Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Performance
2:29 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

A Bohemian Tale Of Love and Loss In The Lyric's 'La Bohème'

Giacomo Puccini’s doomed bohemian lovers feature Giorgio Berrugi, as Rodolfo and Katie Van Kooten, as Mimì, in Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production of 'La Bohème.'
Julie Denesha KCUR

When American soprano Katie Van Kooten came down with a cold just before the final dress rehearsal of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's "La Bohème," it became clear that she was not going to be able to "sing out" in her role as Mimì.

But the show - or at least the rehearsal - went on.

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Performance
4:38 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

'The Magic Flute' Reimagined

In 'The Magic Flute' a comic tale of love buffeted by the forces of good and evil. Kathryn Lewek, plays the Queen of the Night.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The Magic Flute, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, first premiered in Vienna in 1791. A comic tale of love buffeted by the forces of good and evil, the opera is a singspiel, including both spoken dialogue and song.

For the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production, artist and ceramicist Jun Kaneko, based in Omaha, Neb., designed the fanciful set design and costumes.

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Performance
5:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Immersion In Music Inspires Jun Kaneko's 'The Magic Flute'

Artist Jun Kaneko created the scenic and costume design for Mozart's 'The Magic Flute.'
Cory Weaver

Artist Jun Kaneko grew up in Japan, but he's been based in Omaha, Neb. since the mid-1980's.  He's known for his monumental ceramic sculptures, including his signature "dangos," or rounded forms - and he’s also created scenic and costume design for opera.

Mozart’s The Magic Flute marks Kaneko's third opera. The set is almost entirely digital animated projection, with colorful, whimsical costumes. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City opens the production this weekend at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

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People
10:52 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Russell Patterson, Former Opera And Symphony Director, Dies At 85

Russell Patterson served as the Kansas City Symphony's first music director, and as the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's general artistic director for four decades.

Updated: Friday, October 4, 11:15 a.m.

Russell Patterson, general artistic director of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for four decades, as well as one of its founders, died Wednesday; he was 85. Patterson was also the first music director for the Kansas City Symphony.

From 1957 to 1998, Patterson served as the Lyric's artistic director. In a history of the company posted on its website, he's credited with sparking the idea:

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Performance
9:17 am
Fri September 20, 2013

'The Capulets And The Montagues,' Love In A World Of Conflict

The Capulets gather in their fortress on the eve of battle with the Montagues.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The story of the rivalry between the Capulets and the Montagues is familiar to fans of Shakespeare. But a variation on the theme of the secret, doomed love between Romeo and Giulietta is explored in the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production of The Capulets and the Montagues (I Capuleti e i Montecchi).

Vincenzo Bellini's opera premiered in 1830 and looked to early Renaissance sources for inspiration. Unlike Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Bellini's work  focuses as much on the conflict between the families as it focuses on the bond between the lovers.

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Up to Date
10:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Singing A Renaissance Aria

Joyce DiDonato joins Steve Kraske on Up to Date to discuss her latest role with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

From London to New York, Joyce DiDonato has performed on some of the world's biggest stages, but Kansas City holds a special place in her heart.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the Prairie Village native about her latest role in the Lyric Opera's The Capulets & The Montagues. Opera general director and CEO Deborah Sandler joins the conversation, too.

Guests:

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Performance
5:00 am
Tue September 10, 2013

[VIDEO] Designer Creates World Of 'The Capulets And The Montagues'

Production Designer Vita Tzykun checks costumes before a fitting session.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production of The Capulets and the Montagues (I Capuleti e i Montecchi) premieres later this month. It's the story of Romeo and Juliet, told by Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini.

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Performance
11:22 am
Sat September 7, 2013

Kansas City Ballet And Lyric Opera Open Doors To First Friday Crowds

Opening the fall performances to the First Friday crowd, Laura (Wolfe) Hunt and Kansas City Ballet company dancers perform during an open rehearsal the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.
Julie Denesha KCUR

To celebrate the opening of the 2013-2014 season, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Kansas City Ballet threw open their doors to scores of First Friday crowds. 

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Performance
3:03 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Lyric Opera Presents Classic Comedic Opera

Chris Carr as Pish-Tush, center, leads the village men in song.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Love conquers all in "The Mikado," a comic opera by Arthur Sullivan and W. S. Gilbert introduced in London in 1885. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents the satirical comedy in five performances through April 28.

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Performance
5:37 am
Wed March 6, 2013

[VIDEO] 'The Flying Dutchman' Captain Cursed To Sail The High Seas

Richard Paul Fink, as the cursed captain.
Julie Denesha KCUR

"The Flying Dutchman" is an early opera by Richard Wagner. And, like many of Wagner's later works, it's rooted in myth. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents this tale of a ghost captain, cursed to roam the high seas. Every seven years, the captain goes ashore – and if he finds true love, he’ll be released from the curse.

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Opera
5:27 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Composer Kirke Mechem On Realizing What Opera Could Be

Composer Kirke Mechem, Murphy Hall library, University of Kansas.
Laura Spencer KCUR

Composer Kirke Mechem grew up in Topeka, Kansas, but he's lived in San Francisco since 1963. He says he still considers himself a Midwesterner: "You can take the boy out of Kansas, but you can never take Kansas out of the boy."

