Denver, Colo. (June 10, 2014) – Central City Opera’s (CCO) 2014 Festival kicks off on June 28 and runs through Aug. 10 with much to do and see in both Central City and Denver! This year’s Festival begins at the Central City Opera House with Mozart’s beloved comic opera, The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro); followed by Jake Heggie’s opera based on the book of the same name, Dead Man Walking; along with Bernstein’s witty one-act opera, Trouble in Tahiti, at Williams Stables Theatre in Central City. The final show of the 2014 Festival is 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. Festival single show tickets in Central City range from $20 to $90 and tickets to see The Sound of Music in Denver range from $30 to $106. Three-pack subscriptions start at $56 (a 20% savings) and groups of ten or more save 25% on single ticket prices.
Patrons will also enjoy a wide range of additional offerings to enhance their Festival experience. Tickets for additional Festival offerings range from free to $80 and are outlined below. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.
2014 CCO Festival Shows
The 2014 Festival opens with Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, running June 28 through July 26. The Marriage of Figaro will be performed at the Central City Opera House in Italian with English supertitles. CCO’s new production of this famous comic opera in four acts is set in 1920s Spain with Downton Abbey style costumes and speaks volumes about serious matters in the best way possible – through the disarming power of comedy.
This opera depicts a day of madness and continues from 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.
CCO will bring Jake Heggie’s opera, Dead Man Walking, to the stage with performances opening July 5 and running through July 25. Dead Man Walking will be performed in English at the Central City Opera House. Based on the true story depicted in the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, which also was adapted as an award-winning film 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 is now one of the most frequently produced contemporary operas.
Set in 1980s 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. 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.
Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti will also be presented as part of the 2014 Festival with two sold-out performances on July 20 and 23 at the intimate 90-seat Williams Stables Theatre in Central City. Performed in English, the witty one-act opera set to jazz rhythms depicts a couple’s marital challenges and longing for love beneath the sunny veneer of 1950s American suburbia.
CCO’s final 2014 Festival show is the glorious family musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein II, TheSound of Music, running in Denver only with seven performances at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex from August 2 through August 10. Central City Opera’s production of The Sound of Music will be performed with a full live orchestra in English. The original Broadway production opened in 1959, and was adapted as a 1965 Academy Award winning film musical starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. 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 more than 18 million viewers.
Based on the memoir of Maria von Trapp’s The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, Maria is a free spirited nun-in-training who is not quite suited for religious life. She’s sent off to be the governess to Captain von Trapp’s seven troublesome children, becomes friends with the children due to their mutual love of music, falls in love with the Captain and they are married. All seems right in the world 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 including “Edelweiss,” “My Favorite Things,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “The Sound of Music,” and many more.
Full cast lists and biographies for 2014 Festival shows are available at www.centralcityopera.org/festival.
Additional 2014 CCO Festival Offerings
In addition to its slate of opera and musical theatre for 2014, Central City Opera continues to present innovative offerings that will enhance the Festival experience and engage new audiences.
Opera Notes (45 minutes before shows in the Central City Opera House)
Free pre-performance talks 45 minutes before each Central City Opera House show at the Williams Stables Theatre.
Lunch and a Song (July 2, 6, 9, 13, 16) Lunch and a 30-minute performance by a Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Training Program Artist will whet audience member’s opera appetite at the relaxed Teller House. Performances are accompanied by a lunch prepared by Kevin Taylor’s Face Bar restaurant and precede Opera House performances with a start time of 11:45 am. Tickets are just $30.
Short Works (July 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 26) See the stars of tomorrow in Short Works, featuring members of CCO’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program. These 30-minute performances are staged opera scenes from the world’s most popular operas. Held at the intimate Williams Stables Theatre across the street from the Opera House at 1:15 pm, tickets are only $12 ($8 for subscribers).
Central City Days: Divas and Desperados (July 13 and 19, 11:30am -1:30pm) Head to the hills for an afternoon adventure. Sponsored by the City of Central, in partnership with the Gilpin Historical Society, attendees can bring their lunch to the picturesque Central City Cemetery to hear the tales of the county’s most infamous bad boys and naughty girls. See who spent time behind bars at Washington Hall followed by short historic tours that will introduce you to the town’s most notorious characters, ending with a gunfight. Passes are $15, and boxed lunches are available for an additional $10. A package including a matinee performance of Dead Man Walking on the day of the event is available for $55.
Post-Op (Formerly Après-Opera) (July 11, 12, 18) Following select evening Central City Opera House shows, festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy cocktails and impromptu performances by the company’s talented 2014 performers at the Teller House. Free admission.
Nina Odescalchi Kelly Family Matinee (July 15, 2:30 pm) Attendees can introduce themselves and their children to opera at a special matinee of The Marriage of Figaro at the Central City Opera House that includes a narrator’s preview before each act and an autograph session with the singers. Tickets are $15 for kids (6-18), and $20 for adults. For an extra $10, festival goers can add pre-show Central City activities.
Boomer Bus (July 6 and 13) Opera goers between the ages of 50 to 65 can travel to Central City in style in 2014! The Boomer Bus will be offered on two dates for two productions, July 6 to see The Marriage of Figaro and July 13 to see Dead Man Walking. Boomers will board a bus in Denver (10:30 a.m. from Sports Authority in Glendale and 11:00 a.m. from Simms Steakhouse off of 6th Ave), given a glass of champagne and be treated to a live history presentation of Central City and CCO, a catered lunch in the gardens, a behind the scenes experience, a Short Works program and a full live opera performance with seating in section A of the Opera House. The entertaining bus ride returning to Denver will include an opportunity for a Q&A session with a member of CCO’s Education and Community Engagement team. Ticket prices are $80. Visit https://centralcityopera.org/visit/opera-bus for additional information.
Colorado Performing Arts Intensive Performances (July 25 at 7 pm; July 26 at 10:30 am) See two special performances by the high school kids attending this nationally renowned two-week summer opera camp collaborative between Central City Opera and Colorado Springs Conservatory. Performances take place at the Williams Stables Theatre with all tickets available for just $5.
Gay Friendly Events (June 18 and August 7) CCO will be hosting two special gay-friendly events during the 2014 Festival season. On August 7, prior to a performance of The Sound of Music at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, patrons are invited to dress in costume and attend a fun pre-show happy hour at the Curtis Hotel in the heart of downtown Denver. There will be a costume contest and a post-show gathering. The Sound of Music tickets start at just $30 and attendees can take advantage of a special discount on tickets.
On June 18, Central City Opera will be sponsoring the Denver Gay Professionals Pride Kick-Off Party at the X Bar from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. The model for CCO’s Dead Man Walking promotional image will be signing posters. The opera company will also be passing out a special code for tickets to Dead Man Walking and giving away a pair of tickets. Visit CentralCityOpera.org/DGP for more information on 2014 Festival Gay-Friendly events.
Central City Opera expresses its sincere gratitude to 2014 Festival sponsors including: Citizens of the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, El Pomar Foundation and Colorado Creative Industries. CCO also thanks 2014 Festival media sponsors: The Denver Post Community, 5280 magazine and 9 News.
Celebrating its 82nd year, 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 engagement programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.