Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Lately

A Day in the Life of Lyric Opera Chorister Pam Williams

Lyric Opera Chorus member Pam Williams describes a typical day for her, which includes rehearsal, tax preparation, and a performance of Rusalka.

Pam Williams has lived in Chicago since 1997 and been a member of the Lyric Opera Chorus since 1999. She is originally from Snellville, Georgia (just east of Atlanta). She did her undergraduate work at Georgia State University and then went to Indiana University for her master's degree. Pam takes us through her schedule on Friday, March 7, a typical day in the life of a working musician!

I love my job! I love that I get to do for a living what I set out to do when I began my studies in music. SING!!! Granted, my path hasn't always been focused on opera, but always on singing.  But this is where my path has led me...right here to the chorus of Lyric Opera of Chicago. And it makes me happy, and I feel quite fortunate!

Each one of the members of the chorus has wildly varying lives within and without the walls of this building. Many teach voice in addition to singing here. Others have other jobs outside of Lyric. But for me, at this phase of life, I have this one job. This doesn't mean this is ALL I do and the rest of the time I sit at home watching Judge Judy eating bon-bons. :)

Here is my today: I started the day out warming up for a coaching on The Old Maid and the Thief that I'll be performing in as part of Opera Up Close concert series at Governors State University at the end of the month. I'm playing Miss Todd. Love it. She's nuts. Now, I'm catching up on some work (tax prep...late!), emails, more music study, recital planning, etc. Later on, I'll be meeting up with some awesome and fun colleagues for a promo video shoot for this upcoming GSU concert. Should be hilarious!  Follow this with a performance of our stunning production of Rusalka  this evening. It will be a day full of music and music-related things! Then…I sleep. :) Tomorrow...a completely different day, but more practicing and another show—La Clemenza di Tito!

One of the fun things about this job in the chorus is the variety. It definitely makes it more interesting to have a couple of shows going at the same time. Early in this season, we were very busy with three different shows on stage at the same time while rehearsing a fourth! A question I am often asked is: Do you forget which show you are singing when juggling multiple shows? Nope. Once in the proper costume and on the proper set, the right words and music seem to know where they belong!

Photo credit: Pam Williams backstage at Lyric in costume for Rusalka. Photo courtesy Pam Williams. 


Lyric Opera's Got Talent!

What do Lyric chorister Branden James and Chicago’s late-summer weather have in common? Both have been hot, hot, hot!


What do Lyric chorister Branden James and Chicago’s late-summer weather have in common? Both have been hot, hot, hot! James has blazed through elimination rounds of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” this summer, earning a spot in the finals of the national talent show. On Tuesday, September 10, at 8pm CDT , James returns to the Radio City Music Hall stage, competing for a spot as one of 6 finalists—with his sights set on the $1 million prize.

James, a member of Lyric’s chorus since the 2010-11 season, has appeared in 21 operas, concerts, and musicals at Lyric Opera, most recently in the spring 2013 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!.

James’s “Talent”-ed journey began at the Chicago auditions earlier this summer, where he impressed the judges and earned a pass to the next round of competition in Las Vegas. He then advanced to the quarterfinals, which featured the top 60 acts performing live at Radio City Music Hall. James’s performance of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” earned enough votes from viewers around the country to advance to the semifinals. His operatic rendition of Heart’s “Alone” secured his spot in the Top 12 finals.

Bravo, Branden! Toi toi toi for the finals!

Click here to vote for Branden James starting at 9:55pm CDT.


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