Central City Opera Announces Casting for Its 2014 Festival

THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
DEAD MAN WALKING the opera by Jake Heggie
THE SOUND OF MUSIC by Rodgers and Hammerstein II
Single Tickets for 2014 Festival Available Now

Denver, Colo. (January 16, 2014) – General/Artistic Director Pelham “Pat” Pearce announces Central City Opera’s (CCO) casting for the 2014 Summer Festival, running June 28 through August 10.  This year, the Festival will feature Mozart’s beloved opera, The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di 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 musical The Sound of Music performed in Denver at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. A full cast list for each of the 2014 productions is located at the end of this release.

Single tickets, starting at $20 for Central City Opera House main stage productions and starting at $30 for The Sound of Music in Denver, are now available for purchase.

The Marriage of Figaro (June 28 – July 26) – The 2014 Festival opens June 28 with a new production of one of the world’s most beloved operas: The Marriage of Figaro by W.A. Mozart with a libretto in Italian by Lorenzo Da Ponte.  An opera buffa, this Italian comic opera is in four acts. First performed in Vienna in 1786, The Marriage of Figaro has maintained its popularity in an increasingly egalitarian Western world, speaking volumes about serious matters in the best way possible – through the disarming power of comedy.

This opera continues from the 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. The Marriage of Figaro will be performed at the Central City Opera House in Italian with English supertitles.

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. Other recent performances include Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare with the English National Opera and the title role of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor with the Canadian Opera Company. Ms. Christy’s many awards include a 2005 Martin E. Segal Award, the 2004 ARIA award, and a 2002 Sullivan Foundation Grant.

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. An alumnus of the 2009 Merola Opera Program, he is also a Houston Grand Opera (HGO) Studio alumus and appeared with HGO in 2013 as Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro and a Lackey in Ariadne auf Naxos. 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. His awards include a 2010 Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation.

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 Central City Opera 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.

A 2002 Bonfils-Stanton Apprentice Artist, baritone Lucas Meachem* makes his professional debut with CCO as Count Almaviva, a role he has previously performed with the Royal Opera House, San Francisco Opera and Minnesota Opera. Mr. Meachem’s compelling lyric voice has led him to some of the world’s most important operatic stages, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opéra National de Paris, Teatro Real de Madrid, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Colorado, and many more. Most recently, he performed the title role in Don Giovanni with the Cincinnati Opera, the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Mill City Opera, as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Vienna State Opera, and Onegin in Eugene Onegin with Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier.

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. He has returned to the MET every season thereafter. 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. Recent credits include Benoit/Alcindoro in La bohème with the Canadian Opera Company and Arizona Opera, Bartolo in Il barbiere di Siviglia with New Orleans Opera, and Talpain Il tabarro with Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

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 under the baton of Leo Hussain to great critical acclaim, 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 upcoming 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 Central City Opera 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, Pedrillo in The Abduction from the Seraglio with Pittsburgh Opera, and Caius in Falstaff with the Metropolitan Opera.

A 2013 Central City Opera 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 Our Town with CCO this past summer. 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. In addition to her roles with CCO, she will also appear as Angelina in La Cenerentola with Opera Louisiane. CCO’s 2013 Young Artist of the Year, her other awards include winning the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year Competition and the Franco-American Vocal Academy Grand Concours de Chant.

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. 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 A. 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. 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. Recent work for Mr. Jacques 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 to design for all three productions in 2014. 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. Cabaret and Death of a Salesman with The Dallas Theater Center, Sweeney Todd with Barrington Stage, and Annie Get Your Gun with the Ravinia Festival.

Dead Man Walking (July 5 – July 27) – CCO will bring Jake Heggie’s opera Dead Man Walking to the stage for eight performances opening July 5 and running through July 25. Based on the extraordinary book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, which also was adapted as an award-winning movie 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 has since been performed numerous times across the United States and throughout Europe. “It was a triumph beyond what even its most optimistic boosters could have predicted” wrote the San Francisco Chronicle. Dead Man Walking will be performed in English at the Central City Opera House.

Set in the 1980s in 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. Finally, 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.

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. Most recently, she 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.

With a “powerful” voice and an “arresting stage presence,” baritone Michael Mayes* will perform the role of Joseph De Rocher, a role he 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.

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.

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 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.

The Sound of Music (August 2 – August 10) – Directed by Ken Cazan, the final production for CCO’s 2014 Festival will feature seven performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein II’s glorious musical The Sound of Music. The production will run in Denver only at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex from August 2 through August 10. 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. Central City Opera’s production of The Sound of Music will be performed with a full live orchestra in English.

Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp’s The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, Maria is a sweet young postulant 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, and soon, even the strict Captain begins to admire Maria. 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, Austria, and the whole family is forced to flee over the Alps to escape. Many songs from the musical have become classics sung by young and old, including “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “The Sound of Music,” 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 will perform the role of patriarch, Captain Von Trapp, after his performances as Gaylord Ravenal in last season’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* makes his professional CCO debut in the role of Rolf, Liesl’s love interest. 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 CCO Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist in 2013, soprano Julie Tabash makes her debut with the company as Liesl.  Ms. Tabash is 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 Mother Abbess will be played by Maria Zifchak and Robert Orth will play Max Detweiler.  The Von Trapp children will be played by members of the Colorado Children’s Chorale.

Additional artistic staff and casting for the 2014 Summer Festival are to be announced, and specific performance dates are subject to change. Visit centralcityopera.org for the most up to date 2014 information and a calendar of performances. Subscriptions to see all three shows in the 2014 Festival start at just $56 and single tickets are also available now for each production starting at $20 (The Sound of Music tickets start at $30). For more information, visit centralcityopera.org 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 service programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.###

Central City Opera 2014 Production Cast Lists

Additional roles TBA    *=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 A. Wells*

Supertitles                                           Thomas Getty


Susanna                                              Anna Christy

Figaro                                                  Michael Sumuel*

Countess                                             Sinéad Mulhern

Count                                                  Lucas Meachem*

Bartolo                                                 Thomas Hammons*

Cherubino                                           Tamara Gura*

Basilio                                                  Joseph Gaines

Marcellina                                           Claire Shackleton*

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


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

The Sound of Music

Music                                                  Richard Rodgers

Lyrics                                                  Oscar Hammerstein II

Book                                                    Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse

Conductor                                           Craig Kier*

Director                                               Ken Cazan

Lighting Designer                                David Martin Jacques

Wig/Makeup Designer                        Dave Bova


Maria                                                   Katherine Manley

Captain von Trapp                              Troy Cook

Mother Abbess                                    Maria Zifchak

Elsa Schraeder                                   Lucy Schaufer*

Max Detweiler                                     Robert Orth

Rolf                                                     Ian O’Brien

Liesl                                                     Julie Tabash

Children                                               Colorado Children’s Chorale

Comments are closed.