Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Lately

Jane Lynch to Emcee 60th Anniversary Concert

This just in! Illinois native and Second City alum Jane Lynch will be emceeing Lyric's spectacular 60th Anniversary Concert on Saturday, November 1. She has won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her portrayal of the scheming Sue Sylvester on Glee, but she has an amazing array of roles in her repertoire. Here are some of our favorite Jane Lynch gems from throughout her career.

This just in! Illinois native Jane Lynch will be emceeing Lyric's spectacular 60th Anniversary Concert on Saturday, November 1. As she notes in her official bio, Lynch "cut her theatrical teeth at The Second City, Steppenwolf Theatre, and in many church basements all over the greater Chicagoland area, helping her become the comedic talent she is today."

Lyric creative consultant Renée Fleming personally invited Lynch to host the concert, after meeting her at the National Christmas Tree lighting in 2013 and they reconnected during Fleming's recent performances of A Streetcar Named Desire in Los Angeles. "As all of America knows by now, she is a comedic genius," said Fleming. "I can't wait to see her dry wit and impeccable timing on the Lyric stage!"

Lynch adds to an already-amazing lineup of stars including Lyric creative consultant Renée Fleming, jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, and opera stars Stephanie Blythe, Johan Botha, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Quinn Kelsey, Mariusz Kwiecień, Ana María Martínez, Eric Owens, Sondra Radvanovsky, Samuel Ramey, Marina Rebeka, and Amber Wagner, as well as members of the Ryan Opera Center and The Second City.  Lyric's  Music Director Sir Andrew Davis will lead the Lyric Opera Orchestra.  Plus, world-renowned architect Jeanne Gang is designing a brand-new concert shell that will debut at this one-night-only event. (Read more here.)

Lynch has won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her portrayal of the scheming Sue Sylvester on Glee, but she has an amazing array of roles in her repertoire. Here are some of our favorite Jane Lynch gems from throughout her career:

Annie 

Lynch's singing and acting prowess were showcased on Broadway in 2013 when she played the villainous Miss Hannigan in the revival of this beloved musical.

 

Best in Show 

Lynch's breakout role was this turn as dog trainer Christy Cummings in this Christopher Guest mockumentary. She has great chemistry with her hilarious co-star, Jennifer Coolidge, who played the ditzy dog owner Sherri Ann Cabot.

 

The 40-Year-Old Virgin 

Lynch was the delightfully deranged boss of the titular character, played by Steve Carell, who had more than a passing interest in his dilemma.  

 

Party Down 

Lynch played the sweetly naïve actress Constance Carmell on this regrettably short-lived series.

 

Wreck-It Ralph 

She lent her voice acting talents to this Disney animated film, playing the no-nonsense army commander Calhoun.

 

A Mighty Wind 

Making her mark in yet another Christopher Guest mockumentary, Lynch memorably portrayed Laurie Bohner, a folk singer who has some unique religious beliefs.

 

Role Models 

Lynch's reformed drug addict Gayle Sweeny was the highlight of this film about two men forced to do community service.

 

 Photo credit

  • Jane Lynch (credit Jake Bailey)

(Lyric Opera of Chicago does not own copyrights to any of the above videos.) 

Opera 101: How to plan a season

At Lyric, each opera season has eight different productions. So how do you choose just eight from the whole history of opera, plus new operas that are being written each year? Lyric's General Director Anthony Freud and Music Director Sir Andrew Davis take you through the basics of planning a season, which is part science and part subjectivity. 

At Lyric, each opera season has just eight different productions. So how do you choose just eight from the whole history of opera, plus new operas that are being written each year?

In the video below, Lyric's General Director Anthony Freud and Music Director Sir Andrew Davis take you through the basics of planning a season. The process is somewhat like putting together an elaborate puzzle, but one that they both enjoy very much!

