CENTRAL CITY OPERA (CCO) ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 FESTIVAL
CENTRAL CITY OPERA (CCO) ANNOUNCES ITS 2013 FESTIVAL
A VARIETY OF PRODUCTIONS TO APPEAL TO EVERY PALATE
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE by Gioachino Rossini
OUR TOWN the opera by Ned Rorem
SHOW BOAT by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II
Central City Opera Also Announces its Collaboration on
A JOURNEY OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT, Scheduled for January 2013
2013 Fall CCO Engagements, to be Announced
Denver, Colo. (June 28, 2012) - General/Artistic Director Pelham "Pat" Pearce announces Central City Opera's (CCO) 2013 Summer Festival, running June 29 through August 4, 2013, featuring Rossini's comedic opera, The Barber of Seville; Ned Rorem's opera, Our Town, based on the classic Pulitzer Prize winning play by Thornton Wilder; and Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's glorious American musical, Show Boat.
Central City Opera will also present one of its 2013 Summer Festival engagements, Show Boat, only in Denver.
The 2013 Festival opens June 29 with The Barber of Seville by Rossini, one of the most beloved and performed operas throughout the world. First performed in 1816 in Italy, The Barber of Seville was one of the first Italian operas performed in the United States. Its American premiere was in 1823 in New Orleans and it was performed in New York shortly thereafter. As an opera buffa, this Italian comic opera in two acts is set among the everyday places and characters of 17th century Seville, Spain. It tells the story of Rosina, a young woman who is a ward to an older man, Dr. Bartolo, who plans to marry her when she is of age so he can have her dowry. But Rosina is in love with the poor student, Lindoro, who has been serenading Rosina and is really the nobleman Count Almaviva in disguise. Figaro, the barber of Seville, is asked by Almaviva to help him reach Rosina so he can tell her he loves her. Figaro's advice and actions lead to the adventures and mistaken identities for which the opera is known. CCO's Administrator of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program Marc Astafan will direct the 2013 production of The Barber of Seville. Marc Astafan is a respected director, educator, mentor and coach who has dedicated most of his career to the development of young opera singers in the United States. Astafan has directed critically acclaimed productions across the country, and his Central City Opera credits include: Stage Director for Tosca in 1998, Don Giovanni in 2006, Cendrillon in 2007, Rinaldo in 2009, and Orpheus in the Underworld in 2010. Mr. Astafan also worked with CCO as an Assistant Stage Director for multiple shows from 1994 to 2005. In addition, he directed the collaborations with CCO and the CSO for A Night at the Opera in 1997, The Jerome Kern Songbook in 2002, HMS Pinafore in 2004, The Pirates of Penzance in 2005, and The Mikado in 2006. Celebrating his 22nd Festival with the company in 2013, CCO Music Director John Baril will serve as conductor of The Barber of Seville, having led a wide range of productions during his tenure with the company, including this year's performance of La bohème, 2011's triple bill of one-act operas, and 2010's performances of Three Decembers. Chorus Master for Opera Colorado since 2003, Mr. Baril made his official Opera Colorado conducting debut leading Le nozze di Figaro earlier this year and conducted the young artist performance of The Barber of Seville for the company in February 2010. He made his Opera Delaware debut in May 2010 conducting Tosca and made his Nashville Opera debut leading Don Giovanni. The Barber of Seville will be performed in Italian with English supertitles and will run through July 27.
In 2013, CCO will bring Ned Rorem's opera Our Town to the stage for nine performances opening July 6 and running through July 28. Rorem, an award-winning composer, worked with librettist J.D. McClatchy to transform Thornton Wilder's classic American play into an opera that premiered in 2006. States the New York Times, Our Town is "an intimate chamber opera to match the play's spareness...Rorem's music is accessible, singable, and full of integrity."
