Lyric Opera of Kansas City's LA TRAVIATA Opens 9/27

Lyric Opera of Kansas City's LA TRAVIATA Opens 9/27

Lyric Opera of Kansas City opens its 57th season with Giuseppe Verdi's lush and grand opera, La Traviata, September 27, October 1, 3 and 5, 2014 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The production will be sung in Italian with English and Italian titles.

Verdi's La Traviata, featuring a set from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, features the Tony Award-winning production design of Desmond Heeley, making his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut. Also making their Lyric Opera of Kansas City debuts, playing Violetta Valéry is Joyce El-Khoury, Scott Quinn in the role of Alfredo Germont and Anthony Michaels-Moore in the role of Giorgio Germont.

"I am thrilled to announce our opening production which reflects a season full of rich talent and numerous debuts to our Kansas City audiences," stated Deborah Sandler, General Director and CEO of the Lyric Opera. "It is my fervent belief that this season will appeal to the first time opera goer, those who may not have been for a while, and those loyal audience members who are passionate about opera. This will be a season to fall in love with opera and what better way to start the season than with this heartbreaking masterpiece, La Traviata."

The theme of heart-wrenching love is indeed timeless. Violetta is the most desirable courtesan in Paris. Sought after by society's most important men and wealthy in her own right, she is perfectly content-until she falls in love with Alfredo Germont. But when Alfredo's father insists that she'll ruin Alfredo's family name, she selflessly pushes away the only man she's ever loved. Will they ever be together again? Yes, but by then it's much, much too late.

Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury will be making her Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut as Violetta. The New York Times recently reviewed her performance in this summer's Santa Fe Opera's Carmen, stating that "Micaëla was sung radiantly by the Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury. Her portrayal of Don José's village sweetheart was a lot more feisty and likable than the pious bore of many a production." "The Canadian soprano is a gorgeous Violetta. is indisputable that she is one of the major Violettas today," wrote Joyce El-Khoury is rapidly establishing herself as one of the major singing actresses in the world today. She has performed worldwide, including Opera Canada, L'Opéra Théâtre de Saint-Étienne, and De Nederlandse Opera. She was recently nominated for an OPERA Award for her performance in Donizetti's Belisario on Opera Rara. Born in Lebanon, Joyce immigrated to Canada with her family when she was just four years old.

Joining Joyce El-Khoury is baritone Anthony Michaels-Moore who will also be making his Lyric Opera of Kansas City debut as Giorgio Germont. Opera News raved of Michaels-Moore, calling him "one of the most gorgeous voices on the opera stage today. His sound has a real presence, and its honeyed opulence dominated every scene in which he appeared." Anthony is the first British winner of the Luciano Pavarotti Competition (1985) and has since performed in all of the world's major opera houses. In a career spanning more than 25 years, Anthony has distinguished himself as a specialist in Verdi roles.

Tenor Scott Quinn will also be making his Lyric Opera debut in the role of Alfredo. A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, one of the most respected young artists programs in the country, Quinn was lauded by the Dallas News for his "clarion" voice. Lyric Opera of Kansas City is dedicated to identifying emerging talent and has supported alumni of Houston Grand Opera Studio numerous times. Lyric Opera of Kansas City Artistic Director Ward Holmquist and beloved Kansas City native Joyce DiDonato are two of the most notable alumni.

David Gately, who is known for his vivid storytelling and lively and clever productions, will direct this production. His last production with Lyric Opera of Kansas City was the Barber of Seville in 2000. Recent productions of note include L'Elisir d'Amore with Dallas Opera, Madama Butterfly with Seattle Opera, La bohème with Florida Grand Opera as well as several others throughout the world. He has also worked with Vancouver Opera, Glimmerglass and Opera Colorado. Opera Magazine noted of his Vancouver Opera production of La Traviata, "David Gately showed considerable flair in deftly defining the character interplay at the very heart of this eternally moving opera."