Denver, Colo. (May 9, 2013) – Central City Opera is proud and honored to announce that today Central City Opera’s General/Artistic Director, Pelham “Pat” Pearce, received the prestigious 2013 Bonfils-Stanton Award for his contributions made to the field of Arts and Humanities.

The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation celebrated the 28th Anniversary of its Annual Award Program by announcing the 2013 recipients. Sometimes referred to as “Colorado’s Nobel Prizes,” the Annual Awards have honored prominent Coloradans for excellence in a broad range of pursuits. Honorees represent excellence in such fields as artistic direction, civic engagement, university leadership, historic preservation, biomedical research, chemistry and physics. Several honorees have gone on to receive the Nobel Prize, many have served as mentors to others, and most have continued to make significant contributions for years following receipt of the Foundation award. This annual award program was established in 1984 in recognition of Charles Stanton’s desire to bring acclaim to their efforts, and motivate others to greater accomplishments.

“Colorado is home to some of the country’s most accomplished and talented individuals, and it’s our privilege to recognize the state’s very best,” said Dorothy Horrell, president of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. “Pat Pearce provides inspiration for Coloradans, and we are pleased to honor him for his accomplishments.”

Under Pearce’s leadership since 1996, Central City Opera has received critical praise locally, nationally and internationally for premiering new operas, presenting neglected works, and staging traditional operas in innovative ways. His reputation for creativity and vision has drawn the best talent from the United States and around the world.

Pearce’s commitment to developing new talent is manifested through the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, a model professional development program for young singers. His love of history and preservation has helped save the character of Central City as one of America’s few remaining historic mining towns. His ear for excellence, passion for story-telling, and bold experiments with musical theatre, non-traditional venues, and artistic collaboration have made Central City Opera a vital force on the American and international opera scenes.

Other recipients of the 2013 Bonfils-Stanton Awards include entrepreneur, advocate for equal rights and philanthropist Tim Gill for Community Service, and accomplished researcher and innovative teacher Dr. Leslie A. Leinwand for Science and Medicine.

About the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation believes that extraordinary arts and leadership are key to building a vibrant Colorado. Every day, the Foundation strategically invests in imagination and innovation, because they believe that cultivating the creative spark is vital to making the community an exciting place where people want to live, work and thrive. Since its founding, the Foundation has distributed over $54 million in charitable contributions.

Central City Opera 2013 Festival
Central City Opera House – June 29 to July 28
The Barber of Seville opens the Festival in Central City on June 29 and runs through July 27. Ned Rorem’s operatic adaptation of Our Town is the second offering opening July 6 and running at the Opera House through July 28.

Central City Opera Comes to Denver’s Buell Theatre – August 6 to 11
Central City Opera comes to Denver for seven consecutive performances of Kern and Hammerstein II’s Broadway classic musical, Show Boat at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex from Tuesday, Aug. 6 to Sunday, Aug. 11.

In addition to its slate of operas for 2013, CCO will continue to present innovative initiatives that will engage a broader audience with exciting enhancements to the Festival experience. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.

Celebrating its 81st 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 service programs; and to preserve and maintain the Opera House and 30 other Victorian-era properties.

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