PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
Pictured: Renée Fleming
The Emmy-winning “Chicago Voices” special that premiered locally on WTTW will air nationwide on Friday.
Renowned soprano Renée Fleming hosted the multi-genre concert special from the stage of Lyric Opera — produced by Lyric and Chicago-based HMS Media — paying tribute to the city’s wide-reaching influence across blues, jazz, rock, folk, hip-hop, gospel, opera and classical music.
A recipient of three Chicago/Midwest Emmy Awards “Chicago Voices” makes its national debut as a one-hour Great Performances special on August 10 at 9 p.m. central. The special will begin streaming the following day on pbs.org/gperf and PBS apps.
The concert features performances by Fleming, Tony-winner Jessie Mueller, Grammy-winning pop and gospel singer Michelle Williams, “New Queen of the Blues” Shemekia Copeland, Grammy-winning jazz singer Kurt Elling, Grammy-winning rapper Lupe Fiasco, three-time Grammy-winning folk legend John Prine, alternative rock group The Handsome Family, star operatic tenor Matthew Polenzani, the Voices of Trinity Mass Choir, and Empire’s Terrance Howard and Jussie Smollett.
The concert was conceived by Fleming, who serves as Lyric’s Creative Consultant, to bring together a diverse group of musicians , who were then utilized in a series of masterclasses for Chicago-area students in the week leading up to the concert.
Multiple Jeff Award-winner Doug Peck served as the music director, and Billy Bungeroth directed for stage. HMS Media co-founder Matt Hoffman directed and edited the original 90-minute broadcast version, which was produced by co-founder Scott Silberstein. For Great Performances, Bill O’Donnell is the series producer and David Horn is executive producer.