Opening with a bang the Lyric Opera commences its 68th season 2022/2023 with the World Premiere of Verdi Voices. The Lyric Opera simply lights up my soul with its gorgeous interiors, resplendent rich costumes, ethereal music, and enthusiastically devoted patrons. I cannot imagine anything more delightful than spending an afternoon at the Lyric listening to Verdi Voices conducted by the esteemed Verdi expert Lyric Music Director, Enrique Mazzola. This is a one-time performance that opens the Lyrics’ return to live in-person productions on Sunday, February 6, 2022. We were graced with the virtuosos Soprano Tamara Wilson, winner of the Richard Tucker Award and Grand Prize in the Francisco Viñas Competition, and internationally acclaimed Tenor Russell Thomas rendering the enduring themes of human drama: life, death, love, lust, jealousy, rage, and revenge. Their powerful passionate performances energized the audience. They performed the beloved Verdi classics Aida, Otello, along with rarely-performed magnificent Verdi duets and arias. I love that you can listen to the beautiful poetry of the Italian language in verse with the projection of the English-translated text so even I can follow the dramatic storylines.
If you, unfortunately, miss this epic fireworks performance please do not miss the exciting diverse season to come including another commissioned world premiere, three premieres of works never before seen on stage, and a myriad of classic favorites. September 9 through October 1, 2022, features Verdi’s Ernani. This is described by the Lyric Opera of Chicago as a sumptuously beautiful exhilarating operatic experience.
Puccini’s Tosca March 12 through April 10 features a most desirable diva who has Rome at her beck and call. The characters are memorable and the opera is grandly dramatic. Two Black artists will be onstage together for the first time in Lyric history. American Soprano, Michelle Bradley will make her debut at the Lyric as Tosca while Russell Thomas an international star will play Mario.
On March 24 through April 8 an exciting innovative memoir of Charles M. Blow’s account of his traumatic childhood in Louisiana will be presented. Composed by Terence Blanchard a most prestigious figure in American jazz and librettist Kasi Lemmons Fire Shut Up In My Bones reveals the Black experience in this country. It is a relevant and must-see opera for today.
On October 8, 2022, the exquisite four-time Grammy Award winner and recipient of the National Medal of Arts incomparable soprano Renee Flemming will perform The Brightness of Light concert with Rod Gilfrey. Pulitzer Prize-winner Kevin Puts created this seminal work based on the passionate love letters between the greatest American female modern artist Georgia O’Keefe and her world-renowned husband photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
On September 17 through October 7, 2022, the internationally acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Fiddler on the Roof with its well-loved, cherished songs will be directed by Barrie Kosky.
Rossini’s farcical operatic comedy Le Comte Ory will bring you smiles and laughter when it opens on November 13 and runs through November 26, 2022. The star of this delightful slapstick is Bel Canto Tenor internationally honored Lawrence Brownlee. Soprano Kathryn Lewek, described as one of opera’s most exciting, top-ranked operatic performers of all time is featured along with Canadian-born Baritone Joshua Hopkins.
Hansel and Gretel first debuted and captivated audiences at the Lyric twenty years ago. By popular demand, this contemporary Brother’s Grimm fairytale is scheduled for January 25 through February 5, 2023. With its moving exquisite music, this fanciful thriller is a perfect introduction to opera for all ages.
In order to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the Lyric patrons, there are very specific guidelines to follow: “Lyric Opera of Chicago will require that all audience members provide a valid photo ID and proof of full vaccination against the COVID-19 virus and, when eligible, booster shots, at the external doors to the theater in order to enter the Lyric Opera House. Full vaccination occurs two weeks after a CDC-recommended regimen of vaccination, and booster eligibility may be found here. Additionally, medical-grade facial masks *(multi-layer surgical, N95, KN95, or KF94 masks), worn properly over the nose and mouth, will be required for all patrons for the duration of their time in the opera house for as long as the community transmission requires it. Please note that fabric masks, bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with exhalation valves are not accepted.” For further information please contact Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Photos: Courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago
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