PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.
The home of Lyric Opera of Chicago marks its 90th anniversary this week, and the company’s president, general director & CEO, Anthony Freud announced today that the company plans to replace its seating to celebrate. Over the summer of 2020, the theater’s seating will be torn out and replaced, restructuring the layout and sightlines on the main floor. The new seating plan has been designed to enhance the audience experience through improved sightlines and a reconfiguration of the house that is easier to navigate and more accessible.
Thanks to a significant gift from an anonymous donor, construction is set to start at the conclusion of Lyric’s spring musical, “42nd Street.”
“We are thrilled about this opportunity to elevate the Lyric experience for all our guests,” said Freud. “Lyric is committed to improving and maintaining this historic building to the highest standard, without altering the house’s visual beauty. We are enormously grateful for the generosity of the Anonymous Donor, whose commitment to helping maximize Lyric’s accessibility to all audiences while enhancing the overall experience in the opera house has made this possible. As a jewel of Chicago’s cultural and architectural community, Lyric is committed to preserving and enhancing the historic Art Deco building. This new seating plan will provide accessibility and upgrades in comfort while ensuring that the house’s acoustics will remain among the finest in the nation.”
The overall result takes the theater from 3,563 seats to 3,276 seats, but the number of accessible seats will increase dramatically. The new seats have a wider base than the previous seats, and in the front section of the Main Floor will have up to two additional inches of legroom.