Lyric Opera of Chicago

2012/13 Season Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
3:00 p.m., Tues. Jan. 17, 2012

Long Live Passion!
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 58th season features nine operas:
Elektra , Simon Boccanegra, Werther, Don Pasquale, 
Hansel and Gretel, La bohème, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg,
Rigoletto, A Streetcar Named Desire

Major artists include Johan Botha, Joseph Calleja, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo,
Andrzej Dobber, Renée Fleming, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Elizabeth Futral, Christine Goerke,
Jill Grove, Thomas Hampson, Alan Held, Frank Lopardo, Željko Lučić, Emily Magee,
Ana María Martínez, James Morris, Anna Netrebko, Marlis Petersen, Susanna Phillips,
Matthew Polenzani, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Albina Shagimuratova, Krassimira Stoyanova
 

68 performances of 9 operas in the 25-week subscription season,
 including 6 new-to-Chicago productions,
Saturday, October 6, 2012 through Saturday, April 6, 2013  

Renée Fleming and Susan Graham Subscriber Appreciation Recital
Thursday, January 24, 2013  

Celebrated pianist Lang Lang to give only Chicago-area recital in 2012
at Civic Opera House Saturday, May 12 (previously announced) 

New! Subscribers can now save 40% over individual-ticket prices every day of the week,
for matinee and evening performances!
New discounts! New lower main-floor prices in some sections!

Subscribers pay as little as $38/seat on main floor, as little as $25/seat in balcony.
Subscription prices start at just $152 for 4 operas on main floor
and $100 for 4 operas in upper balcony.

ONLY subscribers are eligible for Streetcar performances starring Renée Fleming
and for Anna Netrebko-La bohème performances

Exciting new initiatives to serve families and students
Reduced children’s ticket prices for Hansel and Gretel performances -- $20 to $50!
Special family matinee of Don Pasquale – with family-friendly prices!
Special Streetcar performance for high-school & college students!  

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 58th Season – 2012-13

Sir Andrew Davis on the podium for four operas:
Elektra , Simon Boccanegra, Werther, and Die Meistersinger

Elektra  
Richard Strauss/new production
Christine Goerke, Jill Grove, Emily Magee, Alan Held
Sir Andrew Davis/cond., David McVicar/dir.
John Macfarlane/sets & costumes, Jennifer Tipton/lighting

Simon Boccanegra
Giuseppe Verdi/Covent Garden production
Thomas Hampson, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Krassimira Stoyanova, Frank Lopardo
Sir Andrew Davis/cond., Elijah Moshinsky/dir.
Michael Yeargan/sets, Peter J. Hall/costumes, Duane Schuler/lighting

Werther
Jules Massenet/new production
Matthew Polenzani, Sophie Koch, Kiri Deonarine, Craig Verm
Sir Andrew Davis/cond., Francisco Negrin/dir.
Louis Désiré/sets & costumes, Duane Schuler/lighting

Don Pasquale
Gaetano Donizetti/Dallas Opera production – new to Chicago
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Marlis Petersen, René Barbera, Corey Crider
Stephen Lord/cond., Sir Thomas Allen/dir.
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle/sets & costumes, Christine Binder/lighting

Hansel and Gretel
Engelbert Humperdinck/Lyric production
Elizabeth DeShong, Maria Kanyova, Jill Grove
Ward Stare/cond., Richard Jones/orig. prod., Eric Einhorn/dir.
John Macfarlane/sets & costumes, Jennifer Tipton/lighting

La bohème
Giacomo Puccini/San Francisco Opera production – new to Chicago
Ana María Martínez/Anna Netrebko, Dimitri Pittas/Joseph Calleja, Elizabeth Futral
Emmanuel Villaume/cond., Louisa Muller/dir.
Michael Yeargan/sets, Walter Mahoney/costumes, Duane Schuler/lighting


Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
Richard Wagner/new production
James Morris, Johan Botha, Amanda Majeski, Bo Skovhus
Sir Andrew Davis/cond., David McVicar/orig. prod., Marie Lambert/dir.
Vicki Mortimer/sets & costumes, Paule Constable/lighting

Rigoletto
Giuseppe Verdi/new staging with Lyric sets/costumes
Andrzej Dobber/Željko Lučić, Albina Shagimuratova,
Giuseppe Filianoti, Andrea Silvestrelli
Evan Rogister/cond., TBA/dir.,
Robert Innes Hopkins/sets, Jane Greenwood/costumes, Duane Schuler/lighting

A Streetcar Named Desire
André Previn/Lyric premiere, new production (staged concert performance)
Renée Fleming, Susanna Philips, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Anthony Dean Griffey
Evan Rogister/cond., Brad Dalton/dir.

MAJOR LYRIC-DEBUT SINGERS INCLUDE:

Elektra :
Christine Goerke

Simon Boccanegra :  
Krassimira Stoyanova

Werther :
Sophie Koch

Hansel and Gretel :
Julie Makerov

La bohème :
Anna Netrebko, Dimitri Pittas

Rigoletto :  
Andrzej Dobber, Željko Lučić, Albina Shagimuratova

A Streetcar Named Desire :
Teddy Tahu Rhodes

RETURNING INTERNATIONAL SINGERS INCLUDE:

Elektra :  
Emily Magee, Jill Grove, Alan Held

Simon Boccanegra:  
Thomas Hampson, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Frank Lopardo, Quinn Kelsey

Werther :
Matthew Polenzani

Don Pasquale :
Ildebrando d’Arcangelo, Marlis Petersen

Hansel and Gretel :
Elizabeth DeShong, Maria Kanyova, Jill Grove

La bohème :
Ana María Martínez, Joseph Calleja, Elizabeth Futral, Lucas Meachem

 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg:
James Morris, Johan Botha, Bo Skovhus

Rigoletto :
Giuseppe Filianoti, Andrea Silvestrelli

A Streetcar Named Desire :
Renée Fleming, Susanna Phillips, Anthony Dean Griffey  

NOTABLE ROLE & CONDUCTING DEBUTS:

Elektra :
Jill Grove/Clytemnestra, Roger Honeywell/Aegisthus

Simon Boccanegra :
Frank Lopardo/Adorno, Quinn Kelsey/Paolo, Sir Andrew Davis/cond.

Werther :
Matthew Polenzani/Werther, Sir Andrew Davis/cond.

Don Pasquale :
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo/Pasquale, René Barbera/Ernesto, Corey Crider/Malatesta,
Sir Thomas Allen (Lyric dir. debut)

Hansel and Gretel :
Jill Grove/Witch, Julie Makerov/Mother, Brian Mulligan/Father, Ward Stare/cond.

La bohème :
Elizabeth Futral/Musetta, Lucas Meachem/Marcello

Die Meistersinger :
Amanda Majeski/Eva, Jamie Barton/Magdalene, David Portillo/David,
Darren Jeffery/Kothner, Sir Andrew Davis/cond.

Rigoletto :
Evan Rogister/cond.

A Streetcar Named Desire :
Susanna Phillips/Stella, Evan Rogister/cond.

CONDUCTORS:  
Sir Andrew Davis (4), Stephen Lord, Evan Rogister* (2), Ward Stare*, Emmanuel Villaume

STAGE DIRECTORS:
Sir Thomas Allen**, Brad Dalton*, Eric Einhorn*, Marie Lambert*,
David McVicar, Louisa Muller*, Elijah Moshinsky, Francisco Negrin

DESIGNERS:
Christine Binder, Paule Constable, Louis Désiré, Jane Greenwood, Peter J. Hall,
Robert Innes Hopkins, John Macfarlane (2), Walter Mahoney*, Vicki Mortimer*,
Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Duane Schuler (4), Jennifer Tipton (2), Michael Yeargan (2)  

CHORUS MASTER:
Martin Wright*

CHOREOGRAPHERS:
Andrew George, August Tye

*Lyric Opera debut

**Lyric Opera directorial debut

 

***

Anthony Freud, General Director
Sir Andrew Davis, Music Director 
Renée Fleming, Creative Consultant  

Anthony Freud, general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, announced today the repertoire, principal singers, conductors, directors, and designers for Lyric’s 2012-13 season. This was Freud’s first news conference since becoming Lyric’s general director on Oct. 1, 2011. Joining Freud for today’s announcement was Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric’s music director; and Lyric’s creative consultant, Renée Fleming (via Skype).

