Music Director at Opera Colorado, in Season 2019-20, Ari Pelto conducts The Barber of Seville, I Pagliacci and Tosca for the company. He travels to San Diego Opera to conduct Hänsel und Gretel and joins Atlanta Ballet for performances of The Nutcracker.
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 Butterfly, Aida, La Boheme, Falstaff, La Fanciulla del West, Le Nozze di Figaro and Lucia di Lammermoor. In 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.
“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
“In the pit, the company music director Ari Pelto brought out all of the richness of Puccini’s orchestral accompaniment, never permitting his fine ensemble to overpower the singers.”
Opera Magazine, Marc Shulgold, April 2018