Don Dagenais

Don Dagenais

City Classics Music Columnist; Classical Contributor

Don Dagenais is a classical music and opera geek who has attended performances in Kansas City, nationally and around the world for over forty years. He had some academic training in music and was an amateur musician in his salad days, but has gained his musical chops as an audience member, board member, independent researcher and frequent lecturer on classical music and opera to civic and community organizations. He is a longtime preview speaker for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. He has also spoken on classical music and opera subjects at several national conventions.

Don has served on numerous arts organization boards and has been the president of most of them, including the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Summerfest, Kansas City Civic Opera, Inspiration Point Fine Arts Festival (Opera in the Ozarks), The Coterie and the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. He has won several awards as an arts volunteer, including a Bravo award from a national organization for being one of the leading opera volunteers in the country and the Virtuoso award from ArtsKC, the Regional Arts Council, for being a leading arts volunteer in the Kansas City area.

Don is a charter member of the KCMetropolis.org staff and has written the classical music column, and also occasional reviews, since the first issue on October 5, 2008.

In his professional life Don is a senior real estate attorney with Lathrop & Gage, a major Midwestern law firm. He also teaches courses on real estate law and serves as an adjunct professor for the University of Missouri-Kansas City in both the business and law schools. His degrees are from Grinnell College and the Cornell Law School. He and his wife Patricia have been married for over forty years and have two daughters, now grown, both of whom were raised “in the arts.” They are now doing the same with a grandson.

Music through July

The American Guild of Organists is hosting its annual conference in Kansas City between July 2 and 6, and for organ aficionados there is a plethora of offerings of...

Music through June

There are many symphonic and chamber music concerts to enjoy in June, including the final three classical music series weekends with the Kansas City Symphony and the always impressive...

Music through late May

The Friends of Chamber Music wraps up its season in high style, presenting the internationally renowned pianist Yefim Bronfman in recital at the Folly Theater. The Lyric Opera’s “The...

Music through early May

Legendary pianist Nelson Freire and newcomer soprano Julia Bullock, who are towards the opposite ends of their respective careers, appear in Kansas City during the second half of April...

Music through mid-April

A number of singing groups are in action in early April, including the Kansas City Symphony Chorus in concert with the Kansas City Symphony, groups from the UMKC Conservatory...

Bonjour Kansas City

UMKC's Spring Opera series produced two delightful French works, the dramatic one-woman performance of Poulenc’s "Le voix humaine" (The Human Voice) and Maurice Ravel’s enticing "L’enfant et les sortilèges"...

Difficult last words

Matthew Christopher Shepard and the 24-voiced Te Deum Chamber Choir with a 13-piece string orchestra made the most of a difficult, dissonant composition on a tragic subject, rendering an...

Music through March

Fans of vocal music can feast on a number of delights on the local scene in March. Kansas City’s own Joyce DiDonato returns to Helzberg Hall to sing Bernstein...

Music through mid-March

Opera fans have much to enjoy in early March. The Lyric Opera produces Verdi’s classic Rigoletto, while closer to mid-month the KU Opera performs an underproduced work, Blitzstein’s Regina....

Music through February

The second half of February brings two outstanding soloists to Kansas City: renowned pianist Mitsuko Uchida performs for the Harriman Jewell Series and guest violinist Stephen Waarts appears with...

Music through Mid-February

The first two weeks of February contain attractive offerings for fans of both instrumental and vocal music as we head towards mid-month and Valentine’s Day. The Kansas City Symphony...

Mahler’s Seventh

The Kansas City Symphony principals and sections shone brightly in the first performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 in Kansas City in over half a century.

Virtuoso revisited

Violinist Maxim Vengerov dazzled at the Folly Theater this weekend with pianist Roustem Saïtkoulov as part of the Harriman-Jewell Series.

Music through January

Violinist Maxim Vengerov and pianist Llŷr Williams take the stage for two prominent recitals with the Harriman-Jewell Series And Friends of Chamber Music. The Friends also present the...

Music through December

The second half of December brings us more wonderful holiday fare, particularly of the vocal kind. Kansas City Kantorei, the William Baker Festival Singers, and Central Standard are...

Music through December

The first half of December has an embarrassment of riches, with almost every music group in the Kansas City area offering holiday concerts, ranging from the 200-performer extravaganza of...

Romantic royalty

Guest conductor Yoav Talmi led the Kansas City Symphony in a stirring performance of Borodin, Chopin and Tchaikovsky over the Thanksgiving weekend, entertaining crowds of regular Symphony-goers along with...

A lovingly crafted fairytale

From clever staging and strong vocal performances to a robust score, the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance lovingly crafted Humperdinck’s "Hänsel und Gretel" for its fall opera.

Music through November

November is chock full of wonderful opportunities to hear classical works performed by local ensembles and guest artists in the Kansas City area. Check out the listings below for...

Music through October

Just about every classical music organization in town is active during the last part of October, so you have a variety of choices of what to attend. Famed...
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