Opera Theatre of the Rockies was a dream: the dream of a visionary who circled the globe captivating audiences from the world’s most prestigious stages with her tremendous operatic prowess. Opera Theatre of the Rockies was founded in 1998 by international soprano, Martile Rowland, with the expert guidance of Colorado Springs’ own music community legends Bee Vradenburg and Kathleen Fox Collins. And so it was that in 1999, with a Big Dream, a small purse and a cadre of enthused, energized and talented singers, Martile Rowland launched Opera Theatre of the Rockies with three sold out performances of The Merry Widow upon the historic stage of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

In 2000, Opera Theatre of the Rockies celebrated its Colorado roots with the Leadville story, The Ballad of Baby Doe followed in 2001 by the popular double-header from the Italian operatic repertoire – Gianni Schicchi and Pagliacci. Leonard Bernstein’s American classic – Candide – was the success story of 2002 creating a new circle of friends and fans for Opera Theatre of the Rockies.