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An Insider's Guide to PARSIFAL

An Insider's Guide to Parsifal: videos, audio previews, articles, and more.

Watch our video trailer (above).


Watch a preview with general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming (above).

Read the plot synopsis.

Read an interview with internationally renowned director John Caird HERE.


Richard Wagner’s final opera achieves something possible with only the greatest works of art: as baritone Thomas Hampson says, “it invigorates our inner life as human beings.” The opera returns to Lyric this season...READ COMPLETE ARTICLE 

Parsifal Audio Preview

Recordings used by permission of EMI Classics.


Parsifal Commentary

by Richard Wagner

© 2013/14 Lyric Opera Commentaries 

Original sound recordings of musical excerpts used by permission of EMI Classics. All rights reserved. Post-production services provided by Mark Travis, Producer.

Download (right click and "Save Target As" / "Save Link As")

Parsifal Discovery Series

Parsifal is an enigmatic work by the greatest of all German opera composers. Join John Caird, the director of this new production, set designer Johan Engels, and Lyric Opera dramaturg Roger Pines for a discussion of Wagner’s last opera.

Download (right click and "Save Target As" / "Save Link As")


Join us in celebrating National Opera Week

Join us in celebrating National Opera Week with A Week in the Life of Lyric Opera! October 25 through Sunday, November 3.

Join us in celebrating National Opera Week with "A Week in the Life of Lyric Opera"!

From Friday, October 25 through Sunday, November 3, Lyric will celebrate our wonderful artists, administrators, and audience members of all ages who participate in our wide-ranging programs—both at the opera house and in the community—by sharing photos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and here on our blog (photos will be added throughout the week so check back often!). “A Week in the Life of Lyric Opera” showcases our vast Lyric family and community!

We encourage you to take pictures to show off the role opera plays in your life, too! Do you listen to a recording while you work out? Sing in a community chorus? Play an instrument? Or just sit back and relax with one of the classics and a glass of wine? Print and pose with one of our signs in your photos, or make your own! Then post your photos to your own social media accounts as often as you’d like throughout the weeksimply tag Lyric Opera and use #operaweek to be included.


Lyric Opera opens its doors for Open House Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago opens its doors to the public as part of Chicago Architecture Foundation’s free Open House Chicago, October 19-20.

Lyric Opera of Chicago opens its doors to the public as part of Chicago Architecture Foundation’s free Open House Chicago, October 19-20.

Get a soprano’s-eye view from the stage!
Art-Deco lobby, foyer, and theater of the Civic Opera House accessible Saturday, October 19, 
9am–2pm and Sunday, October 209am–5pm. 

Brief onstage vocal performances hourly on Saturday between 10am and 1pm.

Lyric Opera of Chicago will open the doors to the Civic Opera House October 19-20 for free public viewing as part of The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago. Visitors will have access to the stunning Rice Grand Foyer and Ardis Krainik Theatre, and will have the opportunity to stand onstage for a soprano’s-eye view!

On Saturday, guests may also experience live vocal performances with piano accompaniment. At 10am, 11am, 12pm, and 1pm, ensemble members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center of Lyric Opera of Chicago will perform in the auditorium of the Civic Opera House, which opened in 1929 and is noted for its beautiful Art-Deco décor. 

Lyric Opera of Chicago is among the 150 sites featured during Open House Chicago, a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to 150 buildings across Chicago for one weekend annually. 

This is a project of Lyric Unlimited, a long-term, evolving initiative that encompasses company activities outside of Lyric’s mainstage season. Lyric Unlimited offers a multifaceted program of community engagement and artistic initiatives and includes Lyric's longstanding education programs. 

For more information:

Follow Lyric on Twitter @LyricOpera. #OHC2013. 

Saturday visitors to the Civic Opera House will have the added option of seeing Lyric’s annual OPERATHON fundraiser being broadcast live on 98.7WFMT from the street-level Pedersen Room restaurant at the Civic Opera House.

Lyric Unlimited kicks off its second season

New and expanded Lyric Unlimited programs for the 2013/14 season: Open House Chicago, Lyric Uncorked, Youth Opera Council, Discovery Series, Vocal Partnership Program, and The Family Barber.

New and expanded programs for audiences of all ages:


Saturday, October 19, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lyric Opera opens the doors to the Civic Opera House as part of Open House Chicago for free public viewing. Guests can take in the stunning Art Deco lobby and foyer and explore the beauty of the Ardis Kranik Theatre. As part of Lyric’s annual OPERATHON, which will take place in the Sarah and Peer Pedersen Room that same day, guests will also have the opportunity to see live performances of opera arias with piano accompaniment by members of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center on the hour, every hour from 10am until 1pm. 


Save the Dates!
October 28, November 4, November 18, 2013

After a successful pilot run, Lyric Uncorked will be open to the public. This fun and social learning program is perfect for those seeking an entertaining introduction to the world of opera. This fall, Lyric Unlimited audience education manager Jesse Gram and other Lyric staff members will tear down misconceptions and demystify the opera experience from the music to the costumes. Join us for the next edition of Lyric Uncorked and discover what makes Verdi’s La Traviata  an opera gem, and take a behind the scenes look at Lyric’s new production. Registration will be available soon!


Lyric Opera’s Youth Opera Council is a new program designed for high school students who are passionate about opera and want to learn more about the inner workings of a professional opera company. This dedicated group of young opera lovers will have unique learning and leadership opportunities by working closely with Lyric Opera staff to develop programs and events that are of interest to council members and their peers. 


The Discovery Series has a new home this year! Join artists, conductors, and directors in Lyric Opera’s Rice Grand Foyer as they share their unique perspective and give in-depth insight into this season’s productions. 

A special Discovery Series will take place on Thursday, October 10, in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago. The presentation on Parsifal will include art commentary focusing on artists’ representations of Parsifal followed by a panel discussion about Lyric’s new production with director John Caird, designer Johan Engels, and Lyric dramaturg Roger Pines. The Parsifal Discovery Series will take place at the Art Institute of Chicago’s beautiful Fullerton hall from 6-7pm and is free of charge. 


Lyric Unlimited has expanded its Vocal Partnership Program, which began with the Merit School of Music, to include the Music Institute of Chicago, Chicago High School for the Arts, Chicago Arts Academy, and Gallery 37. This season students studying voice at these partner institutions will have the opportunity to participate in master classes led by Lyric artists, hear recitals presented by Ryan Opera Center ensemble members, as well as attend working rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and other Lyric events.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lyric Opera opens its doors once again to young children and their parents with The Family Barber, an hour long introduction to the world of opera featuring the music and characters of The Barber of Seville. Hear all the best-loved arias and meet all the famous Barber characters in this fun, English language production. The performance will be fully staged and costumed, and stars members of the Ryan Opera Center plus the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus! 

These programs are part of Lyric Unlimited, with major support from The Hurvis Family Foundation.

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