CENTRAL CITY OPERA ANNOUNCES 2015 FESTIVAL CASTING

PRESENTING VERDI’S POPULAR LOVE STORY, LA TRAVIATA, THE WHIMSICAL ADVENTURE OF AN ERRANT KNIGHT, MAN OF LA MANCHA, AND TWO ONE-OF-A-KIND ONE-ACTS ON THE ROAD IN COLORADO:  
THE PRODIGAL SON AND DON QUIXOTE AND THE DUCHESS

2015 Festival Single Tickets Available Now Starting at $25!

Denver, CO (April 30, 2015) – Central City Opera (CCO) General/Artistic Director Pelham “Pat” Pearce announces casting for the 2015 Festival featuring four productions. With a mission of reaching new audiences and more effectively engaging Central City Opera’s communities served, the company’s 2015 Festival offers a wide range of offerings from standard popular operatic repertoire to beloved musical theater and contemporary opera performed and delivered in non-traditional ways.

Opening the Festival on July 11 and running through August 8 at the Central City Opera House is Giuseppe Verdi’s popular opera of tragic love, La Traviata; followed by Mitch Leigh’s Tony award-winning musical, Man of La Mancharunning July 18 to August 9. The final productions of the 2015 Festival are a pair one-of-a-kind one-act operas which will debut in Central City and travel to creative spaces in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, Colorado. The two one-acts include Joseph Bodin De Boismortier’s Don Quixote and the Duchess (July 28 and Aug. 1, Central City; Aug. 6, Ft. Collins); and Benjamin Britten’s The Prodigal Son (July 29 and Aug. 5 Central City; July 30 Colorado Springs). Due to technical difficulties regarding audio requirements for Central City Opera’s touring production of Lera Auerbach’s The Blind, it will no longer be a part of the 2015 Festival. 2015 Festival single tickets are now available for all performances starting at $25 by calling 303-292-6700 or visiting www.CentralCityOpera.org.

2015 Central City Opera Festival Casting 
Returning to the stage are many critically-acclaimed principal artists from recent years including the stars of last summer’s The Sound of Music: Troy Cook in La Traviata and Robert Orth and Lucy Schaufer in Man of La Mancha. Ryan MacPherson also returns for La Traviata after his most recent appearance in 2010’s Orpheus and the Underworld. The Company also welcomes back Central City Opera Music Director John Baril as the Conductor of La Traviata, Adam Turner as the Conductor and Chorus Master of Man of La Mancha, and Christopher Zemliauskas, Conductor and Chorus Master of Don Quixote and the Duchess and The Prodigal Son. Stage Director of The Rape of Lucretia in 2008, Paul Curran returns to direct Man of La Mancha and Ken Cazan is the director of Prodigal Son following last year’s The Sound of Music. Festival Resident Lighting Designer David Martin Jacques returns along with 2015 Wig and Makeup Designer/Supervisor, Dave Bova.

Central City Opera debuts include soprano Ellie Dehn as Violetta Valery and Apprentice Artist Molly Jane Hill as Flora Bervoix in La Traviata, bass Adelmo Guidarelli as Doctor Grenvil in La Traviata and The Innkeeper/Governor in Man of La Mancha, and Elise Sandell who last directed Curlew River in 2008 returns as in her main stage debut as Director of La Traviata. Also debuting in Man of La Mancha are Keith Jameson as Sancho Panza and Scenic and Costume Designer Court Watson. Kyle Lang returns to Central City Opera for his debut as Director of Don Quixote and the Duchess.

The pair of one-acts features performances by members of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program under the direction of the Program’s Director and Administrator, Michael Ehrman and Principal Coach, Michael Baitzer. Apprentice Artists making their debuts are Joshua Arky, Bille Bruley, James Dornier, Molly Jane Hill, Maya Kherani, Michael Kuhn, Nathaniel Olson and Nicholas Ward.

