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An Insider's Guide to THE SOUND OF MUSIC

Go inside Lyric's new production of  Rodgers & Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, on stage like you've never seen it before from April 25 to May 18, with video previews, interviews, behind-the-scenes looks, and more!

Lyric is thrilled to once again celebrate the great American musical with a brand-new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music, staged like you've never seen it before starting on April 25. Chicago native Billy Zane, known for his starring roles in Titanic and Chicago on Broadway, plays Captain Georg von Trapp with dazzling cast that includes Broadway stars Jenn Gambatese (Maria) and Edward Hibbert (Max) and opera luminaries Christine Brewer (Mother Abbess) and Elizabeth Futral (Elsa Schraeder). The production comes to life with dancing, costumes, sets, and the glorious sound of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus—62 members strong, an unprecedented ensemble for most musical theater productions.

Go inside this production with video previews, interviews, behind-the-scenes articles, and more!

Get a sneak peek with our official video trailer:

  

The rehearsal process begins! Director Marc Bruni gives an overview of the show:

                        

A "foyerside" chat with Lyric's Renée Fleming, Anthony Freud, and Sir Andrew Davis:

 

Read these articles for insights from the cast and creative team:

Have you heard? The Sound of Music is a hit!
The reviews are in...and they are spectacular! Critics are loving Lyric's new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's beloved final masterpiece. Dean Richards from WGN-TV deemed it "the sound of perfection...best stage show we've had in Chicago in years." READ MORE

Buzz is Building for The Sound of Music 
The talented cast and crew of The Sound of Music have been spotted all across Chicago. Here is a sampling of some of the television appearances, interviews, and features on this new production. Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah even met the von Trapp children! READ MORE

Michael Black preps nuns and kids alike for The Sound of Music
Lyric's talented chorus master talks about the process of preparing the huge chorus of nuns and the delightful von Trapp children for their singing roles in The Sound of Music. Plus, he gives us a first-hand account of when Bulls center Joakim Noah stopped by rehearsal. READ MORE

Talkin' Broadway with Jenn Gambatese and Billy Zane
Though they are both making Lyric debuts with The Sound of MusicBilly Zane and Jenn Gambatese bring years of expertise as actors-on the screen and on the stage-to the Civic Opera House as they portray Captain von Trapp and Maria in this eagerly anticipated new production. READ MORE

Bringing The Sound of Music to Life
Lyric continues its lauded American Musical Theater Initiative with The Sound of Music. You might have watched NBC's highly rated live production in December, but nothing can compare to the experience of watching it live on stage. Casting is key, and for this production, Lyric has assembled stars from Broadway and opera to collaborate on Rodgers and Hammerstein's final masterpiece. READ MORE 

Billy Zane on Broadway, Fatherhood, and the Captain's Wicked Sense of Humor
Though he's known for his blockbuster film roles-including Titanic, Back to the Future, and a memorable cameo in Zoolander-Zane has theater in his DNA. His parents were active in regional theater, so he grew up watching them perform, as well as attending Harand Theatre Camp in Kenosha, Wisconsin. READ MORE 

Inside the Mind of Sound of Music Director Marc Bruni  
Director Marc Bruni gives the inside track on what audiences can expect when they come to see The Sound of Music at Lyric-everything from sets to music and characters promises to create an unparalleled theatrical experience. READ MORE 

My Favorite Things: Jenn Gambatese
Our Maria gives some of her must-haves, which include champagne cocktails (don't tell Leisl!), Singin' in the Rain, ice cream, Heidi, and her adorable teacup Yorkie, Killer Marie. And yes, she and her daughter belt out the Frozen soundtrack with Idina Menzel. READ MORE

My Favorite Things: Christine Brewer
One of the world's most acclaimed sopranos, Christine Brewer stars as the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music. But when she's not solving a problem like Maria, what does she enjoy? Here's a glimpse into her very busy and very fun life from A League of Their Own to the annual Brewer Hootenanny. READ MORE

