6500, x108
vhamlin@centralcityopera.org

Romance, Redemption & Singing Nuns
AN EVENING OF COCKTAILS, DINNER AND A SNEAK PEEK
OF THE 2014 SUMMER FESTIVAL

Thursday, February 27

WHO:             The Central City Opera Guild (CCOG) will host an entertaining evening of cocktails, dinner and a glimpse of the 2014 Central City Opera Festival on Thursday, February 27. Monies raised will support Guild efforts to assist Central City Opera (CCO) with historic preservation, education, cultural and social events, and fund raising.

WHAT:           The 2014 Opera Teaser offers just a taste of the Festival’s 82nd year. Attendees will indulge themselves and their music-loving companions with a seated dinner and high quality entertainment provided by the Central City Opera Ensemble.  Stories through song will be told in selections featured from The Marriage of Figaro, Dead Man Walking and The Sound of Music. A round of opera trivia can also be enjoyed at each table throughout the evening.

Tickets prices are: $150 Patron (includes a $75 tax-deductible contribution and preferred seating); $75 General; and $70 Guild Members. Additionally, those who donate $100 (fully tax-deductible), can be serenaded with their favorite aria, ballad or tune by one of CCO’s talented artists from a selection of songs. Tickets are available online at centralcityopera.org/teaser or by calling the Box Office at 303-292-6700.

WHEN:          Thursday, February 27
Cocktails (cash bar), 6:00 pm
Dinner, 6:45 pm
Program, 7:30 pm

WHERE:        Denver Country Club

1700 East First Avenue, Denver CO 80218

WHY:             Proceeds benefit the CCOG’s efforts to support CCO including historic preservation, education, cultural and social events.

Central City Opera 2014 Festival

Central City Opera’s 2014 Festival runs June 28 through August 10 featuring Mozart’s beloved comic opera about the marriage of the famous barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro; Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking, based on the true story and famous book written by Sister Helen Prejean about her relationship with Louisiana death row inmate Joseph De Rocher which was also an award-winning movie; and Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s glorious family musical The Sound of Music performed in Denver at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Subscriptions to see all three shows in the 2014 Festival are available for purchase starting at just $56, and single tickets for each production are also now available starting at $20. For more information, visit www.centralcityopera.org/tickets or call the Box Office at 303-292-6700.

Central City Opera Guild was established in 1974 to assist Central City Opera, the fifth-oldest opera company in the United States, with historic preservation, education, cultural and social events, and fund raising. Its many programs include: Take a Child to the Opera, the Opera House Gardens, Victorian home preservation, Apprentice Artist support and opera preview dinners. For more information, please visit www.centralcityopera.org/guild.

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