Lyric Opera of Chicago

What You Didn't Know About the 2014-15 Season

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We’d love to see you at all eight operas next season! Here’s what you can say about them to impress your friends….


Mozart’s Don Giovanni  

Mariusz Kwiecien stars as Don Giovanni.
  • No work in the whole repertoire has been so often proclaimed “the perfect opera.” For glorious music and hot-blooded drama, it doesn’t get any better!
  • This opera’s (in)famous title character – the serial seducer to end them all – has made conquests of 2,065 women, including 1,003 in Spain alone.
  • When Polish baritone Mariusz Kwieicien returns to us in his signature role of Giovanni, he’ll be singing it in his 16th major international company!



Strauss’s Capriccio

Renée Fleming as the Countess in Capriccio.
  • This is ultra-elegant entertainment – and it’s going to be performed by the classiest possible cast, led by the Strauss soprano of our time, Renée Fleming!
  • Richard Strauss had a lifelong love affair with the soprano voice, and was married for 55 years to the famously ill-tempered soprano who starred in his very first opera.
  • In Capriccio’s spectacularly beautiful final scene, the leading lady (a soprano, of course!) has to sing like an angel while appearing to accompany herself on the harp.



Verdi’s Il Trovatore

Stephanie Blythe as the gypsy Azucena in Il Trovatore.
  • In Trovatore you’ve got one truly fabulous tune after another – and rip-roaring theatrical excitement onstage in every scene!
  • The most famous note for a tenor in opera – the high C ending Act Three of Trovatore – wasn’t actually written by Verdi! (A famous 19th-century tenor threw it in, and his successors have followed suit.)
  • In A Night at the Opera, the Marx Brothers pay hilarious homage to the last act of Trovatore!



Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess

Eric Owens as Porgy in a scene from Porgy and Bess.
  • A passionate love story, set within a vibrant, captivating community, and illuminated by some of the greatest music any American composer has ever created.
  • One of this opera's most beloved songs, “Summertime,” has a huge discography. It has been covered by artists more than 33,000 times, with singers including everyone from Leontyne Price to Janis Joplin.



Donizetti’s Anna Bolena

Sondra Radvanovsky in Anna Bolena.
  • History buffs will get a huge kick out of this beautiful opera – it’s also going to look gorgeous and sound spectacular, with nonstop vocal virtuosity!
  • Anne Boleyn was Wife #2 of Henry VIII – the others were Catherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr.
  • Donizetti, whose career output included more than 60 operas, had already composed 35 of them when this one made him famous overnight.



Puccini’s Tosca

A scene from Tosca.
  • You’ve got a glamorous soprano portraying an opera diva onstage  – she gets two great love duets with the tenor, gets to stab the nasty baritone in hair-raising style. Who could ask for more?
  • Tosca is one of few operas taking place on a specific date in history – or, actually two dates: June 17 and 18, 1800.
  • Our Tosca director, John Caird, co-directed the original production of one of musical theater’s biggest blockbusters – Les Misérables.



Wagner’s Tannhäuser

Amber Wagner/Elisabeth and Johan Botha/title role in Wagner’s Tannhäuser.
  • If you want not just thrilling arias and duets, but also some of the most spectacular orchestral and choral music anywhere in opera, look no further!
  • You can see our Tannhäuser, tenor Johan Botha, on DVD in Wagner’s Die Walküre, documenting his long-awaited debut at the ultimate venue for Wagner, Germany’s Bayreuth Festival.
  • Soprano Amber Wagner is taking two giant steps in her career this season at Lyric with her first performances of both Elisabeth in Tannhäuser and Leonora in Il Trovatore.



Weinberg’s The Passenger

A scene from Weinberg’s The Passenger.
  • There’s never been a more thought-provoking, heartstopping drama on the operatic stage – it grabs your heart and never lets it go.
  • This opera includes the most languages ever heard in one Lyric production: English, German, Czech, Polish, Yiddish, French, and Russian.
  • The Passenger was composed in 1967-68 but Communist Russia suppressed it. It was not seen onstage until 2010 at Austria’s Bregenz Festival, in the production you’ll see at Lyric.



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Photos by Karl Forster, Ken Howard, Cade Martin, Terrence McCarthy, Robert Millard, and Dan Rest.