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These artists serve Landlocked in various capacities through the duration of its season, from singing and covering roles, performing in the chorus, and singing in recitals.


Richard Williams served on the faculty at UMKC for nearly five decades as pianist and vocal coach and was the primary rehearsal pianist for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City for many years. Upon moving to Kansas City, Christina and Jonathan were lucky to coach with Richard in his final year at UMKC. Richard believed strongly in Landlocked Opera's mission and was a champion in helping the company from the ground level. He served as a founding board member and participated in the first three productions before his passing in 2021. He is survived by his wonderful wife Barbara, his children Ryan, Tara, and Erin, and many grandchildren. Upon visiting him in hospice care at the end of his life on earth, Richard sent Christina and Jonathan off with a quote from Winston Churchill "Never give up" regarding the importance of Landlocked to the operatic community.


Landlocked Opera would not exist without Richard. We owe so much to him and we will always miss him dearly. We honor his memory with these wonderful young artists carrying on his name and his legacy.

Each season, Landlocked Opera appoints four singers in honor of the late Richard Williams.

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Meet The Young Artists

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Henry Braeske


is from St. Louis and studies at the University of Missouri under Kyle Stegall. He is graduating this year with a BA in Music, and this is his first experience with a young artist program. Recently, he has performed the roles of Sarastro in the Magic Flute, Sergeant of Police in Pirates of Penzance, Pistola in Falstaff, Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro, and is preparing the role of Bottom for a production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, all with Show-Me Opera.

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L. Amelia Lufkin



 is from Knoxville, Tennessee. She recently completed a dual Master’s in Choral Conducting and Voice Performance from the University of Missouri. She received her Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance at  Middle Tennessee State University. Her voice instructors include Dr. Christine Isley-Farmer, Dr. Steven Jepson. and currently studies with Professor Kyle Stegall.


Amelia worked and studied as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Missouri under Dr. R. Paul Crabb and Professor Emily Edgington-Andrews. She helped organize and direct in University Singers, University Treble Choir, Concert Chorale, and Choral Union. She works as a Conservatory Singer at Missouri United Methodist Church, often soloing and assisting in rehearsals as a section leader.

Previous operatic roles include: Phyllis in Iolanthe, covered the role of Alice in Falstaff, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and most recently sang the role of Micäela in Carmen with the Vocal Academy of Opera in Bodrum Turkey Summer 2022. Lufkin’s love and talent in the choral arts placed her as Choral Union’s soprano understudy in their Verdi’s Requiem Concert in Fall 2022 and soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Columbia’s Civic Orchestra in Winter 2022. Amelia has placed in the semi-finals for Regional NATS. Amelia placed first in the graduate level for MMTA in 2020. In 2021 she placed first as Missouri’s MTNA winner and was the national runner-up. 


Amelia aims to continue her musicianship by directing, teaching, and performing locally and worldwide.

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rachel misner



 is from Chesterfield, Missouri, and is currently in her fourth year at the University of Missouri. She is pursuing a B.M. in Vocal Performance, and will be graduating in May 2024. She studies voice with Professor Steven Tharp. Last semester, Rachel received First Place in the Upper Musical Theater Treble division of Central Region NATS, as well as Third Place in Upper Classical Treble. She has participated in Mizzou’s Show-Me Opera program since her freshman year, and has also been a member of many other ensembles at Mizzou, including University Singers, Concert Chorale, Hitt Street Harmony, Ars Nova, and Canticum Novum. During Summer 2021, she was cast in Mizzou’s Larry D. Clark Summer Repertory Theater, her first musical theater endeavor. Through this experience, she performed as Private and Mort in Madagascar: A Musical Adventure, as well as various roles in the Blame it on the Summer Night Benefit Concert in honor of Marcia Berry. This past summer, she had the opportunity to travel to New York to participate in the NYU Summer Study in Musical Theater, working with artists and teachers such as Justin John Moniz, Rona Siddiqui, and Natalie Weiss. Through Mizzou’s Opera program, she has had the opportunity to perform in the Fall Opera Scenes program for four years, was a member of the chorus in Pirates of Penzance, played Meg Page in Falstaff as a sophomore, and most recently performed the role of Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro. This semester, she will be performing the role of Hermia in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream. She is incredibly grateful and excited to begin her work with Landlocked Opera as a Young Artist, and cannot believe how fortunate she is to get to do what she loves every single day.

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Kaitlyn Landers


is based out of Columbia, Missouri. Kaitlyn specializes in both classical and musical theater repertoire. Her voice has been described as dark, colorful, and expressive when she performs on stage. She has enjoyed performing with many choruses in the Mid-Missouri area, including Choral Union, The Jane Froman Singers, Broadway Christian Church, First Baptist Church, and many other solo and chorister opportunities. Kaitlyn recently graduated with a Bachelors of Art degree in vocal performance from Columbia College in Columbia Missouri. While studying at Columbia College, Kaitlyn appeared in many scene programs, choir concerts, and musicals. Her favorite role at Columbia College was The Witch from Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim, as well as singing Mimi’s duet with Rodolfo in La Bohème by Puccini for a scenes program. In 2019, Kaitlyn had the opportunity to travel to Opera in the Ozarks, studying with great professionals of music and meeting wonderful colleagues. While at Opera in the Ozarks, she performed as a chorister in La Bohème by Puccini and Die Entführung aus dem Serail by Mozart. Kaitlyn also portrayed the role of Elena in the studio artist program production of Monkey See Monkey Do by Robert Xavier Rodriguez. Kaitlyn is also a choral intern with Broadway Christian Church as well as First Baptist Church from time to time. She looks forward to working with landlocked opera and colleagues in this upcoming season.

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