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Opera for Everyone

So what if opera’s a bit melodramatic, ear-piercing and overlong? That doesn’t necessarily mean it deserves a bad rap — especially not in the case of the Central City Opera Festival, which springs up every summer in the historic mountain town and gambling haven. This year’s festival hits the slopes running today with the Broadway classic of all classics, Oklahoma!, providing rustic counterpoint to the usual muscle-bound vocal histrionics that opera-haters associate with the genre. And that’s not the only nod the CCO makes to fans of all types: This year’s versatile repertory at the venerable Central City Opera House includes everything from Puccini’s quintessential La Bohème (opening July 7) to Benjamin Britten’s modern take on The Turn of the Screw (opening July 14).

In between, the CCO keeps things light and fun with a summer-long schedule of events varying from after-opera receptions and kids’ matinees to ghost hunts and even scenic bike rides, all of which help turn a night at the opera house, 124 Eureka Street, into a mini-vacation.

Inspired by The Turn of the Screw and Menotti's The Medium, an ongoing Paranormal Project theme will also keep opera-goers on their toes at a Turn of the ScrewFest (July 21 and 29). "We're building on last year's SinFest, where you could go see the show and then have an experience surrounding the opera afterward," explains spokeswoman Valerie Hamlin. "There'll be a seance and a creepy carnival and a cabaret where we're partnering with Lannie's in Denver to put on some of their spookier, wackier acts in our bar at the Teller House. It's kind of like choose your own adventure -- on different levels of the building, you'll experience different things."

Opera tickets start at $20; find a complete schedule and make reservations at or call 303-292-6500.
June 30-Aug. 12, 2012


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