A Portrait of Obsession
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Die tote Stadt (The Dead City)
Music by Erich Korngold
Libretto by Julius Korngold
Premiered December 4, 1920, Hamburg State Opera (Hamburg, Germany)
Opera Colorado presents a new production of composer Erich Korngold’s rare operatic gem, Die tote Stadt (The Dead City). We follow Paul, a widowed artist unraveled by grief. Life is turned upside down when Paul meets the bright and passionate Marietta—the mirror image of his late wife, Marie. This haunting drama filled with lush cinematic music will leave you questioning what is real and what is only a dream.
February 25, 28 & March 3, 5 | 2023
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House at Denver Performing Arts Complex
Performed in German, with English and Spanish subtitles at every seat and English Supertitles above the stage.
Estimated Length: 2 hours, and 17 minutes
*Join us one hour prior to each performance at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House for a free and insightful pre-performance.
Die tote Stadt is sponsored by an Anonymous Donor in honor of Dr. James K. Todd.
The Orchestra for Die tote Stadt is sponsored by Kevin O’Connor and Janet Ellen Raasch.
The 40th Anniversary Season is generously sponsored by Marcia & Dick Robinson.
All-new sets and costumes will be designed by Robert Perdziola.
A recipient of the 2013 Beverly Sills Award and the 2013 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, Bryan Hymel is a frequent guest on the most important opera houses worldwide, having appeared at The Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House in London, Opéra National de Paris, Bavarian State Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera, San Francisco Opera. An exclusive recording artist for Warner Classics, his first solo album Héroïque debuted at number 3 on the Billboard Classical Music chart, and earned Hymel the coveted Georges Thill Prize by the Académie Nationale du Disque Lyrique and the Newcomer of the Year Award from ECHO Klassik. His repertoire also includes signature roles such as Énée in Les Troyens, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Don José in Carmen, Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Faust in La Damnation de Faust, Henri in Les Vêpres siciliennes, Arnold in Guillaume Tell, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Romeo in Roméo et Juliette, Alfredo in La Traviata, Prince in Rusalka, as well as the title roles in Robert le diable, Faust, and Don Carlo. In concert, he has appeared with London Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Nashville Symphony, The Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, PKF – Prague Philharmonia. Hymel studied at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia under Bill Schuman and was a participant in San Francisco Opera Center’s Merola Program.
Soprano Sara Gartland’s engagements for the 2021-2022 season and beyond include the role of Rose in the World Premiere opera A Thousand Acres with libretto by Mark Campbell and music composed by Kristin Kuster for the 50th Anniversary season at The Des Moines Metro Opera, and exciting role and company debuts with Opera Colorado, Opera San Antonio, and The Dallas Opera.
A lover of opera and operetta as well as contemporary works, Ms. Gartland has sung a plethora of roles displaying her talent for dramatic storytelling and comedy. She has also developed close working relationships with some of the best regional opera houses in the country. Performances include the title roles in Rusalka and Jenůfa, Marie in Wozzeck, Juliette in Roméo et Juliette, and Alexandra in Regina with The Des Moines Metro Opera, Musetta in La bohème, Micaëla in Carmen, Adalgisa (cover) in Norma and Zenna Briggs (cover) in Michel van der Aa’s 3D opera Sunken Garden with The Dallas Opera, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Violetta in La Traviata, Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men, and Alexandra in Regina with Utah Opera, Violetta in La Traviata, Rusalka in Rusalka and Josephine in HMS Pinafore with Arizona Opera, Marzelline in Fidelio with Opera Omaha, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with Opera San Jose, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel and Musetta in La bohème with San Diego Opera, Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Austin Lyric Opera, and Rusalka (cover) in Rusalka with the Canadian Opera Company.
