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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Wichita Opera to bring shows to Kansas casino

  • How about a night at the opera, followed by gambling at a casino?
    The unsual pairing of art and entertainment will be available soon in the Wichita area, thanks to a partnership between the Wichita Grand Opera Inc. and the Kansas Star Arena near Mulvane.
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  • How about a night at the opera, followed by gambling at a casino?
    The unsual pairing of art and entertainment will be available soon in the Wichita area, thanks to a partnership between the Wichita Grand Opera Inc. and the Kansas Star Arena near Mulvane.
    Parvan Bakardiev, the opera's general director, said the opera plans to put on full-scale operas and help bring popular acts to the arena, which had its grand opening in July. The arena served as the original home of the Kansas Star Casino until the permanent casino opened.
    The first act booked by the partnership will be Celtic Woman, an Irish musical ensemble, which will perform Dec. 13 and be accompanied by the Wichita Grand Opera Orchestra, The Wichita Eagle reported.
    The arena can seat up to 6,000 people, compared with the 2,200-seat Century II Concert Hall where the opera usually performs.
    "We're excited to have a partnership with an entity that gives us financial, technical and other support to popularize as well as expose people of regular means to the highest art form of Western culture," Bakardiev said.
    Tim Lanier, director of Kansas Star Arena, said the partnership began after he asked Bakardiev if the opera's orchestra could back Celtic Woman, and they began considering other events they could do together.
    "It certainly expands the frontier for both of us in what we can look for," Lanier said. "It expands the base of what events we can put on, it gives back to the arts, it also makes business sense."
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