We offer a wide array of educational experiences for people of all ages and opera expertise.

Photo by Aaron Lindberg

At Ease With Opera

The Kansas City Lyric Opera Guild is proud to present the award-winning At Ease With Opera lecture series. All programs are FREE to attend. Feel free to dress casually and please arrive early to guarantee a seat.  Programs are held at the Kauffman Foundation at 4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110 unless otherwise noted.

Fall 2017 At Ease With Opera information will be available in Summer 2017.

Recent At Ease With Opera Programs:

Monday, February 13th - 7:00 p.m.

American Opera:
A Guided Tour with John Stephens and Maria Kanyova

Monday, February 13th | 7:00 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO, 64110)

Opera isn’t just for European composers anymore.  American opera has its own proud history, and the Lyric has long been a proponent of works by such lauded composers as Carlisle Floyd, John Adams, and Jake Heggie, composer of the upcoming Dead Man Walking.  Join two of our own international opera stars, soprano Maria Kanyova and bass-baritone John Stephens to get their insights and first hand experiences regarding opera “made in the USA”.

Monday, February 20th - 7:00 p.m.

“Do You Hear the People Sing?”:
Performing Social Justice in Opera and Musical Theater

Monday, February 20th | 7:00 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO, 64110)

Opera and musical theater, as public art forms, often address social issues through their unique combinations of music, text, and theater.  This presentation by William Everett will illuminate how operas and musicals from nineteenth-century France to the present day have embraced controversial subject matter in order to raise public awareness (and perhaps influence public opinion) on social justice issues.

Monday, February 27th - 7:00 p.m.

And Justice For All

Monday, February 27th | 7:00 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO, 64110)

Premiering in 2000, Jake Heggie’s epic tragedy, Dead Man Walking, stands as a truly significant American artwork.  Based on the book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, Heggie’s complicated yet melodic music and Terrence McNally’s skillful libretto turn a detached subject – the ongoing debate over the death penalty in the U.S. – into a personal story.  Rebecca Johnson will provide a detailed overview of this compelling opera including video and audio excerpts.

Monday, April 3rd - 7:00 p.m.

Am I the Very Model of a Major General?, or Didn’t I Already Sing My Patter Song?:  The Life and Legacy of George Grossmith

Monday, April 3rd | 7:00 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO, 64110)

George Grossmith (1847-1912) created many of the iconic roles in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon, including Sir Joseph Porter in H.M.S. Pinafore and Major General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance.  Grossmith also delighted his audiences with his own comic songs and collaborated with his brother on the immensely popular comic novel The Diary of a Nobody.  Join Robert Gibby Brand, who has become an audience favorite in Kansas City playing the roles Grossmith created, as he prepares to play Major General Stanley in the Lyric Opera’s Pirates production, along with musicologist William Everett as they introduce us to the life and legacy of one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most famous performers.

Monday, April 10th - 7:00 p.m.

The Piracy of Penzance: Bill (Gilbert) and Arthur’s (Sullivan) Excellent Copyright Adventures

Monday, April 10th | 7:00 p.m.
Kansas City Public Library, Westport Branch (118 Westport Rd, KCMO 64111)

The inspiration behind The Pirates of Penzance was some real-life piracy…of the copyright kind…unhappily experienced by the show’s creators.  Find out about this, and more, in a preview of The Pirates of Penzance by Don Dagenais of the Lyric Opera Guild.  Audio and video excerpts will be included.

Monday, April 17th - 7:00 p.m.

Avast ye landlubbers!

Monday, April 17th | 7:00 p.m.
Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO, 64110)

Why does a life on the high seas outside the law intrigue and excite audiences of movies, musicals, and opera even in the twenty-first century? From Gilbert and Sullivan to Monty Python to Walt Disney, pirates continue to fascinate and entertain. Dr. Charles Gibbs will explore and contrast the roles of pirates in arts and entertainment, and examine the appeal of this lifestyle in a modern society.

Click here for more information about the Lyric Opera Guild.

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