Kansas City achieves an outstanding new arts center

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opened on Friday September 16 and 17, with artists Itzhak Perlman, Placido Domingo, Tommy Tune and Patti LaPone. They were supported by the Center’s resident companies: the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

The center contains the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Theatre, an 1,800 seat opera house-style theatre, and the 1,600 seat Helzberg Hall. The magnificent building is by architect is Moshe Safdie, the acoustician, Yasuhisa Toyota of Nagata Acoustics, with Theatre Projects as theatre design consultants.

Under the extraordinary leadership of Julia Irene Kauffman, a series of bold and imaginative decisions were made to ensure that Kansas City gains two extraordinary spaces, one for opera, dance and lyric theatre; one for musical performance, of exceptional quality. Both spaces seek the optimum conditions of theatrical intimacy, stagecraft potential and acoustic quality.