Sunday, July 7, 2019

CENTRAL CITY OPERA: 7/6 – 8/4 (go online to see what dates have evening performances and/or matinees.)

    L-R  Cody Austin and Raquel Gonzales

     We in Colorado are truly blessed to have easy access to Central City Opera. It’s a consistently excellent opera company performing in the intimate jewel box of an opera house in historic Central City.
    Besides being up close and personal with the actors, audience members are regaled with outstanding acoustics. How does it get any better than that?
     You owe it to yourself to see and hear this dynamic production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly now on view at the historic Central City Opera house.

     Raquel Gonzalez portrays Cio-Cio San with a youthful ease and allure that’s accompanied by a voice that makes those well-known arias like “Un Bel Di” seem as if one is hearing them for the first time. Ms. Gonzalez’s voice is truly a silken ribbon of auditory champagne throughout. Brava!
     Cody Austin’s portrayal of Lieutenant Pinkerton blesses us with one of the more spectacular tenors to have been heard over the last several seasons. And there have been some superb ones!
     Troy Cook, whose great baritone we heard in his performances as Gaylord Ravenal in SHOWBOAT and Captain Von Trapp in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, delivers an outstanding Sharpless. 
     Mezzo Annie Rosen’s acting and singing as Suzuki is heart wrenching.
     Under the baton of conductor Adam Turner, the playing of Puccini’s glorious score by the Central City Opera orchestra in the pit is scrumptious to the ear.
      Once again maestro David Martin Jacques casts his magic spell enhancing the moods with the lighting design. 
     A stunning traditional reading of this emotionally moving work, the superfluous imaginings of the demise of Cio-Cio San’s father preceding the play in the 2010 production have been scrapped. This present director, Alison Moritz, focuses on the essence of the libretto with an eye to the influence of social change. She presents us with individuals caught up in the uncertainty of the moment in which Japan opened her doors to the West.In the previous decades only a few Dutch merchants had been allowed entrance into her ports. One of the ways in which Director Moritz summons this idea in visual terms is by having her scenic designer, Dany Lyne, present a number of scenes through a bamboo scrim or curtain. 
     This is Great Art that is unmissable for anyone loving Puccini. And who doesn’t?
So go and support the most consistently excellent opera company in Colorado. What could be better than driving up into the fresh mountain air and all that gorgeous Colorado scenery to listen to one of the greatest examples of Grand Opera in the repertoire?

p.s. and don’t forget… The regional premier of Benjamin Britten’s maritime masterpiece, BILLY BUDD, opens next week at the opera house in Central City. This is a once in a lifetime chance to see and hear this swashbuckling work based upon Herman Melville’s masterpiece. 

For tickets call the box office at 303-292-6700 or go online at

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