Central City Opera Announces 2017 Summer Festival

Denver, Colo. (October 28, 2016)—Central City Opera’s 2017 Summer Festival, which runs from July 8 to August 6, 2017, features Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s Così fan tutte in repertory, along with Benjamin Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace, Douglas Moore’s Gallantry, and Amy Beach’s Cabildo in shorter runs. Celebrating the company’s 85th season, the festival’s productions offer a diverse and broad gamut of styles and time periods.

“Our productions last season of The Ballad of Baby Doe and Tosca were spectacular and so well received that we couldn’t be more excited about putting up Carmen and Così,” said Pelham (Pat) Pearce, the company’s general and artistic director. “These two operas are perfect works for our company and our historic opera house where we can showcase both great singing and great storytelling.”

Complementing the two mainstage productions, Central City Opera is featuring three one-act operas to be performed in smaller venues in Central City. “The popularity of these one-acts continues to grow since we introduced them in 2015,” said Pearce. “They draw opera goers who are looking for something new to see as well as those who are new to the art form and curious about experiencing something that’s shorter, less expensive, and feels more accessible,” said Pearce.

In addition to the two mainstage operas and the three one-acts, the Central City Opera four-week summer festival offers pre-performance lectures, opera scenes, and post-performance socials with the artists. Thursday evening performances have returned to the mix of matinee and evening performances throughout the festival, making it possible to see all the productions during an extended weekend. New subscriptions are available December 1, 2016, and single tickets will go on sale April 1, 2017.

Carmen (George Bizet/Ludovic Halévy and Henri Meilhac)
The 2017 festival opens with one of the world’s most popular operas, Carmen, with its memorable melodies and its electrifying story of love, jealousy, and murder. Last performed in Central City in 2011, this remounted production is directed by Jose Maria Condemi, making his company debut, and features Emily Pulley (Julie LaVerne/Showboat, 2013) as Carmen, Adriano Graziani (company debut) as Don José, Angela Mortellaro (company debut) as Micaëla, and Michael Mayes (Scarpia/Tosca, 2016) as Escamillo. Adam Turner (Man of LaMancha, 2015) conducts.

Matinees at 2:30 p.m.: July 12, 14, 16, 18, 22, 26, 30; August 3 & August 6
Evenings at 8:00 p.m.: July 8, 20, 28; August 1
Performed in French with English supertitles

Così fan tutte (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/Lorenzo Da Ponte)
The second mainstage production at the Central City Opera House is Mozart’s Così fan tutte, with exquisite arias and ensemble singing, and its zany story about two sisters, their betrothed, a bet, and two scheming troublemakers.

Last performed in Central City in 1990, this new production is directed by Stephen Barlow, making his company debut, and features Hailey Clark (company debut) as Fiordiligi, Tamara Gura (Cherubino/Le nozze di Figaro, 2014) as Dorabella, Matthew Plenk (company debut) as Ferrando, David Adam Moore (principal role debut) as Guglielmo, Megan Marino (company debut) as Despina, and Patrick Carfizzi
(Dr. Bartolo/Il barbiere di Siviglia, 2013) as Don Alfonso. Music Director John Baril (Tosca, 2016) conducts.

Matinees at 2:30 p.m.: July 19, 23, 25, 29; August 2 & August 4

Evenings at 8:00 p.m.: July 15, 21, 27
Performed in Italian with English supertitles
Central City Opera House

The Burning Fiery Furnace (Benjamin Britten/William Plomer)
Central City Opera presents The Burning Fiery Furnace, one of the three Parables for Church Performances by Benjamin Britten. The other two church parables, Curlew River and The Prodigal Son, were performed by Central City Opera in 2008 and 2015 respectively. The Burning Fiery Furnace tells the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the three Israelites who were thrown into a furnace for their refusal to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold. Tenor Bille Bruley (The Tempter/The Prodigal Son, 2015) sings the role of Nebuchadnezzar with additional principal roles performed by artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. Ken Cazan (The Ballad of Baby Doe, 2016) directs; Christopher Zemliauskas (The Prodigal Son/Don Quixote and the Duchess, 2015) conducts.

July 26 and August 2 at noon
July 27 at 5 p.m.
Performed in English
St. James United Methodist Church in Central City

Gallantry (Douglas Moore/Arnold Sundgaard)
Far less known than The Ballad of Baby Doe, Douglas Moore’s one-act opera Gallantry is a parody of a television soap opera set in an operating room. Artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program will sing principal roles. Alison Moritz, the assistant director for Tosca in 2016, directs; Christopher Zemliauskas conducts.

August 3 and August 4 at noon
Performed in English
Williams Stables in Central City

Cabildo (Amy Beach/Nan Bagby Stephens)
The only opera written by American composer Amy Beach, Cabildo is a sentimental tale, told in flashback, of the pirate Jean Lafitte, unjustly imprisoned in the Cabildo (governor’s palace) but released in time to help Andrew Jackson save New Orleans from the British. Artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program will sing principal roles. Alison Moritz, the assistant director for Tosca in 2016, directs; Christopher Zemliauskas conducts.
Cabildo can only be seen in the double feature with Gallantry:
Evenings at 8:00 p.m.: July 26, 29; August 2
Performed in English
Williams Stables in Central City

About Central City Opera
Central City Opera is the second oldest professional opera festival in the country, 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 Central City Opera House, and 30 other Victorian-era properties. For information, visit www.centralcityopera.org. For tickets, email boxoffice@centralcityopera.org or call (303) 292-6700.

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