Lyric’s 2012-13 subscription season will offer 68 performances of nine different operas beginning Saturday, October 6, 2012, and concluding Saturday, April 6, 2013.

Although there will be nine operas offered in 2012-13, a full-season subscription still comprises eight operas.

Lyric’s 58th season fully embodies the company’s motto, Long Live Passion, said Freud. “Passion is the essence of opera. Passion and the communication of emotion is what all great art has in common. Lyric’s 58th season encompasses a range of repertory, a range of musical and theatrical styles, a range of great artists who sing, conduct, direct and design – all with great passion.”

Sir Andrew Davis noted that he will be on the podium for the first three operas of the season, Elektra, Simon Boccanegra, and Werther, and will return for Die Meistersinger in February. “It will be my first time conducting three of the four – Boccanegra, Werther, and Die Meistersinger – and I am eager to delve into all of them, as well as to return to the glorious score of Elektra,” Davis said.

Renée Fleming pointed out that the season’s ninth opera, André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, will receive “special treatment” in that the singers – in full costume and with scenic elements, lighting and props – will share the stage with the Lyric Opera Orchestra.  “The challenge of bringing the iconic character of Blanche DuBois to the opera stage was artistically transformative for me.  I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share this wonderful piece with Lyric subscribers,” Fleming said.

Midway through next season Fleming and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham will take the stage at Lyric in a Subscriber Appreciation Recital on Thursday, January 24, 2013. They will be accompanied by pianist Bradley Moore. “Susan Graham and I began our singing careers together and have shared the stage happily and often.  We hope the Chicago audience will enjoy experiencing our personal and musical camaraderie,” Fleming said.

As was previously announced, the internationally acclaimed Chinese pianist Lang Lang has chosen the Civic Opera House, home to Lyric Opera of Chicago, for his only 2012 Chicago-area concert on Saturday, May 12. The solo recital will take place a month before the pianist’s 30th birthday. A video camera positioned above the keyboard will enable concertgoers seated in the theater to view the pianist’s hands throughout the recital on a large screen above the stage.

2012-13 will be the debut season for chorus master Martin Wright. “The Lyric Opera Chorus plays a key role in six of next season’s operas, and I am greatly looking forward to collaborating with Martin, whose work I have long admired at the Netherlands Opera,” said Davis.

Freud noted that 2012-13 ensemble members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center will have roles in several of the season’s operas and will also understudy several roles. 

“SUBSCRIBE NOW!” – STILL THE BEST VALUE

For the first time, subscribers to Lyric’s 2012-13 season can save up to 40% over individual-ticket prices – every day of the week, both evenings and matinees.

Additionally, prices have been lowered in select sections of both the main floor and the balcony – with prices frozen in rows J-R of the upper balcony.

“In turbulent economic times we are conscious of our responsibility to be more accessible to a broader audience, and our pricing for the 2012-13 season reflects that commitment,” Freud said.

Patrons can choose from 23 different subscription packages, including ten economically-priced 4-opera series. “More than half of the series we offer – 15 of them – give patrons the opportunity to get seats on the main floor at a 40% discount over individual ticket prices,” Freud said.

Among the best subscription deals next season will be all 5-opera weeknight series (A-1, B-1, and E-1) and two of the 4-opera weeknight series (A-2 and B-2), offering subscribers a 40% discount over single tickets in EVERY seating section.  The 5-opera weeknight series provide the equivalent of two operas free.

Lyric will offer six 8-opera series, three 6-opera series, four 5-opera series, and ten 4-opera series.

Subscribers who prefer a daytime opera experience continue to have four choices: one 8-opera weekend matinee series and three 4-opera weekday matinee series, which have proved to be very popular with Lyric’s audiences. 

The overall increase of ticket prices for the 2012-13 season will be about 2.5%.

Only subscribers to 8-opera series will be able to purchase individual tickets at a 30% discount for the 9th opera not on their series. Subscribers to 4, 5, and 6-opera series will be able to purchase individual tickets for operas not in their series at a 10% discount until July 31.

The 25% down “NO FEE” payment plan option will again be available for the coming season. Just 25% down secures your subscription seats with a credit-card payment, with the remaining three payments automatically charged monthly.

The TRADEONETM option remains popular for subscribers to fewer than all eight operas, and free ticket exchanges are an appreciated benefit for full-season subscribers. These benefits provide subscribers with increased scheduling flexibility.

 “O” Series subscribers may choose their own two “perfect pairs” of any adjacent opera dates in the season. Created especially for out-of-town subscribers, this series offers four operas in two sets of dates.

Subscription brochures for renewing subscribers will be mailed February 2. Weekday prices apply Monday through Friday matinees; weekend rates apply Friday evening through Sunday.

Subscribers will get first choice of seats and special pricing for Oklahoma!, the American musical-theater classic by Rodgers and Hammerstein scheduled for the spring of 2013, following Lyric’s regular season. The on-sale date of Oklahoma! is to be announced. The exclusive corporate sponsor is Northern Trust.

NEW OFFERINGS FOR FAMILIES, STUDENTS

For the first time, Lyric will offer reduced prices for school-aged children for an opera in Lyric’s regular mainstage season. Youngsters will be able to see regular performances of Hansel and Gretel when accompanied by an adult with a regularly priced ticket. Children’s tickets will range from $20 to $50, and will be available to subscribers first.

Also for the first time, a Family Matinee performance will be offered.  A special family presentation of Don Pasquale will take place on Sunday, December 2 – with family-friendly prices and activities, which will be announced at a later date.

A Student Night at the Opera performance of A Streetcar Named Desire by the understudy cast will be offered for an exclusive audience of high-school and college students on Friday, April 5, 2013. All tickets will be $20.

“We are very pleased to make it financially feasible for Lyric subscribers to bring the children in their lives to experience Hansel and Gretel,” said Freud. “We are also excited to offer for the first time a specially priced family-matinee performance of Don Pasquale. And we think that students will respond very positively to the performance of A Streetcar Named Desire made available just to them next spring. Our usual student matinees draw audiences from junior high through high schools for afternoon performances; the student performance of Streetcar will be a Friday-evening event for high-school and college students. We are committed to broadening the age range of our audience, not only through our existing education programs, but also through these new initiatives.”

***

NExT Discount Student Tickets will again be available. They cost just $20 for seats throughout the Civic Opera House, and are offered only through the internet to fulltime, degree-seeking college students (who register online as NExT members) for regular performances of selected Lyric productions. Students from nearly 200 universities and colleges have purchased NExT tickets. NExT membership is free.

Encore Evenings for Young Professionals were launched in 2011, and will be offered again next season. Substantially discounted tickets for selected performances are offered through the internet to young professionals in their 20s and 30s. Registered members receive ticket offers in two price categories, along with invitations to special social events just for young professionals. As with the NExT program, Encore Evenings membership is free.

Discounts for selected performance dates during the regular season will be offered for group ticket sales next season (15+ per group).

Free pre-opera lectures will be offered next season before every performance of every opera (except Oct. 6, opening night of the season) to enhance the opera-going experience. The informative and entertaining 30-minute talks are presented by members of Lyric’s staff and experts from the community.

