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STAGGERWING World Premiere Gala
Kansas Aviation Museum
Wichita, KS
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Friday July 30th will introduce the world to the winner of the 2020 Zepick Modern Opera Competition, STAGGERWING. Staggerwing, a new chamber opera by Lisa DeSpain and Rachel J. Peters, dramatizes the historical flight of Louise Thaden and her co-pilot, Blanche Noyes, as they compete in the grueling transcontinental 1936 Bendix Trophy Race; the first year the prestigious aviation competition allowed all-female teams to compete. The Bendix was fraught with danger as competitors pushed the boundaries of aeronautics. Intercut between the intense intimacy and confinement of the plane and expansive episodes of the womens pasts and crucial events leading up to the race, we witness Louise and Blanche navigating the physical risks of their flight, work, personal tragedies and the sexism of a male-dominated field, emerging victorious. Lisa DeSpains score is inspired by the territory jazz bands of the 1930s with their unique blend of the blues, syncopated jazz, and the great Tin Pan Alley composers of the era.

The World Premiere Gala presented by Opera Kansas, will be hosted at the historic Kansas Aviation Museum, beginning at 6:30 with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. A preshow talk will begin at 7:30  featuring the composer  Lisa DeSpain, librettist Rachel J. Peters, and patron of the commission Dr. Lyle Zepick. Following the world premiere performance, mingle with the performers and celebrate the new work with dancing to the sounds of the 30's and 40's.

Cocktail Attire suggested.
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Kansas Aviation Museum (View)
3350 George Washington Boulevard
Wichita, KS 67210
United States



Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Opera Kansas
On BPT Since: Aug 25, 2017
Opera Kansas

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