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At Ease With Opera

The Kansas City Lyric Opera Guild is proud to present the award-winning At Ease with Opera lecture series. All programs are FREE to attend and are located at the Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Road, KCMO 64110.

Dates and topics in support of the 2021-2022 season are listed below. Topics are subject to change. 
Stay tuned for updated descriptions!

November 8, 2021 | 7:00 pm

Opera Goes Hollywood!

In this wacky assemblage of opera stars appearing in the movies and television, John C. Tibbetts has brought together a roster of celebrities. The cast includes Lawrence Tibbett singing “Road to Mandalay” and “Glory Road,” Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd singing Rossini and Wagner, Homer Simpson attending a performance of Carmen, Marilyn Horne’s guest appearance in The Odd Couple, Heldentenor Lauritz Melchior’s duet with Kathryn Grayson, etc.

John Tibbetts is a retired Professor in the Film Department at the University of Kansas, and a well known classical music and opera aficionado who has spent his career pursuing interests in film, music and opera. He has been a popular speaker in At Ease With Opera programs for over 20 years.

This program should be a perfect introduction to the Lyric Opera’s fall concert at the Kauffman Center, Lyric Opera Goes to Hollywood.

November 15, 2021 | 7:00 pm

The Other Operas of Gian Carlo Menotti

Amahl and the Night Visitors is a popular holiday-themed opera from the pen of one of America’s finest opera composers, Gian Carlo Menotti. But Menotti wrote many other operas too, which are unfortunately rarely performed these days. Several decades ago, however, his operas were among the most frequently performed works of the American stage.

Lyric Opera Guild speaker Bob Wise will discuss the other operas of Gian Carlo Menotti and present video and audio excerpts from these works. This presentation will give you a useful context for Lyric Opera’s presentation of Amahl and the Night Visitors  this December. Perhaps it will stimulate you to explore some of the other wonderful works of this too-little-performed composer.

November 22, 2021 | 7:00 pm

Amahl and his Night Visitors as Puppets: The Puppeteer’s Viewpoint

The puppets which will be used in the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s presentations of Amahl and the Night Visitors were designed by Paul Mesner and built by a team of artists headed by Grace Hudson. Mesner, a master puppeteer, was the founder and longtime artistic director of Paul Mesner Puppets (now known, as Mesner Puppets). Paul has built and operated thousands of puppets during his long and celebrated career.

In this presentation, Paul Mesner will talk with us about how he builds his puppets, demonstrate how they are operated, and describe the process of collaboration between the orchestra, the singers, the conductor and the puppeteers. He will teach us about the science and art of puppet making and puppetry in general. Join us for this fascinating presentation to gain some insights into the unique issues and joys of puppet opera.

February 22, 2022 | 7:00 pm

Topic TBA

February 28, 2022 | 7:00 pm

Topic TBA

March 7, 2022 | 7:00 pm


April 4, 2022 | 7:00 pm

Tosca: A Preview

April 11, 2022 | 7:00 pm

Tosca’s Roman Setting

April 18, 2022 | 7:00 p.m. 

Topic TBA

Click here for more info on the Lyric Opera Guild

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