Lyric’s website (www.lyricopera.org) is a comprehensive source of information, handsomely designed and easy to navigate. Videos about each opera are available for viewing throughout the season, including highlight reels introduced by Sir Andrew Davis and Renée Fleming, commentaries by Anthony Freud, and interviews with other artists and directors. In early February, Lyric will post Anthony Freud’s 2012-13 season overview video.

Website audio features include Sir Andrew Davis’s opera previews; the Discovery Series lectures and panel discussions, available for download on lyricopera.org and iTunes as part of Lyric’s “Backstage at Lyric” podcast; and the company’s in-depth and expertly produced Commentaries, available for streaming and downloading, free of charge. Additional website features include articles, recording and DVD recommendations, and photo galleries.

Lyric’s website has varied content that is constantly updated during the season. Operagoers can enhance their live-opera experience by exploring the multimedia offerings. Lyric’s Facebook and Twitter fan base continues to grow, helping to foster opera engagement and excitement in the company’s digital communities.

Lyric’s website also includes a customer interface feature allowing patrons to view their upcoming and past performances, exchange tickets, select their own seats, renew their donations, make other contributions, make reservations to The Sarah and Peer Pedersen Room restaurant, and receive special messaging.

Projected English translations and texts will be used for all nine operas in Lyric’s 2012-13 season.

98.7WFMT and wfmt.com will air the opening-night performance of each opera in Lyric’s 2012-13 season live locally, and will rebroadcast eight of the nine operas internationally in May and June of 2013.

THE WORKS BEING PRESENTED by LYRIC OPERA of CHICAGO
in the 2012-13 SEASON
and the ARTISTS WHO HAVE BEEN ENGAGED to DATE

 

New Production
ELEKTRA / Richard Strauss  (in German with projected English translations)
Seven performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for opening night at 6:30 p.m. and matinee at 2:00 p.m.: Oct. 6, 10, 13, 19, 22, 26 (mat), 30
Strauss’s monumental tragedy (to a libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, adapted from his 1903 play based on the Sophocles original) is one of the most formidably difficult operas for orchestra as well as for vocal soloists. The heroine (soprano Christine Goerke, debut), princess of Mycenae, is consumed by the desire to avenge the death of her father, King Agamemnon, at the hands of her mother, Clytemnestra (mezzo-soprano Jill Grove) and Clytemnestra’s lover Aegisthus (tenor Roger Honeywell). She vainly attempts to enlist the aid of her frightened sister, Chrysothemis (soprano Emily Magee), and is ecstatic at the unexpected return of the brother she believed was dead, Orestes (bass-baritone Alan Held), which leads to the hair-raising dénouement.
Elektra will be conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. The new production is directed by David McVicar with sets and costumes by John Macfarlane and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Chorus master is Martin Wright (debut).
Generous sponsors for this new production are The Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, the Abbott Fund, Marlys A. Beider, and Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson.
For theater and film devotees who have never been to the opera, Elektra may be the perfect first-time experience, as it “delivers maybe the most visceral punch of the entire operatic canon,” said Freud. The libretto is faithful to Sophocles, and Strauss is among the strongest music dramatist and orchestrators in the history of music. Elektra may be the most demanding dramatic-soprano role in its length, its technical ferocity, and its combination of extraordinary dramatic outbursts and music of passionate, delicate lyricism. Freud noted that “Christine Goerke is emerging as one of the most important dramatic sopranos of her generation and has recently triumphed in her role debut as Elektra in Madrid.”

SIMON BOCCANEGRA /  Giuseppe Verdi (in Italian with projected English translations)
Eight performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for matinees at 2:00 p.m.: Oct. 15, 20, 24, 28 (mat), 31 (mat), Nov. 3, 6, 9
Musically inspired and dramatically riveting, Simon Boccanegra premiered in 1857 and was significantly revised in 1881. Thus it offers audiences both the vigor of middle-period Verdi and the profound exploration of character that characterizes late Verdi works. The title character (baritone Thomas Hampson) ages 20 years between the prologue and Act One. A heroic corsair, he loves Maria, daughter of the powerful patrician Fiesco (bass Ferruccio Furlanetto). Maria dies after bearing Boccanegra a daughter, from whom he is separated. Twenty years later, as Doge of Genoa, he discovers that Amelia Grimaldi (soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, debut) is indeed his daughter. Matters are complicated by the villainous Paolo (baritone Quinn Kelsey), whose love is rejected by Amelia, who hopes to marry Gabriele Adorno (tenor Frank Lopardo). Paolo’s hatred of Boccanegra has tragic consequences in a drama played out in the politically incendiary atmosphere of 14th-century Genoa.
Simon Boccanegra will be conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. The director is Elijah Moshinsky and the designers are Michael Yeargan (sets), Peter J. Hall (costumes), and Duane Schuler (lighting). Martin Wright is chorus master.
Production owned by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Lyric Opera presentation generously made possible by an Anonymous Donor, Roger and Julie Baskes, and Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin.
Simon Boccanegra is considered one of Verdi’s most sublime scores, with a story full of drama and a complicated plot that is made eloquent and engaging by Verdi’s extraordinary music,” Freud said. “Thomas Hampson is one of the great stars of our time, with an extraordinary career encompassing an exceptionally broad repertoire. His Macbeth here was unforgettable. Ferruccio Furlanetto is a towering presence, as we experienced recently with his Boris Godunov.”

New Production
WERTHER / Jules Massenet  (in French with projected English translations)
Six performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for matinee at 2:00 p.m.: Nov. 11 (mat), 14, 17, 20, 23, 26
One of the most overwhelmingly romantic and affecting of all French operas, Werther (premiere 1892) brings to the stage the poet immortalized in The Sorrows of Young Werther, the Goethe novel that transfixed late-18th-century Europe. Werther (tenor Matthew Polenzani) is enraptured by Charlotte (mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch, debut) when he visits her home, where she and her sister, Sophie (soprano Kiri Deonarine), care for their brothers and sisters, as well as for their widowed father, the Bailiff (baritone Philip Kraus). Werther falls in love with Charlotte, who sadly reveals that she promised her dying mother that she would marry Albert (baritone Craig Verm, debut). Charlotte begs Werther to leave the village, but suggests he return at Christmas. He does so, with tragic consequences.
Sir Andrew Davis conducts. The director is Francisco Negrin, with a design team including Louis Désiré (sets and costumes) and Duane Schuler (lighting).
Werther is a coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera, where this new production was first seen in 2010. New Lyric Opera coproduction generously made possible by Harold Hartshorne, Jr., an Anonymous Donor, Mr. and Mrs. W. James Farrell, and Sidley Austin LLP.
“The leading roles require singers of romantic intensity, vocal beauty, and great passion – and we have the ideal interpreters,” said Freud. “As he demonstrated with Hoffmann, Matthew Polenzani is a perfect singer of French music thanks to his vocal timbre, his skill with the language, and the unmatchable elegance of his sound.  The wonderful French mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch has movie-star looks and an exceptionally beautiful voice.”

New-to-Chicago Production    
DON PASQUALE / Gaetano Donizetti (in Italian with projected English translations)
Six performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for matinees at 2:00 p.m.: Nov. 25 (mat), 28, Dec. 6 (mat), 8, 10, 15
Don Pasquale, third-from-last of Donizetti’s more than 70 operas, is a gem of bel canto comedy, bringing a vibrant and rollicking score to the classic tale of a foolish old man’s eagerness to marry a young wife. The title character (bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo) reveals to his friend Dr. Malatesta (baritone Corey Crider) that he’s thinking about marriage, whereupon the crafty Malatesta reveals that he has the ideal choice – his own convent-bred sister, “Sofronia.” Malatesta then persuades the beautiful young Norina (soprano Marlis Petersen) to masquerade as Sofronia. Pasquale objects to the wish of his nephew, Ernesto (tenor René Barbera) to marry the penniless Norina. Matters get more complicated, with a heartwarming happy ending.
Stephen Lord is the conductor. The production is directed by Sir Thomas Allen (Lyric Opera directing debut), and the sets and costumes are by the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. The lighting designer is Christine Binder and the chorus master is Martin Wright.
Don Pasquale was originally a production of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and is now owned by The Dallas Opera.
Lyric Opera presentation generously made possible by the NIB Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Reyes, and Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow.
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo’s role debut casts against type in a role normally sung by an older comic baritone or bass, “but he has the right imagination and personality to make it his own – particularly with a director like Sir Thomas Allen and a costar like Marlis Petersen, who captivated Lyric audiences both in Die Fledermaus and Lulu,” said Freud.         

