Lawrence organization hosting concert featuring professional musicians; many are KU alumni

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The Mid-America Performing Arts Alliance (MAPAA) will present a free concert, “Voices of the Met,” on Saturday in Lawrence. 

Four multiseason performers at New York’s Metropolitan Opera will perform a variety of numbers. All four are University of Kansas alumni: Lindsay Ohse, soprano; Andrea Coleman, a Metropolitan Opera Chorus singer; Hugo Vera, tenor; and Kristee Haney, mezzo soprano.

Joining the vocalists is Powell Brumm, baritone, University of Southern California alum and student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Accompanying the singers will be Tatiana Tessman and Jesse Henkensiefken, MAPAA’s artistic director and executive director, respectively; Boris Vayner, KU professor of viola; and Justin Harbaugh, KU alum and Missouri Western State University professor of clarinet.

The concert’s first half will include Brahms’ Two Songs for Mezzo-Soprano, Viola and Piano, selections from Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (“The Shepherd on the Rock”) and more.

The second half will highlight the beauty of the opera with the “Toreador Song” from Carmen’s Bizet, Puccini’s “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca, Sondheim’s “Worst Pies in London” and “Have a Little Priest,” from Sweeney Todd, Bernstein’s “Make Our Garden Grow,” from Candide, and more.

But familiarity with any of these songs, names and titles is not necessary to enjoy the program, which is designed to present “world-class educationally-based music” to underserved communities throughout the Midwest, according to a news release from the Lawrence-based not-for-profit organization.

Working with local esteemed talent, leaders at MAPAA organize concerts to “increase accessibility while dispelling the elitism often associated with classical music,” according to the release.

The family-friendly program is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, May 6 at St. Lawrence Center, 1631 Crescent Road on KU’s campus. It is free to attend, with a suggested $40 donation for the general public, and $20 donation for military, seniors and students 18 and younger. The concert is general admission seating. 

There will be another show at 7 p.m. Friday, May 5 at Pine Ridge Presbyterian Church in Kansas City.

Learn more and find out about other upcoming events on MAPAA’s website,

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