Lyric Opera adds series


Posted by Bob Evans


Lyric Opera of Kansas City Announces

2020 Explorations,

A Series that Blends Classical and Popular Music In

“…When There Are Nine” and

Cabaret: In the Mood for Love


Concerts of Eclectic Discovery Cross Musical Borders with Adventurous Programming, in an Intimate Setting


General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler today announced that an innovative new work celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and a cabaret-style favorite that returns by popular demand comprise the 2020 Explorations series. The series leads audiences on a delightful journey of musical discovery through eclectic works performed in Lyric Opera’s Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building in the Crossroads District.   


“Explorations features adventurous programming that experiments with a wide range of genres, and shines a spotlight on the intersection of classical and popular music,” Sandler says. “The intimacy of these performances allows us to invite audiences into a more personal musical experience through which both artists and audience stretch beyond our more traditional offerings.” The series showcases talented singers in the Lyric’s Resident Artist Program as well as guest artists.

Tickets to the Explorations series are $30, available now at or (816) 471-7344. Patrons who purchase both Explorations programs receive a $5 discount per ticket.

Explorations 2020 — sponsored by Virginia and Charles Clark, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund at Lyric Opera of Kansas City — includes a stellar lineup.


When There are Nine

“…When There Are Nine.”

A Concert Featuring the World Premiere of
a New Song Cycle, 
And Still We Dream


Saturday, January 18, 7:30 p.m.

Lyric Opera’s Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

712 E. 18th St., East Crossroads, Kansas City, MO 64108

Talkback and reception sponsored by Lyric Opera Guild follow the performance

Tickets only $30 each at


With a title inspired by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s quip about an all-female Supreme Court, “…When There Are Nine” is a musical celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Its centerpiece is the world premiere of And Still We Dream, a new song cycle that The Lyric commissioned from composer Laura Karpman and librettist Kelley Rourke. They drew inspiration from the writings of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who organized the national movement that culminated in voting rights for American women. For the program, Rourke also curated additional songs about identity, aspiration, and patriotism that round out this fascinating experience.


“…When There Are Nine” draws us into a town hall-style debate about equality and “a woman’s place.” In addition to the world-premiere song cycle, the musical conversation includes the works of composers Lori Laitman, Jake Heggie, and more. Instrumental and choral delights are woven together with spoken words from a century past through present day. The wit and wisdom of Sojourner Truth, Marian Anderson, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and others add thought-providing texture to this exploration about the dream, the struggle, the progress and the work of emancipation still ahead for women in public and private life.

Daniela Mack (Dorabella in Così fan tutte, 2019) is the principal singer on the program, joined by Lyric’s Resident and Apprentice Artists. Carolyn Watson (Penelope, 2019) conducts; Tara Faircloth, making her Lyric opera debut, directs the program.


Community Engagement


Panel Discussion: And Still We Dream

Monday, January 13 with a reception at 6 p.m., panel discussion 6:30 p.m.

Lyric Opera’s Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

712 E. 18th St., East Crossroads, Kansas City, MO 64108

FREE and open to everyone; capacity is limited. RSVP requested at

This community conversation will explore the period from the Civil War through ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 and, with that backdrop, will delve into the political, legal and social changes during first 100 years of women in the voting booth. The distinguished and entertaining panel members who were selected to offer insight into the evolving role of women in civic life also will take audience questions. They are:


  • Catherine Clinton, Denman Professor of American History at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Clinton has written and edited nearly 30 books, including The Plantation Mistress: Woman’s World in the Old South; The Other Civil War: American Women in the Nineteenth Century; Southern Families at War: Loyalty and Conflict in the Civil War South; and Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in U.S. History in 2016. Her research spans U.S. History and Gender Studies.

  • Nancy Levit, Associate Dean, Curators’ Professor and Edward D. Ellison Professor of Law at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Levit teaches Defamation and Privacy, Employment Discrimination, and Gender and Justice. She is a faculty advisor to the UMKC Law Review, a member of UMKC’s Women’s and Gender Studies Faculty, and previously taught courses in both criminal and constitutional law. Feminist legal theory is among her areas of scholarship.

  • Lisa Krigsten, panel moderator and managing partner of Dentons KC, a leading global law firm. Krigsten represents multinational companies in investigations and related complex criminal and civil litigation. Before she entered private practice, President George W. Bush appointed her to serve as a Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. In that role, she worked among high-level Department of Justice leaders to guide national enforcement of federal law. She also coordinated Department of Justice responses to congressional inquiries and assisted with drafting key regulations and laws passed by Congress.


Cabaret: In the Mood for Love

Saturday, February 1, 7:30 p.m.

Lyric Opera’s Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

712 E. 18th St., East Crossroads, Kansas City, MO 64108

Reception sponsored by Lyric Opera Guild follows the performance

Tickets only $30 each at


Back by popular demand, Lyric Opera’s Resident and Apprentice Artists celebrate the many moods of love with the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, and more. Explore the music and the connections between these iconic composers, who captured the spirit of their age. Leading the full complement of voices are:


  • Mark Markham, who returns as Music Director. A world-renowned pianist and vocal collaborator, Markham has worked with leading singers such as the legendary dramatic soprano Jessye Norman, soprano Leah Crocetto and many others. His versatility both as collaborator and solo concert pianist has earned him frontrunner status in today’s music world.

  • Fenlon Lamb, who directed Mack the Knife is The Man I Love (2019) and The Juliet Letters (2017), returns to direct this intimate cabaret evening. Opera News hailed Lamb’s directorial accomplishments as “moving and convincing” while Seen and Heard International pointed to her “well-honed theatrical sensibility.” She brings experience and perspective as an outstanding singing actress to her work as a stage director.

Reservations are required for all Explorations performances. To purchase tickets, visit or call (816) 471-7344.

Remaining 2019-2020 Season at a Glance


Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti, 1835

Sung in Italian with English subtitles


Saturday, March 7, 2020                    7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020              7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 13, 2020                       7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 15, 2020                    2:00 p.m.

Conductor: Carlo Montanaro *
Director: Shawna Lucey *

Lucia: Sarah Coburn

Edgardo: Evan LeRoy Johnson *

Enrico: Troy Cook

Raimondo: Adam Lau
Arturo: Joseph Leppek +
Alisa: Kelly Birch @



The Shining

Music by Paul Moravec

Libretto by Mark Campbell
Based on the novel by Stephen King

Sung in English with English subtitles


Saturday, April 25, 2020                     7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020                7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 1, 2020                            7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 3, 2020                          2:00 p.m.

Conductor: Gerard Schwarz *

Director: Eric Simonson

Jack Torrance: Edward Parks

Wendy Torrance: Kelly Kaduce


* Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut
+ Lyric Opera of Kansas City Resident Artist
@ Former Lyric Opera of Kansas City Resident Artist


About Lyric Opera of Kansas City

Founded in 1958 and now one of the nation’s premiere regional opera companies, Lyric Opera of Kansas City brings high-quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original-language performances of standard repertory, as well as contemporary and American operas. The company’s productions enrich the community it serves while reflecting the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative, award-winning programs to further music and arts education in schools and in the community, and serves more than 18,000 students and educators each year. Opera lovers can be fans of Lyric Opera of Kansas City on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @kcopera or on Instagram @kcopera.


Lyric Opera of Kansas City is a member of OPERA America. This season is made possible with funding from Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, and the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation.

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