Lyric Opera of Chicago

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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.) 

Youth Opera Council – A Look at a Great First Season

Lyric Unlimited's Youth Opera Council had a banner first season. This group of 22 high school-aged opera lovers learned about running an opera company, met Lyric guest artists, and—of course—saw a lot of opera! Here are a few of the highlights from the year. 

Lyric Unlimited's Youth Opera Council, a new initiative for the 2013-14 season, had a banner year. This group of 22 high school-aged opera lovers met regularly, speaking with Lyric staff about the operations of an opera company. They also had the opportunity to attend every mainstage production this year and to meet some of Lyric's fantastic guest artists. 

Here are a few of the highlights!

On February 1, the council hosted "A Night at the Opera" before the opening of Lyric's new production of The Barber of Seville (pictured above). At this sold-out event, the council invited 200 of their family and friends for a casual preconcert reception that featured the chance to mingle with members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus and try on a few costumes! Here is a video that gives a flavor of this special event: 

 

The council also had meetings with some of Lyric's great guest artists: Nathan Gunn, Isabel Leonard, and Alek Shrader, all stars of The Barber of Seville. They also spent a very special evening with La Clemenza di Tito star Joyce DiDonato (pictured right). Joyce also ran into some Youth Opera Council members during intermission of a Rusalka student matinee performance and captured their profound thoughts on why opera is important and thriving:

 

Other special events included a special backstage tour led by Lyric's Audience Education Manager Jesse Gram, as well as regular meetings here at Lyric, some of which included visits with key Lyric staff. Guest speakers have included Lyric General Director Anthony Freud, Lyric Unlimited Director Cayenne Harris, Public Relations Director Alexandra Day, Barber of Seville Assistant Director Elise Sandell, and Assistant Stage Manager Bill Walters. 

Want to be part of this great group? Applications are now being accepted for the 2014-15 Youth Opera Council. Click here to learn more and apply today!

Photo credits:

  • "A Night at the Opera" photo collage (top), photos credit Jenn Gaudreau
  • Joyce DiDonato visits with the Youth Opera Council, photo credit Alejandra Boyer
  • The Youth Opera council chats with Bill Walters and Elise Sandell (photo credit Andrew Cioffi) and gets a backstage tour (photo credit Alejandra Boyer).

 

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