Lyric Opera of Kansas City to Present All-New Co-Production of THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO

Conductor Ryan McAdams is making his Lyric Opera debut. He is considered one of the most exciting and versatile conductors of his generation. ??"Ryan McAdams was simply astounding; look out for his name to appear much more often in the future." - Ionarts.com Equally prized as a symphonic, operatic, and contemporary music conductor, he made a highly successful subscription European debut in February, 2010 with the orchestra of the Maggio Musicale in Florence, where he has returned three times in the past three years. He made his Eastern European debut with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Julian Rachlin, and Mischa Maisky in Dubrovnik in September, 2010. His subscription debut with the Israel Philharmonic, replacing an indisposed Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos, was hailed as "extraordinary," "masterful," and "immense[ly] dramatic" by the Jerusalem Post. A Fulbright scholar, he previously served as Apprentice Conductor of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, assisting then-Chief Conductor Alan Gilbert. Mr. McAdams is the first-ever recipient of the Sir Georg Solti Emerging Conductor Award.

His appearances in 2015-16 included a concert performance of Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles with the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Rossini's IL Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, multiple international performances with the Wordless Music Orchestra, a concert performance of Carmen with Teatro Regio Torino in the Piazza San Carlo for an audience of 25,000, Don Giovanni with New York's Venture Opera, and a collaboration with Lincoln Center Jazz and the Phoenix Symphony. Recent highlights include appearances with the Israel Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre symphonique et lyrique de Nancy, Columbus Symphony, Princeton Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, L'Orchestra de Chambre de Geneve, Juilliard Opera Center, Westchester Philharmonic, New York City Opera, Talea Ensemble, New York City Ballet, Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Indianapolis Symphony, CityMusic Cleveland, Tanglewood Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, the Wordless Music Series, New Jersey Symphony, Glimmerglass Opera, and the Juilliard FOCUS! Festival. He received his M.M. in Orchestral Conducting from the Juilliard School in 2006, and a B.M. in Piano Performance from Indiana University in 2004.

Leslie Travers is an international designer for opera and theatre, who trained at the Wimbledon School of Art. His opera designs include: Don Carlos (Grange Park Opera); I Puritani (Welsh National Opera/Den Jyske Opera); Elysium (Den Norske Opera); The Haunted Manor (Polish National Opera, Teatr Wielki); Salome (Santa Fe Opera); Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Opera Holland Park @ The Linbury, ROH); Grimes on the Beach (Aldeburgh Music); Pleasure, Albert Herring, Giulio Cesare (Opera North); Tannhäuser (Estonian National Opera); Otello (Scottish Opera/Opera North); Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera); The Merry Widow (Opera Australia/Opera North); La Bohème, Jenufa, Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Malmö Opera, Sweden); Roméo et Juliette (Opera Ireland); L'arbore di Diana (Palau de les Arts Reina Sophia, Valencia); The Children's Crusade (Luminato Festival, Toronto); Véronique (Buxton); I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Opera North/Opera Australia); The Fortunes of King Croesus (Opera North/Minnesota Opera); Iolanta/Gianni Schicchi (RAM); Le Nozze de Figaro (Graz Opera - Ring Award 2005); Hans Heiling (Opéra du Rhin - European Opera Prize).

Principal Cast

Count Almaviva: Edward Parks*

Countess Almaviva: Katie Van Kooten

Figaro: Adam Lau*

Susanna: Maureen McKay

Cherubino: Samantha Gossard +@

Doctor Bartolo: Arthur Woodley

Marcellina: Margaret Gawrysiak

Don Basilio/Don Curzio: Steven Cole*

Barbarina: April Martin +@

Antonio: Rhys Lloyd Talbot~

Artistic Staff

Director: Stephen Lawless*

Conductor: Ryan McAdams*

Set Designer: Leslie Travers*

Costume Designer: Leslie Travers*

Lighting Designer: Thomas C. Hase

Wig and Make-up Designer: Alison Hanks

Chorus Master: Mark Ferrell

Stage Manager: Kathleen Smith Belcher

~ UMKC Apprentice

+ Resident Artist

@ former Lyric Opera Apprentice

* Lyric Opera Debut

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 www.kcopera.org. Limited student rush tickets are available for $15, cash only, one hour before the performances, with a valid student ID.

First Friday, Nov. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. Presented by Lyric Opera of Kansas City at the Beth Ingram Administration Building (17125 Holmes, KCMO) - November 4th: It's the wedding of the season! Lyric Opera of Kansas City cordially invites you to The Marriage of Figaro First Friday reception on November 4th, 2016 from 5 to 8 p.m. Enjoy free food and drink and preview performances of Lyric Opera's all new production of Mozart's classic, The Marriage of Figaro. More information available here .

Lyric Opera Book Club

Interested in reading literature that covers the stories, history, theme or other related things about the operas we produce? Join the Lyric Opera of Kansas City Book Club! To join, simply contact Linda Ade Brand, Director of Education and Community Engagement, at labrand@kcopera.org, 816.471.4933 or via our online contact us form.

Book Club will be meeting on October 13th at 6:30 p.m. at Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building (17125 Holmes, KCMO). Members need to provide their own book. The meeting will include a sneak peek of preparations at the rehearsal hall, followed by beverages and a discussion of the book.

