Live Broadcast of Opening Night, July 11, on Colorado Public Radio

Denver, CO (July 9, 2015) – Central City Opera (CCO) opens its 2015 Summer Festival on Saturday, July 11 with one of opera’s greatest romances, Verdi’s La Traviata in the intimate and historic 550-seat Central City Opera House located at 124 Eureka St. in Central City, CO.

La Traviata plays through August 8; it is performed in Italian with English supertitles. Ticket prices range from $31 to $108, based on availability.  Verdi’s popular Italian opera was named as number one on the Operabase online database of the most-performed operas worldwide.

In this story of tragic love, the courtesan (“a prostitute with a courtly, wealthy or upper-class clientele” – Merriam-Webster dictionary) Violetta Valery (Ellie Dehn) meets Alfredo Germont (Ryan MacPherson) at a lavish party she is hosting.  Smitten by her new suitor, Violetta abandons her profession for their love only to have Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont (Troy Cook), convince her to leave his son.  Alfredo learns of his father’s wishes, but it’s too late as she is overcome by tuberculosis. La Traviata is based on Alexander Dumas fils’ novel, The Lady of the Camelias, the same novel on which the play Camille is based which opened Central City Opera’s first festival in 1932. CCO’s most recent production of La Traviata was staged in 2007 to commemorate the company’s 75th anniversary festival.

Live Broadcast on Colorado Public Radio, July 11:  Colorado Public Radio’s (CPR) Classical Music station, KVOD, will feature a live broadcast of Central City Opera’s opening night performance of La Traviata on July 11. This will be the fifth live broadcast on CPR from the historic Central City Opera House. CPR Classical Music Host David Rutherford will present the La Traviata broadcast and provide interviews with performers and insightful commentary throughout the program. The broadcast begins at the start of the opera at 8 p.m. Listeners can tune in to: Denver 88.1 FM, Boulder 99.9 FM, Pueblo 91.9 FM, Colorado Springs 94.7 FM, Glenwood Springs 90.5 FM, Aspen 101.5 FM, Western Slope 103.3 FM, Dove Creek 88.7 FM, Gunnison 89.1 FM, Cortez 102.5 FM, Crystal River Valley / Old Snowmass 93.9 FM, Thomasville 93.7 FM, and online at www.CPR.org. Central City Opera and Colorado Public Radio are also partnering with Colorado Public Television 12 (CPT12) in Denver on La Traviata in 2015.  CPT12 will be airing special video coverage and interviews with artists on the production and on Central City Opera’s Power of Women (POW!) project surrounding La Traviata this summer.

La Traviata Production Team

La Traviata will be directed by Elise Sandell.  Though Ms. Sandell has worked frequently with Central City Opera having most recently directed Curlew River in 2008, along with CCO’s Short Works scenes program and The Face of the Barroom Floor, she is making her main stage debut with La Traviata. Ms. Sandell has also worked frequently with Houston Grand Opera and with such companies as San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia and more.  To paraphrase Ms. Sandell’s insight on La Traviata “ …what makes Violetta special enough to be the charismatic center of this opera? Is it her beauty? Her wit? …Maybe it’s her honest cynicism that attracts us at first.  Maybe it’s her capacity to love. Maybe it’s how she sacrifices the best relationship she ever found for her beloved’s sake…One thing is sure: Violetta has the power to transform all of us in the audience.”

David Martin Jacques returns this summer for his 15th festival as Resident Lighting Designer.  Mr. Jacques will light both La Traviata and Man of La Mancha.  He has been lauded for his design of more than 300 theatre, opera, television, dance and special event productions.  Wig/Makeup Designer for all productions in 2015 is Dave Bova, who made is his CCO debut in 2012.  Chorus Master Adam Turner returns to Central City Opera, where he has led performances of The Marriage of Figaro, Dead Man Walking, Carmen, La Bohème, and Oklahoma!  Mr. Turner recently appeared in concert with singer-songwriter Ben Folds, conducting members of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

La Traviata Performing Artists:

Verdi’s popular Italian opera brings together an internationally acclaimed cast of returning stars under the baton of Central City Opera’s Music Director Maestro John Baril including baritone Troy Cook, as Giorgio Germont, star of Central City Opera’s 2014 production of The Sound of Music as Captain von Trapp, and tenor Ryan MacPherson as Alfredo Germont, returning to the Central City Opera main stage after his 2010 performance as Aristeus/Pluto in CCO’s Orpheus in the Underworld.