Known as a quintessential American play, Our Town tells the story of the ordinary and extraordinary events in the lives of those in Grover's Corners, a small New Hampshire town in 1901. A story that delves into three critical components of the human experience - daily life, love/marriage and death/loss - Wilder won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work in 1938. The director of this summer's Oklahoma! and last summer's three one-acts, Ken Cazan returns to CCO to direct Our Town after his other recent credits with the company of 2010's Three Decembers, A Little Night Music in 2009 and the sold-out West Side Story in 2008. Resident Stage Director for the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Mr. Cazan is one of America's most sought-after directors, having staged more than 100 productions for more than 40 opera companies. Our Town will be performed in English.
The final production for CCO's 2013 Festival will feature six performances of Show Boat running in Denver only at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts from July 30 through August 4. This musical, written in 1927 by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, tells the story of the workers on a Mississippi show boat over the course of 50 years, from 1880 to 1927. The musical was innovative for its time, combining the lightness and spectacle of musical theater with the serious themes of racial prejudice and tragic love. Revivals of Show Boat, which features songs such as "Ol' Man River", "Make Believe", and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man," have won both the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical (1995) and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival (2008). Central City Opera's production will be directed by Ray Roderick, who will be making his debut with the company in 2013. A writer, director and choreographer Mr. Roderick has many credits to his name, the latest of which include direction of Mameand I Love You, You're Perfect Now Change, and the writing and direction of 'S Wonderful! The New Gershwin Musical. Show Boat will be performed in English.
Artistic staff announcements and further casting for the 2013 Summer Festival are to be announced, and specific performance dates are subject to change. Subscriptions for the 2013 Festival will be on sale starting mid-September. Visit centralcityopera.org for the most up to date 2013 information and a calendar of performances.
Additional Central City Opera 2013 Offerings
In January of 2013, Central City Opera will be collaborating with Ballet Nouveau Colorado (BNC), Colorado Symphony, Mizel Arts and Culture Center, and University of Denver's Newman Center for two special performances of the Colorado premiere of A Journey of the Human Spirit. Focusing on adversity and the human spirit, the performances will blend Viktor Ullman's one act opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis (The Emperor of Atlantis) and Garret Ammon's world premiere dance set to Ofer Ben-Amots' "From Darkness to Light." The satirical opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis was composed around 1943 while Viktor Ullman and his colleague librettist Peter Kien were imprisoned in the transitional concentration camp Theresienstadt. The audience's first experiences of the evening will involve traditional Eastern European Klezmer music, celebrating life and leading the audience into the story of the opera. Seamlessly integrated at the end of the opera, a new work of dance will round out the experience, creating new communities of hope after so much death. The dance will be choreographed by BNC's Garrett Ammon and set to music by Ofer Ben-Amots, Israeli born composer and Chair of the Music Department of Colorado College. The piece is composed for chamber orchestra, mandolin and clarinet solos, combining Eastern European Jewish folk themes with a modern dynamic. The mandolin solo part will be played by international sensation Avi Avital. Maestro Yaacov Bergman will conduct the performance. Bergman is Music Director of the Walla Walla Symphony, Music Director of the Portland Chamber Orchestra, and former Music Director of the Colorado Springs Symphony, the New York Heritage Chamber Orchestra, and the 92nd St. Y Symphonic Workshop Orchestra in New York City. His versatility has led to frequent guest appearances across the globe conducting the symphonic, operatic, oratorio and pops repertoires. American stage director Ted Huffman will direct the production. Huffman co-founded the Greenwich Music Festival and serves as the company's Artistic Director. As a guest teacher and director, he has been engaged by such leading young artist development programs as Canadian Opera Company's Studio, L.A. Opera's Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, Pittsburgh Opera Studio and the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program. The cast of singers includes Keith Phares as The Emperor, Katharine Pracht as The Drummer, Steven Paul Spears as Harlekin, and Jeffrey Tucker as The Loudspeaker.
A Journey of the Human Spirit will be performed in Gates Concert Hall in the Newman Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Denver at 7:30 p.m. on January 16 and 17, 2013. Colorado Public Radio will be broadcasting the performance live. Single tickets are now available at www.newmantix.com, in person at the Newman Center Box Office or by phone at 303-871-7720. For more information, visit www.newmancenterpresents.com
Central City Opera also plans to present a special engagement of a production that will tour the metro-Denver and Boulder area in the fall of 2013. More details to come at a later date.