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Explorations Series

The Explorations Series is a new initiative of Lyric Opera of Kansas City in the 2016-2017 season.  This season the series includes four performances and features an eclectic array of works to be performed in the Lyric Opera’s Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building in the Crossroads District and Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in downtown Kansas City, MO. Our Explorations Series features eclectic programs in intimate spaces, with programming that crosses musical borders and experiments with a wide range of lyrical expression. The intimacy of our Explorations Series performances will create a new kind of experience for audiences and showcase the extremely talented singers and guest artists. In-event hospitality for all Explorations Series performances provided by Young Friends of the Lyric.

Explorations Series is underwritten by Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Spencer Fane LLP, Thomas and Sally Wood Family Foundation and Jim Zakoura.


2017-2018 EXPLORATIONS SERIES PERFORMANCES:

MEET THE RESIDENT ARTISTS

Sunday, September 24, 2017  |  2:00 p.m.

Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
712 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108

Join us for an informal afternoon ‘salon’ to meet Lyric Opera’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 whom you will see onstage and at our Explorations Series presentations throughout the season.

FREE for all, RSVP’s are required.  Purchase tickets to all 4 2017-2018 Explorations Series productions for only $60.

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THE BERNSTEIN SONGBOOK

Saturday, October 14, 2017  |  7:30 p.m.

Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
415 W. 13th St., KCMO 64105

The creators of last year’s brilliant Schubert | Beatles program, the New York Festival of Song, now bring us The Bernstein Songbook. This special second collaboration with Lyric Opera of Kansas City focuses on the remarkable musical output of the iconic Maestro, Leonard Bernstein, in celebration of the centennial of his birth.  The program will include Bernstein’s 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 are $25, subscribe to all four Explorations Series productions for only $60.

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AS ONE

Saturday, January 27, 2018  |  7:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 28, 2018  |  2:00 p.m.

Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
712 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108

In this chamber opera for two singers and string quartet, by composer Laura Kaminsky and co-librettists Mark Campbell and filmmaker Kimberly Reed, 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. The New York Observer says “As One is everything we hope for in a contemporary opera: topical, poignant, daring, and beautifully written.”

Tickets are $25, subscribe to all four Explorations Series productions for only $60.

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AMERICAN VOICES

Saturday, March 24, 2018  |  7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 25, 2018  |  2:00 p.m.

Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
712 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108

The number of American Composers creating new operas and art songs provides an embarrassment of musical – and lyrical – riches…perhaps a new ‘Golden Age.’ Join Lyric Opera’s Resident Artists for a program celebrating our nation’s musical heritage, past and present.

Tickets are $25, subscribe to all four Explorations Series productions for only $60.

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Past Explorations Series Performance:

Meet the Resident Artists (Sept. 2016)

Sunday, September 11, 2016  |  2:00 p.m.
Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
712 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108

Meet Lyric Opera’s first class of Resident Artists as they showcase some of their favorite pieces from the operatic repertoire. Our Resident Artists will fill the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Center with their voices and their personalities.


Schubert | Beatles (Oct. 2016)

Saturday, October 1, 2016  |  8:00 p.m.
Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
415 W. 13th St., KCMO 64105

This fascinating program combines Schubert Lieder with special arrangements of songs by the Beatles in a format that showcases their similarities and differences.  Pianists Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, along with violinist Charles Yang, soprano Sari Gruber, tenor Andrew Owens and baritone Theo Hoffman, explore the music and the connections between these iconic artists, who captured the spirit of their age.  The program is a collaboration with the New York Festival of Song, with its vision of reinventing the classical solo song recital as an experience of musical discovery, presenting familiar repertory in contexts that allow us to hear it in a new way.

The performance will feature two meteoric musical careers that captured the ethos of their eras, a dual repertoire of songs so iconic as to have assumed the status of folk music: Franz Schubert and the team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The driving beat of Schubert and the exquisite lyricism of the Beatles will be highlighted, with titles ranging from “Der Wanderer an den Mond” to “She’s Leaving Home.” In an Opera News review, Maria Mazzaro stated, “The songs somehow were all transformed into the finest eleven o’clock ballads any classic musical ever heard, proving that the Beatles were a heck of a lot more than the average pop musicians.”

This program was underwritten by Virginia and Charles Clark.


The Juliet Letters (Jan. 2017)

Saturday, January 28, 2017  |  8:00 p.m. – SOLD OUT
Sunday, January 29, 2017  |  2:00 p.m.

Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
712 E. 18th St., KCMO 64108

Elvis Costello’s The Juliet Letters were written in 1992 and recorded by the artist himself, together with the Brodsky Quartet. A collection of songs for voice and string quartet, with a few quartet-only interludes, they had an unusual inspiration: Costello heard that the lovelorn actually write letters to Shakespeare’s Juliet and leave them at her supposed ‘balcony’ in Verona, Italy.  Costello came up with his own stylized “letters” and set them to music, using the idea as a platform for the exploration of young love. Musically the material lies somewhere between that of his pop albums and his Shakespearean orchestral ballet Il Sogno of 2004, a more purely “classical” work. Elvis Costello’s emotional and poignant renderings of some of these letters became the song cycle The Juliet Letters.  Rolling Stone stated, “While a project as ambitious as The Juliet Letters might have wound up mired in sentimentality and pretension, the singer and his collaborators have created something that is as accomplished as it is moving.”

The program will be sung by the Lyric Opera Resident Artists accompanied by the Fry Street Quartet within a special scenic environment created for this concert.

Fenlon Lamb, Director of Opera at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, will direct the performance, with scenery by Jeff Ridenour, lighting from Nate Wheatley and costumes by Mary Traylor.

Explorations Series underwritten by Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation, Spencer Fane LLP, Thomas and Sally Wood Family Foundation and Jim Zakoura.


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