Lesley Gayle Manring-Borchers

October 30, 1949-January 8, 2023

DENVER, Colo. – On Jan. 8, 2023, Lesley Gayle Manring lost her long battle with complications related to cancer. She was born Oct. 30, 1949, to Darryl and Janet Manring in Nebraska City, Nebraska. She came from a family of love, warmth, and with an extreme talent, passion, and drive for music. She was a true spirit, raised into and faithful to Christ, but also cosmic (Literally the Star located at RA 145.67347226 and Declination -30.82500238 Registration # SAO 357509 is listed in the official record of the Universal Star Catalog recognized by the US Govt), and Buddhist.

Lesley Manring had a tremendously successful performing arts career that spanned over 20 years and two continents. She received extensive training on the violin but completed a B.M. degree in voice performance at the University of Michigan. She held a Master of Music degree and pursued doctoral studies at the University of Arizona. Her American career was launched touring in leading operatic roles with the Boris Goldovsky Opera, and concert tours with the Gregg Smith Singers as soprano and violinist. After winning a Sullivan Foundation Award in New York City and a Katherine Long Award for a year's study at the Metropolitan Opera, Lesley began a European career in Germany in coloratura roles such as the Queen of the Night, Rosina, Gilda, Zerbinetta, and Konstanze. She appeared in over 20 European opera houses, including Mannheim, Hannover, Bonn, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Wuppertal, and others. At the Vienna State Opera, she performed the unusual role of Emily as soprano and violinist in Menotti's Help! Help! the Globolinks! Her repertoire included some 40 operatic roles, most standard oratorios, chamber music, and song literature from four centuries. She recorded with the Collegium Josephinium Bonn, Bavarian Radio, Munich, and the Orchester-Vereinigung Gauting; appeared in European film, and television; and was broadcast over radio in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, and recently in the United States with Richard Faith.

In 1992, Ms. Manring joined the faculty at the School of Music at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) where she served as Associate Professor of Music for over 20 years and retired in 2015.  She taught applied voice, diction pronunciation in French, German, Italian and English, and the graduate vocal literature courses in French, Italian and Spanish Art Songs. Her voice studio provided excellent opportunity and support for those seeking to learn from one of the best in the business and she was adored by many. She was a frequent vocal soloist with the Greeley Chamber Orchestra and played violin in the string section with the group for many years. The Ambrosian music group was also formed during this time at UNC, not to mention the many collaborations with fellow musicians and faculty from UNC over the years that truly enhanced the Weld County community, musically. Lesley was a passionate member of Family of Christ in Greeley well into retirement and will be missed by the entire congregation for her loving support of the community. She was an avid, lifelong Doll collector and key member of the 2nd Childhood Doll and Miniatures Club of Greeley, Colorado - Established in 1981 as a chapter of the United Federation of Doll Clubs, Inc. (“UFDC”).

Just before Lesley retired, she formed a small band named “Back Home” consisting of Ann Ratcliffe (departed) and Naomi Johnson. They played Celtic and Americana music for local events for eight years until she moved to Denver to be closer to her son and grandson in retirement. She was a frequent guest at the Irish Snug in Denver and lit up the crowd with her violin and singing. Her presence at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church in Denver, both vocally and spiritually was an inspiration to many. She will be deeply missed by her family, friends, colleagues, and the entire Front Range community. Her significant influences as a mother (biologically for one, but also spiritually for many), a grandmother, an artist, a social/political activist, and as a humanitarian will live on in the lives of everyone fortunate enough to have known her. Most importantly she was pure love, a light that shown bright like a beacon always there for weary eyes to observe and take in. She was preceded in death by her mother Janet Husted-Manring, father Darryl Manring, aunt Jean Hager, and sister Darilyn Manring. She is survived by her former spouse Reinhard Borchers, her son Anton Borchers, grandchildren Cristian Borchers, Ethan Trevino, and Isabella Trevino.

Funeral services will take place March 11, 2023, located at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church in Denver, Colorado at 2:00 pm (2015 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80205).

Celebration of Life Ceremonies will take place March 31, 2023, located at the UNC Milne Auditorium, Kepner Hall at 7:00 pm (800 17th St. Greeley, CO 80639).

ATTENTION ALL OPERA FANS! UNC Opera Theater Presents and dedicates this year’s performance of Puccini’s Suor Angelica in honor of Lesley Manring! April 1 & 2, 2023, at UNC in Greeley, CO. Tickets can be purchased at: https://tickets.unco.edu/Online/default.asp

Memorials/donations in lieu of flowers should be made to Vietnam Veterans of America (vva.org), Home | American Civil Liberties Union (aclu.org), Southern Poverty Law Center (splcenter.org), St. Andrew's Episcopal Church – The tree of life is growing here. (standrewdenver.org) , Home - Family of Christ Presbyterian Church (focgreeley.org)