Asheville Lyric Opera to perform ‘West Side Story’ in April

The Asheville Lyric Opera announces three performances of West Side Story at the Diana Wortham Theatre on April 24, 25 and 26. The shows will use orchestral accompaniment with no amplification.

More from the Asheville Lyric Opera:

Asheville Lyric Opera is excited to welcome the cast of West Side Story. This emotional drama of forbidden love and feuding families on New York’s West Side will be brought to life as only the Asheville Lyric Opera can. Using traditional orchestral accompaniment with no amplification in the Diana Wortham Theatre, this production of West Side Story prepares to be an intimate yet grand one with a cast of over 30 performers. All new set design and choreography preserving the musical genius of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim will make this production an unparalleled live theatre experience in Western North Carolina.

Bringing to life the central character of Maria is Kathryn Sandoval Taylor, an Asheville native based now in Nashville, Tennessee. Asheville Lyric Opera is excited to welcome Ms. Taylor back to her home town where she not only has extensive performing experience as well as volunteering with the arts community in Asheville prior to leaving for the New England Conservatory. Fellow graduate of the New England Conservatory and North Carolina native, Joshua Collier, is playing the role of Tony, Maria’s forbidden lover. Joshua Collier, hailed by the Classical Voice of North Carolina for his “pleasing tone, and excellent command of his high range” is a tenor equally comfortable with the musical theatre or oratorio.

Director JJ Hudson will be making his Asheville Lyric Opera directorial debut with the cast of West Side Story. He had the honor of assisting Jamie Bernstein, daughter of Leonard Bernstein in her 2011 directorial debut of her father’s opera, Trouble in Tahiti. He is particularly noted for his sensitive and dynamic work with young and emerging artists. 

Throughout its creation, West Side Story faced much criticism from the public and those in the business. The idea of a musical that hit home with current events scared many people away from working on the project. Leonard Bernstein heavily emphasized the sweeping operatic lines in the music and the elegant dance numbers are heavily influenced by drama and ballet.  Asheville Lyric Opera is prepared to take on this classic Broadway standard and produce it as Bernstein and Sondheim envisioned it. Using a full classical orchestra with no electrical amplification, local and national singers, dancers, actors and musicians will expertly tell the tale of West Side Story. The show will be staged in the heart of Asheville at the Diana Wortham Theatre on April 24 & 25 at 8pm and April 26 at 3pm. Tickets are available online ( or at the Diana Wortham Theatre Box Office (828-257-4530)


The Impresario- March 18

West Side Story – April 24, 25, & 26

Rigoletto – July 2 & 5

Barber of Seville – October 23 & 25

About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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