Opera Colorado to Present Gounod's ROMEO AND JULIET, 2/9-17

Opera Colorado to Present Gounod's ROMEO AND JULIET, 2/9-17Opera Colorado opens its 30th Anniversary Season with Charles Gounod's classic French opera Romeo and Juliet at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Soprano Ava Pine, who made her Opera Colorado debut last season in The Marriage of Figaro, stars alongside Italian tenor Giuseppe Varano, making his Opera Colorado debut, as the ill-fated young lovers from Shakespeare's tragic tale. This production is conducted by RoBert Wood and directed by Bill Murray.

Featured cast include John McVeigh as Tybalt, Stephen Morscheck as Capulet, Daniel Belcher as Mercutio, Marcia Ragonetti as Gertrude, Kevin Langan as Friar Laurence, Brenda Patterson as Stephano, Geoff Cox as the Duke of Verona, and Opera Colorado Young Artists Alex DeSocio and Jared Guest as Paris and Gregorio, respectively.

Audiences have four chances to experience this production: 7:30 p.m. performances on Saturday, February 9th; Tuesday, February 12th; and Friday, February 15th; as well as a 2:00 p.m. matinee performance on Sunday, February 17th. The opera is sung in French with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat. Tickets ($160, $110, $75, $50, $20) are available online at OperaColorado.org and by calling Opera Colorado Ticket Services at 303.468.2030.

Pre-and post performance lectures are offered each night of Romeo and Juliet. One hour prior to each performance, music historian Betsy Schwarm will speak about the opera. Immediately following each performance General Director Greg Carpenter and Director of Artistic Operations Brad Trexell will host a talk back where they will take questions from the audience. Both events take place in the front center section of the orchestra and are free for ticket holders.

Ancillary Events Surrounding Romeo and Juliet:

The public has an opportunity to Meet the Artists of Romeo and Juliet at a free discussion about the opera on Wednesday, January 30th at 11:00 a.m. taking place at The Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 908 14th Street near Champa Street. General Director Greg Carpenter will moderate the talk featuring the director, conductor, and members of the cast.

Celebrate opening night in style by treating yourself to the Opening Night Dinner on Saturday, February 9th at 5:00 p.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver. Tickets are $125 per person (not including opera tickets) and include cocktails and four-course dinner at the Four Seasons and access to the exclusive VIP after party with the cast of Romeo and Juliet after the performance in the Chambers Grant Salon. To RSVP, contact Meghan Benedetto at 303.778.7086 or mbenedetto@operacolorado.org.

On Thursday, February 14th at 10:00 a.m., a sold-out audience made up of 2,000 school children will be treated to an abridged, 90-minute Student Matinee performance of Gounod's Romeo and Juliet performed by the Opera Colorado Young Artists. The performance features the five Young Artists covering all of the major roles with members of the Opera Colorado Chorus backed by the Opera Colorado Orchestra conducted by RoBert Wood. A talk back with the students will take place immediately following the matinee.

Opera Colorado has partnered with the Westin Denver Downtown to create a Romeo and Juliet Romance Package. Packages start at $284 and include overnight accommodations, two tickets to Opera Colorado's Romeo and Juliet (February 15), and a $50 food and beverage credit. To make a reservation, call Opera Colorado Ticket Services at 303.468.2030.

Colorado Public Radio will broadcast Romeo and Juliet live from the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on Sunday, February 17th beginning at 2:00 p.m. Tune in at KVOD 88.1 FM or www.cpr.org.

A cornerstone of Denver's cultural community, Opera Colorado presents operas annually at its downtown Denver home, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The Company presents new works alongside standard repertoire, and reaches more than 35,000 students and community members throughout the Rocky Mountain region through a variety of education and outreach programming. Opera Colorado Young Artists, a seven-month residency for singers at the beginning stages of their careers, provides training for the next generation of American opera performers. Founded in 1983, the Company celebrates its 30th anniversary season in 2013 with a new production of Charles Gounod's Romeo and Juliet (February 9-17) and Mozart's Don Giovanni (March 30-April 7).