From: Lisa Middleton, Vice President, Marketing & Communications  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
 
 

PRESS RELEASE

Thrilling music, powerful stories, exceptional international casts, company premieres, and memorable productions to experience in
Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2019/20 Season
The Barber of Seville, Luisa Miller, Dead Man Walking, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, The Queen of Spades, Götterdämmerung, and Blue
*
Lyric's new production of
Wagner's epic RING
presented in three full cycles

*
New season also includes the Broadway at Lyric premiere of
42nd Street,
plus special performances by
Sondra Radvanovsky
in
"The Three Queens"
and
Sir Bryn Terfel in Recital
Subscriptions to Lyric's 65th season on sale Friday, January 25, at 10am
CHICAGO (1/24/2019)   A season filled with unforgettable music, riveting stories, thrilling singers from around the world, and stirring productions goes on sale by subscription Friday, January 25, at 10am. Six new and new-to-Chicago productions including three Lyric premieres and three performances of the Ring cycle will engage and entertain audiences from late September 2019 through June 2020.

Following the regular opera season, Lyric will present its new production of Wagner’s magnificent Ring cycle in its entirety three times over the course of three weeks in April and early May of 2020.

New and renewing subscribers have first access to the best seats at the best prices. Since last year, Lyric has made it possible to purchase customized subscriptions that combine remaining performances of the current 2018/19 Season and performances in the new 2019/20 Season.

General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud and Music Director Sir Andrew Davis announced today the repertoire and casting for the company’s 2019/20 Season. "We are very excited about our productions and casts, and are confident that Lyric's audiences will greatly enjoy the range of musical and dramatic styles being offered here next season," Freud said.


"Next season will include familiar operas and also relative rarities, including Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, which was the very first piece I conducted as Lyric's music director, almost two decades ago," said Davis. "Longtime opera lovers and newcomers alike will find abundant pleasures and revelations in the works we’ll present, which cover an enormous range, from Mozart to Heggie."

"We are very much looking forward to launching a multi-year series of some of Verdi's early operas, beginning with Luisa Miller. These early masterpieces are both musically and dramatically thrilling and provide great insights into Verdi's artistic development," Freud said.

"I am delighted to be presenting the Lyric premiere of Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally's Dead Man Walking," the general director noted. "Since its premiere in 2000, this powerful opera inspired by a true story has made a profound impact on audiences worldwide."


The casting for Lyric’s 65th season is full of exceptional world-renowned artists. Said Freud, "We will welcome back to Lyric an outstanding roster of singers, including Lawrence Brownlee, Joseph Calleja, Elizabeth DeShong, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Brandon Jovanovich, Quinn Kelsey, Amanda Majeski, Ana María Martínez, Eric Owens, Patricia Racette, Sondra Radvanovsky, and Christian Van Horn.

"We are also thrilled to welcome several exciting artists who will make their Lyric debuts," Freud continued. "These include Ildar Abdrazakov, Ben Bliss, Ying Fang, Lianna Haroutounian, Jane Henschel, Soloman Howard, Ryan McKinny, Mary Elizabeth Williams, and Rachel Willis-Sørensen."


Sir Andrew Davis will conduct Rossini’s The Barber of Seville to open Lyric’s 65th season, returning for Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, and all three Ring cycles.

Lyric’s roster of guest conductors for the 2019/20 season includes Enrique Mazzola (Luisa Miller), Nicole Paiement (debut, Dead Man Walking), James Gaffigan (Don Giovanni), and Henrik Nánási (Madama Butterfly).

The 2019/20 season will feature opera productions created by internationally acclaimed and award-winning directors including Rob Ashford (The Barber of Seville), Francesca Zambello (Luisa Miller), Leonard Foglia (Dead Man Walking), Robert Falls (Don Giovanni), Michael Grandage (Madama Butterfly), Richard Jones (The Queen of Spades), and David Pountney (Götterdämmerung and the full Ring cycle).

"I am delighted to announce that Lyric Unlimited, in its first collaboration with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, will present the Midwest premiere of Blue, a new opera by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson," Freud revealed. "Blue brings audiences into the emotional epicenter of an African-American family in which the father is a police officer and the son is a politically active teenager. Blue will have its world premiere at Glimmerglass Opera in 2019. Lyric's performances will take place at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in June 2020.  What a wonderful opportunity to bring a new work to the city in a new venue for Lyric Unlimited performances."

Freud shared a statement from Barbara Gaines, Chicago Shakespeare’s artistic director: "Lyric Opera and Chicago Shakespeare have a shared commitment to exploring contemporary social issues on our stages. We’re thrilled that our theater’s newly expanded artistic home on Navy Pier allows us to support the work of the extraordinary creative team behind Blue by co-producing their important new work."

