From: Lisa Middleton, Vice President, Marketing & Communications  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 


The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Rising Stars in Concert
with members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra conducted by Christopher Allen

Sunday, April 7, 2pm at the Lyric Opera House
CHICAGO (3/19/2019) The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago will present its annual Rising Stars in Concert program on Sunday, April 7, at 2 pm at the Lyric Opera House. The artists of the 2018/19 Ryan Opera Center Ensemble, along with members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, will perform wide-ranging operatic highlights by a variety of composers including Barber, Cilea, Donizetti, Massenet, Mozart, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, Rossini, and Verdi. Rising Stars in Concert is a celebration of another exceptionally successful year of training and performance experience for these soon-to-be world-renowned artists.

Lyric donors of $50 and above are eligible to reserve two complimentary tickets for Rising Stars in Concert. Tickets are available at

"The entire Lyric family is so proud of our Ryan Opera Center artists," says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s General Director, President & CEO. "The Ensemble this year has achieved so much in their training, and on the Lyric stage. I’m very happy that our generous donors will have the opportunity to see all Ryan Opera Center members shine in one of our favorite concerts of the year."

The Rising Stars in Concert audience will enjoy performances by sopranos Whitney Morrison, Emily Pogorelc, and Ann Toomey; mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker; contralto Lauren Decker; tenors Eric Ferring, Josh Lovell, and Mario Rojas; baritones Christopher Kenney and Ricardo José Rivera; bass-baritones Alan Higgs and David Weigel; and pianist Madeline Slettedahl.

Ryan Opera Center members have triumphed multiple times this season, whether stepping in as understudies in major roles or performing supporting roles throughout an opera's run. Lyric audiences have had many opportunities to experience the promising talent of the 2018/19 Ensemble.  

Whitney Morrison, Ann Toomey, Josh Lovell, and Alan Higgs are concluding their tenure with the Ryan Opera Center following the concert to pursue full-time careers nationally and internationally.

The Ensemble members who will return to the program for 2019/20 include: Emily Pogorelc, Kayleigh Decker, Lauren Decker, Eric Ferring, Mario Rojas, Christopher Kenney, Ricardo José Rivera, David Weigel, and pianist Madeline Slettedahl .

Rising Stars in Concert will also be broadcast on 98.7WFMT and on Sunday, April 14, 2019, beginning at 7pm.
From: Lisa Middleton, Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Holly H. Gilson
Senior Director, Communications

Magda Krance
Director of Media Relations


About the Ryan Opera Center

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 emerging artists from some 400 applicants. Beginning in the spring, they 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 other Ryan Opera Center concerts and recitals.

For more information, visit

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 You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1819 #LongLivePassion

Photo: Todd Rosenberg

Rising Stars in Concert is generously sponsored by Lead Sponsor Donna Van Eekeren Foundation, and Sponsors BMO Harris Bank, Ann M. Drake, Mr. and Mrs. Allan Drebin, Sue and Melvin Gray, Patricia A. Kenney and Gregory J. O’Leary, Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund, Frank B. Modruson and Lynne C. Shigley, and the Dr. Scholl Foundation.

The radio broadcast of Rising Stars in Concert is generously sponsored by the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation.

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