Making their Central City Opera debuts, soprano Ellie Dehn performs the role of the leading lady of La Traviata, Violetta Valery, and is joined by Apprentice Artist  mezzo-soprano Molly Jane Hill making her principal artist debut as Flora Bervoix. Ellie’s recent appearances include her performance as Countess/Donna Anna/Fiordiligi in San Francisco Opera’s Da Ponte Mozart Heroines, as Musetta in La Bohème with Teatro Alla Scala, Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera and as Donna Anna in San Diego Opera’s Don Giovanni.  Baritone Adelmo Guidarelli makes his Central City debut as a principal artist in the role of Doctor Grenvil; he has performed internationally, including his 2014 debut at Lincoln Center. Guidarelli been described as a “charming, veteran comedy performer, who steals nearly every scene he is in.”

Take the Boomer Bus!  Available on July 19, and August 2 (SOLD OUT) Opera goers between the ages of 50 to 65 can travel to Central City in style in 2015. The Boomer Bus will be offered on July 19 and August 2 for the matinee performance of La Traviata. Boomers will board a bus in Denver (10:00 a.m. from Sports Authority in Glendale and 10:30 a.m. from Simms Steakhouse off of 6th Ave in Lakewood), enjoy a glass of champagne and a live history presentation of Central City and the powerful women who founded Central City Opera, a catered lunch and behind the scenes experience, a Short Works program and a full live 2:30 pm matinee performance in the Opera House. The Boomer Bus will also be offered on July 25 for CCO’s performance of Man of La Mancha. www.centralcityopera.org/boomer.

To further explore the themes of La Traviata, CCO partnered with the CU Women’s Resource Center, Blush & Blu bar, the University of Denver, the City of Glendale, the Greater Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Public Radio, Colorado Public Television 12 (CPT12), Robert E Loup Jewish Community Center and Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret to present  The Power of Women (POW!) project. Panels were presented in the community with opportunities to engage in discussions about the evolving role of women in society, including those related to the mistress Violetta, the leading lady of La Traviata.

Inspired by the leading lady in this summer’s production La Traviata, CCO continues to celebrate women. The public is invited to submit stories of the powerful women who have impacted their life—mothers, sisters, teachers, friend; even a story about themselves. Shared stories can be in any format–photos, videos, poetry, and more—posted to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tagging CCO.(see instructions in link below). Each week we will select the most creative stories to receive one of our weekly prizes. All participants will be entered to win our grand prize: two premium subscription seats for the 2016 festival; for contest information: www.centralcityopera.org/contest

The 2015 Central City Opera Festival continues with the Tony Award-winning musical Man of La Mancha about a fanciful knight featuring the popular song “The Impossible Dream,” performed in the Central City Opera House July 18 through August 9; and two one-act operas performed in Central City and on the road, both in English. The Prodigal Son, a one-act by Britten based on the church parable of a wayward son, will be performed in English in Central City July 29 and August 5; in Colorado Springs July 30. The one-act opera by Boismortier, Don Quixote and the Duchess, includes irony and an elaborate ruse to fool the title character and is performed in Central City July 28 and August 1; August 6 in Ft. Collins. Single tickets for the 2015 Festival range from $25 to $108 and are subject to change based on availability. Two-pack subscriptions for La Traviata and Man of La Mancha start at $38 and include a savings of up to 25% off of single tickets. Groups of 10 or more also save 25%. For complete information on the entire festival season, visit www.centralcityopera.org

Celebrating its 83rd 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. 



  • Title Translation: “The Fallen Woman”
  • Music by Giuseppe Verdi
  • Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave
  • Premiered in 1853 in Venice, Italy
  • Estimated running time: Two and a half hours including two 15-minute intermissions



Composer Giuseppe Verdi
Librettist Francesco Maria Piave
Conductor John Baril
Director Elise Sandell
Assistant Director Corinne Hayes
Choreographer Melinda Sullivan
Original Scenic Designer Peter Harrison
Original Costume Designer Alice Marie Kugler Bristow
Costume Coordinator Bettina Bierly
Lighting Designer David Martin Jacques
Wig/Makeup Designer Dave Bova
Chorus Master Adam Turner
Musical Preparation Michael Baitzer, Sheldon L. Miller
Stage Manager Diane Lin Cole
Assistant Stage Manager Bryce Bullock
Supertitles Thomas Getty
Cast In Order of Vocal Appearances 

Violetta Valery Ellie Dehn
Flora Bervoix Molly Jane Hill
Marquis D’Obigny Nicholas Ward
Baron Douphol Andy Berry
Doctor Grenvil Adelmo Guidarelli
Gastone Bille Bruley
Alfredo Germont Ryan MacPherson
Annina Jin-Xiang “JX” Yu
Giuseppe Alexander Scheuermann
Giorgio Germont Troy Cook
Commissioner Joshua Arky

Estimated running time for La Traviata: approximately 2.5 hours with two 15-minute intermissions. Performances: Matinees at 2:30 pm: July 15*, 17, 19*, 21, 29; August 2, 4, 8. Evenings at 8:00 pm: July 11, 23, 25, 31; August 4

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