HANSEL AND GRETEL /  Engelbert Humperdinck (in German with projected English translations) Nine performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for matinees at 2:00 p.m.: Dec. 7, 12, 14 (mat), 16 (mat), Jan. 8, 11, 14, 17 (mat), 19
Humperdinck’s opera (premiere 1893), an enchanting retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s beloved fairytale, is the quintessential holiday treat for all ages. After Hansel (mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong) and Gretel (soprano Maria Kanyova) misbehave, their irate mother (soprano Julie Makerov, debut) sends them out into the woods to gather strawberries. When their father (baritone Brian Mulligan) discovers they’ve gone, he’s desperately worried, since he has heard of a witch who inhabits the woods. The children do indeed encounter the witch (mezzo-soprano Jill Grove), whose attempt to turn them into cookies brings their own cleverness and courage to the fore.
Ward Stare (debut) is the conductor. The original production is by Richard Jones and the associate director is Eric Einhorn (debut). The sets and costumes are by John Macfarlane, the lighting by Jennifer Tipton, and the choreography by Linda Dobell.
Lyric Opera coproduction with Welsh National Opera (which was commissioned by Anthony Freud while he was WNO’s general director) originally made possible by The Vance Family Fund, with additional funding from BP America Inc. Revival generously made possible by ITW and the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation.    
“I love this piece – the music is Wagnerian, and many of the visual images in this production haunt you,” said Davis. “It’s a great work for orchestra, and my protégé, Ward Stare, our former principal trombone, is conducting. Elizabeth DeShong, one of our most marvelously gifted Ryan Opera Center alumnae, and Maria Kanyova, also an illustrious Ryan Opera Center alumna, will be splendid as the titular siblings.”

New-to-Chicago Production
LA BOHÈME / Giacomo Puccini (in Italian with projected English translations)
Eleven performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for matinees at 2:00 p.m.: Jan. 21, 24 (mat), 27 (mat), Feb. 2, 7, Mar. 9, 12, 15 (mat), 18, 22, 28 (mat)
Puccini’s 1892 tale of love among the Bohemians of Paris is one of the most universally loved operas in the repertoire. On Christmas night in mid-19th-century Paris, the lonely seamstress Mimì (soprano Ana María Martínez/Jan. 21-Feb. 7 and Anna Netrebko/March dates) and the poet Rodolfo (tenors Dimitri Pittas, debut/Jan. 21-Feb. 7 and Joseph Calleja/March dates) fall in love. Their circle of friends in the Latin Quarter includes the coquettish Musetta (soprano Elizabeth Futral), her former flame, the painter Marcello (baritone Lucas Meachem), the philosopher Colline (bass Andrea Silvestrelli), and the musician Schaunard (baritone Joseph Lim). Adding comic relief to the story are the landlord Benoit and Musetta’s “protector,” the roué Alcindoro (both portrayed by bass-baritone Dale Travis).
The production is conducted by Emmanuel Villaume. The director is Louisa Muller (debut). The designers are Michael Yeargan (sets), Walter Mahoney (debut/costumes), and Duane Schuler (lighting). The chorus master is Martin Wright.
The production is owned by the San Francisco Opera Association. Lyric Opera presentation generously made possible by the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation, Exelon, Margot and Josef Lakonishok, and the Mazza Foundation.
This new-to-Chicago production of La bohème, features two outstanding casts. Ana María Martínez is one of the quintessential interpreters of Mimì, with a sublimely beautiful voice and an incredibly sensitive, moving stage presence,” said Freud. “Anna Netrebko is one of the most charismatic and thrilling sopranos of our time, making a long-awaited Lyric debut. Each will bring very different qualities to the role, and each will be glorious. In Dimitri Pittas and Joseph Calleja we have two of the most exciting tenors of the younger generation, both with extraordinary and well-deserved international careers.”

New Production
DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG / Richard Wagner (in German with projected English translations) Seven performances beginning at 5:30 p.m., except for matinees at 1:00 p.m.:
Feb. 8, 12, 16, 20, 23, 27 (mat), Mar. 3 (mat)
Wagner’s only comedy and a work communicating extraordinary warmth, wisdom, and joy, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (premiere 1868) presents a massive challenge to any opera company’s resources. The chorus is immensely important in depicting the community of Nuremberg, where the most respected citizen is the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs (bass-baritone James Morris). Sachs, the goldsmith Pogner (bass Dimitry Ivashchenko, debut), the town clerk Beckmesser (baritone Bo Skovhus), and the baker Kothner (bass-baritone Darren Jeffery, debut) are all members of the mastersingers’ guild. Pogner announces to the guild that he is sponsoring a song contest, the winner of which will be offered the hand of his daughter Eva (soprano Amanda Majeski). Eva falls instantly in love with the knight Walther von Stolzing (tenor Johan Botha), but Walther creates a furor among the masters with the wildly unconventional audition he presents in order to be allowed to compete in the contest. The story sweeps to a heartwarming ending, with other delightful characters figuring prominently along the way, including Eva’s lively companion, Magdalene (mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton), and her suitor, Sachs’s apprentice David (tenor David Portillo).
Sir Andrew Davis is the conductor. David McVicar’s production is staged by Marie Lambert (debut), with sets and costumes designed by Vicki Mortimer (debut), lighting designed by Paule Constable, and movement direction by Andrew George. The chorus master is Martin Wright.
This is a coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera Association, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where it was first seen in 2011. New Lyric coproduction generously made possible by the Kenneth L. Harder Trust, Mr. & Mrs. Dietrich M. Gross, Whitney and Ada Addington, Irma Parker, and the Estate of Howard A. Stotler.
James Morris is a great Hans Sachs; it’s one of his signature roles, in which Lyric audiences will hear him for the first time,” said Freud. “And Johan Botha, the great Wagner tenor of our time, is singing Walther von Stolzing, whose ‘Prize Song’ is perhaps the most sumptuously beautiful music that Wagner ever created.”

RIGOLETTO / Giuseppe Verdi   (in Italian with projected English translations)
Ten performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., except for matinees at 2:00 p.m.: Feb. 25, Mar. 1 (mat), 4, 7, 10 (mat), 14 (mat), 20, 23, 27 (mat), 30
Rigoletto, Verdi’s masterpiece of 1851, presents a magnificent, deeply moving characterization of a hunchbacked, sharp-tongued court jester consumed by bitterness and revenge. Rigoletto (baritones Andrzej Dobber, debut, Feb. 25-March 10 and Željko Lučić, debut, March 14-30) is the father of Gilda (soprano Albina Shagimuratova, debut), who is seduced and abandoned by the licentious Duke of Mantua (tenor Giuseppe Filianoti). The jester hires an assassin, Sparafucile (bass Andrea Silvestrelli), who lures the Duke to an inn where he will encounter the assassin’s seductive sister, Maddalena (mezzo-soprano Nicole Piccolomini, debut). When Gilda discovers what her father is planning, her tragic fate is sealed.
The conductor is Evan Rogister (debut). For this revival Lyric is commissioning a new staging by a director to be announced at a later date. The set designs are by Robert Innes Hopkins and costume designs are by Jane Greenwood, with lighting designed by Duane Schuler. The chorus master is Martin Wright.
Lyric Opera 2005-06 production originally made possible by the NIB Foundation and Jim and Vicki Mills/Jon and Lois Mills. This newly staged production generously made possibly by Jim and Kay Mabie and Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel.
This beloved and brilliant score marks a period in which Verdi’s youthful vigor developed into a musical and theatrical maturity that became the reference point for Italian opera. Rigoletto is a deeply Shakespearean opera in its combination of tragedy and humor. “In Andrzej Dobber and Željko Lučić we have two superb Verdi baritones who are both immensely distinguished interpreters of Rigoletto, in their different ways bringing unique dramatic and vocal qualities to this tragic role,” said Freud. “In Albina Shagimuratova we have a thrilling, emerging young dramatic coloratura soprano.”

