Young Friends of the Lyric
Young Friends of the Lyric provides an exciting outlet for arts supports in Kansas City to get involved in the community. Whether you’re a first-time attendee or a longtime lover of the Lyric, the best way to enjoy laughs, libations, and the art of opera in KC is with Young Friends of the Lyric.
We host a variety of events throughout the opera season including pre-opera brunches and post-opera drinks. Also included in your membership is exclusive discounts to area bars and restaurants!
Young Friends of the Lyric memberships are available online now, click the link below to become a member today! Memberships last 12 months from the time of purchase. For questions call Ticketing & Patron Services at (816) 471-7344.
Already have a membership? New this year all members have access to the exclusive Mezzanine level Guild lounge! This is a perfect place to enjoy complimentary white AND red wine, beer, hors d’oeuvres, coffee, and dessert, both before the show and during intermission(s)!
For more information contact us at YoungFriends@kcopera.org or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/YoungFriendsLyric.
Meet our Board
Newell Bowman is a Kansas City native who has a heart for the arts. Opera was introduced to her for the first time through YFL members, and she has enjoyed every minute of it. Her first opera was Die Fledermaus performed here at The Kauffman Center of Performing Arts! Newell has been serving YFL as a board member since 2014 and is serving as Co-Chair of The Boutique, which you can enjoy during each performance at the KCPA with other YFL members and opera lovers! Newell has been working in retirement living for 5 years and now works at Claridge Court in Prairie Village as a Sales Counselor. She has previously served as a committee member for YFA, and is currently helping to develop MaestroKC with the KC Symphony. You’ll also find her playing her guitar around town for local events, weddings, and worship teams.
Brian Wayne Anthony Dykstra is the Chair of Young Friends of the Lyric. He is a descendant of the 6th Earl of Sussex. He enjoys polo and a very sophisticated side eye. When he’s not watching Downton Abbey and ruing the fact that the second sentence is false, he is a theatre, opera, and bourbon aficionado who spends his 9 to 5 hours working in development and fundraising for Quality Hill Playhouse in downtown Kansas City. His better half was the mezzo-soprano Resident Artist for the Lyric for the 2016-17 season, Samantha Gossard. They both have an undying love for Chip and Joanna Gaines.
Shannon Rolle currently serves as the Membership Chair for the Young Friends of the Lyric. She is also the Manager of Development Operations with the Lyric Opera. She is from Arkansas originally and has become a Kansas City local. She enjoys trying new things and discovering new and exciting spots in KC. Opera is a new passion for Shannon. Her background is in theatre, but Opera is quickly becoming her favorite art form. There is always a new journey and experience with each performance.
Jenna Newsome is a Northland dweller dedicated to the arts of all kinds. She started singing at 2, acting at 7, and trained in classical and opera during her teens. Currently, she loves leading worship at her church on Sunday mornings. Jenna is a new member to the YFL board and she will be serving at the Boutique on performance nights. She loves to laugh, have a good time, and is always up for a new adventure! She also has a 1 year old Yorkie named Moose who she loves dearly- Go Royals!
Andrew Garton is a new Kansas City convert, having moved recently to the area from Springfield, Mo – birthplace of Route 66 and Cashew Chicken, deathplace of Wild Bill Hickok and John Gotti. With a love for the arts since youth, he realized his talents were best utilized off stage and Andrew is eager to help serve Young Friends of The Lyric and spread the good news of opera to all who’ll hear. He serves as the Assistant Director of Philanthropic Giving at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
Emerson Rapp moved to Kansas City in 2008 and has been an avid fan of live theater and opera his entire life. Emerson has pursued acting, writing, and directing and wished to continue to preserve the performing arts for this generation and for generations to come knowing the arts are a key to the human condition and to bring humanity together. While not writing lofty and poetic words, Emerson helps local manufacturers as a components specialist at Rensenhouse and is an advocate for organ and tissue donation through Donate Life.
Rhocia Ibok is a Kansas City native with a long-standing love for the arts. She grew up going to theatre productions and playing her violin. She fell in love with opera, specifically Don Giovanni, while in college studying music. Her idea of a fun time is hanging out, reading a good book, and singing Hamilton and anywhere and everywhere. Currently working as an AmeriCorps VISTA she is looking forward to joining the Young Friends of Lyric and learning more about the arts community in Kansas City.
As a Development Manager for the ALS Association Mid-America Chapter, Megan Hanna is responsible for building relationships with corporate companies and businesses in the Kansas City area. She works with a small team to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans, and community engagement through fundraising events such as the Walk to Defeat ALS and the Joe McGuff ALS Golf Classic. As a Kansas City native, Megan was appointed Heritage Philharmonic’s Orchestra Manager volunteer position in May 2012. Prior to this appointment, Megan volunteered for the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons as a rotating musician in the viola section. Due to her success, the board changed the position to a paid staff position in 2015. Megan continues to perform with the orchestra while serving as the Orchestra Manager, and is also very involved with ArtsKC, volunteering on the Annual Fund Committee. Prior to joining Heritage Philharmonic, Megan has performed with the Liberty Symphony and St. Joe Symphony as a rotating violist, while she received her B.A. in Music Performance, with an emphasis in Music Education, from Northwest Missouri State University.
Carolin May is from Germany, where she got into opera after hearing Ennio Morricone’s The Wild Horde and backtracked it to Ride of the Valkyries. Her passions are over-the-top theme parties, drawing and eating avocados. There’s a 98% chance you’ll run into her at wine tastings at Gomer’s. If you wanted to summon her, you would place in a pentagram: A copy of Lolita, tea, tropical fish, a stand up comedian, and an animated reaction gif.
Jen “Out of Office” Harsch likes: robots, the first cigarette after a marathon, deliberately mispronouncing movie characters’ names to get on her husband’s nerves, spreadsheets, unfortunately adorable figurines, aplacas, art fairs and gaming the credit card points system. She dislikes: not being in Hawaii, washing fruit before eating, streetcar taxes, groundhogs that eat her tomatoes, irreconcilable expense sheets, Duchesse de Bourgogne beer, having not enough days in the year for all her shoes and when people don’t listen to Ellen Ripley.
Derek McGrath prides himself on liking the Chiefs more than the next person so much so that he demands you call him Chief McGrath upon meeting him. He loves grapes both before and after the fermentation process. Derek signed on to the Special Events committee to launch YFL into it’s party girl phase, as evidenced by our first event of the year at Offkey. If you can’t see him in the room right now he’s either managing people or baking some killer meals. He loves opera, especially when the main characters are sexually frustrated.