The Mountains are alive with a summer of music
Central City offers exceptional music and theater in its historic Opera House.
Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Updated: Friday, July 31, 2009 16:07
This summer, Stage Director Ken Cazan is directing a production of A Little Night Music at the Central City Opera House. "The brilliant thing about theater [is that] it touches us in ways we can't even conceive when we walk in," claims Cazan.
Central City, 35 miles from downtown Denver, is a quaint old mining town. It is a dramatic setting for the opera house, which was built in 1878. The fact that it's in its 77th season is testament to its excellence and the loyalty of visitors who revel in its unique charm.
From June 27-Aug 2, three distinct productions will take the stage: Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Handel's Rinaldo, and Sondheim's A Little Night Music.
The latter is a Tony award winner, composed by Stephen Sondheim, and includes the well known song "Send in the Clowns." The music is quick and lively with complex lyrics that overlap, adding intrigue to character interactions. Set in turn-of-the-century Sweden, the musical weaves a timeless tale of love in a humorous tone. "Constantly changing love triangle relationships provide the underlying theme of this production," explains Cazan. The story is adapted from a book that was inspired by Ingmar Bergman's film Smiles of a Summer Night.
This show is sure to leave viewers smiling. The music and choreography is executed faithfully, and the timing and chemistry of the acting is on the mark. Performers Robert Orth (playing Frederik Egerman) and Sylvia McNair (Desiree Armfelt) lead a heartfelt cast with numerous colorful characters. To match the mood, the sets are simple and delightful, shifting with each scene, creating elegant transitions between story lines.
The snug space adds to the experience and ensures that there isn't a bad seat in the place. Longtime Opera House Stage Director Marc Astafan says that "the intimacy of the house means that every detail and every nuance created is seen by every member of the audience.
Next summer promises more chances to experience this gem in the mountains. The Central City Opera House will present Madame Butterfly, Three Decembers and A Blast of Broadway. The last will be an Opera House original—a Broadway revue honoring Denver-native Antoinette Perry, for whom the Tony Awards was named.
The House is the nation's fifth oldest opera company and is home to one of the top summer opera festivals in the country. "The productions continue to get better and better and the repertoire more and more exciting," remarks Astafan. So if you miss it this time, you can always look forward to the next.
Central City Opera House, 124 Eureka St, Central City, CO 80427, 303-582-5251