Have you ever wondered what the Lyric Opera of Kansas City staff does during the “down” months of summer? What does the Production Department do when there are no rehearsals or performances onstage? Well I, Tracy Davis-Singh – Director of Production, am here to answer these questions. In the next 4½ months (135 days!!!), the Production Department will be clearing our warehouse building on 18th street to begin renovations on the Production Center, listening to first orchestra rehearsals in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, moving our scene shop from the East Bottoms to the Production Center, begin building our new production of Turandot (designed by our own R. Keith Brumley), and move 41 years of history out of the Lyric Theatre into our new home.
To start this journey from Lyric Theatre to Muriel Kauffman Stage, Lyric Opera of Kansas City Apprentices Benjamin Gulley and Kristee Haney received an opportunity yesterday that will enable them to forever say “I was the first professional singer to sing before an audience at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts!” On May 11, the Kauffman Center hosted a private event for several of their donors titled “First Notes/First Steps”. Ms. Haney sang a few notes of Una voce poco fa from Rossini’s The Barber of Seville in the Helzberg Concert Hall. The sound of her voice absolutely resonated in the golden wood of the Hall. Mr. Gulley gave a preview of bigger sounds to come with Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turandot in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. I personally had goose bumps on my arms and tears in my eyes just imagining what the stage will look like and sound like on October 1, 2011 when we have our opening performance of Turandot. The acoustics of the Muriel Kauffman Theatre are going to give the audience members the opportunity to hear opera more clearly than ever before possible in Kansas City. Amidst all the donors, staff members of the Lyric Opera, Symphony and Ballet were several construction workers that were seated way up in the balcony during this event – observing what will occur in the buildings that they have spent 2-3 years building.
The Lyric Opera of Kansas City hopes to share our excitement for our new home with you via these regular updates. Next week we will take a look at what happens to the scenery that we build when it is not on our stage.