Best Opera House
Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Denver's old Auditorium Theater was a nightmare — atrocious acoustics, bad sight lines, and all the ambience of a dilapidated grange hall. The "Ellie" was literally carved out of the older, cavernous space, and since opening in 2005, it's been a wonder. The house's flowing, warm design can hold more than 2,000 people, and the back of each seat has a screen that translates shows for opera-goers. The acoustics are impeccable, and the versatile Ellie hosts a variety of arts events year-round. More than a decade in, it has become the go-to venue for top-of-the-line cultural events in Denver.

The Boulder Phil turned sixty this year, and it's more popular and innovative than ever, reaching deep into the community to share great music. Its programming is a bracing mix of familiar works and adventerous new compositions, all played with precision and energy. Under the baton of its music director and conductor for eleven years, Michael Butterman, the Philharmonic has chalked up collaborations with 45 local organizations that dabble in arts, science, nature, social services and more. And its educational and outreach programs are growing a new generation of music lovers.

boulderphil.org

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