NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
More than $82 Million Awarded for Arts Projects Nationwide
Includes $15,000 awarded to Central City Opera
Grant to Support Central City Opera’s 2017 Festival One-Act Productions of Benjamin Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace, Amy Beach’s only opera, Cabildo and Gallantry by Douglas Moore.
Denver, CO (June 22, 2017) — National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $82 million to fund local arts projects across the country in the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2017. The NEA received 1,728 Art Work applications and will make 1,029 grants ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
Included in this major funding announcement is an Art Works award of $15,000 to Central City Opera for the support of performances of one-act operas for the 2017 season. “The arts reflect the vision, energy, and talent of America’s artists and arts organizations,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support organizations such as Central City Opera in serving their communities by providing excellent and accessible arts experiences.”
“One of Central City Opera’s primary goals is to contribute to the strength and vitality of the operatic art form by offering extraordinarily varied subjects and styles of opera and music theater repertoire, including our one-act productions,” explains Central City Opera General/Artistic Director Pelham G. Pearce. “Funding from the NEA helps us to realize the goal of introducing patrons to one-act opera performances in varying locations throughout the town of Central City at prices starting at $25 per ticket.” For the 2017 summer festival, the grant money will go towards presenting Central City Opera’s one-act operas, including Benjamin Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace, Amy Beach’s only opera, Cabildo and Gallantry by Douglas Moore July 26 through August 4, 2017.
The Burning Fiery Furnace, is the third of three Parables for Church Performances by Benjamin Britten. The other two church parables, Curlew River and The Prodigal Son, were performed by Central City Opera in 2008 and 2015 respectively. The Burning Fiery Furnace is the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the three Israelites, thrown into a furnace for their refusal to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s image of gold. Tenor Bille Bruley (The Tempter/The Prodigal Son, 2015) sings the role of Nebuchadnezzar with Zhiguang Hong in the role of the Astrologer, and Tim Murray in the role of Ananias. Ken Cazan (The Ballad of Baby Doe, 2016) directs; Christopher Zemliauskas (The Prodigal Son/Don Quixote and the Duchess, 2015) conducts.
For the very first time in its 85-year history, Central City Opera is presenting a female composer’s work. The only opera written by American composer Amy Beach Cabildo is a sentimental tale, told in flashback, of the pirate Pierre Lafitte, unjustly imprisoned in the Cabildo (governor’s palace) but released in time to help Andrew Jackson save New Orleans from the British. Artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program are featured in the principal roles: John Kun Park as Barker, Nathan Ward as Tom, Louise Rogan as Mary, and Bryan Murray as Pierre Lafitte. Alison Moritz, the assistant director for Tosca in 2016, directs; Christopher Zemliauskas conducts.
Far less known than The Ballad of Baby Doe, Douglas Moore’s one-act opera Gallantry is a parody of a classic 1950s television soap opera. Set in an operating room, craziness revolves around a semi-conscious patient, his fiancé the anesthetist, and a lecherous doctor. Artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program are featured in the principal roles: Ann Fogler as Announcer, Zane Hill as Dr. Gregg, Kaileigh Riess as Lola, and Eric Taylor as Donald. Alison Moritz, the assistant director for Tosca in 2016, directs; Christopher Zemliauskas conducts.
In addition to the one-act performances of The Burning Fiery Furnace, Cabildo and Gallantry, Central City Opera’s 2017 Festival July 8-August 6 will feature two main stage productions, Georges Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s Così fan tutte, with tickets ranging in price from $31-$108. For more information or to purchase tickets for all of the 2017 summer festival performances: centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency that funds, promotes and strengthens the creative capacity of our communities by providing all Americans with diverse opportunities for arts participation. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the National Endowment for the Arts at arts.gov.
About Central City Opera
Central City Opera is the fifth oldest opera company in the U.S., 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 Central City Opera House, and 28 other Victorian-era properties.
Director of Marketing