Denver, Colo.— Central City Opera will shake it up and stir a packed house at the annual Music & Martinis fundraising event. The “Colorado casual” evening benefits Central City Opera (CCO). The event begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 13 at the Cable Center on the University of Denver campus, located at 2000 Buchtel Blvd. in Denver. 

Music & Martinis kicks off with cocktail hour at 6 p.m., featuring a martini bar sponsored by Boulder-based purveyor of organic spirits, Altitude Spirits.  A formal dinner follows with dessert and a presentation of highlighted musical performances. At the company’s exclusive pre-festival Denver event, patrons will get a sneak peek at the 2013 Festival as the 2013 Apprentice Artists from the company’s Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program perform live musical selections from Broadway classics to opera favorites.

A live auction will be led by veteran charity auctioneer of nearly 28 years, Gary Corbett. The auction will offer patrons the exclusive opportunity to bid on a walk-on role in a CCO 2014 production, tickets to Santa Fe Opera and The Book of Mormon, an African Safari for two, a  week-long stay at a condo in Palm Desert, other adventure destination trips and more.

Central City Opera General/Artistic Director, Pelham “Pat” Pearce and Grammy-winning baritone Daniel Belcher, who plays Figaro in this year’s production of The Barber of Seville, will serve as co-masters of ceremonies for the evening’s festivities. Pelham “Pat” Pearce was selected in 1996 as Managing Director and named General/Artistic Director of CCO in 1998. During his 16-year tenure, Mr. Pearce has set forth the company’s current artistic mission of balancing traditional and progressive works. CCO’s national/international reputation has been elevated with American premieres such as Gloriana in 2001 and world premieres including Gabriel's Daughter in 2003 and the new Chinese opera, Poet Li Bai in 2007. Nationally, he has served as Chairman of the Grants Review Panel for the NEA; as a juror for the Rosa Ponselle Int’l Voice Competition and Regional Met Auditions; and as a Board Member for OPERA America.  Mr. Pearce recently received the prestigious 2013 Bonfils-Stanton Award for his contributions made to the field of Arts and Humanities.    

Baritone Daniel Belcher returns to CCO this summer after his most recent appearance with the company in 2011 as the title character in Gianni Schicchi and Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias). He has performed in many of the world’s music capitals, including Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Geneva, Toronto, Tokyo, Seoul and Houston.  With a 50-role repertoire, Belcher has championed roles from the Baroque to those composed expressly for him. Earlier this season, he appeared at Houston Grand Opera as Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri, Opera Colorado as Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Utah Opera as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, and Florentine Opera for Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro.  Mr. Belcher is one of the premiere interpreters of Rossini performing today, and he is closely associated with the roles of Dandini in La Cenerentola, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri

Music & Martinis tickets are $150 per person and young professionals (ages 21-40) can purchase tickets for $75. Patron level tickets are available for $250 and include preferred seating with one of the artists for the evening. To purchase tickets call Alicia Holt at 303-331-7014.

Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program
The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program is a national model for the professional development of young singers. Created by Artistic Director Emeritus John Moriarty in 1978, the rigorous 10-week program integrates daily training in diction, movement, and stage combat; individual coaching; and sessions in career management with rehearsals and performance opportunities in the summer's main stage and surrounding productions. The program, which selects 30 participants from nearly 1,000 applicants each year, has provided valuable training for many of America's most notable young opera professionals, including Denyce Graves, Cynthia Lawrence, Margaret Lattimore, Mary Mills, Emily Pulley, Greg Turay, Latonia Moore, Matthew Polenzani, Jesus Garcia, Chad Shelton, Daniel Belcher, and Celena Shafer.

Central City Opera
Proceeds from Music and Martinis support Central City Opera’s programs including its annual Summer Festival, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, the preservation and maintenance of the Opera House and more than 30 other Victorian-era properties and its education and community programs, which serve more than 100,000 people each year through performances in elementary and secondary schools, community centers, senior residences and theaters.

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.
Denver Performing Arts Complex’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.
Two and three pack subscriptions for the 2013 Festival are available now and offer the best discounts and seat selections with a savings of up to 25% off single ticket prices. Subscriptions start at $30. Single tickets, starting at $20, are also on sale now. 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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