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Lyric Opera Of KC Kicks Off 2018-19 Season With New Production Of WEST SIDE STORY

Lyric Opera Of KC Kicks Off 2018-19 Season With New Production Of WEST SIDE STORYLyric Opera of Kansas City opens its 2018-2019 season with the award-winning work that transports Romeo & Juliet to the streets of New York City, a NEW PRODUCTION of West Side Story, featuring the original Jerome Robbins choreography and the original orchestral score. Created by artists Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Robbins, who set out to surpass the expectations of musical theater, this production will give audiences the rare opportunity to experience West Side Story at the scale at which it was originally conceived. High-res production and artist photos and more can be found at

The production runs September 22, 23, 26, 28 and 30 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. and will be sung in English with English subtitles.

This production is a co-production of Houston Grand Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Director Francesca Zambello of Washington National Opera and Glimmerglass Festival will make her Lyric Opera debut. David Charles Abell (Conductor/Carmen, 2016, Rigoletto, 2018) will return to Lyric Opera. Vanessa Becerra, also making her Lyric Opera debut, will sing Maria, after appearing in the role at Glimmerglass in July-August 2018 and as Johanna/Sweeney Todd at Atlanta Opera. Andrew Bidlack, who recently debuted with Lyric Opera in the Lyric's critically-acclaimed Everest (2017), will sing Tony. Brian Vu, in the role of Riff, will also debut here, after appearing as Riff with Houston Grand Opera and Glimmerglass. Detailed bios available at

General Director and CEO Deb Sandler stated, "I am thrilled to open our 61st season with West Side Story. As we observe the centenary of Bernstein's birth, it seems entirely fitting to celebrate our quintessential American composer and conductor with the performance of this remarkably moving and transcendent workThis production honors the diverse repertoire of Lyric Opera, which, early in its history, produced Most Happy Fella, Sweeney Todd, Man of La Mancha, and Kander and Ebb's The Happy Time. In 1971, the Company appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine for its production of Jesus Christ Superstar. It is to this commendable list that we will add West Side Story."

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