Kelly Nelson, Publicist
303-909-5716; kelly@citruspr.com
Valerie Hamlin, Director of Marketing
303-292-6500, ext. 108;
July 07, 2011


Denver, Colo. (July 7, 2011) - Central City Opera (CCO) presents Nina Odescalchi Kelly Family Matinees of a new production of Georges Bizet's Carmen, the famous story of love, jealousy, and murder, and the North American premiere of the first fully-staged production of Georg Friedrich Händel's "magic" opera, Amadigi di Gaula, on Thursday, July 28 (Carmen) and Thursday, August 4 (Amadigi di Gaula). Both performances will be held at 2:30pm. Carmen will be sung in French with English supertitles and Amadigi di Gaula will be performed in Italian, also with English supertitles.

The lead and chorus roles in the Family Matinees will feature the talented artists of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, a ten-week intensive program created by CCO's Director Emeritus, John Moriarty.

To enhance the audience's experience, the Family Matinee performances will include a narrator's preview before each act. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet and greet the performers who will be signing autographs in the Opera House Garden, immediately after the performance.

Tickets for the Family Matinees are just $15 for students (ages 6-18) and $20 for accompanying adults. Visit www.centralcityopera.org/tickets or call (303) 292-6700.

The August 4 performance of Amadigi di Gaula offers a special opportunity for families to enhance their Family Matinee experience with the Central City Opera Guild-sponsored event, "Take a Child to the Opera" and The Wizard's Chest Costume Day at the Opera. Children are encouraged to wear their most magical costume and experience this perfect introduction to opera.

Take a Child to the Opera - 1:00 pm at Williams Stables Prior the matinee performance, families can unlock the mystery of Amadigi di Gaula at Williams Stables, across the street from the Opera House. Children can participate in interactive theatre games, learn the famous Ushers' song and head to the opera with a special gift from the Central City Opera Guild. This unique opportunity can be added to the matinee for just $10/person. Please note that there is not a lunch buffet this year and the price has been adjusted accordingly. Area restaurants are available within walking distance to accommodate your afternoon dining needs. Go to centralcityopera.org/takeachild for details.

Magic with the Wizard - 2 pm in the Opera House Garden
Everyone is invited to meet the Wizard from The Wizard's Chest in Cherry Creek, see a magic show, and participate in a costume contest with prizes! This special meet and greet will be held at the Opera House Garden, located right next to the Opera House. Those who mention CCO or the code WIZARD on their next visit to The Wizard's Chest will receive 25 percent off of one purchase through the end of September. Visit www.thewizardschest.com for details.

Amadigi di Gaula (July 2 - Aug. 6) - CCO's second offering in the 2011 Festival is Händel's Baroque opera, Amadigi di Gaula, with a libretto by an unknown author.The "knight in shining armor" tale is based on the book Amadis de Gaula by Antoine Houdar de la Motte. The tale follows Amadigi, a Paladin (warrior of Charlemagne's court) and Dardano, Prince of Thrace, who are both in love with the beautiful Oriana, daughter of the King of the Fortune Islands. Oriana prefers Amadigi, as does the sorceress Melissa. Considered one of Handel's "magic" operas, Melissa fights for Amadigi's love through the use of sorcery and potions, but true love prevails in the end. Full of sorcery and magic, the new CCO production set in the Renaissance will be reminiscent of Professor Dumbledore's office in the "Harry Potter" movies.

Carmen (June 25 - Aug. 7) - The 2011 Festival opened with Carmen, Georges Bizet's famous story of love, jealousy, and murder. Set in Seville, Spain, the story follows the romance of the beautiful gypsy Carmen, and Corporal Don José. After their relationship leads him to reject his former love, commit mutiny against a superior officer and join a gang of smugglers, Don José's jealousy turns to murder when Carmen leaves him for a bullfighter. Both a departure from the tradition of Opéra Comique and more tragic than any opera Bizet's audiences were used to, critics denounced the piece as immoral even before it was first performed in Paris in 1875. Carmen grew in popularity after its premiere and is today one of the most beloved and frequently performed operas of all time.

Celebrating its 79th 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. For more information on the company and the 2011 Festival running through August 7, visit www.centralcityopera.org.