DESCRIPTION: Lyric Opera of Kansas City is one of the nation’s premier regional opera companies. The organization currently performs at the Muriel Kauffman Theatre inside the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the state-of-the art stage for performance art in Kansas City. The Lyric Opera brings five high quality live operatic performances to the people of Kansas City each year.
ADDRESS: 1601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108.
LOCATION: Located right next to the Convention Center, near downtown and the Crossroads Art District.
WEB SITE: www.kcopera.org
HOURS: The Lyric Theatre ticket office is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Fri.
ADMISSION: Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 816-471-7344 or by visiting the ticket office.
ANNUAL ATTENDANCE: The opera company entertains more than 22,000 people in its audiences every season.
HISTORY: The Lyric Opera of Kansas City began in the fall of 1958 as an “experimental” joint venture between a young conductor, Russell Patterson, and J. Morton Walker, who had been associated with civic operas in Minneapolis and Fort Worth, Texas. The Lyric Opera presented its first performance, La bohème, inside The Rockhill, a motion picture theater, as part of a four-week repertory season.
When a fire destroyed the Rockhill during the Lyric’s 10th season, the company relocated to the historic Uptown Theatre where it stayed for only two years. In 1970, it moved to its performances to 11th and Central in the then-Capri Theater. During the succeeding years, the Lyric presented such contemporary works as The Saint of Bleecker Street, Of Mice and Men, Die Kluge and a world premiere of Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines, along with such established masterpieces as Aida and The Magic Flute.
By 1974, the company had come into exclusive possession of the Capri under a long-term lease, consolidated its offices there, and changed the name of the theater to the Lyric. In 1991, the company purchased the theater.
During the 2011-2012 season, the company moved its performances to the state-of-the-art Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Today, the Lyric Opera brings high-quality, live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City area and the surrounding five-state region.
WHERE TO GET DINNER: The Crossroads Arts District is just blocks away, full of great dining options before a show. Check Grünauer for authentic Austrian-German delights or Anton’s Taproom, known for its fresh meats and brews.
WHAT’S NEARBY: Just steps from the Convention Center, the Lyric is one of several venues in downtown Kansas City’s theater district. You can also catch performances at Quality Hill Playhouse, Folly Theater, The Midland and Music Hall. After the show, sample some of the downtown nightlife inside the eight-block Kansas City Power & Light District.
ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS: Held each April, the elegant Lyric Opera Ball has fundraised more than $8 million for the organization.
DID YOU KNOW: When the Lyric Opera began in 1958, it had a very modest budget of $34,000. Today, the company has a budget of more than $3.3 million.
DON’T FORGET: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts also currently houses performances of the Kansas City Ballet and the Kansas City Symphony.
GROUP TOURS: Depending on the size of your party and the performance date, the Lyric Opera offers a group discount on tickets. For further information, contact the ticket office at 816-471-7344 and request the group coordinator.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Take the MAX to the 11th & Main stop or take the Kansas City Streetcar to the Metro Center stop (12th & Main).
From the north: Take I-35 South to downtown Kansas City. Exit at 2S and turn right onto Broadway Boulevard. Then turn right onto 12th Street. Finally, turn left onto Central Street. The Lyric is on the corner of 11th Street & Central.
From the south: Take I-35 North to downtown Kansas City and take exit 232B for 18th Street Expressway. Continue on 18th Street and turn right onto Central Street. The Lyric is on the corner of 11th Street & Central.
From the east: Travel west on I-70 and continue onto I-670 West. Take exit 1A to merge onto Central Street. The Lyric is on the corner of 11th Street & Central.
From the west: Take I-70 East to downtown Kansas City. Exit on the left onto I-670 East. Take Exit 2R (Central) on the left. Turn left onto Central Street and go a few blocks. The Lyric is on the corner of 11th Street & Central.
PARKING: Available in the Arts District Garage for $7.
PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Ellen McDonald, publicity consultant. 816-444-0052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.