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OPERA COLORADO presents La Fanciulla del West by Puccini
Friday, October 07, 2016
This is the opera Puccini declared his best. Reset in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains and featuring singers from the Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera stages.

Puccini declared La Fanciulla del West his best opera. In this all-new Opera Colorado production; set in the Gold Rush of the 1850s in the Rocky Mountains, saloon owner Minnie, the heroine of this American Western meets Italian Opera, holds her own with a crew of miners who regularly show up at her bar. Minnie loves her life but may just love the mysterious new stranger in town more. Experience one of Puccini’s best operas and performers from the Metropolitan and San Francisco Opera stages. Images of the Rocky Mountains will become a powerful backdrop for the wild and tempestuous story.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS
DATE/TIME: Saturday, November 5 at 7:30PM
Tuesday, November 8 at 7:30PM
Friday, November 11 at 7:30PM
Sunday, November 13 at 2PM
LOCATION: The Ellie Caulkins Opera House, located at 1385 Curtis Street, Denver 80204  
TICKETS: $15-$200
PARKING: Parking is available in the Denver Performing Arts Complex or Colorado Convention Center Parking Garages.

For more information on the performance and to purchase tickets: https://www.operacolorado.org/tickets/la-fanciulla-del-west-tickets

This opera will be sung in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat. Sunday, November 13th performance is Audio Described for the visually impaired.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS       

Ari Pelto, Conductor
Ari Pelto, music director of Opera Colorado, is widely known for performances, which have been called poetic, earthy, vigorous and highly individual. He is in demand in opera houses and with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. At age of 24 Pelto was appointed Assistant Conductor at the Spoleto Festival and has gone on to conduct on stages worldwide. His international appearances include symphonic performances with the Bochumer Philharmoniker, productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and Falstaff at New National Theatre of Tokyo, and Faust at the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. In 2004 he made his highly-praised debut with New York City Opera conducting La Traviata, after which he became a regular guest conductor, returning for productions of Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, and Carmen. In 2015, Pelto was named Opera Colorado’s first ever Music Director, where he has conducted acclaimed performances of Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Aida and the recent world premiere of Lori Laitman’s long-awaited work, The Scarlet Letter, a recording of which will be released in fall 2017 on the Naxos label. In upcoming seasons at Opera Colorado Pelto will lead productions of La Fanciulla del West, Lucia di Lammermoor and more. Highlights of his 2015/16 season included Aida at Utah Symphony and Opera, for which the Salt Lake Tribune raved “Whether in the grandeur of the triumphal scene or the exquisite beauty of the Nile scene, one couldn't have asked for a more inspiring performance of Verdi's score,” a double bill of La Voix Humaine starring Patricia Racette and Gianni Schicchi at Chicago Opera Theater, and return appearances at Atlanta Ballet and at Opera Memphis. He conducted a variety of symphonic programs with orchestras in the US, including Omaha Symphony and the NYU Symphony. After earning his Bachelor of Music in violin performance at Oberlin Conservatory, he studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Rubin Academy in Jerusalem and with Imre Pallo at Indiana University.

Emma Griffin, Director
Emma Griffin is a theater and opera director based in Cincinnati and New York City. She is a frequent collaborator on new music/theater pieces; these projects include Phil Kline’s Out Cold & Zippo Songs at BAM’s Next Wave Festival, Corey Dargel’s Removable Parts (winner of “Outstanding Performance Art Production” at NY Innovative Theater Awards) and Thirteen Near Death Experiences, and Susan Bernfield and Rachel Peters’Stretch, a fantasia. Opera credits include: Jake Hegge's Three Decembers at Atlanta Opera; Don Giovanni at Boston Lyric Opera; The Cunning Little Vixen and Les Mamelles de Tirésias at Juilliard Opera; Wozzeck at the Opera Philadelphia/Curtis Opera Theater; and I Capuleti e i Montecchi, The Rake’s Progress, Postcard from Morocco and Die Zauberflote at Curtis Opera Theater. She was the Artistic Director of the OBIE-award winning Salt Theater; highlights with Salt include Stage Door (FringeNYC Excellence Award as Best Director), The Cherry Orchard, Scenes from a Marriage andConquest of the Universe. She has theater credits at many regional theaters including Perseverance Theater, Geva Theater Center, Syracuse Stage, Southern Rep, Actor’s Express, Virginia Stage and Williamstown Theater Festival. She is developing The Three Christs, a new work by composer Corey Dargel for the NEWSPEAK ensemble; and Joan Crawford, composed by Phil Kline. In 2014, she joined the faculty of the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati as the Professor of Opera Stage Direction.