Lyric Opera Premiere / Special Presentation (staged concert performance)
A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE / André Previn  (in English with projected English texts)
Four performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. and matinee at 2:00 p.m.: Mar. 26, 29, Apr. 3, 6 (mat)
Tennessee Williams’s unnerving, ultimately tragic drama (premiered on Broadway in 1947) is one of the most memorable works in the American theater.  American composer André Previn used it – in an adaptation by Philip Littell – as the basis for his first opera, written for soprano Renée Fleming and premiered at San Francisco Opera in September 1998. The work has been performed widely in America, and Fleming was heard in this version at London’s Barbican Centre in 2003. Reprising her portrayal at Lyric, she plays Blanche DuBois, who arrives at the New Orleans home of her sister, Stella Kowalski (soprano Susanna Phillips).  Blanche is mysterious about the reasons for leaving her job as an English teacher in Laurel, Mississippi. She spends the summer imposing on the hospitality of Stella and her husband Stanley (baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes, debut), while also romancing Stanley’s shy friend Harold “Mitch” Mitchell (tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, who created this role in the world premiere). When Stanley discovers the real reason that Blanche left Laurel, the stage is set for a catastrophic confrontation between him and his deluded, emotionally fragile sister-in-law.
A Streetcar Named Desire will be conducted by Evan Rogister. The director is Brad Dalton. The costume designer and lighting designer will be announced at a later date.
New Lyric Opera production generously made possible by Kirkland & Ellis LLP, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. 
For this special presentation of Streetcar we’re bringing the orchestra onstage,” said Freud. “The drama of Streetcar, fully costumed, will take place in and around the orchestra, which is one of the protagonists. We have four truly exceptional singing actors, starting of course with Renée Fleming as Blanche. Susanna Phillips is one of the most exciting young lyric sopranos to come out of the Ryan Opera Center. She is a native southerner, and she will be perfect as Stella. Teddy Tahu Rhodes has made the role of Stanley very much his own around the world. He has exactly the right physical charisma and presence as well as vocal quality. And Anthony Dean Griffey is the definitive interpreter of Mitch – he’s a great singing actor who has a heartbreakingly sympathetic stage personality. “

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS       

LANG LANG IN RECITAL  Saturday, May 12, 2012, at 7:30 p.m.
As announced last July, the internationally acclaimed Chinese pianist Lang Lang has chosen the Civic Opera House, home to Lyric Opera of Chicago, for his only Chicago-area concert in 2012.
Lang Lang’s solo recital will comprise Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B-flat Major, Schubert’s Sonata in B-Flat Major, D. 960, and Chopin’s 12 Études, Op. 25. The performance will take place a month before the pianist’s 30th birthday.
Regular-priced tickets range from $25 to $125, with premium-priced tickets available for $500, including a post-concert reception with the artist. Limited onstage seating will also be available to the public for $95 and $125, for which reservations can be made only by calling Lyric’s ticket office (312-332-2244, ext. 5600). A video camera positioned above the keyboard will enable concertgoers seated in the theater to view the pianist’s hands throughout the recital on a large screen above the stage.
Lang Lang has dazzled Chicago-area audiences (and the world) since his 1999 surprise debut here at age 17, when he replaced an ailing colleague in a Tchaikovsky piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Christoph Eschenbach at the Ravinia Festival’s “Gala of the Century.” Since then the pianist has performed in countless prestigious venues, before numerous heads of state, and for a television audience of four billion during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Lang Lang’s 2011-12 season started with a performance at the San Francisco Symphony’s 100th Anniversary Gala concert and at the Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Also this season, he is creative director of the Ascent Series at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he is touring with the Concertgebouw, Vienna Philharmonic, and the New York Philharmonic. His 14th recording, “Liszt: My Piano Hero,” is a Sony release.
Exclusive sponsor: Harris Private Bank.

RENÉE FLEMING & SUSAN GRAHAM SUBSCRIBER APPRECIATION RECITAL
with pianist Bradley Moore   Thursday, January 24, 2013, at 8:00 p.m.
Lyric welcomes American soprano Renée Fleming for her fourth Subscriber Appreciation performance, joined for the first time here by American mezzo-soprano sensation Susan Graham and pianist Bradley Moore. The program will be announced at a later date. Tickets start at $35 and are available to 2012-13 subscribers on a priority basis.
Lyric’s creative consultant Renée Fleming is a beloved favorite of Lyric Opera audiences and has won acclaim in literally every major opera house and concert hall in the world. She debuted with the company during the 1993-94 season in the title role/Susannah (Lyric premiere/new production), and has since returned as Marguerite/Faust (1995-96), Countess Almaviva/The Marriage of Figaro (1997-98), title role/Alcina (1999-00), Desdemona/Otello (new production, 2001-02), title role/Thaïs (new production, 2002-03), and Violetta/La traviata (2007-08).
Susan Graham is equally celebrated internationally in operatic, concert, and recital repertoire, and is also a prolific recording artist. Her close association with Lyric Opera began with her 1989-90 debut as Annio/La clemenza di Tito (Lyric premiere), followed by Cherubino/The Marriage of Figaro (1997-98), Composer/Ariadne auf Naxos (new production, 1998-99), Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni (new production, 2004-05), Octavian/Der Rosenkavalier (2005-06), the title role/Iphigénie en Tauride (new production, 2006-07), and Marguerite/La damnation de Faust (new production, 2009-10).
Bradley Moore is an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, where he’s worked with Fleming on Armida and Der Rosenkavalier, and with Graham on productions of Così fan tutte, La clemenza di Tito, La damnation de Faust and Der Rosenkavalier. He has given recitals with Fleming and also with Eric Owens, Eric Cutler, Angela Meade, and Denyce Graves.  His discography includes a Debut Series recital with Eric Cutler for EMI Classics.

Exclusive sponsor: BMO Harris Bank.

BIOGRAPHIES OF PRINCIPAL ARTISTS, 2012-13 SEASON

ELEKTRA

American soprano CHRISTINE GOERKE (Elektra)  – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Triumphed as Elektra in September 2011 at Madrid’s Teatro Real; previously portrayed Chrysothemis in this opera (Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival, Florence, Washington)
  • First attracted attention in the title role/Iphigénie en Tauride at Glimmerglass Opera (1997, subsequently reprised the role at New York City Opera), is now established worldwide as one of today’s finest dramatic sopranos; successes in formidable German roles also include the title role/Ariadne auf Naxos and Ortrud/Lohengrin (both in Houston, the former also at La Scala), Leonore/Fidelio (Philadelphia)
  • Her remarkable versatility also extends to Handel (Armida/Rinaldo and title role/Alcina, New York City Opera), Mozart (Vitellia/La clemenza di Tito, Opéra National de Paris, plus the Mozart/da Ponte operas under Ozawa for his Ongaku-Juku Project in Tokyo), Bellini (title role/Norma, Seattle, Philadelphia), Poulenc (Mme. Lidoine/Dialogues of the Carmelites, Metropolitan Opera), and Britten (Female Chorus/The Rape of Lucretia, Glimmerglass Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Ellen Orford/Peter Grimes, Saito Kinen Festival and Florence’s Maggio Musicale Fiorentino)

