UMKC Conservatory Presents Mark Adamo’s Opera, Little Women


The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to announce its spring opera, Mark Adamo’s Little Women, March 17–20, 2015.  The opera, based on Louisa May Alcott’s book about growing up in New England after the American Civil War, is directed by Fenlon Lamb and conducted by Ward Holmquist.

Fenlon Lamb returns to the UMKC Conservatory after 2013’s dazzling production of Cendrillon.  The past year and a half has been filled with notable company and directing debuts. Ms. Lamb made her main-stage debut with Il barbiere di Siviglia for Palm Beach Opera and returned to Opera Carolina to direct and design Die fliegende Höllender. She directed new productions of Hänsel und Gretel and La Bohème in collaboration with set designer and creative partner Jeff Ridenour followed by Werther for Mobile Opera, Rigoletto with Arizona Opera and a return to Palm Beach Opera for La Bohème. Currently, Ms. Lamb is the Director of Opera at Bar Harbor Music Festival. She has designed and directed engaging productions of Carmen, L’Elisir d’Amore, Madama Butterfly,Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Le nozze di Figaro while she continues to program innovative recitals and pops concerts each festival season.

Ms. Lamb is thrilled to return to UMKC to be a part of this production of Little Women. She said, “It is a truly collaborative effort brought to fruition by the talents of student performers and designers, faculty, staff and alumni from both the music and theatre departments as well as artistic leaders in the Kansas City arts community.”

Ward Holmquist has been the artistic director of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City since 1998.  His formative training includes a Fulbright grant conducting studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, and a multi-year professional apprenticeship at Houston Grand Opera under general director David Gockley, student of composer Carlisle Floyd and assistant to music director John DeMain.  These are Mr. Holmquist’s debut performances UMKC’s Conservatory as conductor.  As an artist in residence for the 2014–15 academic year, Mr. Holmquist is also coaching singers and giving master classes in conducting, and career preparation.

He notes, “It is a great pleasure for me to collaborate with my  musician colleagues on the UMKC Conservatory faculty and Dean Witte in helping these young and talented students grow and develop in their chosen field.”

The Conservatory is delighted that Mark Adamo will be in residency at the UMKC Conservatory for a series of events in conjunction with Little Women, including a concert of his work and that of Barr Institute Laureate John Corigliano, March 18 at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.  Adamo’s residency is supported in part through a grant from the Patricia and Howard Barr Institute for American Composition Studies at UMKC.

The opera cast includes

Jo March: Samantha Gossard, Alice-Anne Light

Meg March: Rachel Colman, Anna Hoard (cover Willow Parsons)

Beth March: Alannah Garnier, Ashley Wheat

Amy March: Alba Cancel, Rachel Kim

Laurie: Chad Demaris, Chris Puckett

John Brooke: Devin Burton, Armando Contreras

Friedrich Bhaer: Elliot Brown

Alma March: Emily Spirk, Logan Snook

Gideon March/Mr. Dashwood: Chris Carbin

Cecilia March: Alice Chung, Erin Lillie

Quartet of female voices: Evelyn Wouters, Glenda Craig, Bethany Unruh, Willow Parsons

Tickets are $12, $10 seniors, and UMKC faculty, staff, and all students are free with UMKC or student ID. 816-235-6222 |









For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949