The Figaro Murders by Laura Lebow

In 1786 Vienna, Lorenzo Da Ponte is the court librettist for the Italian Theatre during the height of the enlightened reign of Emperor Joseph II. This exalted position doesn't mean he's particularly well paid, or even out of reach of the endless intrigues of the opera world. In fact, far from it. One morning, Da Ponte stops off at his barber, only to find the man being taken away to debtor's prison. Da Ponte impetuously agrees to carry a message to his barber's fiancée and try to help her set him free, even though he's facing pressures of his own. He's got one week to finish the libretto for The Marriage of Figaro for Mozart before the opera is premiered for the Emperor himself. Da Ponte visits the house where the barber's fiancée works-the home of a nobleman, high in the Vienna's diplomatic circles-and then returns to his own apartments, only to be dragged from his rooms in the middle of the night. It seems the young protégé of the diplomat was killed right about the time Da Ponte was visiting, and he happens to be their main suspect. Now he's given a choice-go undercover into the household and uncover the murderer, or be hanged for the crime himself. Brilliantly recreating the cultural world of late 18th century Vienna, the epicenter of the Enlightenment, Lebow brings to life some of the most famous figures of music, theatre, and politics.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City Presents Figaro's Family Tree. Fri., Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nelson-Atkins Museum (4525 Oak St., KCMO 64111), Atkins Auditorium FREE: Before Downton Abbey, before Upstairs Downstairs, there was the mother of all family/servant sagas, The Marriage of Figaro. The Lyric Opera of Kansas City is the lead producer of a gorgeous new production of Figaro by the creative team of director Stephen Lawless and set and costume designer Leslie Travers. An enormous family tree is a major element in the set design, with cameos inserted into the branches to represent the Count and Countess' aristocratic ancestors. But when their servants, Susanna and Figaro, fall in love, unexpected winds of change begin rustling through this family tree. We'll tell the complicated and delicious back story based on the three Pierre Beaumarchais plays, Barber of Seville, Marriage of Figaro and The Guilty Mother, interspersed with vocal excerpts provided by Lyric Opera of Kansas City Resident and Apprentice artists. Afterwards, study the faces in the Nelson-Atkins Starr miniature portrait collection and imagine what stories they might tell.

Pre-Opera Talks

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 Martin Nedbal 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.

The Marriage of Figaro "At Ease with Opera" Presentations:

Monday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO 64110). Free to the public. Beaumarchais: The Man Who Was the Real Figaro. Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro is based upon a revolutionary play by the Frenchman Beaumarchais, who himself led a life worthy of an opera and who modeled the title character after his own career. He also wrote the play behind The Barber of Seville and was a French diplomat and businessman and helped finance the American Revolution and was jailed by Louis XV and...well, you'll just have to come to find out the rest. Our speaker is Don Dagenais of the Lyric Opera Guild.

Monday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO 64110). Free to the public. Meet Designer Leslie Travers. Celebrated British designer Leslie Travers gives us a personal design presentation of the set and costumes for our new co-production of The Marriage of Figaro. Travers' international credits include work at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Australian National Opera and the Santa Fe Opera. The Lyric Opera is the lead producer of this new production, with the sets and costumes built right here in Kansas City. Simultaneously traditional and highly imaginative, this new production of The Marriage of Figaro will refresh and delight, and the opportunity to meet this lauded designer is not to be missed.

Monday, October 31 at 7:00 p.m. at the Kauffman Foundation (4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO 64110). Free to the public. Revolutionizing Opera in Le nozze di Figaro. This talk addresses the culture of Italian opera in Vienna during the reign of Emperor Joseph II (1780-90) in connection to Le nozze di Figaro (1786). Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte based their work on the highly controversial French play Le mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais, but in various ways they sanitized the original work under the pressure of the Vienna court opera administration and censorship. Although the resulting work closely follows many conventions of Viennese opera buffa, certain musical and textual aspects of Le nozze di Figaro retained, and to some extent also enhanced, the socially critical, perhaps even revolutionary, aspects of the French play. DR. Martin Nedbal of the University of Kansas will be our lecturer.

Explorations 2016-2017

This NEW initiative in the 2016-2017 season features an eclectic array of works to be performed in The Lyric's Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building in the Crossroads District and Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Explorations will feature adventurous programming that crosses musical borders, experiments with a wider range of genres, and illuminates the intersection of classical music with various streams of popular music. The intimacy of the Explorations performances will create a new kind of experience for audiences. This new series will also showcase the extremely talented singers in the Resident Artist Program, along with other guest artists.

Explorations is underwritten by Virginia and CharLes Clark, the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation and the Thomas and Sally Wood Family Foundation.

In-event hospitality for all Explorations performances provided by Young Friends of the Lyric.

Elvis Costello's The Juliet Letters

Lyric Opera's Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

712 E. 18th Street, East Crossroads, Kansas City, MO

Saturday, January 28, 8 p.m. and Sunday, January 29, 2 p.m.

Reception following concert

$30 for subscribers/ $35 for non-subscribers

Elvis Costello's The Juliet Letters were written in 1992 and recorded by the artist himself, together with the Brodsky Quartet. A set of 17 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. The program will be sung by the Lyric Opera Resident Artists accompanied by a String Quartet within a special scenic environment created for this concert.

Art Songs Series: American Voices

Lyric Opera Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building

Sunday, March 26, 2 p.m.

Reception following concert

$15 for subscribers/ $20 for non-subscribers

Lyric Opera resident artists perform song cycles by contemporary American composers, with selections from among the compositions of Jake Heggie (composer of the opera Dead Man Walking, one of the productions in the Lyric Opera's 2016-17 season), Lori Laitman, Robert Paterson, Gabriel Kahane, and others.

Photo Credit: Cory Weaver for San Francisco Opera.