He has led Kansas City’s foremost opera company for the past 25 years…now he is exiting the stage.
Evan Luskin has announced that he is retiring as general director of the Lyric Opera…just as the company prepares to move to its new performance space at the Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts. Luskin, the Company’s general director since 1998, will be retiring on June 30, 2012. Mr. Luskin’s retirement will come at the conclusion of the Lyric’s first year of residence in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which will open this fall.
A lifelong fan of opera, Mr. Luskin received an MBA with a specialization in Arts Management in 1977 from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He then served as Assistant Director of the Tulsa Opera from 1977 to 1979, Managing Director of the Chattanooga Opera from 1979 to 1982, and Vice President for Finance and Administration of Michigan Opera Theatre from 1982 until coming to Kansas City in 1986. Mr. Luskin joined the Lyric on June 1, 1986 as its managing director, and became general director in 1998. He is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Andrea and his grand children in Topeka and Washington, D.C. He also plans to become involved in volunteer activities with children, take up the piano after a hiatus of many years, and travel.
The Lyric Opera of Kansas City was founded in 1958 by Russell Patterson. In 54 years the Company has produced numerous works including 3 world premiere operas. In the fall of 1998, the Company began performing operas in the original language, a tradition which continues today with all operas being performed in the original language with English subtitles.
On November 4, 2010 the Lyric Opera of Kansas City announced a capital campaign for the renovation of property on 18th and Charlotte in the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District for its new Opera Center.
The Opera Center complex will consist of two buildings: a Production Arts building and an Administrative building with set rental inventory storage. The Production Arts building will include a rehearsal space that will match the footprint of the stage of the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The Production Arts building also will house a full wig, costume and set construction shop and facilities for educational and community outreach programs. Such an integrated and dedicated production facility does not exist in Kansas City; the Company envisions the Production Arts building becoming a resource for other local performing arts companies.
The second building on the property will be adjacent to the Production Arts building. It would provide the Company with set rental inventory storage, parking lots and outside green spaces for the Opera Center, and house the administrative staff.
In the summer of 2011, the production and administrative offices of the Lyric Opera will be moving from its home of 40 years at the Lyric Theatre to a temporary home in downtown Kansas City at 1616 Broadway. The production and administrative offices will move to the headquarters on 18th Street when construction is completed in 2012.
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