Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Heritage Bicycles and THE SOUND OF MUSIC

A special production like The Sound of Music calls for very special props. Learn more about the custom-made bikes from Chicago's own Heritage Bicycles that were especially designed for the von Trapp children and Rolf!

When Lyric starts to gather the props for a grand-scale new production of  The Sound of Music, our expert production team tries to find as many authentic and unique sources as possible. Set designer Michael Yeargan's plans for the show included bicycles for the von Trapp children and Rolf—which meant finding some period-appropriate bikes. It was also important to both Michael and director Marc Bruni that the bikes look new, because the von Trapp family was wealthy, making vintage bikes out of the question. 

How do you solve a problem like these bicycles? The answer was right here in Chicago! Heritage Bicycles General Store is owned by Michael and Melissa Salvatore, who pride themselves on manufacturing every custom bicycle they make completely in Chicago. Located just south of Lincoln and Belmont in the Lakeview neighborhood, Heritage Bicycles is a general store where you can try out a bike, buy a new helmet, or just get a great latte!

Owner Michael Salvatore gave us some insight into how they make each bike and his family's connection to Lyric Opera! Michael is a Chicago native who, oddly enough, went to Hardey Prep—the same grade school as our own Captain von Trapp, Billy Zane. 

How long does it take for you to manufacture each bicycle?

We generally have two steps. First, we run a production of a frame and size. Ideally, we make 40 at a time of any one type/size. This generally takes up to 3 weeks to complete. This gives us the raw frame. Second, we meet with customers to customize their bike. This can take 3 to 5 weeks depending on the upgrades. Custom paint will take 14 to 21 days and, depending on components and ordering, the finished product may take another week or so.

Are the bikes one of your regular styles or custom for the show? Did you have to make specific modification to make sure they were appropriate for the late 1930s, when the show is set?

Well, on the specific instance of The Sound of Music, we had just completed making our first run of step-through Dutch-inspired bicycles. When you gave us the call and we dug into the story and props a little more, it was obvious to me that "The Jane" was the bike that would be a fit for the musical. We just had to make some slight adjustments to customize specifically for this production.

Have you made bikes for any other theater productions, films, or TV shows?

Back in 2012 we sent a couple bikes out for a movie called Chinese Puzzle. It was being filmed in New York City. We have also sent bikes to The Steve Harvey Show. Last year, we made bikes for Lollapalooza and Pitchfork.

Out of the many accomplishments Heritage Bicycles General Store has had over the past couple years, I have never heard my parents be as excited as they were when they heard we were making the bikes for Lyric Opera. They have been subscribers for 25+ years, and I am sure the moment they see our bikes on stage their heads are going to blow! So thanks for giving me some parental points. 

You can see the custom craftsmanship of Michael and his team on stage at Lyric from April 25 to May 25!

Photo credit

  • Heritage Bicycles custom-made for The Sound of Music (Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago)

 

My Favorite Things: Elizabeth Futral

The lovely Elizabeth Futral returns to Lyric Opera to portray Elsa Schraeder, Maria's sophisticated rival for Captain von Trapp's affections in the new production of  The Sound of Music. When she's not traveling the world as an in-demand soprano, here are just a few of the ways she likes to spend her free time.

A Chicago favorite, Elizabeth Futral returns to Lyric Opera to portray Elsa Schraeder, Maria's sophisticated rival for Captain von Trapp's affections in the new production of The Sound of Music. An alumna of Lyric's own Ryan Opera Center, Futral was last at Lyric in 2013, when she portrayed Musetta in Puccini's La Bohème. When she's not wooing a dashing captain, here are just a few of the things that she enjoys. 

Movie

To Kill a Mockingbird

               

Book

Lately, Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek 

TV show 

Breaking Bad

 

Singer 

Leontyne Price

 

Opera 

The Rake's Progress (Stavinsky)

 

Food 

Boiled Crawfish

Hobbies 

Gardening, Hiking

Vacation spot 

New Zealand

Animal 

Favorite pet ever—the late Samson (toy poodle) who traveled the world with me

Scents or smells 

Blackberry and Musk (Mur et Musc—L'Artisan Parfumerie)

Treasured possession 

Our home in Virginia

Guilty pleasure 

Garrett Popcorn's Chicago Mix 

 

Photo credits:

  • Elizabeth Futral (credit Karli Cadel)
  • New Zealand (credit Travel News Digest)
  • Chicago Mix (credit Garrett Popcorn)

(Lyric Opera of Chicago does not own copyrights to any of the above videos.)

