Lyric Opera Hosts OVER THERE! 1914 Tribute Benefit at WWI Museum Tonight

In conjunction with the centennial of World War I and the Kansas City debut of the Pulitzer Prize winning production of Silent Night, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents Over There! at the National World War I Museum tonight, August 23. This 1914 field dining experience, co-chaired by Trudy and Jack Gabriel, will include a cabaret performance featuring music of the era.

Jack Gabriel stated, "Trudy and I are honored to co-host this important event and look forward to welcoming guests for a special evening filled with celebration, nostalgia, and remembrances of this powerful time in our history." He continued, "Guests arriving at the National World War I Museum will be welcomed by characters of the era who will share stories of their amazing time in history during a premium cocktail party on the Museum's Poppy Bridge. Guests will be summoned to a WWI Field Dining Experience by a bugle call. They will then proceed to a "mess line" where they will receive their tin trays and be served a delicious gourmet dinner."

This evening will celebrate Lyric Opera of Kansas City's debut of Silent Night, the Pulitzer Prize winning production which tells the true story of the historical short-lived spontaneous 1914 Christmas truce between enemy combatants in World War I.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City Artistic Director Ward Holmquist stated, "We are proud to present Silent Night, this new and important work to Kansas City audiences, who have a very special connection to the WWI centennial as we are the home of the National World War I Museum." Maestro continued, "We are especially honored to host this evening in recognition of the centennial and its timeless impact on us to this day."

The evening will begin at 6:00pm with cocktails and the field dining experience. The cabaret performance will begin at 8:00pm and will feature mezzo soprano Elise Quagliata and baritone Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek. The performance is created, directed and narrated by Kansas City favorite Francis Cullinan and will include such memorable tunes as "Over There", "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" and "You're a Grand Old Flag." Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Artistic Director Ward Holmquist will direct and provide accompaniment on the piano.

Francis Cullinan stated, "The "teen years" related to World War I -1914 -1918 - gave birth to an incredible rise of American popular music. From the development of the Broadway musical to the sounds of Tin Pan Alley, the songs created by young Americans became classics. Such icons as George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin created tunes that still endure today." He continued, "The war also brought forward songs that inspired the nation and made its citizens swell with pride. The Lyric's Over There! will showcase these two composers and leave the audience, humming, singing and even toe tapping."

The evening will conclude with coffee and dessert at 9pm. At that time, guests will be welcome to visit the Liberty Tower for a view of the beautiful Kansas City skyline at night. Handicap accessibility and valet parking will be available.

Tickets for the evening are $175 per person and can be purchased by contacting Grant Golson, Lyric Opera of Kansas City at 816-802-6076. Proceeds will benefit the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

About Lyric Opera of Kansas City

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City was founded in 1958; it is one of the nations' premier regional opera companies and brings high quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City area and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original language performances of standard repertory as well as contemporary and American operas. The Company mounts productions that enrich the community it serves, as well as reflect the highest artistic standards of the profession. The Lyric Opera offers innovative and award-winning programs designed to further music and arts education both in schools and in the community and serves more than 18,000 students and educators each year.

Opera lovers can be fans of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @kcopera.

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City is a member of OPERA America and this season is made possible with funding from Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, and the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation.

About the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial is the only American museum solely dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of a war whose impact still echoes in the world today. The National World War I Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and personal experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America's official World War I Museum and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit

Lyric Opera of Kansas City

2014-2015 Season at a Glance:

La Traviata

Giuseppe Verdi 1853

Sung in Italian with English and Italian titles

Saturday, September 27, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Friday, October 3, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 5, 2014, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Director: David Gately

Conductor: Ward Holmquist

Set and Costume Designer: Desmond Heeley

Violetta Valery: Joyce El-Khoury

Giorgio Germont: Anthony Michaels-Moore

Lindoro: Taylor Stayton

The Italian Girl in Algiers

Gioachino Rossini 1813

Sung in Italian with English and Italian titles

Saturday, November 8, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Friday, November 14, 2014 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 16, 2014, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Director: Michael Cavanagh

Conductor: Leonardo Verdoni

Production Designer:

Isabella: Irene Roberts

Mustafa: Patrick Carfizzi

Silent Night

Kevin Puts 2011

Sung in English, German, French, Italian, and Latin with English titles

Saturday, February 21, 2015 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 7:30 p.m.

Friday, February 27, 2015 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, March 1, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Director: Octavio Cardenas


Lt. Audebert: Liam Bonner

Anna Sorenson: Erin Wall

Lt. Horstmayer: Craig Irvin

Father Palmer: Daniel Belcher


Giacomo Puccini 1900

Sung in Italian with English and Italian titles

Saturday, April 18, 2015 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 24, 2015 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 26, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Director: Garnett Bruce

Conductor: Ward Holmquist

Production Designer: R. Keith Brumley

Floria Tosca: Melody Moore

Mario Cavaradossi: James Valenti

Baron Scarpia: Gordon Hawkins

Sacristan: Julien Robbins


Please direct all media inquiries to Ellen McDonald, 816.444.0052.

For Tickets to the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's 2014-15 Season, please visit or 816.471.7344

Ellen McDonald

Mershon & McDonald, LLC

6000 Oak Street

Kansas City, MO 64113

816.444.0052 w

816.213.4355 c

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