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

Annual Fund Manager

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” 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.

Evan Davis

Marketing & Communications Intern

Currently pursuing an associate’s degree in communications at the Community College of Denver. An avid history nerd who enjoys hanging out with his cat, Eric.

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

  • Michael Bock
  • James Linfield
  • Chevis F. (“Chip”) Horne
  • Marcia Robinson
  • Kevin O’Connor


  • Larry Zimmer
  • Byron Watson
  • Youngdon Yun
  • Martha Tracey, Honorary Director
  • Merrill Shields, Honorary Director
  • Susan Shamos, Honorary Director
  • Jeremy Shamos
  • Gerald Saul, Honorary Director
  • Kent Rice, Ex-Officio
  • Muffy French Moore, Honorary Director
  • Pamela Merrill, Honorary Director
  • William Maniatis
  • Hon. Kenneth Laff
  • Loring W. Knoblauch
  • Jeremy Kinney, Honorary Director
  • Agatha Kessler, Honorary Director
  • Laurence D. Kaptain, Ex-Officio
  • Kelly Ann Hodges
  • Hugh Grant, Honorary Director
  • Nellie Mae Duman, Honorary Director
  • Mary Conroy
  • Dr. Laurence K. Chan
  • Eleanor N. Caulkins
  • Suzanne Bucy


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


  • Jeremy Van Hoy
  • Andy Wolfe
  • Michael Brook
  • Matthew Dane, Principal


  • Janet Harriman, Principal


  • Lora Stevens
  • Sarah Richardson*
  • Mary Harrison
  • Kostadin Dyulgerski
  • Peter Cooper, Principal


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


  • Matthew Pennington
  • Jeremy Nicholas
  • David Crowe, Principal


  • Elizabeth Sadilek
  • Susan Townsend, Principal


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


  • Ingrid Peoria*


  • Max Soto
  • Sarah Bierhaus, Principal


  • Heidi Mendenhall
  • Michelle Orman, Principal


  • Charles Hansen, Principal


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


  • Ken Aikin
  • Leslie Scarpino, Principal


  • Bron Wright, Principal

Personnel Manager

  • 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.