The 2022-23 Season marks Opera Colorado’s 40th Anniversary. Over four decades, we have been committed to connecting our Colorado community to the emotions and stories of the world through traditional and innovative opera and educational programming that is accessible to all. In May of 2023, we look forward to presenting a larger-than-life production of Puccini’s final opera, Turandot. While we approach this production with great excitement, we realize the opera has come under fire for problematic exemplification of Western projections of Asian culture.

We plan on hosting community engagement & feedback events surrounding this production and creating resources and content to expand our community’s knowledge and uplift voices within the Asian community. This page is a living resource and will be updated as we finalize plans for the production, offer community events, and create new content.


Opera Colorado Blog Posts

Turandot: Director’s Notes

Behind the Curtain: Taking on Turandot

The Riddle of Turandot: A Community Discussion

AAPI Arts in Denver


Asian Chamber of Commerce

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Denver Taiko

Insight Colab Theatre

Japanese Arts Network

Kalama Polynesian Dancers

Kimberly Ming via Instagram @kimberly.ming

Meta Sarmiento

Mudra Dance Studio

Spirit of Cambodia

Step Into Melody Dance Studio

Other Resources

Asian Opera Alliance

Final Bow for Yellowface


THE RIDDLE OF TURANDOT: A Conversation with Aria Umezawa

Aria Umezawa will be the featured guest at a talkback with students from Metropolitan State University on May 4. This is a private event.

THE RIDDLE OF TURANDOT: A Community Conversation

See Panel Discussion Recording

Monday, February 13 at 7:00 p.m.
The Masterpiece Theater at the Buell Public Media Center
2101 Arapahoe St.
Denver, CO 80205

Harry Budisidharta
Executive Director, Asian Pacific Development Center
Greg Carpenter
Elllie Caulkins General & Artistic Director, Opera Colorado
Margaret Ozaki Graves
Soprano, Educator, Advocate
Aria Umezawa
Stage Director
Deborah Yim
Managing Attorney, Primera Law Group
President Elect, Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Amber Coté
Community and Volunteer Director, Rocky Mountain Public Media

In May, Opera Colorado will present Turandot, one of opera’s biggest blockbusters. For all Turandot’s popularity, this opera, set in a fabricated version of ancient China, has been scrutinized for problematic representations of Asian culture.

Opera Colorado addresses these issues by inviting its community to a conversation with director Aria Umezawa and special guests about Turandot, Asian representation, and what it means to present an opera like Turandot in 2023, nearly 100 years after it was first performed.

Presented in partnership with Rocky Mountain Public Media.

See Panel Discussion Recording

Statements on Opera Colorado’s production of Turandot:

Greg Carpenter, The Ellie Caulkins General & Artistic Director

Puccini’s Turandot is one of the greatest and most beloved masterpieces in the repertoire. While we celebrate this early twentieth century work, we also recognize that we must face the important and sensitive issues of our time, and engage our community in dialog and discourse.

Aria Umezawa, Director of Turandot

Aria Umezawa HeadshotWorking on a piece like Turandot is not a responsibility I take lightly. As a half-Japanese Canadian who is passionate about opera and wants to make positive cultural contributions through my work, I understand the conflict of Puccini’s orientalist operas. My aim for this production will be to lean into conversations around this work, to listen to the AAPI community, and find a way to lift up their voices through engaging with this piece.

Learn more about Turandot


Music by Giacomo Puccini & Franco Alfano
Libretto by Giuseppe Adami & Renato Simoni
May 6, 9, 12, 14 | 2023