In December 2019 the outstanding soprano Sondra Radvanovsky will give three special semi-staged concert performances of "The Three Queens," the thrilling, tour-de-force finales of Donizetti’s bel canto masterpieces Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux. "Sondra's command of this repertoire will astonish all who experience these performances," Freud declared. "The passion and glorious vocalism she brings to the coloratura fireworks of these operas is simply dazzling." The Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, with artists from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, will participate in these concerts, which are on select subscription series.

Legendary Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel will make his long-awaited return to Lyric for the first time in 15 years for a recital in February of 2020, his only Chicago-area appearance of the season. "Many longtime Lyric opera-goers have wonderful memories of Bryn's thrilling portrayals of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Falstaff, and Sweeney Todd, among others, and will jump at the opportunity to hear his magnificent, expressive voice here again in an intimate recital."

Lyric’s 2019/20 season concludes with the company premiere of the classic American musical 42nd Street "in a gorgeous new-to-Chicago production from the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris that will have our audiences tap-dancing their way out of the theater," said Freud.


Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2019/20 Season

Original Lyric Production
The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) by Gioachino Rossini (1792 – 1868)
8 performances, Sept. 28 – Oct. 27, 2019
Sung in Italian with projected English translations

Irrepressible Rosina refuses to marry her pompous old guardian. A bold young count hopes to win Rosina for himself, but how? Leave it to the resourceful rascal Figaro to get the sweethearts together with a series of slapstick schemes – between his barbering and other gigs. Rossini’s effervescent score is endlessly inventive, entertaining, and captivating (just like the characters themselves), with fantastic musical pyrotechnics to propel the madcap romantic romp toward its happy ending. No wonder it’s so popular!

Figaro:
Adam Plachetka
Rosina:
Marianne Crebassa
Count Almaviva:
Lawrence Brownlee
Dr. Bartolo:
Alessandro Corbelli
Don Basilio:
Krzysztof Bączyk*


*Lyric debut

Sponsors:
Abbott Fund, Liz Stiffel


Conductor:
Sir Andrew Davis
Director:
Rob Ashford
Set Designer:
Scott Pask
Costume Designer:
Catherine Zuber
Lighting Designer:
Howard Harrison
Chorus Master:
Michael Black

 
 

New-to-Chicago Production
Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)
6 performances, Oct. 12 – Oct. 31, 2019
Sung in Italian with projected English translations

Verdi’s sumptuously beautiful romantic tale tells the story of sweet, vulnerable Luisa, who loves Rodolfo, the son of a ruthless, unethical nobleman whom Luisa’s father loathes. The young couple’s relationship leads to catastrophe in a drama that breathes passion and excitement. Memorable arias (including "Quando le sere al placido," one of the composer’s greatest tenor hits), exciting duets, and thrilling ensembles abound in this tale of star-crossed love and violent jealousy. Lyric’s first presentation of this electrifying work in more than three decades will be a feast for all devotees of Verdi and Italian opera.


Luisa:
Krassimira Stoyanova
Rodolfo:
Joseph Calleja
Miller:
Quinn Kelsey°
Walter:
Christian Van Horn°
Wurm:
Soloman Howard*
Federica:
Alisa Kolosova


*Lyric debut
°Ryan Opera Center alumni

Conductor:
Enrique Mazzola
Director:
Francesca Zambello
Set Designer:
Michael Yeargan
Costume Designer:
Dunya Ramicova
Lighting Designer:
Mark McCullough
Chorus Master:
Michael Black


Sponsors:
NIB Foundation, Julie and Roger Baskes, Henry and Gilda Buchbinder Family Foundation, Liz Stiffel

Production owned by San Francisco Opera. Scenery construction and painting by the San Francisco Opera Scenic Shop and costumes fabricated by the San Francisco Opera Costume Shop.

 
 

Lyric Premiere & New-to-Chicago Production
Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie (composer, b.1961) and Terrence McNally (librettist, b.1938)
6 performances, Nov. 2 – Nov. 22, 2019
Sung in English with projected English texts

A young couple is brutally killed, and the convicted murderer, Joseph De Rocher, sits on death row. Sister Helen Prejean agrees to be his spiritual adviser. As she meets his family, and the families of his victims, she begins questioning her attitudes about how human beings treat each other. Based on real-life events, Jake Heggie’s music and Terrence McNally’s libretto explore the nature of friendship and forgiveness in the most profound ways. Highly acclaimed in major houses internationally, Dead Man Walking is widely acknowledged as one of the most riveting operas of the 21st century.

