Lyric Opera of Kansas City to Present ITALIAN GIRL IN ALGIERS at Kauffman Center, 11/8-16

Lyric Opera of Kansas City to Present ITALIAN GIRL IN ALGIERS at Kauffman Center, 11/8-16

Lyric Opera of Kansas City continues its 57th season with Gioachino Rossini's hilarious opera, The Italian Girl in Algiers, November 8-16, 2014 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The production will be sung in Italian with English and Italian titles.

The Italian Girl in Algiers is one of Rossini's most popular operas, written when he was only 21 years old, with a score marked by brilliant orchestration and witty melodies. Reminiscent of a story set inside a child's pop-up book, The Italian Girl in Algiers tells the bubbly and comedic story of Isabella as she lands on the Algerian coast to rescue her true love, Lindoro, only to find herself the focus of the powerful Mustafa's unwanted affections. This updated production set in the 1930s features Isabella as an aviatrix. Irene Roberts, in the role of Isabella will be making her Lyric Opera debut, as is Patrick Carfizzi, in the role of Mustafa. Taylor Stayton, also making his Lyric Opera debut, will perform the role of Lindoro. Finally, another Lyric Opera debut, Leonardo Vordoni will conduct.

"We wanted our 2014-15 season to highlight different styles of the repertoire for our audiences and this delightful gem absolutely fits the bill," stated Deborah Sandler, General Director and CEO of the Lyric Opera. "This splendid opera promises to be phenomenally pleasing to the eye and ear with a charming stage design and stellar cast that our audiences have come to expect from us."

Mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts, in her Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut in the role of Isabella, is internationally renowned for her "plush, opulent voice" (San Jose Mercury News). Her breakthrough performance in her debut in the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series while performing in Parsifal won accolades. Critics have praised her voice and technique, saying, "here is the vocally plush and lovely mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts." (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times.)

Playing the role of Mustafa is bass Patrick Carfizzi, also making his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut. In addition to charming critics with his 'smooth, rich baritone" (Albuquerque Journal), his Mustafa in Houston Grand Opera won raves. "As the opera's gullible antagonist, Patrick Carfizzi's Mustafa steals the show. His rich bass instrument is powerfully employed in the production, giving the audience countless memorable and remarkable moments in the show." (Broadway World).

Also making his Lyric Opera debut, tenor Taylor Stayton will perform the role of Lindoro. One of the more sought-after tenors of his generation, Taylor Stayton has worked with Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opéra de Lille. Opera News noted his "laser-bright timbre" and "exceptional fluidity."

Bass Ben Wager will be returning to the Lyric Opera, after his charming debut as Colline in La bohème last season to perform the role of Taddeo. He will be returning to the Lyric Opera later this season in Tosca.

Leonardo Vordoni, also making his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut, will conduct. Director Michael Cavanaugh will be returning to Lyric Opera of Kansas City, after his imaginative and fresh approach in the recent production of Nixon in China in 2012.

Production originally designed for and created by the Santa Fe Opera. Scenery designed by Robert Innes Hopkins. Costumes designed by David C. Woolard.