Photo by Jacob Lucas for Seattle Opera


Saturday, March 30, 2019 | 7:30 PM

Michael & Ginger Frost Production Arts Building
712 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108

By Sarah Kirkland Snider

Libretto: Ellen McLaughlin
Director: Alison Moritz
Conductor: Carolyn Watson

What happens when a soldier finally comes home—but remembers nothing? This groundbreaking song cycle, based on The Odyssey but told from Penelope’s point of view, was named one of the five best genre-defying works in 2010 by National Public Radio. A meditation on the trauma of war, memory, and home, Penelope is sure to be touching, intimate, and dramatic.

The Kansas City Lyric Opera Guild will provide a reception immediately following the performance.

Sung in English with English subtitles.



Cast and Creative Team

Penelope – Annie Rosen *
Mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen debuts with Lyric Opera in Penelope. This season, Rosen makes her company debut at Utah Opera as Adalgisa in Norma; appears as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Central City Opera; and debuts with Chicago Opera Theater in Iolanta and The Scarlet Ibis. Future seasons include debuts at The Metropolitan Opera and Calgary Opera, as well as her third consecutive year as a principal at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. On the concert stage, Rosen enjoys a relationship with the New York Festival of Song, with whom she most recently performed highlights of Leonard Bernstein in New York City and Washington, D.C. She was a founding member of the New York City-based chamber ensemble Cantata Profana. http://www.annierosenmezzo.com/

Odysseus – Michael Scahill * Michael Scahill as Ulysses
Michael Scahill debuts with Lyric Opera in Penelope. Scahill has been seen on stage in productions throughout Kansas City, including as Father in Violet at Olathe Civic Theatre; Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame at The Culture House; Sandy in The Man Who Came to Dinner, as well as featured vocal roles in Sweeney Todd and From Broadway with Love with Leawood Stage Company; and Steve Baker in Showboat at Musical Theater Heritage. He will also be seen in the Kansas City premiere of Grand Hotel at the Arts Asylum.

Composer – Sarah Kirkland Snider
Sarah Kirkland Snider writes music of direct expression and vivid narrative, including Penelope, which has been performed more than 40 times in the U.S. and Europe; Embrace, an orchestral ballet, Mass for the Endangered, The Blue Hour, and Something for the Dark, which has been performed by the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra in March 2019. Upcoming projects include Tongue of Fire, an opera about 12th-century abbess Hildegard von Bingen. Snider’s works have been commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, among others. https://sarahkirklandsnider.com/

Librettist – Ellen McLaughlinLibrettist Ellen McLaughlin
Ellen McLaughlin’s plays have received numerous national and international productions. They include Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity’s House,  Tongue of a Bird, The Trojan WomenHelen, The Persians, OedipusAjax in Iraq, Kissing the Floor, and Septimus and Clarissa. Producers include: the Public Theater, The National Actors’ Theater, Actors’ Theater of Louisville, The Actors’ Gang L.A., Almeida Theater, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The Guthrie Theater, among others. As an actor, McLaughlin is most well known for originating the part of the Angel in Angels in America, appearing in every U.S. production from its earliest workshops through its Broadway run. McLaughlin teaches playwriting at Barnard College. https://www.ellenmmclaughlin.com/

Conductor – Carolyn WatsonCarolyn Watson, conductor
Carolyn Watson returns to Lyric Opera of Kansas City after leading The Lyric’s recent production of High Fidelity Opera (2018). She is Director of Orchestral Studies at The University of Kansas. In 2017 Watson was one of six conductors selected for the elite Dallas Opera Institute for Women Conductors. A major prize winner at the 2012 Emmerich Kálmán International Operetta Conducting Competition in Budapest, Watson was also a Fellow of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival. She has conducted orchestras throughout Europe, including the Brandenburg Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Kodály Philharmonic, and others. http://www.carolyn-watson.com/

Director – Alison Moritz *Alison Moritz, director
Moritz’s recent directorial credits include La traviata at Opera Colorado, a return to Washington National Opera for the world premiere of Taking Up Serpents, The Abduction from the Seraglio at New Orleans Opera; and La bohème and Madama Butterfly for Austin Opera. Other highlights include the world premiere of Proving Up at Washington National Opera, a new production of Candide at Tanglewood Music Center, The Manchurian Candidate at Austin Opera, Orpheus in the Underworld with New Orleans Opera, Trouble in Tahiti at Opera Santa Barbara, and a genre-bending triple bill of rarities for Bard College-Conservatory of Music (Pulcinella, Full Moon in March, and Svadba). http://www.alisonmoritz.com/

String Quintet:
Julie Rosenfeld, Violin
Amy Appold, Violin
Alyssa Bell, Viola
Eli Lara, Cello
Samuel Copeland, Contrabass
Sam Wisman, Drums/Percussion

Sound Design – Michael Hammond
Scenery – Brad Kanouse
Costumes – Nancy J. Robinson
Lighting – Mario Raymond
Hair and Makeup – TBA
Stage Manager – Karl Anderson


Be a Part of Lyric

We are grateful for the passion and dedication that our patrons show through participation in groups supporting the Company.  Learn More

View Mobile Site