Sister Helen Prejean:
Patricia Racette
Joseph De Rocher:
Ryan McKinny*
Mrs. De Rocher:
Susan Graham
Sister Rose:
Whitney Morrison°
Father Grenville:
Clay Hilley*
George Benton:
Gordon Hawkins
Kitty Hart:
Talise Trevigne*
Owen Hart:
Wayne Tigges°
Howard Boucher:
Allan Glassman*


*Lyric debut
°Ryan Opera Center alumni

Conductor:
Nicole Paiement*
Director:
Leonard Foglia
Set Designer:
Michael McGarty*
Costume Designer:
Jess Goldstein*
Lighting Designer:
Brian Nason
Projection Designer:
Elaine McCarthy
Sound Designer:
Roger Gans*
Chorus Master:
Michael Black


Sponsor:
Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow

Production owned by Lyric Opera of Chicago. Originally created by Opera Pacific, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera, and Baltimore Opera.

Music by Jake Heggie. Libretto by Terrence McNally. Based on the novel by Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ. Commissioned by San Francisco Opera.

 
 

Original Lyric Production
Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
9 performances, Nov. 14 – Dec. 8, 2019
Sung in Italian with projected English translations


A seducer, philanderer, and libertine who lives only for his own pleasure, Don Giovanni is the quintessential anti-hero in Mozart’s dark comedy of lust and revenge. He’s aided and abetted by his frustrated servant Leporello as he variously evades and pursues the beauties who catch his eye: fiery Donna Elvira, tormented Donna Anna, and impressionable Zerlina. Filled with thrilling music and plot twists, including a truly gripping finale, Don Giovanni is justly celebrated as the perfect opera. In Lyric’s production the action unfolds in 1920s Spain, with Giovanni radiating irresistible movie-star charisma.

Don Giovanni:
Ildar Abdrazakov*
Donna Anna:
Rachel Willis-Sørensen*
Donna Elvira:
Amanda Majeski°
Zerlina:
Ying Fang*
Don Ottavio:
Ben Bliss*
Leporello:
Matthew Rose
Masetto:
Brandon Cedel*
Commendatore:
Mika Kares*


*Lyric debut
°Ryan Opera Center alumna

Conductor:
James Gaffigan
Director:
Robert Falls
Set Designer:
Walt Spangler
Costume Designer:
Ana Kuzmanic
Lighting Designer:
Duane Schuler
Chorus Master:
Michael Black


Lead Sponsor:
The Negaunee Foundation
Cosponsors:
Sylvia Neil and Dan Fischel, Howard L. Gottlieb and Barbara G. Greis, Nancy and Sanfred Koltun, Mazza Foundation

 
 

A Semi-Staged Concert
"The Three Queens" starring Sondra Radvanovsky
Finales of Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux
by Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848)

3 performances, Dec. 1 - 7, 2019
Sung in Italian with projected English translations

Three extraordinary historical women grace Donizetti’s "Three Queens" trilogy: passionate Anne Boleyn, proud Mary Stuart, and mighty Queen Elizabeth I. Each is a stupendous role for a true singing actress, who must combine glorious sound with masterful technique and incomparable charisma. Lyric favorite Sondra Radvanovsky stands alone for having commanded all three of these roles in a single season at the Metropolitan Opera, which brought her ecstatic praise from critics and audiences internationally. Singing the finales of Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux, in semi-staged performances featuring the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, along with artists from the Ryan Opera Center, this magnificent American diva will astonish and thrill Lyric audiences anew.


Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Elisabetta:
Sondra Radvanovsky

Conductor:
Riccardo Frizza
Director:
Matthew Ozawa
Chorus Master:
Michael Black


Sponsors:
Ethel and William Gofen, Harris Family Foundation

 
 

Lyric Production
Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
10 performances, Feb. 6 - March 8, 2020
Sung in Italian with projected English translations


An enchanting geisha, Cio-Cio-San, falls in love with and marries an American naval lieutenant, a union that ultimately leads to total disaster for the bride, who loses everything. Puccini’s setting of this cross-cultural love story is among the most deeply affecting operas ever written. The title role is a supreme challenge for a great singing actress; her journey, from ecstatic love to disillusion and finally self-sacrifice, is made especially memorable by Puccini’s gloriously soaring music, including the passionate love duet, the soaring aria "Un bel dì," and a finale that leaves audiences overwhelmed and profoundly moved.

Cio-Cio-San:
Ana María Martínez
Lianna Haroutounian* (March 4, 7)
B. F. Pinkerton:
Brian Jagde
Brandon Jovanovich (March 4, 7)
Suzuki:
Deborah Nansteel
Sharpless:
Anthony Clark Evans°
Goro:
Rodell Rosel°


*Lyric debut
°Ryan Opera Center alumni

Conductor:
Henrik Nánási
Original Director:
Michael Grandage
Revival Director:
Louisa Muller
Set and Costume Designer:
Christopher Oram
Lighting Designer:
Neil Austin
Chorus Master:
Michael Black


Sponsors:
Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin, Marion A. Cameron

A co-production of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Grand Théâtre de Genève.

