Hundreds of people come together to make opera come alive on our stages—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 and we’ll connect you to the right person.


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.

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.

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.

Senior Team

Tom Kirkpatrick

Director of Business Operations

Erin Wenzel, CFRE

Director of Development

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.

Cherity Koepke

Director of Education & Community Programs

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.

Tamara Vallejos

Director of Marketing & Audience Development

A born-and-raised L.A. girl with the requisite love for Dodger baseball, Classic Hollywood, and Christmastime at Disneyland. As a former music journalist, she lives off Colfax specifically for its proximity to concert venues.

Katie Preissner

Director of Production

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


Linda Strauch, EA

Senior Accountant

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.

Jessica Peña

Associate Director of Development

Loves art, especially Salvador Dalí’s “Figure at a Window.” Secretly dreams of living amongst penguins—but humans are cool, too, as long as they also value kindness and laughter above all else.

Whitney Stuberg

Development & Events Assistant

The best improvisational chef this side of the Platte. Likes to unwind by going for a ride on her vintage Vespa, or by pairing a dram of peaty scotch with a ‘90s rom-com.

Parisa Zaeri

Manager of Education & Community Programs

Originally from Dallas, and had to break her habit of using “ya’ll” a little too frequently. At exactly 5 feet tall, she’s petite but mighty—and writes exclusively in cursive.

Kelly Maxwell

Digital Content Manager

Lead singer for a brass band. Can sing in six languages, but has the worst handwriting you’ve ever seen. Also: harbors an obsession for blueberries.

Michelle Herring

Patron Services Manager

A Colorado native, as well as a visual and performing artist. She’ll never turn down a delicious snack of Cheeze-Its.

Indea Jaramillo

Patron Services Associate

Spends her days debating whether or not to dye her hair, and fantasizing about the latest organizational techniques. Named for a character in Gone with the Wind.

Don Oppliger

Patron Services Associate

Used to drive cattle on a Kansas ranch. Plays bluegrass and Irish music on guitar and fiddle, and can’t wait for the next Jack Reacher book to hit shelves.

Genevieve LeBlanc

Patron Services Associate

Officers and Committee Chairs

  • Kevin O’Connor, Chairman
  • Marcia Robinson, President
  • Chevis F. (“Chip”) Horne, Vice President
  • James Linfield, Secretary
  • Michael Bock, Chairman Emeritus


  • Maria Garcia Berry
  • Suzanne Bucy
  • Eleanor N. Caulkins, Lifetime Honorary Chair
  • Dr. Laurence K. Chan
  • Mary Conroy
  • Elizabeth Caswell Dyer
  • Mark Heiser, Ex-Officio
  • Kelly Ann Hodges
  • Laurence D. Kaptain, Ex-Officio
  • Hon. Kenneth Laff
  • Judy LaSpada
  • William Maniatis, MD
  • Chantell L. Taylor, Esq.
  • Byron Watson
  • Robin Yaeger
  • Youngdon Yun
  • Larry Zimmer

Honorary Directors

  • Nellie Mae Duman
  • Hugh Grant
  • Agatha Kessler
  • Jeremy Kinney
  • Pamela Merrill
  • Muffy French Moore
  • Gerald Saul
  • Jeremy Shamos
  • Susan Shamos
  • Merrill Shields
  • Martha Tracey


  • 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


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


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


  • David Crowe, principal
  • Jeremy Nicholas
  • Matthew Pennington


  • Susan Townsend, principal
  • Elizabeth Sadilek


  • Sarah Bierhaus, principal
  • Max Soto


  • Michelle Orman, principal
  • Heidi Mendenhall


  • Charles Hansen, principal


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


  • Leslie Scarpino, principal
  • Ken Aikin


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


  • Janet Harriman, principal


  • Peter Cooper, principal


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

Orchestra Personnel Manager & Librarian

  • Angela Dombrowski

*Leave of absence


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


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