Central City Opera Festival
The picturesque resort of Central City, situated high in Colorado's Rocky Mountains, has established itself as a world-class summer opera fixture in America's cultural calendar, attracting high-calibre operatic talent.
Central City was a gold rush boom town in the 19th century; at its peak 40,000 miners, who had made the journey from Wales and Cornwall, were crammed into 'The Richest Square Mile on Earth'.
With wealth came cultural aspirations. When it was decided to build an opera house, it took just three days to raise the requisite sum, and a prominent architect from Denver, Robert S Roeschlaub, took on the commission.
The new theatre opened on Eureka Street in 1898. But within 20 years Central City's prominence as a Gold Rush town had dwindled and the prospectors had moved on. The Opera House fell into disrepair until 1931, when the Central City Opera House Association was founded and began an ongoing campaign of renovations, repairs and maintenance. Lilian Gish was the star attraction at the opening night in 1932, inAugusturating the new opera house with Camille, and the tradition continues to this day.
For six weeks every summer Central City presents three or four operas, a mix of old chestnuts and lesser-known fare, often including an American work, with seasoned professionals and young-artist singers.
In 2012 the Opera Festival celebrated its 80th anniversary. The 2013 programme includes: Barber of Seville (29 Jun-27 Jul), Our Town (6-28 Jul) and Show Boat (6-11 August).
Step into the footsteps of Colorado pioneers and prospectors, and enjoy world class opera in a unique historic setting.