 
 

New-to-Chicago Production
The Queen of Spades (Pikovaya Dama) by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
5 performances, Feb. 15 – March 1, 2020
Sung in Russian with projected English translations


Tchaikovsky’s brooding thriller is a tour de force for a great tenor. He plays the terrifyingly obsessed Gherman, an unhappy soldier desperate to know a secret hidden by an aging countess – the mystery of winning at cards. The tension turns truly unnerving as Gherman’s obsession begins to overwhelm him. It leads to devastation both for him and for the countess’s granddaughter, Lisa, whom Gherman loves. Tchaikovsky’s music exemplifies Russian romanticism in its melancholy soulfulness, its white-hot passion, and the sweeping grandeur of its orchestra – a masterpiece from the genius who gave the world Eugene Onegin and Swan Lake. This production won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Opera and the Barclays Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.

Gherman:
Brandon Jovanovich
Lisa:
Sondra Radvanovsky
Countess:
Jane Henschel*
Polina:
Elizabeth DeShong°
Prince Yeletsky:
Lucas Meachem
Tomsky:
Samuel Youn
Tchekalinsky:
Kyle van Schoonhoven*
Governess:
Jill Grove


*Lyric debut
°Ryan Opera Center alumna

Conductor:
Sir Andrew Davis
Original Director:
Richard Jones
Revival Director:
Benjamin Davis
Set and Costume Designer:
John Macfarlane
Lighting Designer:
Jennifer Tipton
Chorus Master:
Michael Black


Sponsors:
Margot and Josef Lakonishok

Production originated at Welsh National Opera, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Den Norske Opera, and Canadian Opera Company.

 
 

New Production
Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) by Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
2 performances, April 4 and 11, 2020
Sung in German with projected English translations


The tragedy of the warrior-maiden Brünnhilde, her beloved hero Siegfried, and all the gods, brings nothing less than the end of one world, the beginning of a new one, and the ultimate triumph of love over evil. In the entire operatic repertoire, there is no work of greater musical and dramatic grandeur, or more staggeringly intense emotions, than Wagner’s Twilight of the Gods. Only a work of this scale could close the monumental Ring cycle. Seeing and hearing it in a live performance is one of the greatest experiences that any operagoer can enjoy.


Brünnhilde:
Christine Goerke
Siegfried:
Burkhard Fritz
Waltraute:
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Hagen:
Stephen Milling
Gunther:
Brian Mulligan
Gutrune:
Mary Elizabeth Williams*
First Norn:
Ronnita Miller
Second Norn:
Catherine Martin
Third Norn:
Laura Wilde°
Woglinde:
Diana Newman°
Wellgunde:
Annie Rosen°
Flosshilde:
Lindsay Ammann


*Lyric debut
°Ryan Opera Center alumnae

Sponsors:
Marlys A. Beider, Helen and Sam Zell

Conductor:
Sir Andrew Davis
Director:
David Pountney
Original Set Designer:
Johan Engels
Set Designer:
Robert Innes Hopkins
Costume Designer:
Marie-Jeanne Lecca
Lighting Designer:
Fabrice Kebour
Chorus Master:
Michael Black
Choreographer:
Denni Sayers

 
 

LYRIC'S NEW RING CYCLE

The Ring of the Nibelung (Der Ring des Nibelungen)
by Richard Wagner (1813-1883)
Three complete cycles:
April 13, 14, 16, 18
April 20, 21, 23, 25
April 27, 29, May 1, 3
Sung in German with projected English translations


Seen as individual operas, each of these four works is an impressive feat of drama, theater, and thrilling music. Experienced over the course of a single week in a cycle, as intended, the four works meld into an extraordinary and immersive story, comprising one of the greatest musical achievements in Western culture.

Subscribers to the 2019/20 Season have advance ordering priority for Lyric’s internationally acclaimed new Ring cycle through April 1.


Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold)
Three performances, April 13, 20, 27, 2020


Wotan:
Eric Owens
Alberich:
Samuel Youn
Loge:
Stefan Margita
Robert Brubaker (April 27)
Fricka:
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Erda:
Ronnita Miller
Fasolt:
Henning von Schulman*
Fafner:
Soloman Howard


*Lyric debut
°Ryan Opera Center alumnae

Mime:
Matthias Klink
Freia:
Laura Wilde°
Froh:
Brandon Jovanovich
Donner:
Brian Mulligan
Woglinde:
Diana Newman°
Wellgunde:
Annie Rosen°
Flosshilde:
Lindsay Amman


Same conductor and production team as Götterdämmerung (see above)

 
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)
Three performances, April 14, 21, 29, 2020

Brünnhilde:
Christine Goerke
Wotan:
Eric Owens
Sieglinde:
Elisabet Strid
Laura Wilde° (April 29)
Siegmund:
Brandon Jovanovich
Fricka:
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Hunding:
Stephen Milling


*Lyric debut
°Ryan Opera Center alumna

Helmwige:
Alexandra LoBianco
Ortlinde:
Laura Wilde°
TBA (April 29)
Waltraute:
Catherine Martin
Rossweisse:
Lindsay Ammann
Grimgerde:
Krysty Swann


Same conductor and production team as Götterdämmerung (see above)

 
Siegfried
Three performances, April 16, 23, May 1, 2020

Siegfried:
Burkhard Fritz
Brünnhilde:
Christine Goerke
The Wanderer (Wotan):
Eric Owens
Mime:
Matthias Klink


°Ryan Opera Center alumna

Alberich:
Samuel Youn
Erda:
Ronnita Miller
Woodbird:
Diana Newman°
Fafner:
Soloman Howard


Same conductor and production team as Götterdämmerung (see above)

 
Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods)
Three performances, April 18, 25, May 3, 2020

Same cast, conductor, and production team as above.


Ring
Cycle Lead Sponsor:
Anonymous Donor
Cosponsors:
Mr. & Mrs. Dietrich M. Gross
Gramma Fisher Foundation of Marshalltown, Iowa
Ada and Whitney Addington
Bulley & Andrews
National Endowment for the Arts
Additional Support from:
Robin Angly
Richard J. and Barbara Franke


Curtain times for Lyric’s new RING cycle:
Evenings:
Cycle 1:  Mon Apr 13/7:30pm, Tue Apr 14/6pm, Thu Apr 16/6pm , Sat Apr 18/5:30pm
Cycle 2: Mon Apr 20/7:30pm, Tue Apr 21/6pm, Thu Apr 23/6pm, Sat Apr 25/5:30pm

Matinees:
Cycle 3: Mon Apr 27/2pm, Wed Apr 29/2pm, Fri May 1/2pm, Sun May 3/2:30pm


Enhance Your RING Experience

A wide range of ancillary activities will be available at the Lyric Opera House during the three weeks of Ring cycle performances in April/May 2020. These include

  • Longer! Louder! Wagner! The Second City Wagner Companion performances
  • The Philosophy of the Ring lectures by University of Chicago scholar Martha Nussbaum
  • Discussions with the Ring creative team, cast members, and Sir Andrew Davis
  • The Music of Wagner recitals by artists from the Ryan Opera Center
  • Flight of the Valkyries draft beer sampling events following performances of Das Rheingold
  • Pre-Opera Talks before each performance
  • Backstage Tours
Activity prices range from free to $69 and may be purchased à la carte, or as part of a Ring Ancillary All-Access Pass costing $125 and allowing access to one backstage tour, one performance of Longer! Louder! Wagner!, and your choice of additional activities. For more information, go to lyricopera.org/RING. Ring patrons will also be able to enjoy special pricing at several partner organizations around Chicago between Ring performances.

Out-of-town Ring patrons will have access to specially priced accommodations at a variety of hotels. For more information please visit lyricopera.org/RING.





Lyric Premiere, New-to-Chicago Production
42nd Street by Harry Warren (1893-1981) and Al Dubin (1891-1945)
May 29 - June 21, 2020

The effervescent backstage musical comedy classic, 42nd Street is the song-and-dance fable of Broadway with an American Dream story. It contains some of the greatest songs ever written, such as "We’re In The Money," "Lullaby of Broadway," "Shuffle Off To Buffalo," "Dames," "I Only Have Eyes For You," and of course, "42nd Street."

42nd Street centers on a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to audition for the new Broadway show Pretty Lady. When the leading lady breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star. The stage musical is based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie.

Director and Choreographer:
Stephen Mear*
Set and Costume Designer:
Peter McKintosh*
Lighting Designer:
Chris Davey*


The conductor and cast for 42nd Street will be announced at a later date.

Music by Harry Warren. Lyrics by Al Dubin & Johnny Mercer. Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble.

Lead Sponsor: The Negaunee Foundation
Cosponsors: Anonymous Donor, Donna Van Eekeren and Dale Connelly
Major in-kind audio support provided by Shure Incorporated

A production created by the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.



