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date: 13 July 2020

Central City Opera Festivallocked

  • Sara Velez,
  • Sanford A. Linscome
  •  and Stephanie Jensen-Moulton

Extract

An annual summer opera festival established in Central City, Colorado, in 1932. It is the second oldest such festival in the United States, with Chautauqua’s festival being the oldest. Most festival events are held in the beautifully restored Victorian jewel-box opera house (capacity 800) inaugurated in 1878, which had presented burlesque, opera, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and serious drama until the turn of the century. As the silver and gold deposits around Central City declined, so did the fortunes of the opera house: it became a cinema in 1908 and was closed down in 1927. After acquisition by the University of Denver in 1931 and some months of restoration, the house re-opened under the auspices of the Central City Opera House Association (formed 1932) through volunteer efforts driven by Ida Kruse McFarlane, Edna Chappell, and Anne Evans. The Association decided upon a summer format, opening the 1932 season with Lillian Gish in ...

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