Dead Man Walking Community Events
“This Journey…” Lyric Opera of Kansas City invites you to join in a community conversation about the issues raised in the opera, Dead Man Walking. In 1982, Sr. Helen Prejean was asked to become a pen-pal to a convicted murderer on death row. This simple act began a journey that changed her life in a profound way. Through ongoing interaction with the perpetrator, his family, the victims’ families and the prison staff, Sr. Helen realized how imperative it was to support each person touched by a crime – especially when the crime is murder. Through this series of community events, the Lyric Opera hopes to provide a safe space to discuss the complex issues raised in this riveting classic of contemporary opera. “…make me human.” Text from Sr. Helen’s Act 1 aria in Dead Man Walking (Heggie/McNally)
Dead Man Walking is the story of a profound spiritual journey taken by a nun and a convicted killer about to face the ultimate sentence. Based on the book by Sister Helen Prejean, the opera delves into the conflict between the act of murder, society’s demand both for retribution and redemption, and forgiveness. Dead Man Walking is an unforgettable musical tour de force. Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents Dead Man Walking on March 4, 8, 10 (7:30 p.m.) and 12 (2:00 p.m.), 2017 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Click here to buy tickets or call 816.471.7344. Please note: Dead Man Walking will contain brief nudity, graphic violence and explicit language.
January 29th – FYI Book Club
Read the January 29th edition of The Kansas City Star to learn more about how you can join a discussion about the book that inspired the opera Dead Man Walking. This is a partnership with the Kansas City Public Library and part of the FYI Book Club series, sponsored by The Kansas City Star.
February 6th – Considering Forgiveness
When a child or loved one is murdered, what support is available for those who are left behind? What does one do with the rage and grief? Is it possible to forgive the unforgivable? As part of the Lyric Opera’s Dead Man Walking Community Conversation series, we’ll consider these difficult questions. We’ll begin by viewing of the documentary, Unlikely Friends, in which a shooting victim and three parents of murdered children discover that, for them, forgiveness was the only way forward in an otherwise intolerable situation. Then the Reverend Sandra Campbell from Unity will lead us in a discussion, and we’ll meet honored guests representing the Kansas City chapter of Parents of Murdered Children. RSVP for this FREE event below or call Ticketing & Patron Services at 816.471.7344.
February 9th – FYI Book Club Discussion
In partnership with the Kansas City Public Library and sponsored by The Kansas City Star, the FYI Book Club: Dead Man Walking meets at our Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building (712 E. 18th Street, KC MO 64108) at 7:00 p.m. to discuss Sister Helen Prejean’s memoir, a thoughtful and painful journey through the justice system and inspiration for the opera Dead Man Walking. Participants will enjoy a brief talk about the Kansas City production from Linda Ade Brand, Director of Education and Community Engagement for the Lyric Opera, and engage in a conversation about the book with Kaite Stover, Director of Readers’ Services for the Kansas City Public Library. RSVP for the FREE discussion by contacting Kaite Stover at 816.701.3683 or email@example.com.
Read the Star’s interview with Sister Helen Prejean here.
February 13th – At Ease With Opera: American Opera
Opera isn’t just for European composers anymore. Be guided through American Opera by John Stephens and Maria Kanyova at the Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO 64110) beginning at 7:00 p.m. 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”. FREE event, no RSVP needed.
February 15th – Dead Man Walking Screening
From book to movie to opera, Dead Man Walking has captivated audiences since its publication in 1993, its Academy Award winning film adaption in 1995, and finally the leap to opera in 2000. Attend a screening of the film followed by discussion of both film and memoir at the Kansas City Public Library – Central Library in the Durwood Film Vault beginning at 6:30 p.m.
RSVP for the FREE discussion by contacting Kaite Stover at 816.701.3683 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 20th – At Ease With Opera: Opera and Social Issues
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, at the Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO 64110) beginning at 7:00 p.m., 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. FREE event, no RSVP needed.
February 21st – An Eye for an Eye: Reevaluating the Death Penalty
In partnership with American Public Square and KCPT, we present An Eye for an Eye: Reevaluating the Death Penalty at the Kansas City Public Library – Plaza Branch in the Truman Forum beginning with a reception at 6:00. At 6:30 a panel of proponents and opponents of capital punishment will consider this issue, moderated by Ambassador Allan Katz with roving reporter, Nick Haines. The panelists, Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, Church of the Resurrection, Tricia Bushnell, Director, Midwest Innocence Project, Eric Zahnd, longtime Prosecuting Attorney for Platte County, Missouri, and Terry Nelson, Consultant, Republican Strategist and Founding Partner of FPI Strategies, will discuss the morality, legality, politics and other arguments both in favor and against the death penalty. RSVP for this FREE event at www.kclibrary.org/signature-events/eye-eye-re-evaluating-death-penalty.
February 27th – At Ease With Opera: Dead Man Walking Preview
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, at the Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Rd., KCMO 64110) beginning at 7:00 p.m. FREE event, no RSVP needed.
March 3rd – The Journey Continues: An Evening with Sister Helen Prejean
Don’t miss Sister Helen Prejean in Kansas City at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion about Dead Man Walking followed by a book signing. RSVP for this FREE event below or call Ticketing & Patron Services at 816.471.7344.
The Journey Continues RSVP Form:
March 5th – Afternoon with Jake Heggie
Dead Man Walking composer Jake Heggie will lead a masterclass coaching his own compositions sung by the LOKC Resident Artists from 1:30 – 3:30 at the Frost Production Arts Building, 712 E. 18th Street, KCMO. Afterward, LOKC General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler brings together longtime collaborators Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer for a discussion about contemporary opera at the Plaza Library Truman Forum, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. RSVP for these FREE events below or call Ticketing & Patron Services at 816.471.7344.
Afternoon with Jake Heggie RSVP Form:
March 10th – Lenten Friday Event: Catholic Thinking on the Death Penalty
Interested in considering the issues raised in Dead Man Walking from a Catholic perspective? Join us at our Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building beginning at 5:00 p.m. for a traditional fish fry followed by a talk and discussion led by the Rev. Thomas B. Curran, S.J., President of Rockhurst University. Complete the evening by attending the thought-provoking opera at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this special event – including the fish fry, discussion and the opera Dead Man Walking – are available for $75, click here to buy now.
March 11th and 12th – Opera Goes to the Movies
This course offered by UMKC begins on Mar. 11th at Tivoli Theatre in Westport discussing and viewing films related to Dead Man Walking. The next day the class visits our Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building for a discussion about the opera before attending the Mar. 12th performance. Contact Linda Ade Brand at email@example.com for more information about the course.
March 12th – Post-Show Talkback with SuEllen Fried
Join us at the Kauffman Center around 5:00 p.m. following the Sunday Matinee performance of Dead Man Walking for a talkback led by SuEllen Fried, founder of Reaching Out From Within. ROFW supports prison rehabilitation programs for inmates who want to make lasting changes in their behavior so they can become a role model for non-violence. FREE event, no RSVP needed. Click to buy tickets to the Sunday performance of Dead Man Walking.