American soprano EMILY MAGEE (Chrysothemis)

Ryan Opera Center alumna

  • Seven roles at Lyric Opera, among them much-acclaimed portrayals of Elsa/Lohengrin (2010-11), Ellen/Peter Grimes (1997-98), and Marguerite/Faust (1995-96)
  • A favorite in the major European houses, singing such varied roles as Tosca (Zurich), Jenůfa (Covent Garden), Lisa/The Queen of Spades (Barcelona), with particular success in Strauss and Wagner – Ariadne (Munich, Zurich), Elsa (Munich), Salome (Salzburg), the Empress/Die Frau ohne Schatten and Chrysothemis (both in Zurich)
  • Appears on CD as Eva/Die Meistersinger and Elsa (both under Barenboim) and on DVD in performances from Zurich, Barcelona, Berlin, and Bayreuth

American mezzo-soprano JILL GROVE (Clytemnestra)

  • Triumphant at Lyric as Erda/Ring cycle (2004-05), the Nurse/Die Frau ohne Schatten (new production, 2007-08), Countess Geschwitz/Lulu (new production, 2008-09); returns to Lyric this season as Amneris/Aida
  • Scored a great success as Amneris (opposite Sondra Radvanovsky’s Aida) at Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company last season
  • Has appeared in the Ring cycle at both the Metropolitan Opera and Los Angeles Opera (with the latter company sang Zita/Gianni Schicchi for Woody Allen’s opera directing debut, DVD) and as Auntie/Peter Grimes at the Met (premiere of John Doyle’s new production/DVD)

American bass-baritone ALAN HELD (Orestes)

  • Six roles at Lyric Opera since 1990-91, most recently Jochanaan/Salome (new production, 2006-07), Gunther/Ring cycle, Don Fernando/Fidelio (both 2004-05)
  • Recent successes include title role/Wozzeck (Metropolitan Opera), Jochanaan/Salome (Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival, also Vienna Staatsoper and at Baden-Baden Festspielhaus), and return engagements at the Netherlands Opera (Fidelio) and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu (Parsifal)
  1. Highlights of the current season include Tristan und Isolde (Bilbao), The Flying Dutchman (Munich), Rusalka (Covent Garden)

 

C anadian tenor ROGER HONEYWELL (Aegisthus)

Ryan Opera Center alumnus

  • Six roles at Lyric Opera since 2002-03, most recently the male lead, Count Danilo/The Merry Widow (new production, 2009-10), James Nolan/Doctor Atomic (2007-08), Frederic/The Pirates of Penzance (new production, 2003-04)
  • Has made a powerful impression with major companies in many exceptionally demanding roles in contemporary opera, including Troilus/Walton’s Troilus and Cressida (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis), Midas/Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae (Bard SummerScape Festival), Leukippos/Strauss’s Daphne (New York City Opera)
  • Created roles in world premieres of three American operas: Segismundo/Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream and Geoff/Paul Moravec’s The Letter (Santa Fe Opera); preacher Jim Casey in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath (Minnesota Opera, Utah Opera)

English conductor SIR ANDREW DAVIS

  • Lyric Opera music director since 2000 – 40 productions since 1987, most recently The Magic Flute, Ariadne auf Naxos, Boris Godunov (all 2011-12)
  • One of the world’s most celebrated conductors for more than three decades, with triumphs at many major opera houses (including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Covent Garden, the Bayreuth Festival, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera); has been welcomed in previous seasons by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw, and virtually every other major orchestra worldwide 
  • Performances during the current season include Don Giovanni (Metropolitan Opera); Arabella (Santa Fe Opera); and concerts with the major orchestras of Toronto, London, and Rotterdam

SIMON BOCCANEGRA

American baritone THOMAS HAMPSON (Simon Boccanegra)

  • Previously at Lyric as Athanaël/Thaïs (new production, 2002-03) and two Verdi roles: Germont/La traviata (2007-08) and the title role/Macbeth (new production, 2010-11)
  • For more than two decades one of the world’s most admired singers, equally celebrated in operatic, concert, and recital repertoire, with successes in every important venue, from the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Carnegie Hall to Covent Garden, the Salzburg Festival, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and Vienna’s Musikverein
  • This season, having created the leading role of Rick Rescorla/Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier (world premiere, San Francisco Opera), will also sing Iago/Otello and the title role/Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler, both at Opernhaus Zurich, and Macbeth at the Met

Italian bass FERRUCCIO FURLANETTO (Fiesco)

  • Acclaimed as today’s pre-eminent interpreter of the leading Verdi bass roles, especially Fiesco (Met, Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper. Madrid’s Teatro Real, BBC Proms, DVD), Philip/Don Carlo, Silva/Ernani, and the title role/Attila
  • Triumphant in his long-awaited Lyric debut this season in the title role/Boris Godunov, which has brought him to St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, Milan’s La Scala, and many other major international houses
  • Recently heard in such signature roles as Don Basilio/The Barber of Seville (Covent Garden/DVD), Massenet’s Don Quichotte (San Diego, Palermo) and Thomas Becket/Pizzetti’s Murder in the Cathedral (La Scala)

Bulgarian soprano KRASSIMIRA STOYANOVA (Amelia Grimaldi) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Hailed internationally as a magnificent Verdi interpreter, with successes including Simon Boccanegra (Vienna, Geneva, Barcelona), Otello (Vienna, Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Muti in Chicago and at Carnegie Hall), La traviata (Metropolitan Opera), La battaglia di Legnano (Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall), Luisa Miller (Munich, Paris), Falstaff (Vienna), and Il trovatore (Barcelona)
  • Has amassed a remarkably varied repertoire including Gluck (Iphigénie en Tauride, Hamburg), Mozart (Don Giovanni, Metropolitan Opera; The Marriage of Figaro, Vienna; Idomeneo, Berlin), Donizetti (Anna Bolena, Carnegie Hall; Maria di Rohan, Opera Rara in London), Halévy (La juive, Vienna), Gounod (Faust, Barcelona), Tchaikovsky (Eugene Onegin, Amsterdam), Dvořák (Rusalka, Zurich), and Puccini (La bohème, Met, Vienna)
  • Closely associated with the Vienna Staatsoper, where she was awarded the coveted title of “Kammersängerin” in 2009

American tenor FRANK LOPARDO (Gabriele Adorno)

  • Ten roles at Lyric since 1988-89, most recently Gustavo/A Masked Ball (2010-11), Nemorino/The Elixir of Love (2009-10), and Pinkerton/Madama Butterfly (2008-09)
  • Renowned internationally for roles of Donizetti, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and Puccini, including great successes at the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Covent Garden, La Scala, and the major houses of Vienna, Amsterdam, and Madrid
  • Appears on CD in complete operas and concert works under such major conductors as Solti, Abbado, Muti, C. Davis, Previn, and Welser-Möst

American baritone QUINN KELSEY (Paolo)

Ryan Opera Center alumnus

  • 13 roles at Lyric Opera since 2003-04, most recently Enrico/Lucia di Lammermoor (2011-12); Marcello/La bohème and Spirit Messenger/new production of Die Frau ohne Schatten (both 2007-08);  returns later this season as Amonasro/Aida
  • Has rapidly established himself internationally, with major successes including title role/Rigoletto (Oslo’s Den Norske Opera, Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company), Zurga/The Pearl Fishers (London’s English National Opera), and the Forester/The Cunning Little Vixen (Florence’s Teatro Comunale, Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival, both under Seiji Ozawa)
  • Grammy Award winner for Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas)

English conductor SIR ANDREW DAVIS – see above

WERTHER

American tenor MATTHEW POLENZANI (Werther)

