Hundreds of people come together to make opera come alive on our stages, in our community, and online—from administrative staff to artists, from the Board of Directors to volunteers. Learn more below about just some of the passionate individuals behind Opera Colorado, and feel free to reach out to our staff for questions or comments. Not sure whom to contact? Email info@operacolorado.org and we’ll connect you to the right person.

Leadership

Greg Carpenter

General & Artistic Director

A major foodie and renowned home chef. Enjoys binge watching British crime dramas in his free time, and also owns every James Bond film ever made.

Paul Deckard

Managing Director

Got his opera start as a scenic artist, but now channels his creativity into improving his green thumb. Listens to an absurd amount of electronic dance music.

Ari Pelto

Music Director, Conductor

Lived in a reindeer herding community in Finland as a kid. Later, his first job was as a choirboy in Hartford, CT. But whether at sea level or a mile high, his mission remains the same: make the perfect pizza dough.

Senior Team

Jennifer Colgan

Director of Marketing and Communications jcolgan@operacolorado.org

Jennifer is a violinist who grew up in Virginia. She is the proud owner of a herd of cats and is always knitting a pair of socks.

Tom Kirkpatrick

Director of Business Operations tkirkpatrick@operacolorado.org

Cherity Koepke

Director of Education & Community Engagement, Director of the Artist in Residence Program ckoepke@operacolorado.org

Learned Gaelic to sing in a Celtic band, and is used to fabulous mispronunciations of her name. Also believes—not unlike Cinderella—in the life-changing magic of great shoes.

Katie Preissner

Director of Production & Artistic Services kpreissner@operacolorado.org

Has two little boys and three floppy basset hounds—and a curious fascination and love for her favorite animal, the platypus. Is on an endless quest for the perfect Oreo milkshake.

Erin Wenzel, CFRE

Director of Development ewenzel@operacolorado.org

Has moved 17 times and lived in eight different cities. She still buys CDs (to listen to in the car), and would definitely beat you at West Wing trivia.

Staff

Anthony Berkley

Development Operations Manager aberkley@operacolorado.org

Anthony doesn’t tan, so he was legally required to leave his home state of Florida, settling finally in Colorado because mountains are awesome. He is an opera lover who spent a recent birthday enjoying the full Ring Cycle at the Met, and also has overly elaborate conversations with his vocal cat.

Leah Bobbey, CFRE

Individual Giving & Special Events Manager lbobbey@operacolorado.org

Leah, a former opera singer, is thrilled to make her return to the mountains after a hiatus spent in the Windy City. She’s always ready to try something new, whether it be learning to make homemade ravioli or planning her next international adventure!

Vee Butler

Patron Services Manager vbutler@operacolorado.org

Vee owns an adorable corgi named Potato, who joined her in relocating from Massachusetts. She’s currently working towards her dream of retiring to Maine and opening a bed & breakfast with her best friend.

Linda Strauch, EA

Senior Accountant lstrauch@operacolorado.org

Has four grandchildren, and cites Rocky Mountain National Park as her favorite spot in Colorado. When it comes to her list of favorite foods, nothing can top chocolate ice cream.

Suzanne Whitney

Marketing Manager swhitney@operacolorado.org

Suzanne is one more Illinois transplant who fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. Most weekends she is on a trail attempting to identify wildflowers. She loves a correctly placed semicolon and always has a book in her purse.

Bethany Wood

Manager of Education & Community Engagement bwood@operacolorado.org

Bethany is happy to be back in her home state of Colorado after over a decade exploring life in the Midwest. She loves history, reading, and hanging out with her many nephews and nieces.

  • Michael Wingfield, Technical Director
  • Michael Boswell, Head Carpenter*
  • Greg Killpack, Assistant Carpenter*
  • Dave Youngs, Shop/Production Carpenter*
  • Jeff Reidel, Head Flyman*
  • Susan Osborn, Head Electrician*
  • Karen Thurow, Light Board Operator*
  • Rita Richardson, Assistant Electrician*
  • Hillary Clark, Head Props*

  • Terry Gulley, Assistant Props*
  • Thomas Berning, Head Sound*
  • Ann Piano, Costume Coordinator & Shop Manager
  • Alison Milan, Wardrobe Supervisor
  • Ronell Oliveri, Resident Wigs & Make-Up Designer
  • Sarah Opstad, Associate Wigs & Make-Up Designer

* Members of IATSE Local No.7

Violin

  • Margaret Gutierrez, concertmaster
  • Byron Hitchcock, principal second
  • Angela Dombrowski
  • Debra Holland
  • Robyn Julyan
  • Chris Jusell
  • Regan Kane
  • Annamaria Karacson
  • Cyndi Mancinelli
  • Christine L. Menter
  • Leah Mohling
  • Susie Peek
  • Ingrid Peoria*
  • Gyongyver Petheo
  • Veronica Sawarynski
  • Leslie Sawyer*
  • Robyn Sosa
  • Takanori Sugishita

Viola

  • Matthew Dane, principal
  • Michael Brook
  • Kostadin Dyulgerski
  • Mary Harrison
  • Sarah Richardson*
  • Lora Stevens

Cello

  • Jeff Watson, principal
  • Cedra Kuehn
  • Charles Lee
  • David Short
  • Elle Wells
  • Carole Whitney

Bass

  • David Crowe, principal
  • Jeremy Nicholas
  • Matthew Pennington

Flute

  • Susan Townsend, principal
  • Elizabeth Sadilek

Oboe

  • Sarah Bierhaus, principal
  • Max Soto

Clarinet

  • Michelle Orman, principal
  • Heidi Mendenhall

Bassoon

  • Charles Hansen, principal

Horn

  • Michael Yopp, principal
  • Lauren Varley
  • Devon Park
  • Marian Hesse

Trumpet

  • Leslie Scarpino, principal
  • Ken Aikin

Trombone

  • Bron Wright, principal
  • Andy Wolfe
  • Jeremy Van Hoy

Harp

  • Janet Harriman, principal

Timpani

  • Peter Cooper, principal

Percussion

  • Mark Foster, principal
  • Carl Dixon
  • Nena Lorenza Wright

Orchestra Personnel Manager & Librarian

  • Angela Dombrowski

*Leave of absence

OPERA COLORADO ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE

Click here to learn about this season’s Artist in Residence cohort.

OPERA COLORADO VOLUNTEERS

Click here for more information on current volunteers, and to learn how to join the team.