Lyric Opera of Kansas City Resident Artists Triumph Internationally

By David Salazar

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City kicked off the New Year celebrating awards to two prominent Resident Artists.

The artists in question are Samantha Gossard and John Viscardi. The former was the recipient of the William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation Award, which awards 15 $12,000 grants to young artists. It also allows them to participate in a five-year program of continued financial aid for coaching in new roles.

Meanwhile, Viscardi was a top prize winner at the International Tosti competition in Italy. The competition, which is now in its seventh year, is dedicated to composer Francesco Paolo Tosti and the prize winner receives 7,000 euros and a concert in Italy and Nara, Japan during 2017-18.

Gossard, a mezzo soprano, is not new to the major spotlight as she was a semi-finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. At Kansas City, she recently made her role debut as Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” and has also performed as Mercedes in “Carmen” and the Third Woodsprite in “Rusalka” at the house. Other roles that she has taken on in Kasans include Zula in “L’Italiana in Algeri” and Madeleine Audebert in “Silent Night.” During her artistic residency with the company in 2016-17, she was Cherubino in “The Marriage of Figaro” and is slated to take on Jade Boucher in “Dead Man Walking” and Kate in “Pirates of Penzance.”

Viscardi, a baritone, made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015-16 in Vaughn William’s “Five Mystical Songs” and Stroope’s “American Rhapsody.” He sang Morales in Carmen at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. He has also won a plethora of awards, including Santa Fe Opera’s Anna Case MacKay Memorial Award, the Lys Symonette Award from the Kurt Weill Foundation and the George London Foundation Encouragement Award. As an artist in resident, he is slated to perform in “Dead Man Walking” and “The Juliet Letters.”