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.

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

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

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.

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.

Staff

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.

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

Individual Giving and 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!

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.

Officers and Committee Chairs

  • Elizabeth Caswell Dyer, Chairperson
  • Marcia Robinson, President
  • Michael Bock, Vice President
  • Chevis F. (“Chip”) Horne, Vice President
  • Richard Koseff, Secretary
  • Judy La Spada, Treasurer
  • Kevin D. O’Connor, Chairman Emeritus

Directors

  • Maria Garcia Berry
  • Suzanne Bucy
  • Eleanor N. Caulkins, Lifetime Honorary Chair
  • Dr. Laurence K. Chan
  • Joseph Fogliano
  • Mark Heiser, Ex-Officio
  • Don Hindman
  • Kelly Ann Hodges
  • Laurence D. Kaptain, Ex-Officio
  • Hon. Kenneth Laff
  • James Linfield
  • MAJ Konstantinos (Dino) G. Maniatis
  • William Maniatis, MD
  • Jon J. Olafson
  • Prem S. Subramanian, MD, PhD
  • Dana Svendsen
  • Keith Ward, Ex-Officio
  • Robin Yaeger
  • Youngdon Yun
  • Larry Zimmer

Honorary Directors

  • Hugh Grant
  • Jeremy Kinney
  • Pamela Merrill
  • Mary French Moore
  • Gerald Saul
  • Jeremy Shamos
  • Susan Shamos
  • Merrill Shields
  • Martha Tracey

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.