Boulder Opera Company tours local elementary schools this spring with “Gato con Botas” (“Puss in Boots”).

When someone claims they don’t like opera, Dianela Acosta understands where they’re coming from, although she suspects it’s because they simply haven’t tried it yet.

“Opera is an acquired taste,” says Acosta, a native of Spain and a classically trained singer who has performed with Central City Opera, New York Opera Theatre and others. “It can seem long and boring if you don’t know anything about it. It takes time to appreciate it.”

She believes that if people just give it a chance, they will learn to love opera. So, wanting to reach new audiences, Acosta founded Boulder Opera Company (BOC) in 2012. Although the nonprofit arts organization stages full-length operatic productions, like the upcoming “Il Trovatore” by Verdi at Dairy Arts Center in March, they also present a number of shorter performances. These are meant to give audiences a taste of opera—a fun and engaging intro before committing to a longer, more serious production.

“We recently performed a Latin Opera Night at Caffè Sole [in Boulder],” she says. “It was a relaxed setting, with the patio doors open and our audience enjoying dinner and drinks. Hearing operatic voices in a close space can be very impressive and uplifting.”

Even kids can become opera fans, Acosta insists. “For families with young children, we typically choose works with family-friendly subjects that are under an hour.” That includes “Gato con Botas,” a Spanish opera based on “Puss in Boots,” which BOC will take to area elementary schools in the spring.

“We are thrilled to be able to reach our newest and youngest audiences,” she says, “and our goal in our tenth season is to continue making opera more accessible to everyone.”

For more info and to see the full schedule of upcoming performances, visit

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