Volunteer Appreciation Week at OC

April 22, 2020 | By Kelly Maxwell | Opera Colorado News

By Kelly Maxwell

Even though our stage is silent, we aren’t going to let Volunteer Appreciation Week pass without making some noise, celebrating our fabulous volunteers! We want to take this opportunity to shine the spotlight on the folks who share their time, enthusiasm, and skills with Opera Colorado. We connected with our squad of volunteers earlier for a virtual happy hour, but we’ll be sure to share the love in person as soon as we’re safely able to. Until then, air-hugs all around!

These answers below are just a few examples of current volunteers and their experience supporting Opera Colorado. If you’d like to join them, check out our Volunteer Page for more info!


How long have you been volunteering with Opera Colorado?

I have been volunteering with Opera Colorado since I moved back to Colorado from Washington DC in 2014.

Why do you volunteer at Opera Colorado?

As an active volunteer in the Denver community, I have found that my time at the Ellie is light, fun and educational.  I also volunteer with Opera Colorado because I have made friends with the other volunteers, and I enjoy spending time with them.

What do you love about opera?

I like how opera is often in a foreign language, and thus, the opera belongs to the world.

What makes volunteering at Opera Colorado special/fun/enriching/etc.?

My two favorite activities with Opera Colorado  are:

(1) Hosting a member of the cast or stage director, costume designer, etc. and talking with them in the car for 30-45 minutes of the drive to/from Denver International Airport.  In these conversations, I have learned so much about the World of Opera and how often these professionals are traveling around the world to keep working.

(2) I REALLY enjoy leading the school groups on their Behind the Scenes tours of the Ellie.  Most of the kiddos haven’t been to the DPAC, let alone on a backstage tour of the Ellie – so it warms my heart to see their “light bulbs” going off when they see all of the things that need to happen to produce a show, and the types of jobs that might appeal to them in the future.

And of course, as a girly-girl,  I love dressing up and attending the fancy Donor-only events too!

Susan & Eva:

Ten years ago, we met while light-walking.  Who would have known that a Colorado native and a German native would become fast friends after a few hours backstage?  We both had volunteered because of our passion for opera. Our wonderful friendship transported us on an opera odyssey. We traveled to NYC to see Jonas Kauffman in Werther, one year, and to Budapest to see The Flying Dutchman in another.  We strive to share our joy and love of opera by volunteering in the many capacities that Opera Colorado offers.  Thank you for being there for us!  We will be there for you!


How long have you been volunteering at Opera Colorado?

About 3 years I think, I used to show up at the Colorado Blvd offices and sit around stuffing envelopes with a bunch of others, just chatting and communing. Then I got to help out at the backstage tours, be a lightwalker, and assist at auditions. Later, I got involved with hosting the singers while they’re in town.

Why do you volunteer at Opera Colorado?

Because it’s a lot of fun and a way to enjoy the  full experience of  Opera Colorado other than just attending performances.

What do you love about opera?

What I love about opera is the over 600 years of grand expression of artistry displayed in a combination of sublime music, captivating drama, sweeping sets, creative and innovative costumes and dramatic acting. In short, it is the full theatrical experience in one sitting.  That is why just listening to opera \ on the radio or a recording is not enough. It’s the synergy that results when it all comes together that makes opera so special.

What makes volunteering at Opera Colorado special?

The activities are always fun. The OC volunteers, young artists, staff, chorus and visiting artists are always delightful and engaging.  Whenever I come to an event  or help out with an activity, I always feel like I am  surrounded by dozens of close friends, all united in the love of opera.  Lightwalking gives one a terrific behind the scenes feel for the production. There is nothing like being an actual part  of the production, even as a supernumerary in a non-singing role! That has been the highlight of my own operatic experience when I was a super for Falstaff in 2018.

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