Central City Opera House Association (Central City, CO)

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    A group of actors on stage, standing or dancing dressed alike, facing the audience

The chorus sings and dances in ceremonious fervor in a scene from Central City Opera House Association’s production of Enrique Granados’s opera Goyescas, with libretto by Fernando Periquet. Photo by Mark Kiryluk

Located 35 miles west of the city of Denver, Colorado, Central City was once the center of a gold rush that led to the building in 1878 of the city's own opera house. In 1932, the Central City Opera House Association was formed to renovate the building, which had become dilapidated. The Opera House has provided both traditional and contemporary works to the region for more than 70 years. Besides the popular Summer Opera Festival, the Opera House Association provides year-round outreach to schools and rural communities.

 

Rosario (Emily Pulley) and Paquiro (Grant Youngblood) turn out the light in the final scene of Central City Opera House Association's production of Enrique Granados's opera Goyescas , with libretto by Fernando Periquet. Photo by Mark Kiryluk

For its 2003 season, the Opera House Association received an NEA Creativity grant of $20,000 to support a new production of Enrique Granados's opera Goyescas, with libretto by Fernando Periquet. The opera, sung in Spanish, has been fully staged in the United States only rarely since its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in 1916.

Using his piano suite of the same name, Granados presents music and story that is thoroughly Spanish. The piano suite is named after scenes from the works of the artist Francisco Goya and is considered the beginning of modern Spanish music, using the country's folk music motifs for the various pieces. Using Goya's pictures as the basis of the opera, the one-act work is set in early 19 th century Madrid and involves the love stories of a bullfighter Paquiro and his girlfriend Pepa, and of the aristocratic Rosario and her captain, Fernando.

Central City's performance starred soprano Emily Pulley, baritone Grant Youngblood, and tenor Chad Shelton. The opera was performed on July 5, 2003 on a double bill with Ruggiero Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci.

(From the 2003 NEA Annual Report)