DEBUTS
Principal Singers: Ellie Dehn, Adelmo Guidarelli, Keith Jameson
Apprentice Artists: Joshua Arky, Bille Bruley, James Dornier, Molly Jane Hill, Maya Kherani, Michael Kuhn, Nathanial Olson, Nicholas Ward
Directors: Kyle Lang and Elise Sandell
Scenic and Costume Designer: Court Watson

RETURNING ARTISTS
Principal Singers: Troy Cook, Robert Orth, Ryan MacPherson, Lucy Schaufer
Conductor: John Baril
Conductors/Chorus Masters: Adam Turner and Christopher Zemliauskas
Directors: Paul Curran and Ken Cazan
Lighting Designer: David Martin Jacques
Wig and Makeup Designer/Supervisor: Dave Bova
La Traviata
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave

Performed in Italian with English supertitles at the Central City Opera House
July 11, 15*, 17, 19*, 21*, 23, 25, 29*, 31, August 2*, 8*
August 4*: Nina Odescalchi Family Matinee Performance
Evening performances at 8:00 pm
*Matinee performances at 2:30 pm

Conductor – John Baril
Director – Elise Sandell
Violetta Valery – Ellie Dehn
Alfredo Germont – Ryan MacPherson
Giorgio Germont – Troy Cook
Doctor Grenvil – Adelmo Guidarelli
In this romantic story of tragic love, the radiant yet ill mistress Violetta Valery finds true love and abandons her life as a party girl to be with the young nobleman, Alfredo Germont. His father demands that she sacrifice their love and when Alfredo fights to win her back, it just might be too late. This opera, composed by Guiseppe Verdi with a libretto by Francesco Maria Piave debuted in 1853.  Verdi considered the opera a failure upon its premiere however it is now among the most-performed operas worldwide according to Operabase.com.

Staged in 2007 to commemorate Central City Opera’s 75th anniversary festival, the same production of La Traviata kicks off the 2015 Festival at the Central City Opera House on July 11 and runs through August 8, 2015. Verdi’s popular Italian opera brings together an internationally acclaimed cast of returning stars under the baton of Central City Opera’s Music Director Maestro John Baril including baritone Troy Cook, as Giorgio Germont, star of Central City Opera’s 2014 production of The Sound of Music as Captain von Trapp, and tenor Ryan MacPherson as Alfredo Germont, returning to the Central City Opera main stage after his 2010 performance as Aristeus/Pluto in CCO’s Orpheus in the Underworld. Making their Central City Opera debuts, soprano Ellie Dehn performs the role of the leading lady of La Traviata, Violetta Valery, and is joined by Apprentice Artist mezzo-soprano Molly Jane Hill making her principal artist debut as Flora Bervoix. Ellie’s recent appearances include her performance as Countess/Donna Anna/Fiordiligi in San Francisco Opera’s Da Ponte Mozart Heroines, as Musetta in La Bohème with Teatro Alla Scala, Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera and as Donna Anna in San Diego Opera’s Don Giovanni. Molly Jane Hill makes her debut in a principal role on the main stage with Central City Opera after her appearances last year as Marcellina in CCO’s Nina Odescalchi Family Matinee of Le nozze di Figaro featuring artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Artists Training ProgramSister Lillianne in Dead Man Walking, and Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music. Other performances in 2014-15 include Eunice Hubbell in Opera Santa Barbara’s A Streetcar Named Desire and Maddalena in Livermore Valley Opera’s Rigoletto. Also making his Central City Opera debut as Doctor Grenvil (and The Innkeeper/Governor in Man of La Mancha) is bass Adelmo Guidarelli who recently performed the role of Sacristan in Tosca with the Boston youth Symphony orchestra and Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola with the Salt Marsh Opera. Touted as having direction that is “direct and unobtrustive” by Tulsa World, Elise Sandell makes her Central City Opera main stage debut as Director of La Traviata following her role as director for Central City Opera’s Curlew River in 2008 and The Face on the Barroom Floor 2007-8, and Le nozze di Figaro with Tulsa Opera.

David Martin Jacques returns this summer for his 15th festival as Resident Lighting Designer.  Mr. Jacques will light both La Traviata and Man of La Mancha.  He has been lauded for his design of more than 300 theatre, opera, television, dance and special event productions.  Wig/Makeup Designer for all productions in 2015 is Dave Bova, who made is his CCO debut in 2012.

For complete biographies, visit www.CentralCityOpera.org/traviata.

