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SHOW NOTES: Season 6, Episode 1 - Ken Cazan, Stage Director of CAROUSEL

Central City Opera Podcast

Release Date: 07/06/2021

Stage Director Ken Cazan is back this summer at Central City Opera, directing Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical Carousel. Ken has been a guest on the Central City Opera almost every summer since its inception in 2016, and he always delivers an incredible interview. This year was no different. The interview was conducted over Zoom due to Covid restrictions, so I missed giving Ken a welcome-back hug, but we still had a great time! Read on for the show notes.

Correction Alert – When I asked Ken about his history of directing musicals here at Central City Opera, I said that he directed The Sound of Music in 2015. That was incorrect – he actually directed it in 2014, the same summer that he directed Dead Man Walking. Talk about a busy summer!

The Sound of Music_2014     Dead Man Walking, 2014

Photos: The Sound of Music, right, and Dead Man Walking, left. Photos by Mark Kiryluk.

When talking about Rodgers and Hammerstein’s collaboration and impact on the American musical genre, Ken mentioned Tin Pan Alley. He teaches a course at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he is the resident stage director of opera, called Musical Theatre Song Interpretation: Tin Pan Alley Era. This era spanned from the mid-late 19th century to the mid 20th century, and the music and lyrics written during this era created contemporary Broadway. Find out more about Tin Pan Alley here.

I brought up Ken’s vast range of work with Central City Opera during this interview. Here are some photos from a few productions that Ken directed in the past (not an exhaustive list):

Billy Budd_2019     Acis and Galatea_2018    Furnace_2017     Baby Doe_2016     Our Town 2013     Oklahoma_2012

Photos: 1. Billy Budd, 2019; 2. Acis and Galatea, 2018; 3. The Burning Fiery Furnace, 2017; 4. The Ballad of Baby Doe, 2016; 5. Our Town, 2013; 6. Oklahoma!, 2012

Photo credits: 1-4, Amanda Tipton Photography; 5 -6, Mark Kiryluk.

When talking about depicting traumatic moments onstage, Ken brought up how it is important for performing arts organizations to connect to their communities. A local organization that assists victims of domestic violence is Violence Free Colorado, formerly known as the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV). If you are a victim of domestic violence, find help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233).

Ken mentioned famed choreographer Agnes De Mille, who choreographed many shows with Rodgers & Hammerstein, including Carousel. Read more about her on the American Ballet Theatre’s website.

Ken has been featured several times on the Central City Opera Podcast before. You can listen to his previous episodes at these links:
On Billy Budd with conductor John Baril (2019); on The Burning Fiery Furnace (2017); and on The Ballad of Baby Doe (2016)

It was so much fun to talk with Ken again! Visit centralcityopera.org to buy tickets to the 2021 production of Carousel at Hudson Gardens and Event Center in Littleton, Colorado.  

-Emily Murdock, Host & Producer