The Denver Post Opera produced operas initially and musicals in later years. Starting in 1934, these large scale productions were presented in the beautiful marble pavilion of Cheesman Park near downtown Denver in the summertime. There were no shows in 1944 or 1945 due to World War II. Known for their extravagant and spectacular production values, the shows were well attended with audiences of up to 20,000. They were popular social events where people gathered with friends, shared a picnic dinner and enjoyed a live production with a full orchestra.

Helen Bonfils, the owner of the Denver Post, actress, producer and philanthropist, fully funded the shows from the sets and costumes, the union stage hands, to the professional performers, and musicians. She offered these shows free of charge to Denver residents. Max Di Julio, director of Loretto Heights College Music Department, was the conductor. Miss Helen Bonfils died in 1972, so in tribute, her favorite musical, “The Sound of Music” was presented and dedicated to her that year.

Productions by the Denver Post Opera:

1934An Evening Of VerdiGiuseppe Verdi
1935Lucia De LammermooreGaetano Donizetti
1936The Vagabond KingRudolf Friml
1937The Desert SongSigmund Romberg
1938Rio RitaVarious Composers
1939The Student PrinceSigmund Romberg
1940Blossom TimeSigmund Romberg
1941The Chocolate SoldierOscar Straus
1942The Merry WidowFranz Lehar
1943Countess MarizaEmmerich Kálmán
1946Naughty MariettaVictor Herbert
1947Amizona*Johann Strauss
1948Rose-MarieRudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart
1949The Red MillVictor Herbert
1950The New MoonSigmund Romberg
1956ShowboatJerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein
1957The King And IRodgers & Hammerstein
1958OklahomaRodgers & Hammerstein
1959Annie Get Your GunIrving Berlin
1960The Merry WidowFranz Lehár
1961CarouselRodgers & Hammerstein
1962The Music ManMeredith Willson
1963South PacificRodgers & Hammerstein
1964My Fair LadyLerner & Loewe.
1965The King And IRodgers & Hammerstein
1966KismetCharles Lederer & Luther Davis
1967Sound Of MusicRodgers & Hammerstein
1968Sound Of MusicRodgers & Hammerstein
1969CamelotLerner & Loewe
1970Hello DollyJerry Herman & Michael  Stewart
1972Sound Of MusicRodgers & Hammerstein
*We were unable to find an opera by this name. The list was derived from records kept by Henry Lowenstein. This is our best estimation of the full list.