Are you a fan of opera? Have you always wondered if you’d like it, but you didn’t know where to go to check it out? Luckily, there are lots of great local spots that perform some of the best operas in history. From the massive Ellie Caulkins Opera House, which features small screens and subtitles at every seat, to smaller companies like the Empire Lyric Players, who have been entertaining opera fans in Colorado for nearly 60 years. Here are five places to catch some opera this year in the Denver area.
Opera Colorado
The Ellie Caulkins Opera House
1385 Curtis St.
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 468-2030

Opera Colorado performs at the elegant Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Center Performing Arts Complex, which allows the company to offer both English and Spanish subtitles at every seat. This amazing organization has been presenting opera to Denver audiences since 1983, reaching more than 35,500 people every season through a variety of programming options. Coming up for Opera Colorado is the opening show for its 2016/2017 season,“La Fanciulla Del West” by Giacomo Puccini, which tells a story of a girl in the Colorado Gold Rush, celebrating the rich mining history of this state. Performances are Nov. 5 through 13 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House.

Opera On Tap
At Syntax: Physic Opera
554 S. Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
(720) 456-7041

If you’re one of the many people who enjoy looking for art in unconventional places, then you’ll love Opera On Tap. This organization brings incredible opera singers to all sorts of unexpected venues all over the state of Colorado. It’s a great opportunity to see some of the best opera singers in Colorado at some of the most intimate and unique venues. This is not your grandmother’s opera. It’s casual and fun with numbers from operas performed (often while drinking.) Monthly shows are held at Syntax: Physic Opera where you’ll also find some fun beer and opera pairings.

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Denver Lyric Opera Guild
Englewood, CO 80151

As one of the oldest non-profit opera groups in the state, Denver Lyric Opera Guild is a wonderful organization that brings the magic of opera to young singers and opera-lovers of all ages. Check out the organization’s Opera On Tuesday events, which bring sneak peeks of local productions and both experienced and new opera singers to intimate stages throughout the Denver area. If you’re a big fan of the art form, you can also check out the annual opera competitions and other events held all year long. Check out the Denver Lyric Opera Guild’s website for more information.

Central City Opera

One of the oldest and most established Opera companies in the country is Central City Opera, which presents a variety of operatic experiences throughout the year. The summer summer festival is always a popular event, which will be presenting “The Ballad of Baby Doe” followed by “Tosca” by Puccini. If you’re not up for driving to Central City, you can also check out performances of “The Impresario” or “Later the Same Evening” in Colorado Springs, Denver and Boulder. There are so many different ways to enjoy opera thanks to Central City Opera, and once you make the drive to check out this world renowned organization, you’ll be hooked.

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Empire Lyric Players

Denver’s Empire Lyric Players bills itself as Denver’s premier Gilbert and Sullivan troupe. Originally established in 1958, this small, local company brings truly impressive opera to a variety of venues featuring some of the best talent in town. Coming up this year for the Empire Lyric Players is “Ruddigore: Or the Witch’s Curse” which is a spooky, Halloween-style opera that the whole family will love. If you’ve never checked out this nearly 60-year-old organization, this is the perfect show for the introduction. Take a risk and check out the impressive pipes of the many opera singers that perform with the Empire Lyric Players.

Deborah Flomberg is a theater professional, freelance writer and Denver native. Her work can be found at