You might not recognize the name Maria Mosina (pictured), but if you’ve been to a Colorado Ballet performance during the past 21 years, you’ve surely been amazed by her work. The prima ballerina has danced every major role—from Clara in The Nutcracker to Odette/Odile in Swan Lake—since leaving her native Russia for Denver in 1995. On April 2, she will perform her final pirouette in The Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 at the June Swaner Gates Concert Hall. Mosina’s retirement inspired us to get in touch with three other longtime local artists before they, too, exit stage left. 

John Kinzie
Principal percussionist for the Colorado Symphony
First Denver performances: Tchaikovsky’s Little Russian and Dvorak’s From the New World in 1985
Favorite performance: Drums of the World, an annual Colorado Symphony show on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. “It really gives the percussion section the opportunity to exhibit our talents.”
On retirement: With two boys living at home and two in college, he’ll probably be at the symphony for a while longer.
Catch him next in: Movie at the Symphony on April 27 at Boettcher Concert Hall; watch E.T. while the orchestra performs the score.

Leslie O’Carroll
First Denver performance: A nun in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theatre Company’s Man of La Mancha in the 1987-’88 season
Favorite performance: Betty June Wallace in the DCPA’s 2009-’10 run of Eventide, for which she won a Denver Post Ovation Award (sort of like a local Tony Award). “There is a scene in the play where Betty June and Luther [her husband] have their children taken away from them. Not only as an actress, but as a mother, that was one of the hardest experiences for me to live through eight shows a week.”
On retirement: “I’ll stop acting when I can’t remember the lines. And even then, maybe they’ll let me use cue cards.”
Catch her next as: Williamina Fleming in the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s Silent Sky, opening April 6.


Stephen Quiller
Water media artist
First Denver exhibition: At the now-defunct Brass Cheque Gallery in Larimer Square in 1976
Favorite painting: “Transparency of Shadows” (pictured). The piece earned the Gold Medal of Honor at the American Watercolor Society’s International Exhibition in New York in 2014.
On retirement: “I tell everyone that I have been retired since 1973—when I began painting full time.”
Catch his work at: Governor John Hickenlooper’s offices at the state Capitol; 18 of Quiller’s paintings are on display there.

This article was originally published in 5280 April 2017.
Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy is a freelance writer and ice cream fanatic living in Broomfield.