Lyric Premiere and New Coproduction
Blue by Jeanine Tesori (composer, b. 1961) and Tazewell Thompson (librettist, b. 1948)
Six performances June 19 - 28, 2020, at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier
Performed in English with projected English texts

Blue brings audiences into the emotional epicenter of an African-American family in which the father is a police officer and the son is a politically active teenager. When the son is killed by police, his death brings to reality the mother’s worst fear, and ignites anger and devastation in the father.

The new opera is inspired by contemporary events and Black literature, including Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, and focuses on the joys and sorrows of bringing a child into a world in which African-American families are forced to question if their sons’ lives matter.


Director:
Tazewell Thompson*
Scenic Designer:
Donald Eastman*
Costume Designer:
Jessica Jahn
Lighting Designer:
Robert Wierzel

The conductor and cast for Blue will be announced at a later date.

Blue is a coproduction of Lyric Opera Chicago, Glimmerglass Opera, and Washington National Opera.

A project of Lyric Unlimited, presented in collaboration with Chicago Shakespeare Theater.




2019/20 Season Special Performances and Events


Opening Night Gala
Saturday, September 28, 2019 – Doors open at 5pm, performance begins at 6pm
Lyric Opera House

Elegantly dressed guests will make their red-carpet entrances amidst the paparazzi and onlookers at the Lyric Opera House on Saturday, September 28. It’s the opening night of Rossini’s delightful comedy, The Barber of Seville, which launches Lyric Opera of Chicago’s eagerly anticipated 65th season. The Opera Ball takes place at the Hilton Chicago following the performance (separate tickets required). Festivities will also continue at the opera house in the Pedersen Room and Florian Opera Bistro restaurants (reservations required).

The Opening Night Gala is sponsored by Aon. Opera Ball 2019 is cosponsored by ITW and Northern Trust.



Sir Bryn Terfel in Recital
Sunday, February 2, 2020, 2pm
Lyric Opera House


Sir Bryn Terfel is one of the most engaging artists of our time. The Welsh bass-baritone has triumphed at Lyric repeatedly: Terfel made his American debut as Donner in Lyric’s 1992 Das Rheingold, returning as Mozart’s Figaro, Leporello, and Don Giovanni; Verdi’s Falstaff; Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd; and Strauss’s John the Baptist/Salome in subsequent seasons. He is also an immensely successful recording artist and recitalist in the most distinguished venues internationally. His magnificent voice, penetrating interpretive insight, and extraordinary stylistic versatility combine with a matchlessly communicative personality that entrances any audience. His first Chicago recital in many years will certainly be one of the most memorable musical events of the 2019/20 season.




Lyric Unlimited

A crucial component of Lyric's mission, Lyric Unlimited expands the company’s civic footprint by collaborating with organizations throughout the Chicago area, creating opportunities for children and adults to learn about the art of opera, and exploring the development of opera through the creation and presentation of new works.

In the 2017/18 season, more than 95,000 individuals engaged with Lyric Unlimited programs.

Lyric Unlimited will offer an array of new and ongoing educational and community engagement programs during the 2019/20 season. For more information about Lyric Unlimited program offerings, visit lyricopera.org/lyricunlimited.


Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park
Friday, September 6, 2019, 7:30pm
Jay Pritzker Pavilion


For the 19th year, thousands of music lovers will flock to hear Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park, a free concert under the stars. The performance features acclaimed artists of Lyric’s new season, along with the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus and members of the Ryan Opera Center. Lyric’s music director Sir Andrew Davis will conduct.


Family Day at Lyric
Saturday, May 16, 2020, 11am – 3pm
Lyric Opera House

Lyric Unlimited and Lyric’s Guild Board of Directors are delighted to offer a day of behind-the-scenes fun and exploration with the third annual Family Day at Lyric, a wonderful way to explore opera with family members of all ages. The event features exclusive access to the Lyric Opera House, including visiting the orchestra pit and standing on stage! Participants enjoy demonstrations of operatic stagecraft and costume try-ons throughout the day. The day features short live performances and programming geared specifically to children ages 5 to 10. The entire family can learn something new about opera at this unique event. Family Day is open only to subscribers through July 2019, priced at $10 for adults and $5 for children.



Opera Insider Series
Individual dates September 24, 2019 – March 31, 2020, 10am – noon (all Tuesdays)
Civic Opera Building (office tower)


This illuminating series with music historian and opera expert David Buch provides an in-depth exploration of each of the operas in the 2019/20 Season. Each session will discuss a work’s creation, its composer, its musical and dramatic highlights, and its particular magic. Special guests from Lyric’s technical department share insights into set and costume design, interpretation, stagecraft, and more.

