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Music and Martinis: A Night to Remember with the Stars of Tomorrow

Daniel
Belcher has come full circle. He was once a student of John Moriarty in Central
City Opera’s esteemed Young Artists Training Program, and is now about as
accomplished as an opera star can be. So Thursday night when Belcher joined General
& Artistic Director Pat Pearce to discuss the Program and its importance to
the careers of up and coming singers, he spoke with the most sincerity. He had
experienced the merits of the Program first hand, and strongly believes in what
it can do for a young opera singer.

Belcher
and Pearce were joined by approximately 350 supporters of Central City Opera
inside Denver University’s Cable Center for Music and Martinis. The evening
began around 6pm as guests filtered in and were treated to an open bar as well
as a wide array of items up for silent auction. Some of the auction items included
a rather large framed replica painting of “The Face on the Barroom Floor,” a
travel package that included tickets to a performance at Santa Fe Opera, and a
tour of Anne Evans’ mountainside cabin. There was also a live auction later in
the evening led by pro auctioneer Gary Corbett, whose delivery provided another form of
entertainment in itself. Guests were able to mingle amongst themselves as well
with Central City Opera staff and artists as they sipped their martinis and
placed their bids.

At around
8:00, dinner was served. It was very impressive to see the catering company move
like the professionals they are, serving every patron an exquisite plate of
beef short ribs with black-eyed pea ragu so efficiently. As dinner came to a
graceful end, the part of the night that it seemed all were waiting for was set
to begin: the music! However before the young artists could serenade the crowd,
Daniel Belcher and Pat Pearce provided the aforementioned entertaining welcome
and discussion. Their conversation, set on a riser between the two pianos and
in front of a state-of-the-art video screen system, touched upon a range of
topics. But the overlying motif, as you may guess, was the importance of the
internationally recognized Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program and
the niche it has filled within the opera community.

The
musical performers of the evening included six of Central City Opera’s 2013
Apprentice Artists: Alexander Elliott, Ian O’Brien, Amy Owens, Shea Owens,
Aleksandra Romano and Max Wier. They were accompanied on the piano by Principle
Coach of the Training Program Michael Baitzer and 2013 Assistant Conductor
Thomas Getty. Towards the end of the evening, the crowd was even treated to a
rare a cappella performance by Pat Pearce and a not-so-rare, though always
special performance by Daniel Belcher. While this summer Belcher will be singing
in Italian as Figaro in our production of TheBarber of Seville, this time he switched
it up and did a number in English and French. The evening came to a close as
the six Young Artists came together as one to sing a rousing rendition of “Can’t
Help Lovin Dat Man” from Show Boat,
being presented in a brand new production by Central City Opera at Denver’s Buell
Theatre this August.

Tom Getty accompanies Apprentice Artists Max Wier and Aleksandra Romano.

And
while the evening was a celebration of Central City Opera and the Young Artists
Program, it was also a celebration of our strong community and the support we
receive to make year after year a reality. Without that generous support,
Central City Opera would not be able to operate and function up to the
standards that have been built over the past 81 years.

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