The main factors they consider are:

  • Variety - Making sure that the opera season represents the wealth of musical styles (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Modern) plus a breadth of dramatic possibilities (comedy, tragedy, fantasy, etc.) and languages (French, Italian, German, Russian, etc.)
  • Passion - Freud and Davis also seek to program operas and productions that they both are truly excited about presenting to the public.
  • Longevity - Lyric is celebrating its 60th anniversary in the 2014/15 season, so it's imperative to take a look at what has been programmed within the last 10 years and what will be programmed in the years to come!

 

What's your fantasy opera season? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter with #dreamseason. Or email us with your picks and any other questions you want to see answered at opera101@lyricopera.org!

Photo credits:

  • Mariusz Kwiecien as Don Giovanni (credit Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera)
  • Renée Fleming in Capriccio (credit Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera)
  • Stephanie Blythe in Il Trovatore (credit Terrence McCarthy / San Francisco Opera)
  • A scene from Tosca (credit Robert Millard / LA Opera)
  • Michaela Schuster as Venus in Tannhäuser (credit Clive Barda / Royal Opera House / Arena Pal)
  • Eric Owens as Porgy in Porgy and Bess with cast members (credit Terrence McCarthy / San Francisco Opera)
  • Sondra Radvanovsky as Anna Bolena (credit Cade Martin / Washington National Opera)
  • A scene from The Passenger (credit Karl Forster)

They Have Confidence! SOUND OF MUSIC Fan Photos

Audiences are loving The Sound of Music, on stage at Lyric through May 25. Here are some of our favorite fan photos, documenting some amazing experiences at the beautiful Civic Opera House for #LyricSound. 

Audiences are loving The Sound of Music, on stage at Lyric through May 25. Here are some of our favorite fan photos, documenting their amazing experience at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Snap and share your pics with #LyricSound on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You could win a pair of tickets to any opera during Lyric's spectacular 60th anniversary season!

 

Looking for more audience reactions? Here are some thoughts from people right after they've seen the show!

 

THE SOUND OF MUSIC by the Numbers

Lyric's production of The Sound of Music is musical theater like you've never seen it before! The extraordinary resources of an opera company have made this a larger-than-life spectacle. But what exactly goes into this massive undertaking? Here's a breakdown of some key numbers.

Lyric's production of The Sound of Music is musical theater like you've never seen it before! The extraordinary resources of an opera company have made this a larger-than-life spectacle. Kris Vire of Time Out Chicago notes that this production "makes full use of the Civic Opera House's grand stage, from towering tableaus of the abbey to the irresistible moment when all seven of the von Trapp children ride onstage on matching but custom-sized bicycles—talk about commitment to a production aesthetic."

But what exactly goes into this massive undertaking? Here's a breakdown of some key numbers:

Total costumes in the show. Costume designer Alejo Vietti and Lyric's expert costume shop were very, very busy.

116

Feet make up the width of Lyric's huge stage…and The Sound of Music set uses every inch.

90

Electric candles are used in the show.

80 

Automatic lighting fixtures - the most onstage ever in any Lyric production. These fixtures are not visible to the audience but are very important to the actors!

Number of costumes being made for the von Trapp children alone. Those are some well-dressed kids!

50

Total cast members plus understudies (25 each!).

37

Orchestra members in the show, including many regular members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra.

32

Dressers to get all of the kids, nuns, and principals into their costumes

Singers in the ensemble, including 20 nuns and 5 men. Many are members of the Lyric Opera Chorus. Read more about the preparation of the singers from Lyric's Chorus Master Michael Black

Different scenes in The Sound of Music. Most operas just have a few!

Specially made vintage reproduction bikes from Chicago's own Heritage Bicycles for the von Trapp children and Rolf.

6

Pairs of shoes worn by Maria during the show. All shoes for The Sound of Music have been fitted with special non-skid soles applied by Brooks Shoe Repair.

4

Number of shops that made the scenery, made in three different time zones!

Don't miss this amazing production, on stage at Lyric through May 25!

 

Photo credits:

  • Scenes from The Sound of Music (credit Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago)

 

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