GRAMMY® Award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher has performed in many of the world’s music capitals, including Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Berlin, Stuttgart, Amsterdam, Geneva, Madrid, Toronto, Montreal, Tokyo, Seoul, and Houston. With a repertoire of more than eighty roles, Belcher has championed roles from the Baroque to those composed expressly for him. He came to international attention in 2004 creating the role of Prior Walter in Peter Eötvös’s Angels in America for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
In the 2021-22 season, Mr. Belcher joins the Metropolitan Opera for Ahknaten and Rigoletto. Recent engagements also included William in The Fall of the House of Usher with Boston Lyric Opera, a return to On Site Opera for Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors, a concert with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Older Thompson in Glory Denied with Berkshire Opera Festival.
In the 2018-19 season, he created the role of Alfred Stieglitz in Laura Kaminsky, Mark Campbell, and Kimberly Reed’s world premiere of Today it Rains with Opera Parallele, made role debuts of Sharpless in Madame Butterfly at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music at Madison Opera, and Beaumarchais in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles as well as reprising his Figaro in The Barber of Seville at Chautauqua Opera. In the 2017-2018 season, he appeared at Utah Opera as Gabriel von Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, debuted as the Street Singer and Tiger Brown in The Threepenny Opera at Boston Lyric Opera, and as Captain of the Royal Guard in Hans Werner Henze’s The Bassarids for his first performances in Madrid with the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de Espana. His recording of Bill in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with Kent Nagano and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal was released in June of 2018 on the Decca label.
Recent highlights for American mezzo Elizabeth (Betsy) Bishop include her return to The Metropolitan Opera in their celebrated new production of Le Nozze di Figaro as Marcellina; Dallas Symphony Orchestra in Salome as Herodias; and at Lyric Opera Chicago she stole the show as Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon. Further Metropolitan Opera engagements include Second Norn/Fricka (c)/Waltraute (c) in Der Ring des Nibelungen. In the 2021-22 season, she revives the role of Marcellina at the Met, and with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra she makes her debut as the Witch in Hansel und Gretel under the baton of Donald Runnicles. Past successes include her debut at Florida Grand Opera as Herodias in Salome, Mary in Der fliegende Holländer at Cincinnati Opera, the role of Judith in Bluebeard’s Castle at Portland Symphony; at Washington National Opera as Mère Marie in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Fricka in Das Rheingold, and Die Walküre; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Donald Runnicles and at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Verdi’s Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Brangäne Tristan und Isolde in concert at North Carolina Opera.
Returning to Opera Colorado since being Beppe in the 2020 production of Pagliacci is tenor Jonathan Johnson. In the 2021-22 season, he made his debut at the Tulsa Opera as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, and returned to Opera Omaha as Anthony in Sweeney Todd, and to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in Harvey Milk. He recently appeared as The Prince in The Love for Three Oranges at Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O19, and Jonathan Dale in Silent Night at Utah Opera. In concert, Mr. Johnson appeared as a soloist with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri, with the Detroit Symphony for Messiah, and in recital with the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago. A graduate of the Patrick G. & Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s professional artist-development program, he appeared in the house’s main productions of Les Troyens, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Merry Widow, Der Rosenkavalier, Capriccio, The Magic Victrola and Mieczysław Weinberg’s Holocaust opera The Passenger.
Appointed in 2015 as Opera Colorado’s first-ever music director, Ari Pelto’s “breathtaking wizardry in the pit” (The Denver Post) has been widely celebrated, with Pelto in demand at opera houses and concert halls throughout the United States. At the age of 24, Pelto was appointed Assistant Conductor at the Spoleto Festival and he has since gone on to conduct worldwide. International engagements include performances with Bochumer Philharmoniker and opera productions at New National Theatre of Tokyo and the Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. In 2004 he made his highly-praised debut with New York City Opera, conducting La Traviata, after which he became a regular, returning for productions of Madama Butterfly, La bohème, and Carmen. Recent successes include Eugene Onegin at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Lucia di Lammermoor at Virginia Opera, and La Voix Humaine at Chicago Opera Theater.
