Classical Music

Central City Opera Launches 2021 Summer Series at Hudson Gardens

Amanda Tipton
Joshua Hopkins in the title role of Central City Opera's 2019 Billy Budd.
Days after Hudson Gardens & Event Center announced it would be canceling its summer 2021 concert series, Central City Opera announced that it will be bringing much of its summer lineup to the Littleton venue.

This is big news for the celebrated opera company, which canceled its entire 2020 summer festival because of COVID-19.

Central City Opera's 2021 Hudson Gardens shows will include main-stage productions of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel and Verdi's Rigoletto. Up in Central City, the organization will also host Dido and Aeneas and the Central City Opera Al Fresco concert series at the Opera House Gardens.

The location switch is a smart one for a summer that will still see vestiges of the pandemic and related safety restrictions. Boulder Opera has already been experimenting with indoor and outdoor productions, and Opera Colorado has hinted at a collaboration with the Denver Botanic Gardens.

“We had hoped that by now it would be safe to return to the opera house and resume normal operations,” says Pelham “Pat” Pearce, Central City Opera’s director, in a statement announcing the Hudson Gardens move. “In order to prioritize the health and safety of our patrons, performers and company members, we determined it was necessary to secure an outdoor venue in order to return to live, in-person performances this summer. We are thrilled to partner with Hudson Gardens to host our 2021 Festival in their beautiful outdoor amphitheater.”

While longtime patrons will no doubt miss the charming, historic opera house and the cemetery picnics before the shows, outdoor opera will be better than no opera at all — and this offers a chance to see world-class performances in fresh settings.

“We realize that this season won’t be a typical Central City Opera experience, but we are committed to bringing audiences quality productions, incredible music and wonderful artistry this summer,” adds Pearce. “We are optimistic that we will celebrate our ninetieth anniversary season with a return to our jewel-box opera house in 2022”

Carousel runs July 3 to August 1, Rigoletto from July 10 to July 30, and Dido and Aeneas July 17 to July 28.

Ticket holders for the 2020 season will be given various options for the 2021 offerings; individual tickets go on sale starting April 20 at the Central City Opera website