Opera Colorado 2020 Season

Show Details and Tips to Attend a Performance

The Opera Colorado 2020 season includes performances such as The Barber of Seville, Pagliacci, and Tosca. Other highlights include special opening night dinners.

Their season runs from November to May with three shows. The Ellie Caulkins in the Performing Arts Complex in downtown Denver hosts all of their events.

Opera Colorado

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Upcoming Performances


Dates: February 27th and 29; March 1st

Location: Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Pagliacci is a tragic opera written by Italian opera composer, Ruggero Leoncavallo. It was originally performed in Milan in 1892.

The opera is set in and around Calabria, Italy between 1865 and 1870. It follows the story of an acting troupe led by a clown. He moves from happy to jealous and ends up murdering his wife and her lover.

The performance runs for 100 minutes with a 25-minute intermission.


Dates: May 2nd, 5th, 8th & 10th

The final show for the 2019 and 2020 Colorado Opera season is Tosca. This Italian opera opened in Rome in 1900.

This dramatic opera will keep your heart pumping. It follows a corrupt chief of police as he tries to damage the reputation of one of Rome's most celebrated, Tosca. Who will end up victorious in the end?

The show is performed in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles. It runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes with two 20-minute intermissions.

What to Wear to a Performance

Attending the opera was formerly a formal affair. Not so today. Although you'll see black-tie attire — tuxedos and gowns — on opening nights, dress codes aren't strict anymore. 

If you enjoy dressing up a little, business or cocktail attire works perfectly for evening performances. Sunday matinees are more casual with patrons wearing blazers, dresses, and pantsuits.

Hotels Near the Performing Arts Center

Check out these recommendations for hotels and other lodging options near the Opera Colorado performances.

Tips to Get to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Opera Colorado performances can be easily accessed by either car or public transit. You can also walk from most places in downtown Denver.

The Ellie Caulkins Opera House is at 1385 Curtis Street on the southwest end of downtown.

Driving & Parking

If you plan to drive, the Performing Arts Complex is easy to get to from I-25 and other locations around town. It also has plenty of onsite parking.

The parking garage is at 1101 13th Street. 

Public Transit

It's also easy to take public transportation to the Performing Arts Complex. There's a Denver light rail station just across the street at the Convention Center. Lines D, F, and H stop here.

Public transit is a great option, because you don't have to sit in traffic after a Opera Colorado performance. You can also grab a drink and/or dinner after the show without having to drive home.

Opera Colorado: A Brief History

In 1983, Opera Colorado opened its first season with Verdi's "Otello," under the direction of Metropolitan Opera veterans Nathaniel Merrill and Louise Sherman. In addition to Merrill and Sherman, past directors have included Stephen Seifert, James Robinson, and Peter Russell.

The opera has performed Puccini's "La Boheme" starring tenor Placido Domingo, "The Flying Dutchman" starring Wagnerian bass James Morris, and sold-out performances of Bizet's "Carmen" and Verdi's "Aida." In 2016, Opera Colorado produced Lori Laitman's "The Scarlet Letter," the company's first world premiere.

Opera Colorado presents traditional performances, restagings, and new works and attracts acclaimed stars and new talents. The company serves more than 35,000 Rocky Mountain-area residents through performances and outreach.

About the Ellie Caulkins Opera House

The Ellie Caulkins Opera House, also called simply "the Ellie," is a world-class acoustical hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. 

The original structure, The Municipal Auditorium, opened in 1908 in time to host the Democratic National Convention. After many renovations through the years, the Ellie opened in its current configuration on Sept. 10, 2005. "Carmen" was the first production at Opera Colorado's new home.

Designed by Semple Brown Design, the four-level venue has clean sight lines and each of its 2,225 seats has seatback tilting — one of only nine venues in the world with this feature. 

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