40 Years of Opera Colorado

As Opera Colorado’s 40th season draws to a close, we reflect on the company’s remarkable contributions to Denver’s vibrant performing arts scene through its captivating storytelling and influential educational programs.

Opera Colorado performing on stage
Photo courtesy of Matthew Staver.

Opera is a multifaceted art form, seamlessly blending singing, dancing, and acting within the framework of intricate and visually stunning sets. Greg Carpenter, Opera Colorado’s general and artistic director, describes opera as “all the best art forms put into one.” For Carpenter, fostering connections with the community is paramount, particularly through educational initiatives and engaging with the next generation of artists. Under his leadership, the number of children served annually by Opera Colorado has risen from 10,000 to over 45,000, a testament to the company’s commitment to arts education. This achievement is made possible through programs brought directly to schools, as well as performances and workshops hosted at the opera house.

Opera Colorado continually explores innovative methods to introduce new audiences to the enchanting world of opera. The recent presentation of Moravec & Campbell’s The Shining, only the second production of its kind nationwide, attracted 2,000 new ticket buyers—over 200 of which returned the following spring, Carpenter says. Through a diverse repertoire that combines traditional opera classics with more contemporary narratives, Opera Colorado enhances the rich tapestry of Denver’s performing arts scene.

Serving as a cornerstone of Denver’s cultural community since 1983, Opera Colorado continues its history of excellence in the upcoming 2023–24 season, featuring three new productions. Carpenter expresses particular excitement for Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, brought to life for the first time since 1997 with a brand-new production in early 2024.

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