Iranian pianist and conductor, Sahar Nouri, returns to Opera Colorado for a fourth season, serving as the company’s chorus master, assistant conductor, and pianist coach. Ms. Nouri is the newly appointed music director of the Lamont Opera Theatre at Denver University. While being based in Denver, she continues to serve as guest coach/faculty with various organizations including San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Opera North Carolina, Opera Steamboat and more.
Previously, Ms. Nouri has been a member of the music staff at Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Utah Opera, Aspen Opera Center, Opera Parallèle, and Opera in the Heights. Her repertoire includes numerous classic operas as well as many world premieres such as: Prince of Players (Carlisle Floyd), O Columbia! (Gregory Spears), Steal a Pencil for Me (Gerald Cohen), and Today It Rains (Laura Kaminsky). A multi-lingual, Nouri has done studies in the Czech Republic, Italy, and Austria, and is frequently in demand as a language coach and recitalist.
Known both for his bold and inventive productions and for his acute musical instincts, Chas Rader-Shieber has established himself as one of the most innovative opera directors of his generation. Reviewing his staging of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen Toronto’s Classical 96.3 FM praised Mr. Rader-Shieber’s “daring and visionary approach to staging” and declared him “a force to be reckoned with in the opera world.” In the 2021-2022 season, Mr. Rader-Shieber continues his close collaboration with the Curtis Institute of Music, directing Dangerous Liasons, and returns to Des Moines Metro Opera for Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Recent work includes a new production of Rameau’s Platée at Des Moines Metro Opera, Shining Brow at Arizona Opera, and a return to Curtis Institute of Music to direct their productions of The Barber of Seville. Other past season highlights include Hasse’s Artaserse and Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria with Pinchgut Opera, La finta giardiniera Portland Opera, Ariadne auf Naxos with Kentucky Opera, Rusalka with Des Moines Metro Opera. Gluck’s Orfeo with Portland Opera, La traviata with Pittsburgh Opera, and Capriccio with the Curtis Insitute of Music. Mr. Rader-Shieber has also become well known for his interpretations of Mozart operas. Among others, he has directed Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte at companies including Opera Pacific, Opera de Montreal, Santa Fe Opera, and the Juilliard Opera Center.
Robert Perdziola has designed sets and costumes for American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Saito Kinen Festival, San Francisco Opera, Opéra Monte Carlo, Garsington Opera, Opera Australia, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Cincinnati Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Boston, and Glimmerglass Opera. Among these designs are those for Capriccio and Il Pirata for the Met, La Grande Duchesse for Opera Boston, and Falstaff for the Saito Kinen Festival. In 2017 he designed two productions of Le Nozze di Figaro, one for Garsington Opera in Wormsley, England, and the other for Hyogo Performing Arts Center, Japan. In fall 2016, Perdziola created sets and costumes for the Finnish National Ballet’s Alice In Wonderland. His productions of The Nutcracker (2012) and Swan Lake (2014) are regularly seen at Boston Ballet.
For American Ballet Theatre, Perdziola has designed costumes and scenery for the revival of Antony Tudor’s Pillar of Fire (2003), for Alexei Ratmansky’s Harlequinade (2018), and for Ratmansky’s The Seasons (2019).
Perdziola was nominated for a 2019 Benois de la Danse award.
Yi Zhao is a Beijing-born, Paris-raised and U.S.-educated lighting designer currently based in Berlin and working internationally, whose designs for theater, opera, live music and dance are informed by a background in fine art photography and a passion for music. His lighting designs have been seen at Lincoln Center Theater, Sasha Waltz & Guests (Germany), New York Theatre Workshop, Signature Theatre, Soho Rep., Ars Nova, the Guthrie Theater, Mark Taper Forum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, The Wilma Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Opera Omaha, Hong Kong Arts Festival, Curtis Institute of Music, ArtsEmerson, Philadelphia FringeArts, Ballet de Lorraine (France), and Festival d’Automne à Paris (France), among others. www.yi-zhao.com
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
Korngold’s Die tote Stadt
- 28 Mar
- 05 2023