Ryan Opera Center alumnus

  • Nine roles at Lyric Opera since 1995-96, most recently a triumphant role debut as Hoffmann this season, following successes as Belmonte/The Abduction from the Seraglio (new production, 2008-09), Alfredo/La traviata (opposite Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson, 2007-08), and Roméo/Roméo et Juliette (2006-07)
  • Other successes in French repertoire include Roméo (Metropolitan Opera), Des Grieux/Manon (Covent Garden tour to Japan), title role/La damnation de Faust (Frankfurt), and Iopas/Les Troyens (Met)
  • Acknowledged by critics internationally as one of today’s most remarkable tenors, with major highlights this season including Rossini’s Stabat Mater (Salzburg Festival), Don Giovanni (Covent Garden), La traviata (Metropolitan Opera)

French mezzo-soprano SOPHIE KOCH (Charlotte) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Earned critical praise as Charlotte opposite Jonas Kaufmann at Opéra National de Paris (DVD)
  • Acclaimed as one of today’s most outstanding lyric mezzos since her successes at Covent Garden as Rosina and Dorabella, and at Dresden’s Semperoper as the Composer/Ariadne auf Naxos (which has since brought her to Vienna and Paris) – signature roles now include both the Composer and Octavian/Der Rosenkavalier (nine major international houses)
  • Also has won successes in such dramatic roles as Venus/Tannhäuser (Opéra National de Paris, Munich Opera Festival), Brangäne/Tristan und Isolde (Covent Garden), and Mother Marie/Dialogues of the Carmelites (Opéra de Nice); and on numerous recordings, including German and French art songs, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, French orchestral works; and on DVD opposite Renée Fleming in Der Rosenkavalier (2009 Baden-Baden Festival)

American soprano KIRI DEONARINE (Sophie)

Ryan Opera Center ensemble member

  • Debuted at Lyric this season as Echo/Ariadne auf Naxos
  • Alumna of Houston Grand Opera’s young-artist program; appeared at HGO as Adina/The Elixir of Love, Naiad/Ariadne auf Naxos, Sister Catherine/Dead Man Walking, First Niece/Peter Grimes, and Barbarina/The Marriage of Figaro
  • Grand Finalist in 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

American baritone CRAIG VERM (Albert) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Has been heard throughout America, including Santa Fe Opera (The Tales of Hoffmann, Madama Butterfly, world premiere of Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream), Austin Lyric Opera (La bohème), Florentine Opera of Milwaukee (The Magic Flute), Fort Worth Opera (Peter Eötvös’s Angels in America)
  • Closely associated with Pittsburgh Opera, where he has appeared in Roméo et Juliette, Billy Budd, Tosca, and the central role of Tom Joad/Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath
  • Appearances abroad include Sharpless/Madama Butterfly (Lyrique-en-Mer/Festival de Belle-Île in France), Ramiro/L’heure espagnole (Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands), and Escamillo/Carmen (Santiago’s Teatro Municipal)

English conductor SIR ANDREW DAVIS – see above

DON PASQUALE

Italian bass-baritone ILDEBRANDO D’ARCANGELO (Don Pasquale)

  • Four roles at Lyric Opera since 1992-93, most recently Escamillo/Carmen (2005-06), Leporello/Don Giovanni (new production, opening of 50th-anniversary season, 2004-05) and title role/The Marriage of Figaro (2003-04)
  • The current season includes The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni at the Vienna Staatsoper, Moïse et Pharaon at La Scala, and The Elixir of Love at Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice
  • Renowned internationally for the Mozart/da Ponte operas and for both tragic and comic bel canto – as Henry VIII/Anna Bolena (Vienna Staatsoper, premiere of new production opposite Anna Netrebko), title role/Il turco in Italia (Covent Garden, Vienna’s Theater an der Wien), Alidoro/La Cenerentola (Paris), Giorgio/I puritani (Bologna), Rodolfo/La sonnambula (Baden-Baden), and Alfonso/Lucrezia Borgia (Barcelona)

German soprano MARLIS PETERSEN (Norina)

  • Triumphant appearances at Lyric Opera as Adele/Die Fledermaus (debut, 2006-07) and her signature role, Berg’s Lulu (2008-09)
  • Has been hailed for Metropolitan Opera appearances as Lulu, Adele, and Ophélie/Hamlet (including HD transmission)
  • One of Europe’s most celebrated coloratura sopranos, has recently been heard in highly diverse repertoire ranging from Mozart’s Susanna (Salzburg Festival) and Donna Anna (Aix-en-Provence Festival) to Marguerite/Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots (Brussels’s La Monnaie) and one of the most formidable roles composed in recent years, the title role/Aribert Reimann’s Medea, written for her (world premiere at Vienna Staatsoper, DVD)

American tenor RENÉ BARBERA (Ernesto)

Ryan Opera Center ensemble member

  • Nine roles at Lyric Opera since 2009-10, most recently this season as Brighella/Ariadne auf Naxos and – singing at very short notice and with great success, the leading role of Edgardo/Lucia di Lammermoor;  much acclaimed in three “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concerts
  • Attracted major international attention winning the three top awards at Plácido Domingo’s highly prestigious Operalia competition (2011, Moscow)
  • Scored a triumph at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis last season as Tonio/The Daughter of the Regiment; and after singing Tamino/The Magic Flute (student matinees) at Lyric later this season, will portray Almaviva/The Barber of Seville at Vancouver Opera and Rinuccio/Gianni Schicchi at Canadian Opera Company

American baritone COREY CRIDER (Dr. Malatesta)

Ryan Opera Center alumnus

  • Previously at Lyric Opera in five roles since 2008-09, most recently Larkens/The Girl of the Golden West (2010-11) and Belcore/The Elixir of Love (student matinees, 2009-10)
  • At Virginia’s Castleton Festival, has earned significant critical praise for two Puccini portrayals performed under the baton of Lorin Maazel – title role/Gianni Schicchi (role debut) and Marcello/La bohème
  • Has portrayed Escamillo/Carmen at Fondazione Lirico Sinfonica in Bari, Italy
  • Has also appeared at Florida Grand Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Aspen Opera Theater and with the Cincinnati, Omaha, Dayton, and Nashville opera companies

American conductor STEPHEN LORD

  • Debuted at Lyric Opera conducting Tosca (2009-10)
  • Has led more than 20 works at both Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (where he is currently music director and where he conducts this season’s Sweeney Todd) and Boston Lyric Opera (where he formerly held that same title)
  • Current season includes Tosca at London’s English National Opera, where he previously led La bohème and Rigoletto;   performances with major companies throughout North America, including those of San Francisco, Dallas, Portland, Denver, Detroit, Philadelphia, Montreal, Toronto, Wolf Trap; has also led performances for the Boston Pops and has appeared at Carnegie Hall

HANSEL AND GRETEL

American mezzo-soprano ELIZABETH D E SHONG (Hansel)

Ryan Opera Center alumna

  • Previously at Lyric: ten roles since 2005-06, most recently highly praised as Hermia/A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lyric Opera premiere, 2010-11)
  • Has recently attracted much attention in Britain as Orsini/Lucrezia Borgia (premiere of new production, English National Opera) – has also been heard in Hansel and Gretel at Glyndebourne, where she returned last summer for Rusalka
  • Earlier this season reprised her Orsini at San Francisco Opera (where she has also sung the Page/Salome) – has also recently appeared in the title role/La Cenerentola at Canadian Opera Company, Suzuki/Madama Butterfly at Santa Fe Opera, and as both Suzy/La rondine and the Priestess/Aida at the Metropolitan Opera


American soprano MARIA KANYOVA (Gretel)

