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Arts / Entertainment

Gift creates Ralph Opera Center at CSU

January 18, 2012

Charles and Reta Ralph, longtime supporters of the performing arts at CSU, have endowed two funds to enhance opera at the University.

A gift from Charles and Reta Ralph ensures that opera will remain a vital and vibrant part of the music scene at CSU.Thanks to a program-changing gift from Charles and Reta Ralph, opera will continue to thrive at CSU.

CSU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance has created the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center, a program named in honor of the Ralphs in recognition of their lengthy, generous and continuing support of opera at the University.

Program support, scholarships

The Ralph’s benevolence establishes two endowments for both operational and scholarship support and replaces the previous CSU Opera Theatre program.

The center’s operational fund provides for programmatic support and professional development opportunities, including expenses (costumes, sets, guest artists, staging elements), materials, supplies, travel, equipment and other expenses determined at the discretion of the Chair of the Department of Music, Theater and Dance.

The redefined Charles and Reta Ralph Scholarship benefits students in CSU’s opera program, providing support for three new scholarships: Charles and Reta Ralph Undergraduate Scholarship, Charles and Reta Ralph Graduate Scholarship and the Charles and Reta Ralph Recruitment Scholarship.

The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance will host an official celebration of the Ralph Opera Center during a gala to be held on Friday, Oct. 26.

About Charles and Reta Ralph

Aficionados of opera, the Ralphs created Opera Pronto, a network serving the opera community in Colorado. Not only does their organization support opera in the state, the Ralphs continue to publicize opera and vocal events at CSU as well as the accomplishments of CSU vocal students in the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance.

The Ralphs established the Charles and Reta Ralph Scholarship, previously the Opera Pronto Scholarship, in 2006 to support undergraduate and graduate vocal students in their pursuit of a quality performing arts education. In addition to these scholarships, they have also supported CSU vocal students in their professional development and studies, such as providing tickets for students to attend the Livefrom the Metropolitan Opera” cinecasts.

Longtime supporters

Charles and Reta Ralph have a long-standing connection and commitment to CSU. Charles joined the CSU faculty in 1974 and served in the Department of Biology for more than two decades while Reta worked in the benefits office of Human Resource Services. Although the Ralphs retired in 1997, they continue to serve CSU and can often be found at the University Center for the Arts attending myriad events. 

The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance invites patrons and alumni to join the Ralphs in supporting CSU opera theatre. To make a contribution to the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Center or Scholarship, contact Marilyn Bistline at or (970) 491-4030.

Contact: Tony Phifer
Phone: (970) 491-7712