Century II

Wichita Grand Opera

Wichita Grand Opera is presenting a performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" this weekend. The part of Violetta will be sung by soprano Larisa Martinez, who will be making her debut in the lead role on Saturday night. 

Carla Eckels: Your role as Violetta is a very demanding role. How did you go about embracing that?

Larisa Martinez: Prepare, prepare, practice, practice. I've been working on it a long time now — ever since I auditioned and got the role. You need to have a really good vocal technique so that you can make it to the end.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

The city of Wichita has appointed a committee to help guide a final decision over the future of Century II.

Mayor Jeff Longwell announced the 11-person committee at the annual Wichita Chamber luncheon Thursday. Members represent different businesses around town, as well as some of the performing arts groups that call Century II home, including the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Music Theatre Wichita and the Wichita Grand Opera.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

The City of Wichita is beginning the process of gathering community input on what’s next for its downtown Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.

City Council approved an agreement on Tuesday that lays the groundwork for upcoming public engagement opportunities.

The city plans to hire a project consultant who will design and implement what it calls a “transparent public engagement process.”

Wichita City Manager Robert Layton recommended that the engagement process be led by an independent third party to ensure neutral framing of the issues.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

A community engagement process will begin this fall on preliminary plans for the future of Century II in downtown Wichita.

City leaders are recommending expanding and renovating Century II instead of building new facilities.

Four arts organizations are based at the blue domed performing arts center: Music Theatre Wichita, the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, Wichita Grand Opera and Music Theatre for Young People.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

City leaders are recommending expanding and renovating Century II in downtown Wichita instead of building new facilities.

The preliminary ideas presented at a special workshop Tuesday night are based on a consultant’s report.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

A special meeting will be held Tuesday night in Wichita to go over a report about future options for the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Music Theatre Wichita will wrap up its summer season with Disney’s "Newsies," which began Aug. 11.

The professional theatre company is one of the first regional theatres in the nation to create its own brand-new version of the mega-hit show, which ran on Broadway from 2012 to 2014.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File Photo

The City of Wichita rejected a contract with a local union that represents theatrical workers at Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Leaders and patrons of the arts organizations that call the Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center home are watching closely as the city considers future options for the iconic round building with the blue roof.

Music Theatre Wichita is among the performing arts groups that have a strong interest in the upcoming decisions.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

The City of Wichita is exploring the possibility of creating a public-private partnership to pay for the next phase of its Century II Performing Arts and Convention Center.

At 48 years old, the downtown circular building with the light blue roof is showing its age, and the convention business has changed. Also, the city-owned public library next door will be vacant in a few years.

City Manager Robert Layton said Tuesday that the city is considering a number of options for remodeling Century II or building new facilities based on results from a 2014 market study.

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