Lyric Opera of Chicago

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Renée Fleming and Jonas Kaufmann – A Night to Remember!

Renée Fleming, Lyric's own creative consultant, joined forces with THE tenor of the moment Jonas Kaufmann for their very first duo recital, a historic event that showcased these two magnificent performers at the height of their artistry.

The Civic Opera House was filled with love for the 2014 Subscriber Appreciation Concert, which featured two stars coming together for a one-night-only event.

Renée Fleming, Lyric's own creative consultant, joined forces with THE tenor of the moment Jonas Kaufmann for their very first duo recital, an historic event that showcased these two magnificent performers at the height of their artistry. 

Accompanied by the Lyric Opera Orchestra, superbly led by Lyric Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, Kaufmann and Fleming performed to a sold-out crowd a program that showcased the music of love: duets and arias from Faust, La forza del destino, Manon, Otello, Carmen, and Werther, interspersed with expertly chosen instrumental interludes by Saint-Saëns, Verdi, and Sir Michael Tippett.

In addition to the announced program, the duo delighted the audience with two encores: the Waltz from The Merry Widow and "Marietta's Lied" from Korngold's Die tote Stadt. Fleming's two gorgeous gowns were designed by Vivienne Westwood with jewelry by Ann Ziff for Tamsen Z.

This was a homecoming of sorts for Kaufmann, who made his U.S. debut as Cassio in Lyric's production of Otello to open the 2001-02 season. And playing Desdemona? Fleming, of course!

The next time to see Fleming on stage at Lyric is in Strauss's Capriccio  in October 2014. Subscriptions are available now! Kaufmann's latest album, a recording of Schubert's Winterreise, is due out on April 1.

Photo credits: Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago

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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!

Masterful MEISTERSINGER

Epic praise for Lyric's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, starring James Morris.

Meistersinger stage shot

Photo: Dan Rest/Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Chicago critics agree with Twitter users on all accounts about Lyric Opera of Chicago's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg!  There are three more opportunities to enjoy:

• The cast– "...first rate from top to bottom...deploying both vocal power and dramatic insight to shape their characters." – Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times
 
• The conducting–  "Lyric Opera of Chicago's new co-production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is five and a half hours short, due first and foremost to Lyric music director Andrew Davis, whose Wagner is luminous." – Nancy Malitz, Chicago on the Aisle
 
• The Lyric Opera Orchestra–  "Even by their standard, [they] played gloriously with refined, majestic brass, personality-plus woodwinds and gleaming, burnished string playing throughout." – Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review
 
• The design–  "With airy yet intricately wrought sets and costumes by Vicki Mortimer, Lyric's Meistersinger looks like a pastoral 19th-century painting." – Wynne Delacoma, Chicago Sun-Times
 
• The production–  "...warm, accessible, and very charming..." – Lori Dana, Chicago Stage Review
 
In short, "...opportunities to experience Die Meistersinger, let alone one this good, don't come around very often." - John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune  Click on any of the three remaining performance dates to reserve tickets: Feb. 23, Feb. 27, or March 3.

 

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