Donation Information

When you make a contribution to Opera Colorado, where is your money going?

Did you know it costs Opera Colorado, on average, $800,000 to produce one opera performance?

Those costs include renting the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, creating sets and costumes and hiring the finest opera singers—but the costs don’t stop there.

Many Colorado citizens depend on Opera Colorado to make a living. Opera Colorado also has to pay the costs of an orchestra (often 60 or more professional musicians), pay for a backstage crew who make sure the scenery, lights and costumes are in place and function for each performance (another 50 professionals), and hire a staff of professional house managers and ushers. In addition, Opera Colorado hires a full-time, year-round staff of 10 and part-time staff of 5 to manage this huge project.

Other businesses depend on Opera Colorado for business. Opera Colorado is responsible for transportation and housing for singers, designers, stage directors and conductors for weeks at a time. Without the support of our hotel partners, these costs would be astronomical. There are also the costs of marketing to make certain there’s an audience to see the opera, so Opera Colorado partners with local radio stations, television stations and newspapers to get the word out. But the costs don’t stop there.

Opera Colorado’s Education Programs reach into the community to build the audience of the future. The Opera Colorado Young Artists perform for over 35,500 students annually, helping to supplement arts education programs in schools all over the state.

We work hard to be good stewards of your money. Based on audited figures from our 2014 annual report, general administrative costs make up less than 10% of our annual budget. The majority of our expenses are dedicated to putting the finest productions on stage and finding new audiences for opera for the future.

Ticket Sales alone cannot cover the costs of producing opera.
Almost half of our budget comes from contributions. 2014-Expenses-ClearWithout contributions, tickets would cost almost twice as much.

Opera Colorado depends on you to succeed. Individuals who are committed to live opera performances in our city make up the majority of donors to Opera Colorado. Corporate donors make up only 4% of our annual budget.2014-Revenue-Clear


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