Kelly Nelson
Citrus PR
(303) 909-5716

Valerie Hamlin
Director of Marketing
(303) 292-6500 x 108
May 16, 2011


Internationally Acclaimed Conductor Matthew Halls, Central City Opera General/Artistic Director Pelham Pearce and Artistic Director Emeritus John Moriarty to Emcee

Denver, Colo.- What's better than a martini? A martini with music of course, and Central City Opera's Music and Martinis delivers. The "Colorado casual" evening, chaired by Central City Opera Board Chairman & President, Nancy Parker, benefits the programs of Central City Opera (CCO). The event begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 9 at the Cable Center on the University of Denver campus, located at 2000 Buchtel Blvd. in Denver.

Music and Martinis kicks off with cocktail hour at 6 p.m., featuring signature martinis and cocktails, as well as a silent auction. After a decadent sit-down dinner, a live auction will be led by veteran charity auctioneer of nearly 27 years, Gary Corbett. The auction will offer patrons the exclusive opportunity to bid on a Coors suite to enjoy a Rockies baseball game and fireworks show; a week-long getaway to England for a stay in a 500-year-old home; a walk-on role for a 2012 Central City Opera production and more!

The company's exclusive pre-season Denver event, patrons will get a sneak peek at the talented young artists involved in CCO's 2011 Festival with performances by the opera stars of tomorrow at this fun fundraising affair celebrating its third year. Featuring 2011 Apprentice Artists from the company's Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, live musical selections from Broadway classics to opera favorites will be performed.

Internationally acclaimed British Maestro who will be conducting CCO's 2011 National premiere of Amadigi di Gaula, Matthew Halls, will be joined by Central City Opera General/Artistic Director, Pelham "Pat" Pearce, and Artistic Director Emeritus, John Moriarty, to serve as Co-Masters of Ceremonies for the evening's festivities. Mr. Halls made his CCO debut with 2009's Rinaldo, conducted 2010's Madama Butterfly, and will return this year to conduct Amadigi di Gaula. Recently, Mr. Halls assumed the position of Artistic Director for the newly formed Retrospect Ensemble based in the U.K. Following their successful May 2009 inaugural performance at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the Ensemble already boasts a new annual season at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London, and tours to Korea, Israel, Portugal and Switzerland. In March 2012, Mr. Halls will be taking CCO's production of Amadigi di Gaula to Wigmore Hall in London. Earlier this year, Mr. Halls debuted with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra conducting Vivaldi's Four Seasons. He has also worked extensively with many of Europe's opera houses including The Netherlands Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Komische Oper Berlin, as well as at venues such as The Megaron, Athens, Lincoln Center, New York and Wiener Festwochen. Pelham"Pat" Pearce was selected in 1996 as Managing Director and named General/Artistic Director of CCO in 1998. During his 15-year tenure, Mr. Pearce has set forth the company's current artistic mission of balancing traditional and progressive works. CCO's national/international reputation has been elevated with American premieres such as Gloriana in 2001 and world premieres including Gabriel's Daughter in 2003 and the new Chinese opera, Poet Li Bai in 2007. Nationally, he has served as Chairman of the Grants Review Panel for the National Endowment for the Arts; as a juror for the Rosa Ponselle Int'l Voice Competition and Regional Met Auditions; and as a Board Member for OPERA America. John Moriarty has conducted and stage directed productions at opera companies throughout the United States, including Central City Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Colorado Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera and Oklahoma City Opera. Following 20 years with CCO, Mr. Moriarty was named artistic director emeritus. He has been the artistic administrator at the Santa Fe Opera and the Washington Opera Society. Mr. Moriarty also created CCO's Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program in 1978, which is now a national model for the professional development of young singers and has provided valuable voice training for many of America's most notable young opera professionals. He has also administered apprentice artist programs at Santa Fe, Lake George and Wolf Trap.

Tickets are $150 per person and young professionals (ages 21-35) can purchase tickets for $75. Patron level tickets are available for $250 and include preferred seating with one of the artists for the evening. To purchase tickets, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.

Bonfils-Stanton Artists Training Program
The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program is a national model for the professional development of young singers. Created by Artistic Director Emeritus John Moriarty in 1978, the rigorous 10-week program integrates daily training in diction, movement, and stage combat; individual coaching; and sessions in career management with rehearsals and performance opportunities in the summer's main stage and surrounding productions. The program, which selects 30 participants from nearly 1,000 applicants each year, has provided valuable training for many of America's most notable young opera professionals, including Denyce Graves, Cynthia Lawrence, Margaret Lattimore, Mary Mills, Emily Pulley, Greg Turay, Latonia Moore, Matthew Polenzani, Jesus Garcia, Chad Shelton, Daniel Belcher, and Celena Shafer.

Central City Opera
Proceeds from Music and Martinis support Central City Opera's programs including its annual Summer Festival, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, the preservation and maintenance of the Opera House and more than 30 other Victorian-era properties and its education and community programs, which serve more than 100,000 people each year through performances in elementary and secondary schools, community centers, senior residences and theaters.

2011 Ticket and Festival Information
Subscriptions and single tickets are now available for CCO's 2011 Festival. Subscriptions to see Carmen; the first fully-staged production in North America of Händel's Amadigi di Gaula, and a double bill of three one act operas: Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, The Breasts of Tiresias by Poulenc and Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins; during the 2011 Festival start at just $42 and go up to $259. Single tickets range from $20 - $105, and tickets for individual one-act performances start at $10. Supersaver and group discounts are also available for select performances. For opera-goers convenience, an opera bus leaving from Glendale and Simms Steakhouse will be available for $18 round trip for select matinee performances. Packages are also available to see all five shows this summer. For more information or to purchase tickets for 2011, visit www.centralcityopera.org or call 303-292-6700.

OMG! Central City Opera Gets Festivalized
Beyond the 2011 productions, CCOis unveiling a new feel, new activities and new ideas that align with its new brand. On select weekends of the Festival season, food carts, chalk art, buskers and entertainers will enliven the quaint, historic streets of Central City. And, for the first time, CCO invites music lovers to explore the Fringe Festival, a collection of short performances, a 19th century weekend of history and modern fun, jazz, tours, and much more. Explore the Fringe Festival and experience local history, nature, culture, and of course, opera like never before.

Central City Opera's 2011 Festival sponsors include the CCOHA Endowment Fund, Lanny and Sharon Martin, Avenir Foundation, and the Citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District. Central City Opera's 2011 Media sponsors include 5280, 9News, and The Denver Post Community.