September 24 – The Barber of Seville
October 1 – Luisa Miller
October 29  – Dead Man Walking
November 12 – Don Giovanni
February 4 – Madama Butterfly

February 11 – The Queen of Spades
March 10 – Das Rheingold
March 17 – Die Walküre
March 24 – Siegfried
March 31 – Götterdämmerung

 

Pre-Opera Talks

Every mainstage opera (except for the season-opening night of The Barber of Seville) features a free Pre-Opera Talk one hour before the performance begins. These give patrons an enlightening opportunity to learn about the composer, the themes within the music and drama, and overall production for each opera.



The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center is the professional artist development program for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Since its inception in 1974, the Ryan Opera Center has been recognized as one of the premier programs of its kind in the world. That standing is maintained by providing the finest up-and-coming singers and pianists with unparalleled training and experience. The program is administered by Dan Novak, director; Craig Terry, music director; Julia Faulkner, director of vocal studies; and Renée Fleming, advisor.

Each year the Ryan Opera Center selects 12-14 gifted young artists to join its program from some 500 applicants. Beginning in the spring, ensemble members arrive to join the full-year residency program, under the guidance of Novak, Terry, Faulkner, and Fleming, as well as Anthony Freud, Sir Andrew Davis, and numerous other opera professionals. Ensemble members are immediately immersed into the world of opera and vocal performance. Coaching sessions and master classes are augmented by performance and understudy experience in Lyric Opera’s regular season productions as well as Ryan Opera Center concerts and recitals.

The 2019/20 season ensemble members are sopranos Mathilda Edge and Emily Pogorelc; mezzo-sopranos Kayleigh Decker and Kathleen Felty; contralto Lauren Decker; tenors Eric Ferring and Mario Rojas; baritones Christopher Kenney and Ricardo José Rivera; bass-baritone David Weigel; bass Anthony Reed; and pianist Madeline Slettedahl.

The current roster includes one international singer – Mario Rojas from Mexico – representing the continued evolution of the Ryan Opera Center, which in addition to cultivating U.S. singers, is also identifying exceptional talent from around the globe.

The roles that current ensemble members will perform in Lyric’s 2019/20 season will be announced at a later date.

Ryan Opera Center Alumni Return in 2019/20


In addition to supporting the Ryan Opera Center members while they are in the program, Lyric also invites a number of alumni back to perform in mainstage roles. Next season, the following singers will return to Lyric:

Baritone Quinn Kelsey (2003-06) – Miller/Luisa Miller
Bass-baritone Christian Van Horn (2004-06) – Walter/Luisa Miller
Soprano Whitney Morrison (2017-19) – Sister Rose/Dead Man Walking
Bass-baritone Wayne Tigges (2002-05) – Owen Hart/Dead Man Walking
Soprano Amanda Majeski (2009-11) – Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni
Baritone Anthony Clark Evans (2013-16) – Sharpless/Madama Butterfly
Tenor Rodell Rosel (2005-07) – Goro/Madama Butterfly
Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong (2005-08) – Polina/The Queen of Spades
Soprano Laura Wilde (2013-16) – Freia/Das Rheingold, Sieglinde and Ortlinde/Die Walküre, Third Norn/Götterdämmerung
Soprano Diana Newman (2015-18) – Woglinde/Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, Woodbird/Siegfried
Mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen (2015-17) – Wellgunde/Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung


Ryan Opera Center Concert with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago
Wednesday, June 5, 2019, 8pm
Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center


The Ryan Opera Center joins forces with the exceptional Civic Orchestra of Chicago for an evening of beloved opera scenes and orchestral interludes. Conductor Michael Christie returns to the Civic podium to conduct this collaboration between two of the nation's most prestigious training programs for emerging artists. To order free tickets visit cso.org or call 312-294-3000.

More details about the Ryan Opera Center’s 2019/20 season will be announced at a later date. For further information, visit lyricopera.org/ryanoperacenter.




Information and Enhancements for the 2019/20 Season

Curtain times for the regular opera season:
Weekday evening opera performances will start at 7pm.
Matinee opera performances will start at 2pm.
Saturday evening opera performances will start at 7:30pm.
This excludes Götterdämmerung, which will have Saturday evening performances starting at 5:30pm; and Opening Night of the season, which begins at 6pm.


Curtain times for 42nd Street
Evenings: 7pm except for May 30, 7:30pm
Matinees: 1:30pm


Dining and Drinking at the Lyric Opera House: An Array of Refreshing Options

The Sarah and Peer Pedersen Room (elegant prix-fixe dining, street level; reservations required) and the Florian Opera Bistro (casual-sophisticated à la carte dining, 3rd floor; reservations accepted, walk-ins welcome) serve excellent seasonal menus prepared by Jewell Events Catering, including special show-inspired entrées created by featured guest chefs for the Pedersen Room.

