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Central City Opera

  • Central City Opera House

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    Built in 1878, the Central City Opera House was saved in the early 1930s by the start of the Central City Opera Festival.
    Central City Opera House
  • The Marriage of Figaro at the Central City Opera
  • Central City Opera House

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    Designed by Denver architect Robert Roeschlaub, the Central City Opera House opened in March 1878. It briefly made Central City the cultural capital of Colorado.
    Central City Opera House
  • Central City Opera House Interior

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    The Central City Opera House was restored in the early 1930s and became home to the Central City Opera Festival. The festival flourished in the 1950s, but maintenance costs and declining attendance caused a financial crisis in the 1970s.
    Central City Opera House Interior
  • Central City Opera House Ceiling

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    The opera house interior originally featured five ceiling paintings depicting classical motifs by the San Francisco artist John C. Massman. The ceiling paintings and chandelier were restored in the early 1930s with the help of Colorado muralist Allen True.
    Central City Opera House Ceiling
  • Opening Night, 1932

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    The Central City Opera Festival staged its first performance, a production of Camille starring the silent-movie star Lillian Gish, in July 1932. The director, Robert Edmond Jones, asked the audience to wear 1870s clothing to evoke the opera house's early days. The opera festival is now the second-oldest summer opera company in the United States.
    Opening Night, 1932
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References: 

Central City Opera.

Charles A. Johnson, Opera in the Rockies: A History of the Central City Opera House Association, 19321992 (Central City, CO: Central City Opera House Association, 1992).

Charlie H. Johnson Jr., The Central City Opera House: A 100 Year History (Colorado Springs: Little London Press, 1980).

Kyle MacMillan, “Central City Opera Going Strong at 75,” Denver Post, June 24, 2007.

Additional Information: 

H. William Axford, Gilpin County Gold: Peter McFarlane, 18481929, Mining Entrepreneur in Central City, Colorado (Chicago: Swallow Press, 1976).

Roger Baker, Before Camille: The First Fifty-Five Years of the Central City Opera House and Theater in Central City (Central City, CO: Black Hawk Publishing, 2007).

Theatre of Dreams: The Glorious Central City Opera: Celebrating 75 Years (Denver: Central City Opera House Association, 2007).

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