About Central City Opera Guild & L’Esprit de Noël

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The Central City Opera Guild is a member organization devoted to supporting Central City Opera, a true Colorado treasure. Since 1932 the company has presented a summer opera festival in its restored 1878 Opera House located in the historic gold mining town of Central City. The Guild was established in 1974 and those pioneering women created L'Esprit de Noël as their signature fundraising event. 

L’esprit de Noël directly supports the four pillars of Central City Opera’s Mission:

Summer Festival: Founded in 1932, Central City Opera is the fifth oldest professional opera company in the country. Its renowned summer festival takes place at 8,500 feet above sea level in an intimate 550-seat jewel box opera house.

Education: Central City Opera’s year-round education and touring programs connect 40,000 students, families and seniors each year with live performances, workshops and residencies throughout Colorado. In 2018, 50 schools and organizations were awarded scholarships to bring opera programs into their communities.

Historic Preservation: The Guild provides award-winning stewardship of the Opera House and 27 other vintage properties in the Central City / Black Hawk National Landmark Historic District.

Young Artist Training: Around 30 participants from nearly 1,000 applicants each year are selected for The Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, a rigorous 10-week program that integrates daily opera training with main stage performance opportunities. The artists are housed in the Opera's historic properties during the summer.

2019 L’Esprit Committee members

Chairpersons: Lauren Horsman and Abby Mercado

Chairperson Advisor: Denise Sanderson

Guild President: Karen Ritz

Additional Committee Members:

Margaret Baker, Edie Bell, Kristin Bender, Liz Clarke, Vicki Curtiss, Christie Delciotto, Christina Dinegar, Suzie Erzinger, Katie Grassby, Jess Knauf, Suzanne Larrick, Susan McCann, Ericka McDaniel, Melissa Rick, Cheryl Shaw, Kathy Terry, Kathy Wells, Caroline Zanner

Central City Opera Staff: Jenaveve Linabary, Erin Osovets, Jeremy Schwartz


Contact central city opera


400 S. Colorado Boulevard, Suite 530 Denver, CO 80246

ph: 303.292.6500

Inquiries about the guild can be sent to Guild President, Karen Ritz at amkrritz@comcast.net.