Central City Opera Appoints Michael Baitzer Director of Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program

DENVER (Oct. 3, 2018) – Central City Opera (CCO) general/artistic director, Pelham (Pat) G. Pearce, is
pleased to announce that Michael Baitzer has been named director of the company’s acclaimed Bonfils-
Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, regarded as a national model for professional
development of young singers.

Created by Artistic Director Emeritus John Moriarty in 1978, the rigorous 10-week program integrates
daily training in language, movement, stage combat, acting, individual coaching and role study, along
with sessions in career management, opera rehearsals and performances in the summer’s main
stage and additional festival productions. The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program has
maintained consistent excellence and strong leadership throughout its 40 years of existence, and
Central City Opera welcomes Michael Baitzer as director with the knowledge that he will maintain that
standard.

Baitzer has been a fixture of the Central City Opera music staff since 1999, and he has overseen the
Festival as principal coach since 2012. In addition to his new position with CCO, Baitzer is the head of
music staff at Washington National Opera. An active coach and collaborative pianist, Baitzer has served
on the faculties of premier programs, most recently Wolf Trap Opera Company, The Juilliard School,
Spoleto Festival USA and Aspen Music Festival and School. In addition to Michael Baitzer’s leadership
and coaching, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program staff is bolstered by the expertise
of stage director/acting instructor Kenneth P. Cazan, movement/choreographer instructor Melinda
Sullivan and stage combat instructor Erick Wolfe.

2019 Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program applications are open now. The program
selects 30-32 participants from nearly 1,000 applicants each year and has spring-boarded many of
America’s young opera stars into illustrious professional careers. Denyce Graves, Alan Held, Cynthia
Lawrence, Margaret Lattimore, Mary Mills, Emily Pulley, Greg Turay, Latonia Moore, Matthew Polenzani,
Jesus Garcia, Chad Shelton, Daniel Belcher and Celena Shafer are among a few of the notable program
alumni.

2019 Festival

Central City Opera’s 2019 Festival opens July 6 with main stage productions: Giacomo Puccini’s
“Madama Butterfly” and the Colorado premiere of Benjamin Britten’s “Billy Budd.” Both world-class
performances will be brought to life in the historic 550-seat jewel box opera house in Central City,
Colorado.

Featuring women of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, Central City Opera
presents a double bill of stunning, semi-staged chamber works, “The Blessed Damozel” by Claude
Debussy and “Litanies to the Black Virgin” by Francis Poulenc.

About Central City Opera

Founded in 1932 with roots stretching back to the mid-1800s, Central City Opera is entrenched in
Colorado’s rich history and the history of performing arts in the United States and abroad. CCO is the
fifth oldest professional opera company in the country and is renowned for its exquisite world-class
productions, competitive and robust young artist training program, and creative educational and
community engagement activities. Its annual summer festival, only 35 miles west of Denver, takes place
at 8,500 feet above sea level in the Colorado mountain town of Central City, where the company owns
and maintains 29 Victorian-era properties, including the intimate 550-seat jewel box opera house built
in 1878. Central City Opera serves more than 42,000 students, families and seniors throughout Colorado
and Wyoming with educational year-round programming, including live performances, workshops and
residencies. In conjunction with the town of Central City, Colorado, the organization is focused on
attracting diverse audiences to the town by offering a multitude of rich cultural experiences with a longterm
goal of establishing a destination arts district. For information, visit www.centralcityopera.org or
follow CCO on Facebook, Instagram (@ccityopera) and Twitter (@ccityopera). Use the hashtag
#CentralCityOpera to engage. For tickets, email boxoffice@centralcityopera.org or call (303) 292-6700.

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