Celebrating opera & mariachi in Pilsen!

Lyric Unlimited is proud to present  Canciones y arias, a special performance showcasing the many musical connections between mariachi music and opera on Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 at the beautiful performing arts center at Benito Juárez Community Academy in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

 

Think opera and mariachi music don't have anything in common? Think again! 

Lyric Unlimited is proud to present Canciones y arias, a special performance showcasing the many musical connections between mariachi music and opera on Friday, April 11 and Saturday, April 12 at the beautiful performing arts center at Benito Juárez Community Academy in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.

Featuring the award-winning Mariachi Aztlán from the University of Texas Pan-American, along with Suzette Mayobre and classical singers Sonja Krenek (soprano) and Carlos A. Feliciano (tenor), this hour-long performance showcases the drama and intensity of storytelling through song—both traditional mariachi songs and classical arias—using examples of popular Mexican musicians like singer Jorge Negrete and composer Manuel M. Ponce, as well as operatic excerpts from Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, and more.

The program traces the ties between the traditional art form of opera and the modern sounds of mariachi music, exploring the roots of mariachi—from indigenous folk music, African and European influences to the Western classical musical tradition of opera. 

Plus, before and after each concert, attendees can view an exhibit by youth artists from Yollocalli Arts Reach and Benito Juárez Community Academy  in the lobby. A student mariachi ensemble of the Chicago Mariachi Project will be performing after each of the concerts as well!

Here is a sneak preview of this very special event:

 

My Favorite Things: Edward Hibbert

Broadway veteran Edward Hibbert, who stars as the oily impresario Max Detweiler in Lyric's production of  The Sound of Music, is known to audiences around the world for his delightfully droll portrayal of food critic Gil Chesterton on NBC's Frasier. With his trademark quick wit, he gives a list of some of his favorite things—when he's not making stars out of the von Trapps, that is.

Broadway veteran Edward Hibbert, who stars as the oily impresario Max Detweiler in Lyric's production of The Sound of Music, is known to audiences around the world for his delightfully droll portrayal of food critic Gil Chesterton on NBC's Frasier. He also recently appeared on the Great White Way in The Drowsy Chaperone and Curtains, which also reunited him with Frasier co-star David Hyde Pierce.

With his trademark quick wit, he gives a list of some of his favorite things—when he's not making stars out of the von Trapps, that is.

Movies

All About Eve and Brief Encounter

 

 

Books

Biographies and memoirs

Authors

Chuck Palahniuk, Donna Tartt, and Alan Bennett

TV shows

Frasier, Hoarders, Intervention

 

 

Singers

Amy Winehouse, Sting, and Noel Coward

 

 

 

Opera

AidaEugene Onegin

 

Musical

Gypsy

 

Foods

Italian/French

Cocktail

Negroni

Hobbies

Traveling, Reading

Websites

Mine! edwardhibbert.com

Vacation spot

Italy

Animal

Golden Retrievers

Childhood toy

Teddy Bear

Superhero or superhero power

The ability to answer and complete this questionnaire

Historical figure

 Oscar Wilde

Scents or smells

Eucalyptus, Hyacinths, and Amen by Thierry Mugler

Motto

Actor, know thyself.

Treasured possessions

My friends and my cashmere sweaters

Guilty pleasures

Veuve Cliquot and Gelato and shopping at Agnes B and Paul Smith

Anything else?

Yes, but nothing I can share here!

Photo credits:

  • Edward Hibbert (credit Joan Marcus)
  • Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Aida starring Sondra Radvanovsky and Jill Grove (credit Dan Rest)
  • Golden retriever (credit Stefan Bauer)

(Lyric Opera of Chicago does not own copyrights to any of the above videos.) 

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