Greg Emetaz, Projection Designer
The New York Times described Greg’s “excellent introductory videos” as the “highlight” of New York City Opera’s ‘Opera for All’ program. He has created the behind-scenes documentary of Julie Taymor’s feature film The Tempest, promotional documentaries for the Broadway musical Spider-Man Turn off the Dark along with numerous productions at New York City Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. He served as video director for the 2008-11 NEA Opera Honors, the 2011 NEA Jazz Masters and 2007-10 New York City Opera VOX Showcases. His work as a video designer for the stage includes Dolores Claiborne (World Premiere) at San Francisco Opera,Champion (World Premiere), Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland(American Premiere), The Death of Klinghoffer and The Golden Ticket,(World Premiere) at Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Ajax at American Repertory Theater and Wallace Shawn’s The Music Teacher. He is the director of short films: Bowes Academy, Death by Omelette(ShortsNonStop finalist) as well as music videos Eating 4 Two and Butt Drunk (Frirar’s Club Film festival special Jury Award) with Amanda DeSimone.

Melissa Citro, Minnie
Recent engagements include her debut with the San Francisco Opera as Freia in Das Rheingold, and Gutrune in Götterdämmerung, and her role debut as Sieglinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre with the Virginia Opera. Last season she covered Senta in Der Fliegende Hollander with San Francisco Opera, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera where she covered Renee Fleming in the title role in Dvořák’s Rusalka. Prior to that she joined the San Francisco Opera and the Metropolitan Opera casts of The Makropulous Case, where she covered Karita Mattila as Emilia, and made her role debut as Senta in Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s production of Der Fliegende Hollander. In the 2014-15 season she performed the role of Rusalka with New Orleans Opera and the title role of La Wally in her debut with the Dallas Opera. In the 2015-16 season she makes her Washington Opera debut as Gutrune in their new production ofGotterdamerung and a return to New Orleans Opera as Rosilinde inDie Fledermaus. She also will make her debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s 2nd Symphony. Ms. Citro was a Grand Finals Winner of the 2001 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Additional awards have included the George London Award, the Richman Award from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and the first place winner of the Mario Lanza Competition. Ms. Citro was a scholarship winner at the Westminster Choir College and the Juilliard School.

Mark Rucker, Jack Rance
Mr. Rucker made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Amonasro in Aidaand has since been heard in the house as Don Carlo in La forza del destino, Tonio in I pagliacci, and as Rigoletto for the Met in the Parks. He made his European debut as Alfio and Tonio for Opera de Nice, and has continued his European career with performances as Alfio at the Vienna State Opera, Amonasro in Aida for the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin with Fabio Luisi and with the Concertgebouw Orkest under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, made his Italian debut as Rigoletto with Daniele Gatti at the Teatro Communale in Bologna, and his debut at the Arena di Verona as Amonasro. In recent seasons Mr. Rucker has sung at the Grand Prêtre, Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Netherlands Radio Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, Athens, the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam and Opern Graz. Mr. Rucker’s extensive North American career has taken him to the New York City Opera for his debut as Rigoletto, to the San Diego Opera, the Florida Grand Opera, the Baltimore Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal, the New Orleans Opera and Vancouver and Mexico City. For the majority of the dramatic baritone repertoire he has appeared in the theaters of Atlanta, Cleveland, Connecticut, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Milwaukee, North Carolina, Opera Pacific, Orlando, Portland among many others. His concert repertoire includes Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, and Dubois’ Seven Last Words of Christ. Mr. Rucker can also be heard on a new CD, Mark Rucker Sings Lena Mclin Songs for Voices and Pianoand Naxos CD of Aida as Amonasro.

