Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Drinking with DIE FLEDERMAUS

As you’re planning the menu for your holiday gatherings, why not take a cue from the greatest of all drinking operas—Die Fledermaus—and raise a glass or two? Throw caution to the wind and drink the night away like Eisenstein, Rosalinde, Adele, Dr. Falke, and the rest of the delightfully inebria

As you’re planning the menu for your holiday gatherings, why not take a cue from the greatest of all drinking operas – Die Fledermaus– and raise a glass or two? Throw caution to the wind and drink the night away like Eisenstein, Rosalinde, Adele, Dr. Falke, and the rest of the delightfully inebriated crew. But be sure to enjoy in moderation – not every law enforcement officer is as tolerant of mistaken identity and comic confusion as Governor Frank!

 

Eisenstein’s Champagne the First Cocktail

Just like Eisenstein, this classic cocktail will never change.

3 drops Angostura bitters
1 sugar cube
1 ounce cognac
4 ounces chilled champagne 

Drop bitters onto sugar cube; let soak in. Place sugar cube in a champagne flute. Add cognac, and top with champagne. (Recipe from Martha Stewart)

 

Adele’s Laughing Punch

Deceptively light and refreshing, the perfect drink for impersonating an actress. 

4 bottles chilled champagne 
2 cups Grand Marnier
2 cups gin
4 large limes 

The day before, combine the Grand Marnier and gin in a pitcher and chill overnight. Just before serving, slice the limes in half and squeeze the juice into the punchbowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Stir gently and then float the lime shells. Serve in glasses over ice. (Adapted from Chicagoist).

 

The Mad Hungarian

Spicy and sweet – several glasses will have you singing the csárdás with Rosalinde.

2 shots cinnamon whiskey
Root beer 

Pour two shots of cinnamon whiskey into a highball. Fill with root beer and serve on the rocks.

 

Dr. Falke’s Revenge

Malort is a famously bitter cocktail and a Chicago tradition. This drink disguises the taste with the sweetness of elderflower, but the kick comes at the end, just like Dr. Falke’s elaborate revenge.  

¾ oz. Jeppson's Malort
¾ oz. Beefeater Gin
 
¾ oz. St-Germain elderflower liqueur
¾ oz. fresh lemon juice
grapefruit peel 

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, add ice, and shake hard. Strain into cocktail glass. Twist grapefruit peel over glass to extract its essential oils. (Recipe by Brad Bolt, Bar Deville for the Chicago Reader)  

And if you’re looking for a little cocktail-themed practical joke that you can play on an unsuspecting party guest, substitute Malort for any brown-colored liquor in any cocktail and be prepared for a spit take! 

Renée Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma Together Again!

On December 11, Lyric Opera of Chicago creative consultant Renée Fleming joined Chicago Symphony Orchestra creative consultant Yo-Yo Ma at a key event supporting arts education in the Chicago Public Schools. 

On December 11, Lyric Opera of Chicago creative consultant Renée Fleming joined Chicago Symphony Orchestra creative consultant Yo-Yo Ma at a key event supporting arts education in the Chicago Public Schools.

To an audience of CPS principals, network chiefs, teachers, and students, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced that 45 schools would be receiving funding for art learning opportunities. These awards are the inaugural grants from the newly created Creative Schools Fund, which is part of the CPS Arts Education Plan. 

Among the 45 grantees are seven schools that have participated in Lyric Unlimited’s educational programs this season: Charles R. Darwin Elementary School, George Armstrong International Studies Elementary School, Henry Clay Elementary School, Hiram H. Belding Elementary School, Jordan Elementary Community School, Kenwood Academy High School, and Lionel Hampton Fine & Performing Arts Elementary School.

After remarks from Lyric Opera general director Anthony Freud and the announcement from the mayor, Renée spoke passionately about the transformative power of arts in schools. The daughter of two public school music teachers, she described being a shy teenager who found her voice and a way of expressing herself through music and poetry.  

The event featured performances from student groups, including a choir from Gallery 37, an afterschool choral program for CPS students that is also one of five participants in Lyric’s Vocal Partnership Program. This expanded program, part of Lyric Unlimited, gives students the opportunity to learn about opera and develop their skills through special events such as Lyric Opera performances and rehearsals, backstage tours, and master classes and conversations with main stage artists.

Kiela Nelson, a member of the Gallery 37 choir, is also part of Lyric’s new Youth Opera Council. She and her fellow singers met and mingled with Renée Fleming after the event.

Renée and Yo-Yo also performed a delightful rendition of “Winter Wonderland,” a nod to the arctic temperatures in Chicago and across the nation.  

Lyric and the CSO are the lead arts partners for the CPS Arts Education Plan. As part of that collaboration, Fleming and Ma have been named National Cultural Advisors, providing guidance to CPS and the Mayor’s Office and raising awareness of the importance of the arts for every child in every classroom.

Both artists were present in October 2012 when Mayor Emanuel first announced the CPS Arts Education Plan at Perez Elementary School. And earlier that year, Renée and Yo-Yo joined members of the CSO and CPS students in a special performance at the Thompson Center designed to bring attention to the importance of the arts in the lives of students.

 

Get the full details about these grants from the Mayor’s Office. 

 

Read more from Mark Caro in the Chicago Tribune. 

 

Photos: Todd Rosenberg Photography
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