Community Conversations

Community Conversations uses opera to discover our shared humanity, on and off the stage. We invite the culturally curious to explore the “here and now” implications of productions in a series of free events featuring live music and stimulating conversation. No prior opera knowledge necessary!

Upcoming events

Community Conversation: Love and Division

  • Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 7:00–9:00 pm
  • Greenwood Social Hall, 1750 Belleview Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64108

Join Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Greenwood Social Hall for an unforgettable evening in which we transcend time and space to explore the enduring mysteries of love and division. From ancient literature and civilizations to the star-crossed tale of Romeo and Juliet to artistry in Kansas City today, these themes persist and resonate deeply within us all. This free interactive evening will feature live music, wine, and the opportunity to contribute your written and expressive voice in a poetry workshop.

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Previous Events

Community Conversation: Sing Most Anything

  • Saturday, October 21, 2023, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th Street, Kansas City, MO 64105

The von Trapp family's real-life story extends beyond what we see in The Sound of Music. After touring the United States, they settled in Vermont where they led Austrian-inspired sing weeks, uniting families through choral repertoire. In this spirit, lend your singing voice and join us in learning one of these sacred pieces. All musical levels and observers are welcome. There’s no pressure here, and we’ll even provide resources in advance! This free event includes coffee, snacks, and a concluding sing-along of favorites from The Sound of Music.

Community Conversation: Viva il vino!

  • Wednesday, September 6, 2023, 6:30-8:00 pm
  • Cupini’s, 1809 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111
  • $125 per ticket; some funds support Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Join Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Cupini’s for a signature Community Conversation blending culture and cuisine! Indulge in live excerpts from Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, perfectly complemented by four delicious courses and wine pairings. This communal dining experience on Cupini's outdoor patio will explore Sicilian customs and Italian history in Kansas City. As many opera drinking songs attest, “Viva il vino! Hurrah for wine!”

Community Conversation: Good Thing Going

  • Wednesday, April 26, 2023, 7:00–8:30 pm
  • Duet, 517 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108

Sondheim on Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter Stephen Sondheim. Through his beloved songs and words, audiences get an inside look at the composer’s personal life and artistic process. To amplify the show, join Lyric Opera of Kansas City, The Object Enthusiast, and Duet for an evening open house featuring live music, wine, interactive experiences, and the opportunity to create your very own ceramic masterpiece.

Community Conversation: Sands by the Silent Sea

  • Saturday, November 19, 2022, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Dead Sea Artworks, 1714 Holmes Street, Kansas City, MO 64108

“From far away we come and farther we must go.” These mysterious words are those of the Three Magi in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Their song echoes across the cold and silent sands near Bethlehem, the same sands bordering the embryo-shaped Dead Sea. For over forty years, the Dead Sea and its surrounding geography has inspired acclaimed Kansas City artist Shea Gordon as a symbol of birth, death, and regeneration. Though far away, the Dead Sea as manifested in Gordon’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, and other mediums, is present through metaphors of eco-feminism, synchronicity, and coincidence. Join us as we explore the synergy between Amahl and the Night Visitors and Shea Gordon’s art in a free event featuring live music, refreshments, and an exclusive studio tour.

Community Conversation: Screaming to Come to Life

  • Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 12:00–1:30 pm
  • Apple, Country Club Plaza

At the center of The Shining is the Overlook, a remote hotel with a storied past screaming to come to life. Through words and music, Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s operatic adaptation of the 1977 novel by Stephen King gives voice to the Overlook—its inhabitants and secrets. Join the Pulitzer Prize-winning creators of the opera for an engaging and interactive afternoon. Led by Apple creative staff and equipped with revolutionary music technology, attendees will be invited to share their compositional voices in response to haunting moments from the opera’s libretto.

Community Conversation: Sospiro e luce, Breath and Light

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 7:00-8:30 pm
  • Simple Empathy, 2018 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64108
  • In partnership with Simple Empathy

Violetta, the central character of La traviata, is afflicted with tuberculosis. Over the course of three acts spanning several months in the story, we see her grow in relationship and decline in health. In the arms of her lover and with one of her last breaths, she sings, “You will be light and breath to me, and the future will smile on us.” Even at her weakest, Violetta remains hopeful. In today’s world, we could all use a deep breath and a little bit of hope. Join us for a celebration of breath and breath workers in Kansas City.

Community Conversation: Notes of Seville

  • Wednesday, September 7, 2022, 7:00-8:30 pm
  • Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th Street, Kansas City, MO 64112
  • In partnership with Kansas City Sister Cities Association, Seville Chapter

Carmen is rooted in the culture and geography of Seville, Spain. Seville may seem worlds away from Kansas City, but it’s closer than you think! As our oldest sister city, Seville and Kansas City have influenced each other for more than 50 years. Learn more about this historical relationship in an event featuring discussion, live music, and a walking tour of the Plaza to discover local notes of Seville.

Event Gallery

Community Conversation: What a Movie! (November 2021) Photo by Andrew Schwartz.
Community Conversation: How Shall We Live Through Tomorrow? (November 2021) Photo by Andrew Schwartz.
Community Conversation: A Fine Place to Start (March 2022) Photo by Andrew Schwartz.
Community Conversation: I liv(d) for Art (April 2022) Photo by Andrew Schwartz.