Announcing Lawrence Opera Theatre’s sixth season
by Nathan Haley on July 2, 2015
Lawrence Opera Theatre (L.O.T.), in association with Theatre Lawrence, is pleased to announce their sixth Summer Festival season, which will run from July 29 through August 16, 2015. Performers from all over the state of Kansas and across the country are making Lawrence, Kansas, their home for three weeks. The opera company’s 2015 season is entitled “LOTs of LOL (Love, Obsession, and Laughter).” The festival will culminate in a full production of the ultimate story of love and obsession, the dramatic and well-loved Carmen, on Friday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, August 16 at 2:30 p.m. at Theatre Lawrence.
Artists performing some of the principal roles in Lawrence Opera Theatre’s own production of Carmen (La Damnation de Carmen) have performed in major opera houses all over the country and world, including The Metropolitan Opera, Washington National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Sarasota Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City to name a few. Lawrence Opera Theatre is fortunate to have mezzo-soprano, Liz Cass (Carmen); baritone, Andrew Stuckey (Escamillo); soprano, Stacey Stofferahn (Micaela); and tenor, Hugo Vera (Don Jose) lead a cast of secondary roles and chorus.
Other highlights of the 2015 festival held on the Theatre Lawrence stage include a program of scenes from American operas and operetta (United States of Opera) August 13 at 7:30 p.m.; L.O.T’s now traditional rollicking evening of cabaret (Lend me a Musical!) August 15 at 7:30 p.m.; and a performance featuring some of the company’s younger artists during the intermission of Carmen (Cabaret Interludes).
As in previous seasons, L.O.T. will also perform at other venues in Lawrence. They include The Castle Tea Room, August 7 at 7:30 p.m., a performance of art songs written by Italian Masters, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, and Verdi (The Art of Bel Canto) which will also include Images de Carmen, a preview of highlights from Carmen; Signs of Life, July 31 at 7:30 p.m., featuring singing talent from the local community; and John Brown’s Underground, August 1 at 7:30 p.m., showcasing the diversity of singing styles of the company’s performers.
New York Metropolitan Opera Tenor, Hugo Vera, is the founder and director of Lawrence Opera Theatre. He maintains his ties to Lawrence and his alma mater, KU, coming back every summer to direct the festival. Vera stands by the mission of the company to fill in the void of opera during the summer season in Lawrence and the surrounding area. Vera said, “For a sixth season, Lawrence Opera Theatre shall continue to present fun, new and innovative works to the community, and to involve the community in making it part of the Lawrence landscape.”
Hugo Vera also emphasizes that L.O.T. provides a venue to singing professionals, emerging vocal artists, and high school and local community singers to perform and gain experience as well as learn from professionals associated with the company.
Last season, L.O.T. assembled a cast and crew of more than 70 for its fifth anniversary season, including performing the fully staged production of Don Giovanni at Theatre Lawrence, which featured everyone from working professionals to high school students and local singers. Artistic Administrator, Rachel Black, describes what she loves about the company. “What’s so important to me about Lawrence Opera Theatre is that singers from our community and schools are working right alongside internationally-acclaimed guest opera singers. We all come together and learn from each other. Having that kind of hands-on experience and education is priceless for many of our singers.”
Vera, Black and the ten-person board of directors began planning L.O.T.’s sixth season almost immediately after last August’s final opera performance. Lawrence Opera Theatre’s board chairman Bart Goering said, “It’s great to see the excitement building from last year’s tremendous productions. Audiences loved the creative staging and talent evident in L.O.T.’s production of Don Giovani. We are thrilled about being back at Theatre Lawrence and are very fortunate to have accomplished performers returning to our stage as well as talent new to LO.T.”
Further information for the 2015 season can be found on the company’s website www.lawrenceopera.org and on its Facebook page: www.facebook.com/lawrenceoperatheatre. For prices and tickets for the mainstage events, please visit www.theatrelawrence.com. For prices and reservations for The Art of Bel Canto, please visit www.castletearoom.com or call (785) 843-1151.