Lyric Opera of Kansas City Presents Johann Strauss' DIE FLEDERMAUS, 4/26-5/4

Lyric Opera of Kansas City Presents Johann Strauss' DIE FLEDERMAUS, 4/26-5/4

Lyric Opera of Kansas City closes its 56th season with Johann Strauss' Die Fledermaus April 26, 30 and May 2 and 4, 2014 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. This will be a new production designed by the Lyric Opera's Director of Design and Technical Production R. Keith Brumley and conducted by Artistic Director Ward Holmquist. Die Fledermauswill be directed by Tomer Zvulun, who has directed at the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. The cast includes soprano Kelly Kaduce as Rosalinde, baritone Liam Bonner as Eisenstein, soprano Anna Christy as Adele, tenor Gordon Gietz as Alfred, mezzo soprano Joyce Castle as Count Orlofsky and baritone John Stephens as Frank.

Johann Strauss' effervescent operetta satirizes the decadent society of his time. Before serving a short jail sentence for offending the tax collector, Gabriel von Eisenstein stops by Prince Orlofsky's ball as a last-minute diversion. Eisenstein and his friends are confounded by masked identities while spouses push the limits of fidelity. After hilarious twists and turns, the evening's indiscretions are ascribed to the effects of too much bubbly champagne.

Making his Lyric Opera debut is baritone Liam Bonner, playing the role of Eisenstein. Praised by Opera News for his "rich, versatile voice" and "beautiful instrument", he will be returning to the Lyric Opera next season to perform the role of Lt. Audebert in the February 2014 production of Silent Night.

Returning to the Lyric Opera in the role of Rosalind is soprano Kelly Kaduce. In the Lyric Opera's 2003-04 season, she performed the role of Juliette in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. Her recent debut appearance with Houston Grand Opera in The Passenger was met with national critical acclaim. The Wall Street Journal stated, "As the fierce Russian partisan Katya, Kelly Kaduce was mesmerizing in the a cappella Russian folk song that she sings before the guards finally take her away."

Making his Lyric Opera debut in the role of Alfred will be tenor Gordon Gietz. He recently returned to Netherlands Opera as the Marquis in Sergey Prokofiev's The Gambler and made his Edmonton Opera debut singing Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus. Le Monde de la Musiquerecently opined, "Gordon Gietz is a fine performer: sexy and tender, irresistibly young..."

Beloved local legendary mezzo soprano Joyce Castle returns to the Lyric Opera to play the 'trouser role' as Prince Orlofsky; her last celebrated appearance was with the Company as the Marquis of Berkenfield in Daughter of the Regiment in 2011. The 'trouser role' literally means a role in which a female performer puts on a male costume and plays a male character. She recently was heralded for her role as Madame Armfeldt in Houston Grand Opera's A Little Night Music. During Ms. Castle's 40 year tenure as a professional singer she has performed at most of the major U.S. houses including performances with Glimmerglass Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Seattle Opera. She is a Professor of Voice at the University of Kansas.

Audience favorite baritone John Stephens returns to the Lyric Opera to portray Frank, having most recently portrayed Sulpice inDaughter of the Regiment in 2011. Mr. Stephens has performed across the country including performances with Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera and Glimmerglass Opera. He is also a professor of voice at the University of Kansas.

Directing this production and making his Lyric Opera debut is General and Artistic Director of The Atlanta Opera Tomer Zvulun. His work has been presented by opera houses all over the world including the Metropolitan Opera, and the opera companies of Seattle, Dallas, Buenos Aires, and New Orleans.

Making his Lyric Opera debut, Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director Devon Carney will be the choreographer for the production. Kansas City Ballet Company artists Caroline Arnold, Sarah Chun, Taryn Mejia, Mona Meng and Logan Pachciarz will be performing.

University Apprentices

The Lyric Opera Apprentice Program is a collaboration with the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the School of Music at the University of Kansas. During the two-year program students gain experience and training with the Lyric Opera to become professional opera singers. University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) apprentice Samantha Gossard will perform the role of Sally. University of Kansas apprentices Tara Cooper, Michael Colman and Clark Weyrauch will perform in the chorus.

Principals Cast

Eisenstein: Liam Bonner*

Rosalinde: Kelly Kaduce

Adele: Anna Christy*

Prince Orlofsky: Joyce Castle

Alfred: Gordon Gietz*

Dr. Falke: Paul LaRosa*

Frosch: Gary Neal Johnson

Frank: John Stephens

Dr. Blind: Scott Wichael

Sally: Samantha Gossard ~

Ivan: Robert Gibby Brand

Artistic Staff

Conductor: Ward Holmquist

Director: Tomer Zvulun*

Choreographer: Devon Carney

Set Designer: R. Keith Brumley

Costume Designer: Zack Brown

Lighting Designer: Marie Barrett*

Wig and Make-Up Designer: Alison Hanks

Chorus Master: Mark Ferrell

Stage Manager: Jennifer Rimmer

*Lyric Opera Debut

~UMKC Apprentice

+ KU Apprentice

Ticket availability varies by performance. To purchase tickets, call Ticketing & Patron Services (816) 471-7344 or 1-800-OPERAKC (673-7252). Patrons can select their own seat and print their tickets at home by visiting Limited student rush tickets are available for $15, one hour before the performances, with a valid student ID.

Die Fledermaus will be sung in English with English and German titles visible on personal monitors mounted on each audience member's seatback in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. This production will be performed in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64108.

Performance dates are as follows:

Saturday, April 26, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 2, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 4, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Opera Previews

Audience members are invited and encouraged to attend a free opera preview, presented by the Lyric Opera Guild, in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre within the Kauffman Center one hour before curtain. Lyric Opera Guild presenter Dr. Bill Everett of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance will lead the 25-minute talks. The Lyric Opera Guild also presents a series of free "At Ease with Opera" presentations prior to the performance dates. Die Fledermaus "At Ease with Opera" Presentations: