A scene from the 2016 Central City Opera production of "The Ballad of Baby Doe." 

(Photo: Amanda Tipton)

Central City Opera, the summer festival based in a historic mountain opera house, returns for its 86th season in 2018. The festival runs July 7-Aug. 5.

The lineup includes classic operas by Giuseppe Verdi, George Frideric Handel and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as well as the return of a newer work originally commissioned by the opera company. Highlights:

  • Mozart's “The Magic Flute” -- an opera we recently explored in our “Great Composers” podcast -- kicks off the 2018 festival on July 7. Conductor Andre de Ridder, who's made several memorable appearances with the Colorado Symphony, will lead the musicians.  
  • Verdi's beloved "Il Trovatore" makes its first appearance at the festival since 1962. The creative team and cast from Central City Opera’s 2015 production of “Tosca” returns for the production.
  • Handel’s one-act opera “Acis and Galatea” also appears on the schedule. Festival organizers say they plan to present it in a more intimate venue than the usual Central City Opera House setting.
  • Last year, Central City Opera revived its most popular commissioned opera, “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” for a 60th anniversary production. This year, Henry Mollicone’s "The Face on the Barroom Floor," a piece commissioned by Central City Opera in 1978, returns for a 40th anniversary run.

See performance dates for the 2018 Central City Opera season.

Does next summer seem like a long time from now? Tie yourself over with some of our recent CPR Performance Studio sessions featuring Central City Opera performers.

Soprano Alexandra Loutison, who played Floria Tosca in “Tosca,” sang “Vissi d’arte” during a session in  2016:

Watch “Libiamo, Libiamo,” a song performed as a duet by soprano Ellie Dehn and tenor Ryan MacPherson. The singers appeared in Central City Opera’s 2015 production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” and also recorded a session in the CPR Performance Studio.

From Central City Opera's 2015 production of Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata:" "Libiamo, Libiamo (Drinking Song)." Ellie Dehn, soprano (Violetta); Ryan MacPherson, tenor (Alfredo); Michael Baitzer, piano.

More exclusive music from the CPR Performance Studio: