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K-State Today

September 5, 2023

Cranford directs development of new family opera with Lyric Opera of KC

Submitted by the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance

Jerry Jay Cranford

Jerry Jay Cranford, associate professor of theatre, will work with a prestigious team to develop a new family-friendly opera based on the short story "The Haberdasher Prince" by Dina Gregory.

The piece will be by the twin-sister creative team of composer Rosabella Gregory and librettist Dina Gregory, and it will premiere in April 2024 after workshops and readings in November and January. The piece will become part of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's touring schedule in the 2024-2025 series. The creative team includes director Cranford, music director Piotr Wiśniewski, and scenic designer Steven Kemp.

A professional actor, singer and dancer, Cranford has performed on Broadway's "Les Misérables," as well as national and international productions of the show, "Evita" European Company as featured dancer, "Singing in the Rain" as Don and "Anything Goes" as Billy. He has performed on regional stages and television, and he spent three years as the Genie in Disneyland's stage musical "Aladdin." Cranford was selected Best Director of a Professional Musical by Broadway World Kansas City for his production of "Newsies."