Deborah Sanders

Arts Management

Ari Pelto


Music Director at Opera Colorado, Ari Pelto recently conducted I Pagliacci and Tosca for the companyHe traveled to San Diego Opera to conduct Hänsel und Gretel, conducted Le Tragedie de Carmen at Utah Opera, The Merry Widow at Idaho Opera and led Atlanta Ballet for performances of The Nutcracker. Future engagements include his appearance with Sacramento Philharmonic in a Brahms program of The Emperor Concerto alongside Symphony No. Two,   The Shining and Carmen at Opera Colorado, and a varied program of Ravel, Prokofiev and Boccherini with Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Widely known for performances that have been called “poetic, earthy, vigorous” and “highly individual,” he is in demand in opera houses and with symphony orchestras throughout the United States. Appointed to Opera Colorado in 2015, Pelto has conducted acclaimed performances of La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Madama ButterflyAidaLa BohemeFalstaffLa Fanciulla del West, Le Nozze di Figaro, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Lucia di LammermoorIn contemporary repertoire, the company recently premiered Lori Laitman’s long-awaited work, The Scarlet Letter, a recording of which was released on the Naxos label, and the world premiere of Gerald Cohen’s new opera, Steal a Pencil for Me, based on a true love story set in a concentration camp during WWII, soon to be recorded for wider distribution.

“With spot-on pacing from Ari Pelto, the cast brilliantly tossed off the complexities of both the dizzying Act 1 finale and the glorious concluding fugue. Pelto wielded a sure hand over his fine orchestra throughout the performance, never allowing Verdi’s powerful orchestral moments to overwhelm the singers. This tempos meshed perfectly with Edwards’s ability to keep things moving without seeming rushed.”

Opera News, Marc Shulgold, May 2018

“From the moment the curtain rises, the audience is treated to a spellbinding overture by conductor Ari Pelto.”

Courtney Daly-Pavone, Central San Diego, 9 February 2020