Jonathan Burton, Dick Johnson
American tenor Jonathan Burton has been praised for having “thrilling power and beauty” (Baltimore Sun) and for being “an engaging all-around singer with a powerful, full-bodied sound.” (Opera News) For his recent turn as Calaf inTurandot Opera News proclaimed that he “produced a wonderfully shaded ‘Nessun Dorma’ that included brilliant top notes.” During the 2015-2016 season this exiting tenor joins Nashville Opera as Calaf in Turandot, Sarasota Opera as Radames in Aida, and finally Knoxville Opera as Cavaradossi in Tosca. During the previous season Mr. Burton took the stage as Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del Westwith Des Moines Metro Opera. Additional engagements during the season included Manrico in Il Trovatore with Knoxville Opera, the title role in Don Carlos with Sarasota Opera, and both Dick Johnson in La Fanciulla del Westand Florestan in Fidelio with Kentucky Opera. On the concert stage he made his debut with the Munich Philharmonic. Mr. Burton made his European debut during the 2012-2013 season as Dick Johnson in Fanciulla del West with Sinfónica de Galicia under the baton of Lorin Maazel. He later reprised the role at the Castleton Festival where Opera News wrote that he delivered the role with “an attractively beefy tone.” Additional engagements during the season included portraying Cavaradossi inTosca with Kentucky Opera, Calaf inTurandot with Sarasota Opera and Rodolfo in La bohème with the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman. Mr. Burton studied at Westminster Choir College and the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and was a member of Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Program.

Michael Corvino, Jake Wallace
For his work as Tony Esposito in The Most Happy Fella, The New York Times exalted, “The baritone Michael Corvino brings a robust voice and disarming vulnerability to the role. Mr. Corvino brings both a Verdi baritone richness and a crisp articulation to the title song.” Michael Corvino has proven to be one of America’s leading verismo and Verdi baritones. With over 200 performances achieved of Verdi’s leading baritone roles, he continues to impress audiences and critics alike. Mr. Corvino began his operatic career in 1997, singing the role of Sharpless with Opera Northeast’s production of Madama Butterfly. Since then, his career has continued to grow and flourish, taking him to Europe, Asia and Central America, as well as to many houses in the United States. In the 2000-2001 season, he joined the roster of New York City Opera, where he made many returns in the years to follow. Roles in his repertoire include the title role in Rigoletto, Germont La Traviata, the title role in Nabucco, AmonasroAïda, Iago Otello, and the Count di Luna Il Trovatore, as well as Figaro Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Alfio Cavalleria Rusticana, Tonio I Pagliacci, Marcello La Bohème, David L’amico Fritz, Lescaut Manon Lescaut, and Enrico Lucia di Lammermoor, among many others. On the concert stage, he has sung All Verdi concerts with Dayton Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Birmingham and the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, in addition to a gala concert with Opéra de Montréal. In the 2010-2011 season, he joined the Metropolitan Opera roster, as part of the casts of Capriccio R. Strauss, Roméo et Juliette Gounod, and Don Carlo Verdi. In 2012, he joined the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, as part of the cast of Simon Boccanegra Verdi.

Harold Wilson, Ashby
Harold Wilson's 2015-2016 season marks his return to several companies: with Opera Colorado, he will sing Ramfis in Aida; at the Metropolitan Opera, he will cover the role of Timur in Turandot; and with Sarasota Opera, he will sing the roles of Rocco and Marcovaldo in productions of Fidelio and La battaglia di Legnano, respectively. In concert, he makes a company debut with the Grand Junction Symphony as the bass soloist in Verdi’s Requiem. Mr. Wilson’s 2014-2015 season began with the Dayton Opera singing works by Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky in a Gala Concert. Subsequently, the American bass debuted with Opera Memphis, as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, joined the Metropolitan Opera for its production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and made appearances with Tulsa Opera, for Frère Laurent in Roméo et Juliette, and Opera Colorado, for Sarastro in The Magic Flute.