My Favorite Things: Edward Hibbert
Known for his delightfully droll portrayal of food critic Gil Chesterton on NBC's Frasier, Edward Hibbert brings his quick wit to the role of oily impresario Max Detweiler in this production of The Sound of Music. A few of his favorite things? All About Eve, Amy Winehouse, cashmere, and champagne. Max would be proud! READ MORE

My Favorite Things: Elizabeth Futral
Chicago favorite and an alumna of Lyric's own Ryan Opera Center, Elizabeth Futral is starring as the elegant Elsa Schraeder in The Sound of Music. She gives a glimpse of a few of the things she enjoys most, including Breaking Bad, Annie Dillard, and the unique Chicago Mix (cheese and caramel together) from the legendary Garrett Popcorn. READ MORE

My Favorite Things: Betsy Farrar
Betsy Farrar is no stranger to Chicago stages, having appeared in Million Dollar Quartet and Gypsy, but she makes her Lyric debut as Liesl. When not performing, a nice stiff whiskey ginger, It's a Wonderful Life, and the collected works of Beyoncé are just a few of her favorite things. READ MORE

My Favorite Things: Zach Sorrow
This Northwestern University grad loves Xbox and a capella. Get to know Zach Sorrow, who is currently setting Liesl's heart aflutter as everyone's favorite telegraph delivery boy Rolf. READ MORE

Those Sound of Music Kids
What's more appealing than an American musical filled with great tunes and an engaging and delightful group of kids placed in the very center of the story? Lyric's new production of The Sound of Music has in its cast an assortment of talented young actors who can sing, dance, and, of course, act. Assistant conductor Valerie Maze talks about how the kids balance rehearsal with school and more. READ MORE

Heritage Bicycles and THE SOUND OF MUSIC
A grand-scale production like The Sound of Music means finding some very special props. When the von Trapp children and Rolf needed bicycles, Lyric turned to Chicago's own Heritage Bicycles to manufacture some very special custom-made vehicles. READ MORE

Introducing the Family von Trapp! 
Here are some fun facts about the seven exceptionally talented young actors that makes up the von Trapp Family Singers! This group does everything from stage acting to TV roles to tae kwon doREAD MORE 

The Hills Are Alive with (Covers from) The Sound of Music 
Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music is full of some of the most beloved songs in all of musical theater. Many of them have become standards in their own right, appearing in TV shows, movies, and commercials for decades. Here are just a handful of our favorite interpretations of these classic songs. READ MORE 

Oh Captain, My Captain! Getting to Know Billy Zane
The Captain has arrived! The one, the only Billy Zane, star of James Cameron's international blockbuster Titanic and critically acclaimed for his portrayal of Billy Flynn in Broadway's smash hit Chicago, stars as Captain von Trapp in Lyric's brand-new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music (April 25-May 18). READ MORE

Billy Zane's Memorable Film Moments
Our Captain, Billy Zane, has appeared in more than 100 film roles. Here are a few highlights from his extremely varied career, including on-screen appearances with Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslet, and Michael J. Fox. READ MORE

How do you solve a problem like Maria…and Liesl?
Ask Dr. Opera!
 

                                                          

Lyric on Parade!

Here are highlights from Lyric's Sound of Music float appearing in Chicago's world-famous St. Patrick's Day Parade:

 

Billy Zane on Broadway, Fatherhood, and the Captain’s Wicked Sense of Humor

In this interview, Lyric's own Captain von Trapp, Billy Zane, talks about his Lyric debut in The Sound of Music, his first theater memories, and his conception of the character's "wicked" sense of humor!

A Chicago native and star of more than 100 films, Billy Zane is making his Lyric debut leading a powerhouse cast as Captain von Trapp in Lyric's all-new production of The Sound of Music, opening on April 25. 

Though he's known for his blockbuster film roles—including Titanic, Back to the Future, and a memorable cameo in Zoolander—Zane has theater in his DNA. His parents were active in regional theater, so he grew up watching them perform, as well as attending Harand Theatre Camp in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

His first stage memory was "being one of five kids playing Curly in a production of Oklahoma! at Harand Theatre Camp, age 10." But he points to watching the legendary Len Cariou in the title role of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd as the definitive moment that made him decide to pursue acting as a career.

