Lyric Opera Announces Season & Casting

Lyric Opera Announces Season & Casting

Photo: Lyric’s “Das Rheingold” | Todd Rosenberg

Lyric Opera has announced the operas that will make up its next season: The Barber of Seville, Luisa Miller, Dead Man Walking, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, The Queen of Spades, Götterdämmerung, and Blue. As its annual musical, the opera will present a production of 42nd Street from the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Finally, lyric will run its new production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle in its entirety three times over the course of three weeks in April and May.

“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,” General Director, President & CEO Anthony 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 Music Director Sir Andrew 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.”

The season marks the launch of a multi-year series focusing on 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,” added Freud.

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

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. “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” said Freud. Blue will have its world premiere at Glimmerglass Opera in 2019. Lyric’s performances will take place at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in June 2020.

In December, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky will give three special semi-staged concert performances of “The Three Queens,” the 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 said. “The passion and glorious vocalism she brings to the coloratura fireworks of these operas is simply dazzling.”

Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel will make his return to Lyric for the first time in 15 years for a recital in February. “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,” Freud continued.


Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2019/20 Season (from the press release):

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

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

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 on 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

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

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