The Lyric Opera of Kansas City continues its 54th season with the Company premiere of John Adams' Nixon in China, presented at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, March 10, 14, 16, 18. The production will feature members of the Kansas City Symphony, in a unique partnership with members of the Kansas City Ballet.
General Director Evan Luskin reminisces, "My excitement for our Company debut of this production is hard to describe. When I recall the first time I experienced this piece, and consider the lasting impression it has left on me as an opera patron, it thrills me to think about what our patrons will experience when they view this great American opera for the first time."
"The passion that both Evan and I have for this modern American work compels us to present it at this seminal moment in our Company's artistic evolution," notes Lyric Opera Artistic Director Ward Holmquist. "The technical requirements of this production made it impossible for us to contemplate performing this work before now, but the capabilities of the Muriel Kauffman Theatre enable us to present Nixon in China with many special visual effects, which will be no less than breathtaking."
International Stars Return to Kansas City
Baritone James Maddalena returns to the Lyric Opera after singing the title role in the world premiere production of John Brown in 1987. Mr. Maddalena is renowned for his collaboration with the Houston Grand Opera in the creation and performance of the title role in the world premiere of Nixon in China. He has performed the role of Richard Nixon at such international stages as Netherland Opera, the Edinburgh Festival, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Washington Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Australia's Adelaide Festival, the Chatelet in Paris, English National Opera, the Greek National Opera, and most recently in his debut at The Metropolitan Opera, which was part of The Met: Live in HD series.
He has appeared at opera houses across the globe including Opera Ireland, Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, La Scala, Israeli Opera and Royal Albert Hall.
Baritone Richard Paul Fink (Rigoletto 2010) will sing the role of Henry Kissinger, a role he recently sang at The Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Fink has an extensive repertoire and has performed in leading roles across the globe including at LA Opera, Seattle Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Berlin State Opera, Sydney Opera, and Washington National Opera.
Baritone Daniel Belcher returns to the Lyric Opera to make his role debut as Chou En-Lai, having recently received a 2011 Grammy Award for L'Amour de Loin with Deutsche-Symphonie Orchester. Mr. Belcher's latest appearances with the Company include H.M.S. Pinafore (2009) and La bohème (2008). He has performed with Central City Opera, Opera Colorado, Bilbao Opera (Spain), Stadttheater Klagenfurt, and Florentine Opera.
Soprano Maria Kanyova makes her Lyric Opera debut as Pat Nixon. Kyle MacMillan of The Denver Post extolled Ms. Kanyova's performance: "She makes the most of the role of Pat Nixon, humanizing the first lady and investing her with a flesh and bones believability." Ms. Kanyova has garnered praise for her portrayal of the first lady at the Canadian Opera Company, Opera Colorado and Ravina Festival. She was also featured as Pat Nixon on the recent recording of the work by the Naxos label.
Soprano Audrey Elizabeth Luna makes her Lyric Opera debut as Chiang Ch'ing (Madame Mao). Ms. Luna made her debut at The Metropolitan Opera recently as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. She has appeared at Cincinnati Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Naples and the New York Philharmonic.
In his Lyric Opera debut, tenor Alan Woodrow will sing Mao Tse-Tong. He has also appeared at opera houses across the globe including Opera Ireland, Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, La Scala, Israeli Opera and Royal Albert Hall.