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Performance
5:35 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Projecting Emotion In The Lyric Opera Of Kansas City's 'Il Trovatore'

Under a full moon, Kirk Eichelberger, as Ferrando, tells the story of a Gypsy woman burned at the stake many years ago.
Julie Denesha KCUR

When it comes to the plot of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Il Trovatore - which revolves around a love triangle, murder, and revenge - audiences are advised to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the music.

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Performance
3:38 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Cultures Collide In 'Madama Butterfly' At The Lyric Opera

The geisha Cio-Cio-San, known as Butterfly, played by Elizabeth Caballero, reveals herself to Lt. B. F. Pinkerton on their wedding day in Nagasaki, Japan.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The tragic tale of love and betrayal marks the return of soprano Elizabeth Caballero to the Lyric Opera as the title character in "Madama Butterfly." Cabellero performed the role of Liù, a slave girl, in the Lyric's production of "Turandot" in 2011. 

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Performance
4:36 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Lyric Opera Officially Opens New Center

Recently retired general director Evan Luskin and Artistic Director Ward Holmquist prepare to cut the ribbon.
Laura Spencer KCUR

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City on Friday marked the official opening of its new $10.5 million, two-building facility in the Crossroads Arts District.

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Up to Date
5:25 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Kansas City's Lyric Opera Changes Leadership

Retiring Lyric Opera of Kansas City General Manager Evan Luskin

Changes are happening at Kansas City’s Lyric Opera. Its general director, Evan Luskin, is retiring next month after 26 years with the company. 

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Headlines
7:31 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Top Of The Morning News: Friday, March 9, 2012

A daily digest of headlines from KCUR.

  • UMKC Business School Breaks Ground
  • Kansas Republicans Ready For Caucuses
  • Missouri House Votes to Protect Gun Owners
  • Workplace Discrimination Bill Heads To Governor Nixon
  • Opera Explores Nixon’s Visit To China
  • A Fan's Notes: The Madness of March

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Opera/Performance
5:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Opera Explores Tensions And Symbolism In Nixon's Visit To China

Supertitles (text of the lyrics) will be provided during performances of "Nixon in China" as pictured here during the dress rehearsal.
Laura Spencer KCUR

It’s difficult today to imagine a time when the United States and China didn’t have trade relations or communicate at all. But, in 1972, President Richard Nixon’s visit to China, a once-demonized Communist regime, was heralded as “the week that changed the world.”

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Opera
5:30 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Deborah Sandler Takes The Helm At Lyric Opera

Deborah Sandler has been appointed the new general director of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as of July 1, 2012.

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City today announced the appointment of Deborah Sandler as the new general director as of July 1, 2012.

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Performance
12:00 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Novel Gets New Life Through Opera

If you hear the word opera and think of a stuffy art form - with horned helmets and a large singing lady - think again. A new opera, co-commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, is based on Lois Lowry’s The Giver - a popular but controversial novel about a dystopian society.

Turning a Novel into an Opera

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Opera/Performance
11:01 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Building the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's "Turandot"

This summer's heat didn't affect the staff building scenery for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, probably the first time in three decades. In June, the Lyric moved tools, lumber, and other items from an un-air conditioned space in the East Bottoms to a new production facility in the East Crossroads.

Kansas City, Mo. – KCUR's Laura Spencer visited on a hot day in July (the expected high was 101), and filed this report.

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Opera/Performance
1:43 pm
Wed March 16, 2011

Lyric Opera's General Director Evan Luskin to Retire

After a quarter century with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Evan Luskin, the Lyric's general director, and previously, managing director, plans to retire in 2012.

Kansas City, Mo. – After a quarter century with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Evan Luskin, the Lyric's general director, and previously, managing director, plans to retire in 2012.

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Opera/Performance
10:16 am
Tue January 25, 2011

Lyric Opera Announces Season in Kauffman Center

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, one of the three resident companies at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, has announced its 2011-2012 season, its first in the new venue. As KCUR's Laura Spencer reports, the announcement began with a twist.

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Theater/Performance
10:36 am
Fri May 8, 2009

Lyric Opera of Kansas City Presents "Charlotte's Web"

Annie Yungmeyer, eighth grade student at Leawood Middle School; and Sarah Marie Hennessey, a freshman at Blue Valley North High School, play the role of Fern
photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

In E.B. White's classic novel "Charlotte's Web," a pig called Wilbur, the runt of the litter, is raised by a young girl named Fern and befriended by a spider named Charlotte.

Kansas City, MO – In the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production, professional opera singers and more than 20 children bring the story to life through song. KCUR's Laura Spencer spoke with a middle schooler and a high schooler who share the role of Fern.

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Theater/Performance
8:59 am
Tue August 1, 2006

Lyric Opera Camp

Lyric Opera campers during a vocal warm-up.
Photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

For the past 14 years, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City has hosted elementary to high school-aged kids for its two-week opera camp.

Kansas City, MO – For the past 14 years, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City has hosted elementary to high school-aged kids for its two-week opera camp. As KCUR's Steve Walker reports, this year's campers are working on an opera with significance to one of the camp's special guests.

Pinocchio will be presented on Friday, August 4, 2006 at 2:30 pm at the Lyric Theatre.

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