Lyric Opera of Chicago

Giovanni’s Ladies

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Marina Rebeka in Lyric’s 2013/14 production of La Traviata.

Ana Maria Martinez in Lyric’s 2009/10 production of Faust.

Andriana Chuchman in Lyric’s 2010/11 production of The Mikado.


When Lyric opens the 2014-15 season with Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the female roles will be sung by an extraordinary trio of sopranos—each beautiful to behold and dazzling to hear.  

Our Donna Anna is Marina Rebeka, last season’s captivating Violetta/ La traviata. Rebeka, whose all-Mozart debut solo CD was just released, premiered the Met’s new Don Giovanni three seasons ago. She plays a passionate noblewoman bent on avenging Giovanni’s murder of her father. The Latvian soprano notes that Anna is definitely a complex role: “She’s a demanding woman, and her emotions are direct and hard and strong, but then in her second aria suddenly you need a real softness in the sound. So the question is how to combine her different characteristics in the voice of one person! I try to play it honestly, but I’m always on the edge of a knife.”

Donna Elvira, desperate for serial seducer Giovanni to return to her, is Puerto Rican-born Ana María Martínez, whose five exquisite Lyric portrayals  include most recently Desdemona/Otello and Rusalka. Elvira, a triumph at Covent Garden and Houston Grand Opera and her favorite among her four Mozart heroines—is “full of righteous indignation. She also goes through the biggest emotional journey of anyone in the opera.” In her monologue “she’s in such angst, so tormented by her sense of loss.”  Nevertheless, “she states very clearly, ‘That good-for-nothing has betrayed my soul, my trust, my love, my fabulousness. How dare he!’  But whether she thinks of losing him or being with him, she’s overwhelmed—but she decides to forgive him! She’s truly concerned for his soul.”

Several notches below those two ladies on the social scale is Zerlina, the peasant girl engaged to the rough-and-tumble Masetto but still tempted by  Giovanni. Lyric’s Zerlina is Ryan Opera Center alumna Andriana Chuchman, the young Canadian who triumphed in her Met debut last season.  Zerlina has two delectable arias, which she describes as “irresistibly charming, playful, with double entendres.” As with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte, “there’s a definition of classes in terms of the characters - Zerlina is obviously on the bottom rung!  I’ll be interested in exploring that in our production.”

Rebeka, Martínez, Chuchman—each will contribute gloriously to making Lyric’s new Don Giovanni a musically and dramatically unforgettable experience in the opera house!


Marina Rebeka in Lyric's La Traviata:


Ana María Martínez in Lyric's Rusalka:


Andriana Chuchman performs The Nightingale's Romance:



Photos: Dan Rest, Todd Rosenberg, Michael Poehn, Wiener Staatsoper

New Lyric Opera production generously made possible by Mr. & Mrs. Dietrich M. Gross, the Abbott Fund, Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald J. Gidwitz, and The Negaunee Foundation.




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