Opera Colorado

A nonprofit organization


We aspire to build a family of opera lovers, who reflect the multi-cultural fabric of our community. Our work will tell the great stories of opera, past, present, and future, showcasing diverse talent and innovative approaches that serve as a model for our community and the industry at large. 


"...As I marched my toddlers to the performance, I was a little nervous that I was dragging them to something they wouldn't understand or have the patience to sit through. I was so wrong. We all loved it... My five-year old was fixated and keeps asking when we can go back to the Opera. Thank you for making this artform so accessible to children. Thank you for a reminder that true artistry speaks to us all. "
- Julia Jung reflecting on Family Day, a free Education & Engagement Program in which Opera Colorado opens the doors to the Ellie for programming of condensed operas and activities for children and families.

"The recent pandemic has led to large budget cuts in our country's educational system, which often includes slashing funding for the arts. Allowing Opera Colorado to continue to foster artistic development in our youngest citizens through continued exposure to quality creative expression will help keep a treasured art form accessible and alive. Music plays a vital role in all our lives and Opera Colorado plays an equally vital role in continuing to bring world-class opera to Denver."
- Joyce de Roos, a long-time Opera Colorado subscriber, donor, and volunteer.


Our mission is to connect our Colorado community to the emotions and stories of the world through traditional and innovative opera and education programming that is accessible to all.

Background Statement

In 1980, a group of opera lovers discussed the need for professional-quality opera productions in Denver. Soon after, a company emerged that set a new standard for artistic excellence in Colorado. Nathaniel Merrill, longtime stage director for the Metropolitan Opera, served as artistic director from 1981-1998. The first performance took place on April 4, 1983. Opera Colorado performed "in the round" for ten years, this unusual staging etching an early artistic identity that prioritized an intimate connection with the audience and a relentless focus on quality, values that still characterize the company today.

In 2002, the organization won the opportunity to restore the 1908 Auditorium Theatre, leading to the opening of the 2,200-seat Ellie Caulkins Opera House as its performance home in 2005. The company builds on this acoustically excellent venue's storied past by connecting modern audiences with great works of the opera repertoire. In 2017, Opera Colorado moved into the Opera Center, a 7,500 sq.ft. office and rehearsal space that allows the administrative and artistic sides of the company to coexist under the same roof.

After entering the digital realm with original programming during the COVID-19 pandemic, Opera Colorado returned to the stage for a triumphant, three-opera mainstage season in 2021-22, the first season of that size since the 2011-12 Season. Opera Colorado's 40th Anniversary Season in 2022-23 celebrated four decades of songs and stories with a fantastic production of RIGOLETTO, the first opportunity for many operagoers to experience the rarely performed DIE TOTE STADT, and four sold-out performances of TURANDOT. Opera Colorado's upcoming season—featuring breathtaking productions of DON GIOVANNI, THE FLYING DUTCHMAN, and SAMSON AND DELILAH—celebrates our achievements, renews our commitment to artistic excellence, and strengthens the connection to our community.

Delivering high-quality, large-scale productions of grand opera at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House remains the foundation of our artistic work. Opera Colorado creates thrilling performances that balance singing, acting, and playing into a coherent artistic whole. The 58-member Opera Colorado Orchestra and 30-member Opera Colorado Chorus, both of which consist almost entirely of musicians who live in the Denver area, will collaborate with renowned singers and emerging artists from across the world for these productions that will reach an estimated audience of over 22,000 people.

Organization Data


Organization name

Opera Colorado

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Arts, Culture & Humanities

Organization Size

Large Organization


4121 South Navajo Street Suite 100
Englewood, CO 80110

Service areas

Arapahoe County, CO, US

Denver, CO, US

Jefferson County, CO, US

Douglas County, CO, US

Boulder County, CO, US







Social Media