Pre-Opera Talks

Do you have tickets to see an opera at the Kauffman Center? Come 50 minutes early to learn about the who, what, where, when, and why of the production you’re about to see.

Unless otherwise indicated, Pre-Opera Talks are held in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. You may sit in any available seat for Pre-Opera Talks. We kindly ask that you relocate to your ticketed seat for the performance.

Roméo et Juliette

Dr. Raffaele Cipriano, speaker

  • Saturday, March 9, 2024, 6:40-7:00 pm
  • Friday, March 15, 2024, 6:40-7:00 pm
  • Sunday, March 17, 2024, 1:10-1:30 pm

Jane Sylvester holds a PhD in Musicology from the Eastman School of Music. Her work centers on studies of gender, embodiment, and the intersections between musical practices and histories of science in late nineteenth-century opera. Jane’s research has been supported by awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Musicological Society, and the Presser Foundation. She has most recently presented her research at meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Transnational Opera Studies Conference, and her forthcoming journal articles will be in press with the Cambridge Opera Journal and Opera Quarterly.

Journey to valhalla

Dr. Martin Nebdal, speaker

  • Friday, May 3, 2024, 6:40-7:00 pm
  • Sunday, May 5, 2024, 1:10-1:30 pm

Bio coming soon.

Previous Talks

The Sound of Music

Dr. Rebecca Johnson, speaker

  • Saturday, November 4, 2023, 6:40-7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, November 8, 2023, 6:40-7:00 pm
  • Friday, November 10, 2023, 6:40-7:00 pm
  • Saturday, November 11, 2023, 1:10-1:30 pm
  • Sunday, November 12, 2023, 1:10-1:30 pm

With a background that combines extensive instrumental and choral skills with a love of music education and history, Rebecca Johnson has worn numerous musical hats during her career. Her performance ensembles include the Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City, Sacred Arts Chorale, and Vox Luminis. Groups under Dr. Johnson’s baton have performed in England, Brazil, and across the United States.

Recently retired as Coordinator of Music at Metropolitan Community College Blue River and Director of Sacred Arts for Central Theological Seminary, Johnson holds a Doctorate of Music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, a Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska, and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Colorado.

In addition to teaching and performing, Johnson is a frequent lecturer. Locally, Johnson has loved providing Pre-Opera Talks and Opera Dives Deep lectures for Lyric Opera of Kansas City for over ten years. Abroad, her favorite lectures have included “Sacred Music in America” in South Korea and “The Music of Louis Armstrong” to high school students in Yangon, Myanmar.

Cavalleria rusticana | pAGLIACCI

Neal Long (Director of Learning) and Shawna Lucey (Director), speakers

  • Saturday, September 23, 2023, 6:30-7:00 pm

Dr. Paul Laird, speaker

  • Friday, September 29, 2023, 6:30-7:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 1, 2023, 1:00-1:30 pm