We offer a wide array of educational experiences for people of all ages and opera expertise.

Photo by Cory Weaver

Community Conversations

Why does opera matter today?
How is it relevant to the Kansas City Community?

Community Conversations, a new series by Lyric Opera of Kansas City, answers the question: “Why does opera matter today in Kansas City?” In collaboration with community partners and taking shape in a variety of formats, these experiences will explore the “here and now” implications of our productions and provide a path to further unlock the potential of opera.

Community Conversations will return in the 2022-2023 season!

Previous Community Conversations:

"What a Movie!"

This Community Conversation took a deep dive into the music featured in Lyric Opera Goes to Hollywood. A panel of local experts, listed below, responded to the operatic moments featured in films from the silver screen and introduced audiences to the film industry in Kansas City.

Erin Hamer- Beck is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Rockhurst University where she teaches courses in composition and film studies. She has been a teacher for over eight years having previously taught with the Kansas City Art Institute, University of Missouri Kansas City, Washburn University, and Metropolitan Community College.

Caitlin Horsmon is an artist, curator, and teacher based in Kansas City, Missouri. Grounded in the moving image but integrating installation, sound, sculpture, collaborations, curatorial work, and community programming, her work investigates the landscapes of the everyday.

Sav Rodgers is the Founder and Executive Director of the Transgender Film Center, a nonprofit aiming to help trans creators bring finished films to audiences around the world. He is a filmmaker and screenwriter whose work often centers on telling highly specific, surprising stories involving queer characters.

  • Panelists included Erin Hamer-Beck, Caitlin Horsmon, and Sav Rogers.

Photos by Veritography.


"How Shall We Live Through Tomorrow?"

“How shall we live through tomorrow?” This question, asked by Amahl’s mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, is a very real consideration for many individuals in our community. A panel of community service members, listed below, explored themes of food insecurity, homelessness, and interfaith service efforts in Kansas City. The program featured live music from Amahl and the Night Visitors. 

Samara Crawford Herrera is the Director of Community Partnerships at SchoolSmart KC, where she works to support and demand quality of all schools on behalf of students and families within the Kansas City education community.

Scott Myers is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, currently serving his 28th year as senior minister at the historic Westport Presbyterian Church.

Fr. Justin Mathews is the Executive Director of Reconciliation Services a 30-year-old nonprofit addressing food insecurity, social and mental health issues, offering education and awareness, and increasing well-being by creating community connections and economic opportunities.

Photos by Veritography.

"A Fine Place to Start"

With a title that reflects the final words of the opera, The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, and in partnership with Temple Buddhist Center, this Community Conversation will delve into the acts of mindfulness and intentional living.
Although it may be surprising, Steve Jobs was a devout follower of Zen Buddhism. This free event will feature time for mindfulness, a panel discussion, and recorded excerpts from The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.
Nicoya Helm, Victor Dougherty, and Mark Campbell will facilitate the conversation.

"I Live(d) for Art"

I Live(d) For Art: Carol Vaness and Deborah Sandler Kemper in Conversation 

Globally recognized for her portrayal of Floria Tosca, soprano Carol Vaness comes to Kansas City and dons a new role in Tosca as director. Lyric Opera General Director and CEO, Deborah Sandler Kemper, joins Carol in conversation to discuss their artistic careers, the role of Tosca, and everything in between. Featuring Lyric Opera Resident Artists singing iconic arias by powerful women in opera, this event is sponsored in part by Orpheus KC and will include complimentary drinks and time for networking. Masks and RSVP are recommended

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