Lyric Opera of Chicago

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New staging of a contemporary American opera

"Fully costumed (excellently by Johann Stegmeir) and directed with great flair and imagination by Brad Dalton, the artful staging, though clearly minimalist with no sets, worked very well indeed, aided immensely by Duane Schuler’s atmospheric lighting." – Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

A Streetcar Named Desire

It's not a surprise that LOC Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, barihunk Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Ryan Opera Center alumna Susanna Phillips, and the rest of the cast of A Streetcar Named Desire garnered rave reviews!  But what did critics think of the design and Brad Dalton's inventive new "semi-staging," which included the Lyric Opera Orchestra onstage in place of full sets?

• "Kudos to Lyric Opera of Chicago, which is giving André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire a four-performance run. Streetcar is a significant recent opera, and its inclusion contributes much to the tradition of programming new works in this house. While the production has been described in the press as semi-staged, the only elements absent were actual backdrops, whether painted or constructed. There were sufficient props, including tables, chairs, a bed, and other items—to create images of the Kowalski flat and the drama in one’s mind. And since it was placed at the rear of the stage, the orchestra itself became part of the setting. The result gave the audience the opportunity to hear Previn’s detailed score, and the layout appeared to give conductor Evan Rogister greater ability to interact with both the musicians and the principals." – James L. Zychowicz, Seen and Heard International

• "...This more ethereal, though fully costumed and acted production may be the most compelling way to present this three-act American tragedy." Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times

• "Fully costumed (excellently by Johann Stegmeir) and directed with great flair and imagination by Brad Dalton, the artful staging, though clearly minimalist with no sets, worked very well indeed, aided immensely by Duane Schuler’s atmospheric lighting." – Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review          

• "Director Dalton made a convincing, semi-abstract theater space out of the stage, using chairs, a table, a bed and Blanche's trunk as the main props, which a group of six cigarette-smoking hunks moved around to define the various scenes. Johann Stegmeir designed the costumes, including a succession of 1940s-style dresses for Fleming. The stage space, lit by Duane Schuler, became more and more surreal as Blanche's mind began to collapse and her ties to reality grew ever more tenuous." John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune  

All performances of Lyric's regular run of André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire are currently sold out.  However, Chicago audiences can still catch this stunning production at a special student night performance!

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A night of exciting debuts in RIGOLETTO!

Opening night of Rigoletto featured several artists making prominent Lyric Opera of Chicago debuts. 

Dobber Rigoletto

Opening night of Rigoletto featured several artists making prominent Lyric Opera of Chicago debuts. Critics are raving about their performances:

• "The success of any Rigoletto hinges on the singer in the title role and, in his Chicago debut, Andrzej Dobber delivered the vocal goods in quite sensational fashion. The role of the embittered hunchback fits the Polish baritone's instrument like a perfectly tailored suit, Dobber possessing the requisite big, flexible baritone to encompass all the role's considerable demands. Singing with great ease of production, Dobber was able to float a honeyed Italianate legato in his tender moments with Gilda as well as deliver the dramatic moments as with his vehement 'Cortigniani,' where Rigoletto sings of his intense hatred for the nobles who torment him." – Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

• "...[I]t was a pleasure to see Todd Thomas make his belated Chicago debut as Monterone. A veteran of countless roles in Sarasota Opera’s decades-long complete Verdi project, the baritone invested Monterone’s curse upon Rigoletto with daunting force and intensity." – Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review 

• "...In Albina Shagimuratova, the superb Russian soprano who was making her Lyric debut as Gilda, the company has found a shining star indeed. She walked away with the show. Gilda is, of course, one of the great coloratura soprano roles in Italian opera, and Shagimuratova fulfilled its every requirement thrillingly. She traced the florid phrases of 'Caro nome' with meltingly expressive phrasing, ample colorings and a clear, shining, beautiful sound that carried easily over the orchestra. Where full-bodied lyricism was needed, notably in Gilda's two duets with her father, her singing went straight to the heart. Indeed, Gilda's dying fade to a hushed pianissimo held the audience at rapt attention at the very end. Not for nothing did the soprano receive a rapturous standing ovation on opening night." – John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

• "Mezzo-soprano Nicole Piccolomini was also making her Lyric debut as Maddalena, really shining both vocally and dramatically in her saucy scene with the Duke, as well as in her interaction with her brother and assassin Sparafucile." – Dennis Polkow, New City 

• ''[Another] impressive debut of the evening was conductor Evan Rogister. Unlike many opera batonsmiths, the young American started his career as a singer, which was manifest in his alert and sensitive accompaniment to the cast and impeccable balancing, conveying Verdian fire while drawing an array of hues and dynamic subtleties. Rogister will also lead the Lyric's March-April performances of Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, and is clearly a young talent on the rise." – Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

Don't miss these artists in their Lyric debut production! Purchase your Rigoletto tickets today!

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