The Power of Women (POW!) – Inspired by CCO’s La Traviata 
(March to July, 2015)
Celebrate the power of women at dynamic events about the evolving role of women in society inspired by the leading lady in Central City Opera’s La Traviata. Join us for comedy night, round table talks about sex, equality and the arts, a panel discussion between Colorado’s powerful women, live performances and more. FREE and open to all! Visit www.CentralCityOpera.org/pow for more information. #ccopow

Man of La Mancha
Written by Dale Wasserman
Music by Mitch Leigh
Lyrics by Joe Darion
Original Production Staged by Albert Marre
Originally Produced by Albert W. Selden and Hal James
Performed in English at the Central City Opera House
July 18, 22*, 24, 25*, 26*, 28*, 30*, August 1*, 5*, 7*, 9*
Evening performances at 8:00 pm
*Matinee performances at 2:30 pm

Conductor – Adam Turner
Director – Paul Curran
Miguel De Cervantes/Don Quixote – Robert Orth
Aldonza – Lucy Schaufer
Sancho Panza – Keith Jameson
Innkeeper –  Adelmo Guidarelli
Full of heart and adventure, this award-winning musical is a play within a play. As Don Miguel de Cervantes awaits his trial by the Spanish Inquisition, he acts out a story for his fellow prisoners. He becomes Don Quixote, a fanciful knight on a quest to rid the world of his mortal enemy. This uplifting ode to remaining true to one’s ideals in the face of all odds features the popular song “The Impossible Dream.”

A musical by Mitch Leigh with lyrics by Joe Darion and book by Dale Wasserman, Man of La Mancha, is Central City Opera’s second offering of the 2015 Festival. Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes and his seventeenth-century masterpiece Don Quixote, the original 1965 Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Revived four times on Broadway, it is considered one of the most enduring works of musical theater.

The second production being performed in the Central City Opera HouseMan of La Mancha opens on July 18 and runs through August 9, 2015. Central City Opera welcomes back Adam Turner as conductor of Man of La Mancha. Mr. Turner served as Associate Conductor and Chorus Master of Central City Opera’s 2014 Festival productions Le nozze di FigaroDead Man Walking and The Sound of MusicPaul Curran returns to direct this production after his most recent work with the company directing The Rape of Lucretia in 2008, along with his direction of The Tales of Hoffmann in 2004 and direction and set design for A Midsummer’s Night Dream in 2002. Returning to the main stage after starring in CCO’s 2014 production of The Sound of Music as Elsa Schraeder and Max Detweiler, Lucy Schaufer and Robert Orth will again cast their spell on audiences with their portrayals of Aldonza and Miguel De Cervantes/Don Quixote in this whimsical story of a half-baked knight and his fanciful adventures. In addition to The Sound of Music, last year Robert Orth performed the role of Owen Hart in CCO’s Dead Man Walking and previously portrayed Horace Tabor in the company’s 2006 The Ballad of Baby DoeLucy Schaufer most recently performed the role of Susanna in Los Angeles Opera’s The Ghosts of Versailles and Old Woman in the London premiere of Opera Holland Park’s Flight. They are joined in this story within a story by tenor Keith Jameson and bass Adelmo Guidarelli making their Central City Opera debuts as Sancho Panza and the Innkeeper. Keith Jameson’s recent credits include Candide in Candide with Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and Bardolfo in Falstaff at the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in Japan. Adelmo Guidarelli took the stage in the role of Sacristan in Tosca with Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and Don Magnifico in Salt Marsh Opera’s La Cenerentola.

For complete biographies, visit www.CentralCityOpera.org/lamancha.

The Prodigal Son
Music by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by William Plomer from the New Testament

Performed in English.
July 29 and August 5 at 12:30 pm at St. James United Methodist Church in Central City
July 30 at 12:00 pm at 1st Christian Church in Colorado Springs

Conductor – Christopher Zemliauskas
Director – Ken Cazan
Tempter (Abbot) – Bille Bruley
Father – Nathaniel Olson
Elder Son – Nicholas Ward
Younger Son – Michael Kuhn

 

This production features artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program.
An opera by Benjamin Britten with a libretto by William Plomer, The Prodigal Son was the third of Britten’s three church parables, after Curlew River (CCO’s 2006 Festival) and The Burning Fiery Furnace. First performed on June 10, 1968 at Orford Church in Suffolk, England, this one-act opera tells the biblical tale of a son who is bored with life on his father’s farm. He uses his inheritance to seek an exciting life in the city but is left penniless and starving. When he returns home to beg for forgiveness, his father accepts him with open arms, much to his older brother’s dismay.

