This week we are highlighting the beginning steps being taken on the some of very tall scrolls that will be seen on stage during the upcoming Lyric Opera production of The Mikado. There will be three different sets of scrolls and right now work is starting on the first set which will be displayed before and after each of the two acts, which a color sketch illustrates. This new set for The Mikado is being designed by R. Keith Brumley.
For more information about the upcoming Lyric Opera production of The Mikado, click here.
A production photo from the Lyric Opera of Kansas City production of La Cenerentola in 2004, which featured Joyce DiDonato and Daniel Belcher.
The set and costumes for the 2004 Lyric Opera of Kansas City production of La Cenerentola recently made an appearance in Madison, Wisconsin courtesy of the Madison Opera. The set was designed by Lyric Opera Director of Design and Technical Production R. Keith Brumley, and Mary Traylor, a regular Lyric Opera costume supervisor, designed the costumes. Click below to read an Opera News review of the Madison Opera production.
Mark Thomas Ketterson for Opera News
La Cenerentola at Madison Opera
Alex Ross, Music Critic at The New Yorker, was in the Midwest recently and part of his trip brought him to Kansas City to see Turandot in the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Ross writes about his trip on his blog (Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise), which took him through Red Cloud Nebraska, Tulsa and Kansas City.
The trip was not all pleasure though. While in Tulsa and Kansas City Mr. Ross caught some performances for which he has a review in a recent issue of The New Yorker.
For Turandot he writes, “The ‘Turandot,’ directed by Garnett Bruce and designed by R. Keith Brumley, is a markedly more thoughtful show than the Zeffirelli warehouse sale that still clutters the stage of the Met”. To read more excepts click here. Note: You must be a subscriber to The New Yorker to read the full review online.
After more than 25 years of building scenery in an old un-air conditioned elementary school in the East Bottoms, moving day arrived on June 20, 2011. This wasn’t any ordinary move where everything could be packed up in cardboard boxes…this move involved moving 500 pound tools that needed four people to lift them!!!
The past two weeks for the Production Department and the IATSE carpenters were quite busy. The first step was for the construction crew at the Production Center to complete the scene shop area so it was ready for move-in. The construction crew started this task on May 23, and completed it in five weeks!!! Once the construction crew gave us the go-ahead, our scenic artists came in over the weekend and painted the floor. They needed to do this first because once the IATSE carpenters move everything in; there will never be clear floor space again.
The next task was to pack up the Old Shop. As I mentioned, this has been home for over 25 years and the space has accumulated many items: large tools, hand tools, lumber of all kinds, foam, and scraps of everything. There is a process of moving and sorting…What is essential in the new building? Is this lumber even straight any more? Should we move it?
For years before this move, Keith Brumley worked with the IATSE carpenters to determine the best layout of the new space. This needed to be done in advance so they could be certain that the appropriate power and dust collection was wired and mounted in the correct spots. After everything was moved to the new space, there was little time to play. We immediately needed to start building the Turandot scenery for our opening on October 1, 2011.
Steve Cochran has built scenery with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for about 15 years. One of his specialties is projects that require a steady hand and a lot of patience. Each one of the curves on the roof header that he is holding is cut individually with a saber saw.
Our head carpenter that has built with us for almost 30 years, Jim Corcoran, stands in front of a very large wall for Turandot – on it’s side. You can see the wheels on the right side of the picture. When you stand this wall up, it is 18 feet tall, and very sturdy!!! The crew is building 4 of these walls and they are the building blocks of the Turandot set.
Next week I will be back looking at the space we will be painting this large scenery in, and the artists that do this crafty work.
R. Keith Brumley looks over plans for the scene shop
Tuesday, July 5th. As of today, our new Production Center is a step closer to being a fully functioning production facility. Members of the crew received the first of many orders of lumber to begin building the scenery for Turandot. Last Friday, Set Designer R. Keith Brumley gave a design presentation to the build crew. This always happens at the beginning of the build process so the crew has the big picture of the individual items they are building.
Next I will be back with the story of how the Crew moved everything from the old Scene Shop to the New Production Center, and first pictures of Scenery being built! Thanks you to all of our supporters who have made this happen, it’s a dream come true!!!
The Lyric Theatre
Just last weekend the Lyric Opera completed its final season in the Lyric Theatre with an updated production of The Marriage of Figaro that also served as a farewell to the building that had been the Company’s home for over 40 years and 180 productions.
In the lead-up to the final production Allison May, Lyric Opera Intern, sat down with some of the staff members who have been with the Company the longest and interviewed them about the memories they have of the Lyric Theatre. You can click on the links below to read all of the memories shared by our staff.
We know that these people are not the only ones who have memories of the Lyric Theatre so we want to you share yours too. Simply add your memory as a comment below and help us remember the great times had in this stately structure.
Posted in Interviews
Tagged Allison May, Debbie Morgan, Doug Allen, Erin Thompson, Evan Luskin, Lyric Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Lyric Theatre, R. Keith Brumley, stage crew, Ward Holmquist
With the last Lyric Opera of Kansas City production in the Lyric Theatre just days away from opening, we wanted to share stories we have been compiling about its 41 years hosting the Lyric Opera. Allison May, Lyric Opera intern, managed to sit down with some of our staff members who have called this theatre home for a number of years and get some stories about the building. These stories were recently featured on the KCUR 98.3 FM Arts Blog – Sound and Glass.
From Evan Luskin
Evan Luskin began working for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 1986 as the Managing Director and in 1998 he became the General Director for the Company. Throughout the years, Luskin has seen many changes to both the building and the Company. Luskin oversaw two renovations to the Lyric Theatre in 1991 and 1998. Luskin recalled that during this time, “I was looking around and worrying about all of these little things that needed fixing. But a little girl came into the front lobby for a performance and said, ‘Mommy, I didn’t know it’d be so pretty here.’ And she was right; it really is a beautiful building.”
Click to read the full interview
From Ward Holmquist
The Artistic Director for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City since 1998, Ward Holmquist, admits he didn’t know much about the Lyric Opera of Kansas City when he was first considered for the job in 1997. But he said that the Lyric Theatre was one of the most important aspects of the job for him. “I couldn’t help but be impressed that a regional opera owned its own theatre. That was really remarkable and very interesting to me. It was one of the first things that piqued my interest. I assumed, correctly, that the city had a great love and support of opera.” Interestingly, The Marriage of Figaro was the first opera that Holmquist conducted at the Lyric Theatre.
Click to read the full interview
From R. Keith Brumley
R. Keith Brumley, Director of Design and Technical Production, began working for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City in 1984. Brumley recalled that one of his favorite funny memories occurred when he was watching a production early in his career.
Click to read the full interview