Donors of $7,500+ enjoy membership to The William B. and Catherine Graham Room where they experience innovative cuisine and impeccable service in an elegant and exclusive setting with private cloakroom and washrooms.

Lyric’s pop-up Sushi Bar will return for select performances, particularly for the longer operas, between Aisles 4 and 5 on the main floor of the foyer. Check lyricopera.org/dining during the 2019/20 Season.

Sunday Afternoon Tea Service is available before Sunday matinee performances. Lyric ticket holders can enjoy pre-opera tea service for $40 ($49 with one glass of sparkling wine) at cozy tables on the mezzanine level of the Lyric Opera House. Additional glasses of sparkling wine may be purchased at $11/glass. Advance reservations required. Service includes signature pastries, finger sandwiches, and the finest Kilogram teas. Call 312.827.5600 to reserve.

The Celebration Package makes a special occasion at the Lyric Opera House even more memorable. Guests may preorder two glasses of bubbly plus a shareable piece of Opera Cake and two chocolate-covered strawberries ($30), to enjoy at a mezzanine highboy table during intermission. Call 312-827-5600 up to 72 hours in advance to reserve.

Cheers! is located between Aisles 3 and 4 (directly across from the grand staircase), serving an exclusive assortment of French Champagnes, international, and domestic sparkling wines, and sparkling cocktails. Cheers! and all lobby and foyer bars are open an hour before curtain through the end of intermission for all performances.

Skip the line! Patrons can preorder beverages for intermission for all performances.Take advantage of preordering refreshments in person at any of the bars or restaurants and pick them up at intermission.


Or...Pre-order online! Lyric patrons can preorder a drink or snack to pick up before a performance or during intermission from one of two convenient locations on the Main or 4th Floor. Just download the new Lyric Opera Drink app from the App Store or Google Play and create your account.  On the performance date, make your selection. Choose when and where to pick up your order. Orders must be completed one hour before curtain time.

Ask Us Anything…

The Lyric Concierge Desk is in the southwest corner of the lobby, across from the OperaShop. Staff members can assist guests with a variety of questions at every performance.


Subscriptions on sale Friday, January 25, at 10am for Lyric's 2019/20 Season

New and returning subscribers can choose from fixed-date packages or variable-date "Create Your Own" packages. Earlier purchases = greater savings.

  • Nearly 20 fixed-seat series from which to choose — offering the ease of pre-selected dates and renewable seats, the choice of weekday or weekend series, matinee or evening performances
  • Two 8-opera series including a "Value Series" that offers up to 50% off select dates
  • Three 4-opera series that are all Saturday-night performances
  • Nine 4-opera evening series
  • Two 4-opera and one 5-opera weekday matinee series
  • Fixed-seat series offer the same seat for every show that can be renewed from year to year and priority seating
  • "Create Your Own" (CYO) series — 4 or more performances of your choice, mix-and-match performance titles, dates, and seating sections. NEW: CYO Series may now include non-opera events
  • 4 performances from just $96


Additional subscriber advantages and perks include:

  • Easy payment plans — just 25% down secures your series
  • The very best seating locations
  • No ticket exchange fees when completed at least 5 days before a performance
  • Free option to exchange into tickets for the season's Opening Night performance
  • TRADEONE enables those with 4-, 5-, or 6-opera series to trade one opera in their lineup with one that is not
  • Advance ordering privileges and priority seating for special performances (Sir Bryn Terfel in Recital, and 42nd Street)
  • Discounts on additional opera and musical tickets — 10% all season long
  • Priority dining reservations at Pedersen Room Restaurant and Florian Bistro
  • Discounted parking at Poetry Garage (advance online purchase required, not applicable for weekday matinees)

Single tickets for individual operas, 42nd Street, and special events will go on sale in July 2019.

The Lyric Bus, a luxury motor coach service from Northbrook Court Shopping Mall to the Lyric Opera House, is available for weekday matinee performances for $20 round-trip. It may be added onto subscription packages by calling Audience Services at 312-827-5600.

Discounted tickets for children 17 and under ($20-50) are available by phone only: 312-827-5600.


Additional Information

Call 312-827-5600 to purchase subscription tickets, or visit lyricopera.org beginning January 25.

Click here for production images for Lyric's 2019/20 season. Artists' headshots available on request.


From: Lisa Middleton, Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Holly H. Gilson
Senior Director, Communications
312.827.5939

Magda Krance
Director of
Media Relations

312.827.5924

Nathaniel Hamilton
Public Relations
Manager

312.827.5928

 

About Lyric

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric’s current season, go to lyricopera.org. You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1819 #LongLivePassion

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Lyric Opera of Chicago
20 N. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
United States