Opera Colorado 2018 & 2019 Season

The Opera Colorado 2018 & 2019 season includes performances such as La Traviata, The Marriage of Figaro, and After Live/Josephine. Other highlights include special opening night dinners.

The Ellie Caulkins in the Performing Arts Complex in downtown Denver hosts all of their events.

Opera Colorado

Upcoming Performances


Dates: May 5, 8, 11, & 13 (2018)

Written by Giuseppe Verdi, Falstaff is the story of an overweight king that attempts to seduce two women at the same time. His goal is to marry them to acquire their husbands wealth.

This comedy was first performed in Milan in 1893. The run time for this show is about 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Opening Night Dinner for Falstaff

Dates: May 5 ("Falstaff")

Price: $125 per person per dinner (opera tickets sold separately)

Make your visit to the opera extra special with a pre-show dinner on opening night. Guests attending "Falstaff" can enjoy a three-course, all-inclusive dinner in the elegant Chambers Grant Salon at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. The evening includes hosted Prosecco, wine, and beer.

Following the performance, attend a sweet and savory reception for the cast at restaurant Kevin Taylor's at the Opera House.


Dates: 11/3, 11/6, 11/9 & 11/11

Location: Ellie Caulkins Opera House

La Traviata is a romantic opera written by Italian opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi. The name translates to "the fallen woman." The opera is set in and around Paris around 1850. It follows the story of Violetta Valéry, a famed courtesan, and a woman willing to sacrifice it all for love.

The performance runs for about two and a half hours with one intermission.


Dates: 2/23, 2/25, 2/26, 2/28 & 3/1

This is a fun addition to this year's Opera Colorado season. These shows will be in one of the galleries of the newly opened Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art. The gallery will only seat 100 people and will feature two one act operas.

The first is After Life. It's an opera that includes an afterlife conversation between Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein. The second is Josephine, which is a one-act opera about the life of Josephine Baker, a civil rights activist and jazz musician.

The Marriage of Figaro

Dates: 5/4, 5/7, 5/10 & 5/12

The Marriage of Figaro is a comedic opera written by the famed Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It's the story of two servants, Figaro and Susanna, who are set to be married and live under the roof of the Count and Countess they serve. Shortly before their wedding, Figaro learns that the Count is attempting to seduce his soon to be wife and he becomes outraged.

The Countess also learns of her partner's plans to seduce yet another woman. The stage is now set for a chaotic and funny set of scenes. The music for The Marriage of Figaro is also lovely and bubbly and adds fun to each set of situations with the characters.

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 Bohème" 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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