Photo by The Pirates of Penzance, 2017. Photo by Cory Weaver.

Cast and Artistic Staff

Principal Cast

Robert Gibby Brand (Baritone) – Major-General Stanley
Kansas City audience favorite, Robert Gibby Brand (Major-General Stanley) has performed with the Quality Hill Playhouse, Actors’ Theatre of Kansas City, the New Theatre, the Unicorn Theater, and the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. Broadway World recently claimed “Robert Gibby Brand is brilliant and powerful …[he] is without doubt one of the finest dramatic actors in the area.” This will be Mr. Brand’s 5th production with Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Previous productions include Die Fledermaus, The Mikado, The Daughter of the Regiment, and Silent Night.

Kevin Burdette (Bass-Baritone) – The Pirate King
American bass Kevin Burdette (The Pirate King) has impressed audiences with his mellifluous voice and strongly dramatic characterizations. The San Francisco Chronicle called his Leporello “a tour de force of vocal splendor and comic timing,” and The New York Times dubbed him “the Robin Williams of opera.” He has performed at nationally renowned opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, San Diego Opera, Portland Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Opera Philadelphia. He previously performed with Lyric Opera of Kansas City in the 2012 production of The Barber of Seville.

Jonathan Johnson (Tenor) – Frederic *
Jonathan Johnson (Frederic) recently completed a fellowship at the A.J. Flecher Institute at the University of North Carolina School of Arts. While an A.J. Fletcher Institute Fellow, Mr. Johnson performed the roles of Ruggero from Giacomo Puccini’s La Rondine, Lechmere from Benjamin Britten’s Owen Wingrave, Azaël in Debussy’s L’enfant prodigue, and Fenton from Otto von Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor. He also made his Piedmont Opera debut in the role of Ezekiel Cheever in Robert Ward’s The Crucible.

Anya Matanovic (Soprano) – Mabel *
Praised for her “thrilling vocal color” and “sweetly winning” presence, American soprano Anya Matanovic (Mabel) made her international opera debut with the New Israeli Opera as Musetta. Her recent performances have been praised as “dark-hued and dazzling” (The New York Times) “Luminous” (The Hub Review) and “Outstanding” (Opera News). Her current and upcoming seasons include performances with New Orleans Opera, The Cleveland Ochestra, Tucson Symphony, Seattle Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and her debut at Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Margaret Gawrysiak (Contralto) – Ruth *

Ben Wager (Bass) – Sergeant of Police

Artistic and Production Staff

Hal France – Conductor
James Alexander – Director
James Sale – Lighting Designer

* Lyric Opera Debut

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