Classical Music

It's a Tragedy: Central City Opera Postpones Its 2020 Season

Joshua Hopkins plays the title role in Central City Opera's Billy Budd.
Joshua Hopkins plays the title role in Central City Opera's Billy Budd. Amanda Tipton
It's the same sad song: Central City Opera's summer festival is the latest cultural event to be canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.

The planned 2020 lineup, which includes Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel, Verdi’s Rigoletto and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, will be pushed back to 2021.

“This news is extremely disappointing, but the decision is in the best interest of our audience, artists, staff and the community,” explains Central City Opera General and Artistic Director Pelham “Pat” Pearce in a statement announcing the cancellation. “The COVID-19 crisis is drastically impacting the livelihoods of hundreds of performers, musicians and technicians who bring stories to life on our historic Opera House stage. We are heartbroken audiences won’t experience their work this summer.”

Ticket holders will be given the chance to donate the cost of their tickets to the Central City Opera COVID-19 Relief Fund, which will support the opera's decision to pay all of its 2020 festival artists and staff some of what's due. Gifts will be matched by members of the board and Carousel Performance Sponsors.


“Central City Opera is committed to the safety and well being of our patrons and partners,” said Pearce. “We look forward to the time when we can safely gather together again to raise our voices and celebrate the healing power of the arts.”

This is the latest in a string of music cancellations that includes City Park Jazz, Opera Colorado's spring season, and hundreds of concerts.

For more information about the cancellation and refunds, go to the Central City Opera website
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris