Lyric Announces 17/18 Season and Featured Casting Lyric Announces 17/18 Season and Featured Casting
Lyric Opera of Kansas City has announced productions and featured casting for its 17/18 season. Lyric Announces 17/18 Season and Featured Casting

Pictured: Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Richard J. Stern Center

Lyric Opera of Kansas City has announced productions and featured casting for its 17/18 season, which includes four world-class works and the second season of Lyric’s “Exploration Series.”

The 60th season features a new production of Tchaikovsky’s EUGENE ONEGIN, the Kansas City Premiere of EVEREST, Verdi’s RIGOLETTO and Rossini’s THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, with all performances taking place at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

“This season reflects our long history with iconic stories that have stood the test of time, and groundbreaking productions that explore opera’s ability to create truly compelling storytelling,” comments General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler. “Our mission is to make Lyric Opera of Kansas City indispensable to the public through transformational opera experiences and broad service that captures the hearts and minds of our communities.”

In its second season, the Lyric’s new 2017-2018 “Explorations Series” at the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building and at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral includes a “Meet the Resident Artists” event, THE BERNSTEIN SONGBOOK with New York Festival of Song, AS ONE, and AMERICAN VOICES: Art Songs and Arias.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s 17/18 Season at The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (from the press release):

EUGENE ONEGIN (pronounced oh-nyeh-gin)
By Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Directed by Tomer Zvulun
Conducted by Stuart Stratford
Sung in Russian with English subtitles
September 30th – October 8th, 2017

In one of the greatest of all musical adaptations of a literary classic, Tchaikovsky turned Pushkin’s Russian “novel in verse” into one of the world’s most beloved operas. Awash in aristocratic formality and extravagance, Onegin’s youthful disillusionment snowballs into a tragic love story saturated with drama, reversal of affections, betrayal of friendship, and death. Pushkin’s profoundly human, ultimately devastating story, elevated by Tchaikovsky’s richly layered and unabashedly expressive music, make Eugene Onegin perhaps the most universally beloved of all Russian operas.

Featured Artists:
Baritone Morgan Smith joins Lyric Opera of Kansas City for the first time in the title role of Onegin.
Soprano Joyce El-Khoury returns to the Lyric Opera in the role of Tatiana after her 2014 performance of Violetta in the Lyric’s LA TRAVIATA.
Mezzo-Soprano Megan Marino returns to the Lyric Opera in the role of Olga, after making her debut as Hansel in HANSEL AND GRETEL in the Fall of 2016.
Tenor Jonathan Johnson will return to the Lyric Opera stage in the role of Lensky after his debut in the 2016-2017 season finale as Frederic in the Lyric’s THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE.

EVEREST
Music by Joby Talbot, libretto by Gene Scheer
Sung in English
Directed by Leonard Foglia
Conducted by Nicole Paiement
November 11th – November 19th, 2017

This contemporary tragedy brings to life the white-knuckle, devastating true stories of three climbers caught in a blizzard on Mt. Everest in 1996. As the first staged performance since the world premiere in Dallas, Leonard Foglia’s acclaimed production of Everest promises an operatic journey unlike anything other. Gene Scheer’s unrelenting libretto and composer Joby Talbot’s luminous and inventive score will surround the audience with the insurmountable beauty of the Himalayas, the demons and dreams driving each climber upwards, and the undeniable danger that infuses every exhausted step with fear.

Featured Artists:
Baritone Michael Mayes will be making his Lyric Opera debut in role of Beck Weathers.
Tenor Andrew Bidlack will be making his Lyric Opera debut in the role of Rob Hall.
Baritone, Craig Verm will be making his Lyric Opera debut in the role of Doug Hansen.
Bass Mark McCrory will be performing the role of Mike Groom.

RIGOLETTO
By Giuseppe Verdi, 1851
Sung in Italian with English subtitles
Directed by David Gately
Conducted by David Charles
March 3rd – March 11th, 2o18

Immensely popular since its premiere in 1851, Verdi’s Rigoletto (based on the play by Victor Hugo) tells the story of a hunchbacked jester dealing with the beauty and evil of life. Alternately grand and intimate, the opera highlights Verdi’s unique expansion of the conventions of Italian opera of mid-19th century. When court jester Rigoletto’s comedic cruelty crosses the line, he is cursed by a courtier, and the curse threatens his attempts to protect his innocent daughter from the powerful Duke’s depraved intentions. Verdi’s gritty opera contrasts a haunting, emotionally careening storyline with radiant melodies, unforgettable arias and ensembles, and some of the most recognizable music in all of opera.

Featured Artists:
Nicole Haslett makes her Lyric Opera debut in the role of Gilda.
Performing the rold of Maddalena, Latvian mezzo-soprano Zanda Švēde will be returning to the Lyric Opera after her critically acclaimed performance in the title of CARMEN.
Scott Quinn returns to the Lyric Opera in the role of Duke, after making his debut in the 2014-2015 season as Alfredo in LA TRAVIATA.
Leo An is making his Lyric Opera debut in the title role of Rigoletto.
Bass Peixin Chen will be performing the role of Sparafucile in his Lyric Opera debut.

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE 
By Gioachino Rossini
Sung in Italian with English subtitles
Directed by Michael Shell
Conducted by Leonardo Vordoni
April 28th – May 6th, 2018

Completing the 2017-2018 season is the comedic jewel, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, one of the great operatic comedies of the repertoire. While remaining true to every character, every gesture and every note of the original opera, this vibrant production of Barber draws inspiration from the magical realism of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, in order to transform the opera’s Spanish setting into a ‘60s psychedelic experience. Even after 200 years, this opera’s buoyant good humor and elegant melodies have delighted the diverse tastes of every generation. Several of the most recognizable tunes have entered the world’s musical unconscious, most notably the introductory patter song of the swaggering Figaro, the titular barber of Seville. In The Barber of Seville, audiences are first introduced to the beautiful Rosina, later known as the Countess (Almaviva) in The Marriage of Figaro. The Barber of Seville is a delightful opera perfect for the whole family.

Featured Artists:
American baritone Jarrett Ott will be making his Lyric Opera debut as Figaro.
Mezzo-soprano Emily Fons will also be making her Lyric Opera debut in the role of Rosina. .
Tenor Jack Swanson will be making his Lyric Opera debut in the role of Almaviva.
Baritone Matthew Burns will be making his debut with Lyric Opera in the role of Doctor Bartolo.
Bass Peter Volpe will be making his Lyric Opera debut in the role of Don Basilio.

Explorations Series 2017-2018 Season

Program 1: Meet the Resident Artists
September 24, 2017, 2:00pm
Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
Join us for an informal afternoon ‘salon’ at our Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building to meet Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s talented 2017-2018 Resident Artists! Through conversation and musical selections including arias, art songs and show tunes, sneak a first peek at the quartet and pianist who will grace our stage and our Explorations presentations throughout the season. FREE. Seating is limited, RSVPs required.

Program 2: THE BERNSTEIN SONGBOOK with New York Festival of Song
October 14, 2017, 7:30pm
Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
The creators of last year’s brilliant Schubert | Beatles program, New York Festival of Song, now bring us The Bernstein Songbook in a special second collaboration with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The focus is on the remarkable musical output of the iconic Maestro, Leonard Bernstein, in celebration of the centennial of his birth in 1918. Again set in the grandeur of Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, the program will include his final song cycle, Arias and Barcarolles, along with other favorites and rarities and will bring fascinating insights into one of the 20th century’s American musical legends.
Tickets: $25.

Program 3: AS ONE
January 27 (7:30pm) and 28, (2pm), 2018
Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
In this chamber opera for two singers and string quartet by composer Laura Kaminsky, librettist Mark Campbell and librettist/filmmaker Kimberly Reed, along with a mezzo-soprano and a baritone, depict the experiences of its sole transgender protagonist, Hannah, as she endeavors to resolve the discord between her self and the outside world. “As One is everything we hope for in a contemporary opera: topical, poignant, daring, and beautifully written,” wrote The New York Observer.
Tickets: $25.

Program 4: AMERICAN VOICES: Art Songs & Arias
March 24 (7:30pm) and 25, (2pm), 2018
Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
The number of American Composers creating art songs and new operas in recent years is bringing an embarrassment of musical—and lyrical—riches…perhaps of new “Golden Age.” Join Lyric Opera’s Resident Artists for a sampling of the best and the brightest of American musical heritage, past and present.
Tickets: $25.

For more information on Lyric’s 17/18 season, including season ticket subscriptions, visit kcopera.org.

Abigail Trabue Managing Editor

Abigail is the managing editor of PerformInk. She enjoys coffee, converting school buses into RV's and coffee. Abigail holds a degree in Musical Theater from Columbia College Chicago and in her former life was an actor/director/choreographer. In her present life, she's still those things but in addition, she's raising three kids w/ her partner and PerformInk publisher Jason Epperson. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue

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