Welcome to the CU Boulder New Opera Workshop (CU NOW) at the University of Colorado Boulder College of Music!

Conceived by Leigh Holman, director of the Eklund Opera Program, CU NOW is the first program of its kind in a U.S. academic institution: An extended workshop period where graduate voice and composition students have direct interaction with living composers to develop and perform their music. Guest composers have included Mark Adamo, Mark Campbell, Tom Cipullo, Herschel Garfein, Jake Heggie, Libby Larsen, Gene Scheer and Kamala Sankaram. In 2024, Gene Scheer returns—this time as visiting composer with librettist Bill Van Horn to workshop “Polly Peachum.” This year’s workshop dates are May 29-June 16, 2024.

Nestled at the foot of the Boulder Flatirons, composers love the oasis of CU NOW where their creativity blossoms with invaluable resources at their fingertips: Skilled and eager singers as well as premium music staff, directors and production personnel. Says Jake Heggie, one of the most well-known living opera composers: 

The longest workshop I’ve ever had was five or six days. So to have nearly three weeks to work on it and change it every day is extraordinary. —Jake Heggie

The student impact is even greater. Says Grammy Award-winning bass Wei Wu (MMus ’13):  

I’m so grateful that CU NOW was introduced to me by the Eklund Opera Program and Leigh Holman more than a decade ago. Back then, I worked from scratch with composers and librettists—now, I sing commissioned works at major houses. CU NOW opened a new door for me. —Wei Wu

CU NOWCU NOW is often a student’s first professional opportunity to implement their academically prepared skills in a familiar setting with Eklund Opera support staff. They grow new skills interfacing and developing with industry professionals, including those visiting from prominent opera companies and established artists. With every major opera house performing new opera, CU NOW offers our students an advantage in the current Golden Age of American Opera. CU NOW is funded exclusively by the generosity of donors.




Leigh Holman, Founder + Artistic Director 
Bud Coleman, CFI Director
Nicholas Carthy, Music Director 

Jeremy Reger, Music Director (2015-2022) 
Robert Spillman, Music Director (2010-2015) 
Patrick Mason, CFI Founder, Managing Director (2014-2016)
Daniel Kellogg, CFI Managing Director (2017-2019)