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 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

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 Programs 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.

Tamara Vallejos

Director of Marketing & Audience Development tvallejos@operacolorado.org

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 kpreissner@operacolorado.org

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.

Staff

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.

Jessica Peña

Annual Fund Manager jpena@operacolorado.org

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 wstuberg@operacolorado.org

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 pzaeri@operacolorado.org

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 kmaxwell@operacolorado.org

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 mherring@operacolorado.org

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 ijaramillo@operacolorado.org

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 doppliger@operacolorado.org

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 gleblanc@operacolorado.org

Officers and Committee Chairs

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

Directors

  • Suzanne Bucy
  • Eleanor N. Caulkins, Lifetime Honorary Chair
  • Dr. Laurence K. Chan
  • Mary Conroy
  • Kelly Ann Hodges
  • Laurence D. Kaptain, Ex-Officio
  • Hon. Kenneth Laff
  • William Maniatis, MD
  • Kent Rice, Ex-Officio
  • Youngdon Yun
  • Byron Watson
  • 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

Violins

  • Margaret Gutierrez, concertmaster
  • Byron Hitchcock, principal second
  • Angela Dombrowski
  • Robyn Julyan
  • Debra Holland
  • 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
  • Andy Wolfe
  • Jeremy Van Hoy

Harp

  • Janet Harriman, principal

Timpani

  • Peter Cooper, principal
  • 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

Percussion

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

Librarian

  • Ingrid Peoria*

Oboe

  • Sarah Bierhaus, principal
  • Max Soto

Clarinet

  • Michelle Orman, principal
  • Heidi Mendenhall

Bassoon

  • Charles Hansen, principal

Horn

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

Trumpet

  • Leslie Scarpino, principal
  • Ken Aikin

Trombone

  • Bron Wright, principal

Personnel Manager

  • 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.