One of CCO’s two one-act productions that will travel this summer in order to more deeply engage new audiences, The Prodigal Son features debut performances by the Apprentice Artists from CCO’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training ProgramTenor Bille Bruley takes the stage in the role of Tempter/Abbot while baritone Nathaniel Olson brings to life the role of the FatherThe Elder Son and Younger Son are performed by baritone Nicholas Ward and tenor Michael Kuhn. Central City Opera welcomes back Ken Cazan as Director of The Prodigal Son. Mr. Cazan has directed many critically-acclaimed Central City Opera productions including Dead Man Walking and The Sound of Music in 2014, Our Town in 2013 and Oklahoma! in 2012. Michael Ehrman returns to Central City Opera as the Director and Administrator of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program for the second year with Michael Baitzer as Principal Coach for his third year. Michael Ehrman’s Central City Opera credits include directing Trouble in Tahiti in 2014, Susannah in 2008 and The Ballad of Baby Doe in 2006. Michael Baitzer most recently served as Associate Conductor for Assistant Conductor of Dialogues of the CarmelitesThe Flying Dutchman and Cinderella with Washington National Opera.

For complete biographies, visit www.CentralCityOpera.org/prodigalson.

Don Quixote and the Duchess (Don Quichotte chez la Duchesse)
Music by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier
Librettist Charles-Simon Favart
Performed in English
English Translation by Thomas Getty
July 28 and August 1 at 12:30 pm in Atwill Gilman Studio at the Lanny and Sharon Martin Foundry Rehearsal Building in Central City
August 6 at 12:00 pm at First United Methodist Church in Fort Collins

Conductor – Christopher Zemliauskas
Director – Kyle Lang
Altisidore – Maya Kherani
Don Quixote – James Dornier
Sancho – Michael Kuhn
Merlin – Joshua Arky
Montesinos – Andy Berry

This production features artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program.
Based on an episode in Cervantes’ novel, Don Quixote, a Duke and Duchess amuse themselves by creating an elaborate ruse to fool the title character. Rich with incisive, quick and ironic turns, this production will be the regional premiere of the opera which provides a completely different episode in the story of Don Quixote also featured in the musical Man of La Mancha this summer.

The second one-act that takes opera on the road, Don Quixote and the Duchessa “comic ballet” (comédie lyrique) by the French Baroque composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier was first performed at the Royal Academy of Music on February 12, 1743. Though described as a ballet, it is sung throughout with a libretto by Charles Simon Favart. Being performed in English though written originally in French, Don Quixote and the Duchess welcomes back Kyle Lang as Director. Mr. Lang has served as Assistant Director for Central City Opera productions including Dead Man Walking in 2014, Show Boat in 2013 and Oklahoma! in 2012. Christopher Zemliauskas joins the production as Conductor, returning after conducting Central City Opera’s productions of Our Town in 2013, Oklahoma! in 2012, and Carmen and Amadigi di Gaula in 2011. Don Quixote and the Duchess also features debut performances by Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artists including soprano Maya Kherani as Altisidore, tenor James Dornier as Don Quixote, tenor Michael Kuhn as Sancho, bass Joshua Arky as Merlin and bass Andy Berry performing the role of Montesinos. Currently in residence at the prestigious Boston University Opera Institute, Maya Kherani most recently sang the role of La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon and made her Houston Grand Opera debut in the role of Meera in the world première of River of Light. James Dornier is recognized by his performance as an Apprentice Artist last year as Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, the Trio Tenor in Trouble in Tahiti, and the Older-Half Brother in Dead Man Walking. In addition to his role as Franz in The Sound of Music, Michael Kuhn most recently performed the role of Don Ottavio in DC Public Opera’s Don Giovanni. Mr. Kuhn will also be seen during the 2015 Festival in the role of the Younger Son in The Prodigal Son.

For complete biographies, visit www.CentralCityOpera.org/donquixote.

Single Tickets for 2015 Festival Available Now
Individual performance tickets for Central City Opera’s 2015 Festival are now available for purchase and range from $25 to $102. (Prices are subject to change based on availability). 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. For extra savings, single tickets and subscriptions can be ordered online at www.CentralCityOpera.org/ticketsOnline ticket orders incur a $4 charge per order. Tickets purchased in person or via phone or email incur a $5 per ticket fee. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.CentralCityOpera.org or call 303-292-6700.

Celebrating its 83rd year in 2015, 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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