When asked if he's nervous about singing on the same stage as opera greats such as Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, and Luciano Pavarotti, Zane quips, "No pressure!" But he goes on to say that of all the storied places he's performed-including the Shubert Theater in New York and Haymarket Theater in London's West End—"Lyric takes the cake! I am most thrilled to experience the aesthetics and acoustics of the world-renowned Lyric in a way only so few ever get the chance to, from the footlights. A rare privilege indeed."

Zane was lauded by critics as "dazzlingly handsome and effortlessly magnetic" when he portrayed scheming lawyer Billy Flynn in the smash-hit musical Chicago on Broadway in 2002. However, he is quick to share credit with his fellow actors. "Any success that I had was merely a reflection of the strength of the well-seasoned ensemble I had the pleasure of working with," says Zane. "When you work with professionals at the top of their game—as is the caliber of the company assembled for The Sound of Music—then they only raise yours."

While preparing for his Lyric debut as Captain von Trapp, Zane has found a bit of himself in the role, as they both share what he calls "a wicked sense of humor." He elaborates that von Trapp acts as a bit of a foil for the delightful exuberance of Maria: “Those diametrically opposed perspectives are tantalizing and exciting to watch, because much like in love—opposites attract.”

In creating the role of the Captain, Zane will of course draw some inspiration from his own experiences with fatherhood, but jokes that it will be "in only the best ways, I imagine!" However, as a father, he recognizes von Trapp's unconditional love for his children. "From the first act, there's no question that his love for his children and his sense of structure and order carried over from the Navy are not mutually exclusive," notes Zane. "His love doesn't waver; it's just a question of his public displays of affection."

Photo credits: Billy Zane, photo credit Azabra; Billy Zane in Titanic, photo courtesy 20th Century Fox; Billy Zane in Chicago on Broadway, photo courtesy Chicago the Musical. 

Oh Captain, My Captain! Billy Zane stars in THE SOUND OF MUSIC

The Captain has arrived! Chicago native and film star Billy Zane will play Captain von Trapp in Lyric's new production of The Sound of Music

Billy_Zane

The Captain has arrived! The one, the only Billy Zane, star of James Cameron's international blockbuster Titanic and critically acclaimed for his portrayal of Billy Flynn in Broadway's smash hit Chicago, stars as Captain von Trapp in Lyric's brand-new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The Sound of Music (opening on April 25). 

A native of Chicago—he even graduated from Francis W. Parker School!—Zane has appeared in over 100 films, including Dead Calm, Back to the Future, Memphis Belle, Tombstone, Sniper, Zoolander, Orlando, and The Phantom. Among the many critically acclaimed independent films he has made, he produced and starred in the celebrated film noir classic This World, Then the Fireworks and the silent film I Woke Up Early the Day I Died,  which he produced with Muse Productions. He co-wrote, produced, and directed the French farce comedy Big Kiss, due for release next year.
 
On television, Zane appeared in David Lynch's groundbreaking series Twin Peaks, and he also stars in the upcoming Comedy Central series Checked Out from Workaholics creator Craig DiGregorio. In addition to his lauded appearance Broadway's Chicago, he starred in London in The Royal Haymarket Theatre's production of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks opposite the legendary Claire Bloom.

Beyond his acting, Zane is also a celebrated abstract expressionist painter. He began painting during his downtime while filming Titanic in Mexico (the shoot lasted 160 days!), and he has been active as an artist ever since. He has most recently seen extraordinary success with his solo exhibition, Seize The Day Bed, in Los Angeles and in London. He made his Art Basel debut in Miami with his Nowness exhibition in December 2013. Summer 2014 will see his new solo exhibition at the iconic Academia of Art in Monaco.

Zane is thrilled to be returning to his home town to star in The Sound of Music, and we are thrilled to have him join the stellar cast that includes Broadway stars Jenn Gambatese (Maria) and Edward Hibbert (Max), as well as opera luminaries Christine Brewer (Mother Abbess) and Elizabeth Futral (Elsa Schraeder).

Photo credit: Azabra

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