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Critics sing OKLAHOMA!'s praises

"There has to be an entry for 'Yee-HA!' in the critic’s lexicon, or there’s no adequate word for the stylish, funny, handsomely sung production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Lyric again demonstrates a serious commitment of resources and the highest standard of theatrical excellence in the most embracing sense. This high-spirited, downhome Oklahoma! is an absolute joy." – Lawrence B. Johnson,Chicago on the Aisle

• "Gary Griffin's grand production by Lyric Opera [is] a joyous revelation." – John Olson, Chicago Theater Beat

• "Under the direction of Gary Griffin, the baton of James Lowe, the choreography of Gemze de Lappe, this is as good as it gets. The romance charms. The comedy crackles. And the singing enchants. I grinned the entire time. I knew exactly what was going to happen every moment but I stayed on high alert. I didn’t want to miss one note, one step, one kiss. Oklahoma! is like stepping back into a favorite memory and having a superior ensemble reenact it for your personal pleasure. And this ensemble is superior." – Katy Walsh, ChicagoNow      

• "There has to be an entry for 'Yee-HA!' in the critic’s lexicon, or there’s no adequate word for the stylish, funny, handsomely sung production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Confirming the impression it made a year ago with Show Boat, its splendid first venture into the American musical, Lyric Opera again demonstrates a serious commitment of resources and the highest standard of theatrical excellence in the most embracing sense. This high-spirited, downhome Oklahoma! is an absolute joy." – Lawrence B. Johnson, Chicago on the Aisle

Congratulations to the entire Oklahoma! team on a triumphant production and an auspicious launch to Lyric's five-year exploration of Rodgers & Hammerstein's oeuvre.

Take Moore out to the ball game!

Enjoy baritone David Adam Moore's Wrigley Field debut, which spurred the Chicago Cubs to a 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

David Adam Moore headshotBaritone David Adam Moore, currently featured as the menacing farmhand Jud Fry in Oklahoma! at Lyric Opera, sang the National Anthem at Wrigley Field before the Chicago Cubs vs. Texas Rangers game. WGN-AM Radio (720-AM) aired Moore's rendition live during the the pre-game broadcast.  

Chicago critics are applauding Moore's portrayal at Lyric: 

"David Adam Moore, who expertly sings (and dances) the role of Jud Fry — Laurey’s solitary, frustrated farmhand — is so handsome and interesting in his way that you can understand why he invades her dreams." – Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

Enjoy Moore's Wrigley Field debut, which spurred the Cubs to a 9-2 win over the Rangers:

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Countdown to OKLAHOMA!—5 days!

37 members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra will play an Oklahoma! of almost operatic proportions, featuring the original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations. According to Lyric conductor James Lowe, “We have been able to re-create the score in a way that I don't think has been done in many years. People are going to hear the music in a new way. There's so much warmth and lyricism in it."

Oklahoma banner

It's only Monday afternoon, but Lyric's dance card for the weekend is already full. Oklahoma! opens Saturday, May 4, at 7:30pm. 

For a behind-the-scenes preview, check out 91-year-old choreographer Gemze de Lappe, who danced Dream Laurey in the national company and London run of the original 1943 production.

 

Rodgers and Hammerstein's heroine dances to her own tune. So naturally Lyric's Laurey, Ashley Brown, was excited for her first rehearsal with the Lyric Opera Orchestra: 

37 members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra will play an Oklahoma! of almost operatic proportions, featuring the original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations. Most Broadway orchestras use simplified arrangements to cut costs and because Broadway pits cannot accommodate enough musicians.  According to Lyric conductor James Lowe, “We have been able to re-create the score in a way that I don't think has been done in many years. People are going to hear the music in a new way. There's so much warmth and lyricism in it."

Broadway actor Curtis Holbrook, playing Will Parker, confirms:

A stunning Oklahoma! is just five days away! Purchase your ticket here!

CRUZAR by the numbers

"...[A] moving story with universal appeal, performed with enormous zest and color..." – John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune                                   

Cruzar

 • "...[A] moving story with universal appeal, performed with enormous zest and color..." – John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

• "...[A] remarkably compelling and compact work... [A] persuasive immigration story told in heartfelt musical terms..." – Dennis Polkow, Newcity Stage

• "...[A]n emotional journey for the audience, especially for those who are reminded of their own story or that of a relative..."– Gisela Orozco, Hoy Chicago 

• "The energy of Martinez and his fellow musicians was tremendous. ...All the songs were beautifully performed by the Vargas group and the actor-singers." – Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times  

Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the world's first mariachi opera, first commissioned by Lyric general director Anthony Freud when he was with Houston Opera, is the story of "one family, two countries, one life-changing secret."  Presented in April by Lyric Unlimited, the new audience development and community engagement branch of Lyric Opera. Let's look a little bit closer at Cruzar by the numbers

• Approximately 7520 total audience members attended Cruzar la Cara de la Luna at one of 5 performances.

• Cruzar was presented at 3 venues in 3 different neighborhoods: the Civic Opera House in Chicago's Loop, Benito Juárez Academy in Pilsen on Chicago's South Side, and the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan on Chicago's North Shore.

• 42% of the Cruzar audience members at the Civic Opera House were attending their first performance at Lyric.

• 2 internationally renowned mariachi groups performed in Cruzar in Chicago: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán and Mariachi Aztlán.

• Cruzar is the 1st Spanish-language composition performed at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Chicago Tribune classical music critic John von Rhein summarizes: "By presenting the Midwest premiere of Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon) as the latest project of its Lyric Unlimited program, the company fulfilled several objectives. It reached out to members of the city’s Mexican and Latino communities through an art form many of them had never experienced before. It promoted cross-cultural understanding. It called attention to the multicultural diversity and vitality that help to make Chicago unique among major American cities. It made potential new friends for the company while exposing Lyric regulars to a more populist form of entertainment than they are used to." BRAVO to all who made Cruzar a tremendous success

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