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Photo: LA BOHÈME | Courtesy of Royal Opera House
General Director Anthony Freud and Music Director Sir Andrew Davis announced Lyric Opera’s 2018/19 Season, which will include LA BOHÈME, IDOMENEO, SIEGFRIED, IL TROVATORE, CENDRILLON, ELEKTRA, LA TRAVIATA, ARIODANTE, AN AMERICAN DREAM, and a co-production of WEST SIDE STORY.
“I know we say this each year, but it’s true – we are very excited about next season,” said Freud. “Audiences will experience a tremendous variety of musical and theatrical styles. We will present fresh interpretations of familiar works, as well as an opportunity to experience works we have never performed before.”
Freud says that “several outstanding international artists will make their Lyric debuts in new and new-to-Chicago productions, alongside many fantastic artists who are well known to Lyric audiences. Continuing our new Ring with SIEGFRIED will be a major highlight. CENDRILLON, ARIODANTE, and WEST SIDE STORY will be seen on our stage for the very first time, along with the Lyric Unlimited premiere of the chamber opera AN AMERICAN DREAM at the Harris Theater.”
“This season’s repertoire includes three of the most deservedly popular Italian operas,” said Davis. “I think La Scala West (as Lyric was once known) was due for an overdose and I suspect there are many in our audience who will agree. And alongside them, we have both Wagner AND Strauss and three rarities – in which I include Mozart’s Idomeneo – that will astonish and delight.”
“In planning our latest season,” Freud said, “we have assembled a truly exceptional roster of well-known singers returning to Lyric, including Maria Agresta, Jamie Barton, Janai Brugger, Alice Coote, Iestyn Davies, Danielle de Niese, Christine Goerke, Kyle Ketelsen, Zeljko Lučić, Michaela Martens, Eric Owens, Matthew Polenzani, Albina Shagimuratova, Heidi Stober, Russell Thomas, Elza van den Heever, Erin Wall, and Samuel Youn.”
Davis noted that “it’s quite a coup to have Alice Coote starring in not one but two company premieres at Lyric next season – CENDRILLON and ARIODANTE. “We are also immensely excited to welcome a dazzling array of thrilling artists who will make their Lyric debuts,” Freud continued. “We are pleased to welcome to the Lyric stage for the first time Giorgio Berrugi, Angela Brower, Michael Fabiano, Burkhard Fritz, Matthias Klink, Iain Patterson, George Petean, Brenda Rae, Siobhan Stagg, Nina Stemme, Roberto Tagliavini, and Tamara Wilson.”
“The company debut of Nina Stemme is a special milestone,” said Davis. “We have long sought to engage this outstanding dramatic soprano, and her portrayal of Elektra, one of her signature roles, is something no one should miss.”
Davis will conduct three operas next season, beginning with Mozart’s IDOMENEO. He will also return to lead the continuation of Wagner’s Ring cycle, SEIGFRIED; and Massenet’s CENDRILLON. Guest conductors include Domingo Hindoyan (LA BOHÈME), Marco Armiliato (IL TROVATORE), Donald Runnicles (ELEKTRA), Michael Christie (LA TRAVIATA), and Harry Bicket (ARIODANTE).
Directors include Richard Jones (LA BOHÈME and ARIODANTE), David Pountney (SEIGFRIED), Laurent Pelly (CENDRILLON), and Arin Arbus (LA TRAVIATA), along with productions originally directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (IDOMENEO) and Sir David McVicar (IL TROVATORE and ELEKTRA).
Lyric Unlimited will present the Midwest premiere of AN AMERICAN DREAM, by composer Jack Perla and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo. Inspired by World War II-era events, the chamber opera premiered at Seattle Opera in 2015. AN AMERICAN DREAM will have two performances at the Harris Theater in March 2019.
Following the operas of the 2018/19 Season, Lyric will present WEST SIDE STORY May 3 – June 2, 2019, a coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Glimmerglass Festival. Francesca Zambello will direct.