Denver, Colo. (March 30, 2015) — Central City Opera (CCO) announces new live entertainment as part of its second annual Theatre of Dreams Gala. Opera stars Michael Mayes and Anna Christy will join the Spirituals Project as the entertainment for this festive evening celebrating Central City Opera’s 83 years. Christy and Mayes will replace Soloman Howard, who was originally scheduled to perform. Mr. Howard, who was originally scheduled to perform at the Gala, has been engaged to record with Gustavo Dudamel of the LA Philharmonic during the Gala weekend. The Theatre of Dreams Gala will raise money for and honor CCO’s opera and musical theater productions and year-round programs, including historic preservation, the Bonfils-Stanton Artists Training Program, and education and community engagement. The Gala begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 24 at City Hall, a hip downtown Denver live music and events venue located at 1144 Broadway, around the corner from the Denver Art Museum and a stone’s throw from the Capitol and History Colorado.

Lauded by Kyle MacMillan of Opera News magazine for “combining potent singing and an ability to physicalize the angry emotions of De Rocher,” powerful baritone, Michael Mayes performed the role of death row inmate Joseph De Rocher in Central City Opera’s 2014 Dead Man Walking, and soprano Anna Christy, touted as “an expressive performer” whose “soprano is superb” by Juliet Wittman of the Westword, delighted audiences as Susanna in CCO’s 2014 The Marriage of Figaro. Also taking the stage at the Gala will be members of The Spirituals Project who performed in CCO’s 2013 Show Boat. In addition to the live performances, patrons and guests will be treated to a black tie evening of cocktails and a seated dinner. Attendees will have the opportunity to be the first to buy spaces for this year’s Dream Events. A popular aspect of last year’s Gala, the Dream Events are special happenings throughout the year offering behind-the-scenes access to exclusive locations and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The After Party will cap off the evening with late night dancing, creative cocktails and treats. For more information, visit www.CentralCityOperaGala.com.

Michael Mayes
Baritone Michael Mayes was a Central City Opera Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Apprentice Artist in 2000 and has performed with opera companies across the United States. Some of his appearances include Marco in Gianni Schicchi with the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Rigoletto with the Boston Lyric Opera, Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Pensacola Opera, Marcello in La bohème with Eugene Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera, the title role in Don Giovanni with Shreveport Opera and Green Mountain Opera Festival, and with 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.

Anna Christy
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. In addition to her 2014 appearance in The Marriage of Figaro, Ms. Christy’s  past CCO roles include  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  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 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. Ms. Christy’s many awards include a 2005 Martin E. Segal Award, the 2004 ARIA award, and a 2002 Sullivan Foundation Grant.

The Spirituals Project
The Spirituals Project’s roots date back to 1991 to a series of concerts, lectures and workshop programs conducted by Dr. Arthur C. Jones of the Colorado Women’s College of Denver at DU and his accompanist Ingrid Hansen Thompson on songs created and first sung by African Americans in slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries. The present mission of The Spirituals Project is to both initiate and provide sponsorship for a wide program of activities which all have the goal of offering public audiences an understanding of the history and continuing cultural functions of the spirituals in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.SpiritualsProject.org.

Tickets and Sponsorships
Theatre of Dreams Gala tickets are $250 per person and Young Professionals (ages 21-35) can purchase tickets for $150. Single Patron tickets with preferential seating are available for $350. After Party only tickets are also now available for $50. Please visit www.CentralCityOperaGala.com for more Gala information. To purchase tickets or to become a sponsor, call Alicia Holt Corliss at 303-331-7014.

The Gala Platinum Sponsors for the 2015 Theatre of Dreams Gala are: Citywide Banks, Kathy and Brad Coors Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, Endeavour Capital, First Western Trust Bank, Lanny and Sharon Martin, and Northern Trust.

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

Central City Opera’s (CCO) 2015 Festival features four productions performed in Central City and on the road in Colorado from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs. Verdi’s romantic story of tragic love and one of his most popular operas, 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. With the final two shows of the 2015 Festival, Central City Opera delivers its mission in a new way through the presentation of two unique one-act operas. To engage with CCO’s diverse communities served and with new audiences, these short productions will be performed in creative spaces from historic buildings in Central City to venues in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. The 2015 one-act operas include The Prodigal Son, Britten’s church parable about the return of a wayward son; and Boismortier’s Don Quixote and the Duchess, the story of a practical joke played on a wandering but 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 can also purchase the operas The Prodigal Son and Don Quixote and the Duchess at a discount before they are available to the general public. Single tickets for Central City Opera’s 2015 Festival range from $25 to $102 and will be available on April 15. 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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