ABOUT EXECUTIVE/ARTISTIC TEAM

Greg Carpenter, General Director    
The fourth General Director in Opera Colorado’s 31-year history, Greg Carpenter guides both the artistic and administrative operations of the company. His role as General Director began in 2007, prior to which he served as Opera Colorado’s Director of Development from 2004 – 2007, overseeing all fundraising and Board of Directors activities. Prior to joining Opera Colorado, he worked for four years for the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. His work there included Special Projects Manager for the President of the National Symphony Orchestra from 2000 – 2001 and Manager of Development from 2001 – 2004. Carpenter’s extensive experience working in the arts also includes two years as the Artist and Event Services Manager for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland and Special Projects Coordinator for the University of Maryland School of Music. From 1986 – 1998, Greg Carpenter performed as a professional opera singer. His work as an opera singer included both lead and supporting roles at Glimmerglass Opera, Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland. Carpenter has served on the Board of Directors for OPERA America, the national service organization for the opera industry. For the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention held in Denver, he served as Chairman of the Fundraising Committee. In 2009 Carpenter received a Livingston Fellowship Award in Leadership from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. He also regularly serves as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has served as a judge for the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Competition. Greg Carpenter received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Wittenberg University, a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Michigan State University, and he completed post-graduate studies at the University of Maryland School of Music.

Ari Pelto, Music Director      
Ari Pelto, music director of Opera Colorado, is widely known for performances, which have been called poetic, earthy, vigorous and highly individual. He is in demand in opera houses and with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. At age of 24 Pelto was appointed Assistant Conductor at the Spoleto Festival and has gone on to conduct on stages worldwide. His international appearances include symphonic performances with the Bochumer Philharmoniker, productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and Falstaff at New National Theatre of Tokyo, and Faust at the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. In 2004 he made his highly-praised debut with New York City Opera conducting La Traviata, after which he became a regular guest conductor, returning for productions of Madama Butterfly, La Boheme, and Carmen. In 2015, Pelto was named Opera Colorado’s first ever Music Director, where he has conducted acclaimed performances of Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Aida and the recent world premiere of Lori Laitman’s long-awaited work, The Scarlet Letter, a recording of which will be released in fall 2017 on the Naxos label. In upcoming seasons at Opera Colorado Pelto will lead productions of La Fanciulla del West, Lucia di Lammermoor and more. Highlights of his 2015/16 season included Aida at Utah Symphony and Opera, for which the Salt Lake Tribune raved “Whether in the grandeur of the triumphal scene or the exquisite beauty of the Nile scene, one couldn't have asked for a more inspiring performance of Verdi's score,” a double bill of La Voix Humaine starring Patricia Racette and Gianni Schicchi at Chicago Opera Theater, and return appearances at Atlanta Ballet and at Opera Memphis. He conducted a variety of symphonic programs with orchestras in the US, including Omaha Symphony and the NYU Symphony. After earning his Bachelor of Music in violin performance at Oberlin Conservatory, he studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Rubin Academy in Jerusalem and with Imre Pallo at Indiana University.

About Opera Colorado        
Great cities need great art, and for more than three decades, Opera Colorado has brought world-class performing arts to Colorado audiences. Today Opera Colorado serves as a cornerstone of Denver’s cultural community, bringing grand opera to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, its Denver home since its opening in 2005. Alongside standard repertoire in the grand opera tradition Opera Colorado presents new works or rarely performed productions each season. The company reaches more than 37,000 students and adults through its many education and community engagement programs throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Opera Colorado’s Young Artists, singers at the beginning stages of their careers, perform during their eight-month residency with the company in schools and community centers across the State – including an annual tour on the Western Slope. Recognized nationally for its excellence, the Young Artists program provides training for the next generation of American opera singers. The 2016-2017 Season productions at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House will feature Puccini’s La Fanciulla de West in November 2016 and Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in May 2017, and Laura Kaminsky’s As One at the Performing Arts Complex at PCS in March 2017.  www.operacolorado.org

Music Director Ari Pelto is sponsored by Mike and Julie Bock. Season sponsors for the 2016-2017 Season include the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), Marriott The Residence Inn, Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House, Rassman Design and media partner Out Front Magazine.


  
October, 2017
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