Shakespeare Takes Over Central City Opera’s 2023 Summer Festival

Romeo and Juliet, Kiss Me, Kate and Othello June 24 through August 6 in Central City

DENVER, Colo., April 6, 2023Brush up your Shakespeare!” Central City Opera’s 2023 summer festival features three musical adaptations of classic Shakespearean stories brought to life on the historic opera house stage. Opening on June 24, 2023, this extended season includes the classic opera Romeo and Juliet by Charles Gounod, the delightful Cole Porter musical Kiss Me, Kate and the exquisite masterpiece Othello by Gioachino Rossini.

Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet infuses opera into Shakespeare’s famous tragedy about two star-crossed teenagers in love and serves as a cautionary tale to grudge-bearing elders and impetuous youth alike. Sung in French, principal cast members include Ricardo Garcia as Romeo, Madison Leonard as Juliet, Shea Owens as Mercutio, Wei Wu as Friar Laurent, Adam Cioffari as Count Capulet, Kameron Alston as Tybalt and Sable Strout as Stephano. This production will be directed by Dan Wallace Miller and conducted by John Baril and Brandon Eldredge.

Kiss Me, Kate by Cole Porter is a sparkling musical where the battle of the sexes takes center stage as former spouses feud onstage and off during a musical presentation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. The first recipient of the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1949, Central City Opera’s production will feature Emily Brockway in the role of Lilli Vanessi / Katherine, Jonathan Hays as Fred Graham / Petruchio, Lauren Gemelli as Lois Lane / Bianca, Adelmo Guidarelli as First Man and Isaiah Feken as Second Man. Adam Turner will conduct and Ken Cazan will direct.

Rarely performed due to the difficult vocal techniques required for its three tenors, Othello was written by composer Gioachino Rossini at age 24, with the libretto by Francesco Berio di Salsa based on Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Sung in Italian, directed by Ashraf Sewailam and conducted by John Baril, CCO’s production will feature the talents of Kenneth Tarver as Othello, Cecilia Violetta López as Desdemona, Bernard Holcomb as Iago, Christopher Bozeka as Rodrigo, Hilary Ginther as Emilia and Federico De Michelis as Elmiro.

The Central City Opera festival is a six-week extravaganza of storytelling and powerful voices, featuring classical music’s biggest talents. Tickets start at $30 and are on sale now. Enhance your festival experience with extras like Lunch and a Song, Short Works, Opera Après and Talkbacks. Visit or call 303-292-6700 for more information.