the words Women of Note next to a portrait of a shakespearean woman

'Women of Note in Words and Song'
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and Bach Aria Soloists

January 13, 2024 | Polsky Theatre

Past Event

This collaborative performance brings together the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and the Bach Aria Soloists for an all-female program.

Riveting scenes from Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” “As You Like it,” “King Lear,” “Hamlet,” “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” “Taming of the Shrew,” “Twelfth Night,” “Othello” and “Merry Wives of Windsor,” with music composed by Barbara Strozzi, Hildegard von Bingen, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Marianna Martines, Cecilia McDowall and Susan Kander.

Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival was founded in 1991 by Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Marilyn Strauss. The festival launched its first official season in 1993 in Southmoreland Park. Since then, more than 800,000 theatergoers from 47 states and 13 countries have enjoyed the festival's free performances.

In the summer, for the past 30 years, HASF has constructed a stage and theatre space in Southmoreland Park where thousands of visitors come to see professional Shakespeare productions. Families and friends gather under the trees to enjoy a picnic supper and are entertained by the Team Shakespeare’s parody, enriched by Show Talk, and have an enjoyable evening of conversation and community with friends and family before the play begins.

In addition to productions in the park, HASF offers year-round education programs for youth, including in-school workshops, fall and spring Shakespeare Conservatory weekend classes and summer camps. Adult education programs include Shakespeare intensive acting classes and Speakers’ Series focused on the works of Shakespeare.

HASF also creates multi-disciplinary collaborations focused on the plays with other arts organizations including Bach Aria Soloists, KC Rep, Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet, Midwest Trust Center Performing Arts Series, Kansas City Actors Theatre, Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City and Kansas City Chorale.

Bach Aria Soloists

Hailed for producing “the most surprising and brilliantly innovative collaborations in Kansas City,” Bach Aria Soloists delivers their critically acclaimed concert series presenting the genius and relevance of Johann Sebastian Bach, his contemporaries, and those he inspired to our community through creative collaborations and BAS’ BachReach education.

The ensemble’s repertoire is adventurous and broad, including chamber music from Renaissance to Contemporary, vocal arias, Tango and new living composer commissions. Their signature arrangements can be heard in every concert bringing ancient and modern music to new life.

Bach Aria Soloists is led by artistic director-founder-violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane. The Soloists include Grammy-winning soprano Sarah Tannehill Anderson, multi-talented Elisa Williams Bickers, harpsichord-organ-piano and acclaimed cellist Hannah Collins. In 2022 and 2016, Bach Aria Soloists was awarded the USArtists International grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts and the Mellon Foundation. They were selected as a Finalist in the U.S. State Department’s Cultural and Educational 2022 American Music Abroad program and named The Arts Organization of 2020 by the Missouri Arts Council.

Bach Aria Soloists was invited as Artist-in-Residence to the 2022 Thailand International Composition Festival. They performed the world premiere of Narong Prangcharoen’s “Reticence for Soprano, Violin, Cello and Harpsichord,” composed for BAS Founder Elizabeth Suh Lane; led a master class with composition students and performed two concerts of diverse repertoire from Bach to Prangcharoen.

Collaboration is integral to Bach Aria Soloists’ mission. Artistic partners have included internationally renowned musicians, dancers, scholars, actors, artists: Dr. Christoph Wolff, Trumpeter Rodney Marsalis, Grammy winners bandonéonist Héctor Del Curto and pianist Gustavo Casenave, Bobby Watson, the Grammy-winning Kansas City Chorale, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, contemporary dance ensembles Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance, Elizabeth Koeppen of Parsons Dance, the Owen/Cox Dance Group and many more.