Ryan Opera Center alumna

  • Six roles at Lyric Opera since 2000-01, among them Rita/Bolcom’s A Wedding (world premiere, 2004-05), Madama Butterfly (2003-04), Oscar/A Masked Ball (2002-03)
  • Has won acclaim as a gifted singing actress in an exceptionally wide repertoire for major companies nationwide, with particular success as Butterfly (Central City Opera), Mimì and Suor Angelica (New York City Opera, including PBS telecast), Marie Antoinette/The Ghosts of Versailles (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, also recently European debut at the Wexford Festival), and Pat Nixon/Nixon in China (Chicago Opera Theater, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Colorado – San Francisco Opera debut in that role this season)
  • Created the formidably challenging role of Leya /Shulamit Ran’s Between Two Worlds (Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists, now Ryan Opera Center)

American mezzo-soprano JILL GROVE (Witch) – see above

American soprano JULIE MAKEROV (Mother) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Winner of the 2010 Dora Award, Canada’s most prestigious live-theater honor, for Senta/The Flying Dutchman (Canadian Opera Company, where she has also sung Gerhilde/Die Walküre, Freia/Das Rheingold, title role/Rusalka, and Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni)
  • Has starred as Rosalinde/Die Fledermaus (Seattle Opera), title role/Madama Butterfly (Palm Beach Opera), and abroad as Senta (Salzburg, with Mozarteum Orchestra under Ivor Bolton), Margherita/Mefistofele (Frankfurt), title role/Tosca (Frankfurt and with Seiji Ozawa’s Saito Kinen Festival in Japan)
  • Past winner of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition and Eleanor Lieber and Loren L. Zachary Awards, also past National Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

American baritone BRIAN MULLIGAN (Father)

  • In Lyric Opera debut earlier this season, reprised his portrayal of Enrico/Lucia di Lammermoor, which has also brought him to London’s English National Opera and Washington National Opera
  • Continues his close association with San Francisco Opera later this season, starring in the title role/John Adams’s Nixon in China; has also recently sung the title role/Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
  • Has rapidly established himself throughout America in outstandingly successful portrayals with the abovementioned companies, as well as Los Angeles Opera, San Diego Opera, and Spoleto USA

American conductor WARD STARE– LYRIC DEBUT

  • Resident conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, a position created for him in 2008 by music director David Robertson (made highly successful Carnegie Hall debut with the SLSO in April 2009); has also appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra (Blossom Music Center, 2007), Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
  • European operatic debut at Den Norske Opera (Oslo) leading new production of The Rape of Lucretia
  • Was appointed at age 18 as principal trombonist of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, also played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic

LA BOHÈME

Puerto Rican soprano ANA MARÍA MARTÍNEZ (Mimì/Jan.-Feb dates)

  • Triumphant in previous Lyric appearances as Marguerite/Faust (2009-10) and Nedda/Pagliacci (2008-09)
  • Greatly acclaimed internationally in the gamut of leading lyric-soprano roles, among them title role/Rusalka (premiere of Glyndebourne’s new production, 2009 – now on CD), title role/Luisa Miller (Bayerische Staatsoper, premiere of Opéra National de Paris new production), Violetta/La traviata (Covent Garden), title role/Madama Butterfly (Washington, Houston), Mélisande/Pelléas et Mélisande (Florence), Blanche/Dialogues of the Carmelites (Hamburg), and Rosina/The Barber of Seville (this season in Houston)
  • Regular concert partner of Plácido Domingo – collaborated on recent DVD, “Amor, Vida de mi Vida” (zarzuela concert, Salzburg Festival)

Russian soprano ANNA NETREBKO (Mimì/Mar. dates) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Has portrayed Mimì at the Metropolitan Opera (where she has also sung Musetta), the Vienna Staatsoper, Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, on CD, and for a feature film
  • Has won rapturous acclaim worldwide for her exceptional charisma and vocal beauty, with successes as Manon (to be reprised this season at the Met after triumphs in Vienna, Berlin, London, and Los Angeles), Susanna (Salzburg), Donna Anna (London, Salzburg), Norina (Met), Bellini’s Giulietta (London, Paris), Lucia (Met, Vienna), Violetta (Salzburg, Zurich, Berlin, San Francisco), Anna Bolena (Met, Vienna), Juliette (Met, Vienna), title role/Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta (St. Petersburg, Salzburg, Baden-Baden), and Natasha/War and Peace (Met, Salzburg)
  • Has recorded six solo discs and sings starring roles on 15 DVDs (among them live performances of Don Pasquale/Met, The Marriage of Figaro/Salzburg, La traviata/Salzburg, Lucia di Lammermoor/Met, and Manon/Berlin)

American tenor DIMITRI PITTAS (Rodolfo/Jan.-Feb. dates) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Appeared in 2008 “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert
  • Sang Rodolfo this season at the Metropolitan Opera, where he also reprises his portrayal of Macduff/Macbeth (he has sung new productions of that work at the Met, the Vienna Staatsoper, Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, and Covent Garden), and returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper later this season as Tebaldo/I Capuleti e i Montecchi
  • Other major career highlights include Tamino and Nemorino at the Met (the latter also in a new Santa Fe Opera production and performances throughout the U.K. with Welsh National Opera), Rodolfo (Dresden, Santa Fe), role debuts as Faust (Bordeaux) and the Duke of Mantua (Lille), Alfredo (Seattle), and Narraboth/Salome (Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival)

Maltese tenor JOSEPH CALLEJA (Rodolfo/Mar. dates )

  • Warmly received for his Lyric Opera debut as Alfredo/La traviata (2007-08)
  • Internationally regarded as one of today’s leading lyric tenors, particularly in such roles as Rodolfo (Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper), Pinkerton (Houston Grand Opera), Gabriele/Simon Boccanegra (Covent Garden), Macduff/Macbeth (Munich, Met), and title role/Roberto Devereux (Vienna, Munich)
  • In 2009 starred in the premiere of the Met’s new production of The Tales of Hoffmann (including HD transmission)

American soprano ELIZABETH FUTRAL (Musetta)

Ryan Opera Center alumna

  • A Lyric Opera favorite, having sung 18 roles with the company since 1990-91, most recently the title role/The Merry Widow (new production, 2009-10), Violetta/La traviata (2007-08), and Mabel/The Pirates of Penzance (2003-04)
  • Has portrayed Musetta at Covent Garden and is also renowned as Violetta (Washington, San Francisco, Berlin), Lucia (Metropolitan Opera, where she has also sung Eudoxie/La juive and Elvira/I puritani), and Teresa/Benvenuto Cellini (London Symphony Orchestra)
  • Is equally celebrated for contemporary works, including most recently André Previn’s Brief Encounter (world premiere, Houston Grand Opera, CD), Kaija Saariaho’s Emilie (American premiere, Spoleto USA), Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice (CD)

American baritone LUCAS MEACHEM (Marcello)

  • Highly successful in all three of his previous Lyric Opera roles: Demetrius/A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2010-11), Valentin/Faust (2009-10), Oreste/Iphigénie en Tauride (2006-07)
  • Former Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera, where he has been heard in many roles, including his return this season as Don Giovanni (which he has also sung at Santa Fe Opera and Glyndebourne)
  • Has also won praise at the Metropolitan Opera (Roméo et Juliette), Los Angeles Opera (The Barber of Seville), the Opéra National de Paris (Billy Budd), and the Teatro Real in Madrid (Iphigénie en Tauride, Die tote Stadt)

Italian bass ANDREA SILVESTRELLI (Colline)

  • Earlier this season earned critical praise at Lyric Opera in his ninth role with the company, Pimen/Boris Godunov; sang Bartolo/The Marriage of Figaro (2009-10, 2003-04), Osmin/Abduction from the Seraglio (new production, 2008-09), and Colline (2007-08)
  • Among his Verdi roles are Philip/Don Carlos (Cardiff, Graz, Houston), Zaccaria/Nabucco (La Scala, Macerata), Lodovico/Otello (Munich), Sparafucile/ Rigoletto (Lyric, Met, Los Angeles, Washington, Houston), and Banco/Macbeth (Amsterdam)
  • The rare Italian bass who has earned repeated international successes in German repertoire, including Fasolt/Das Rheingold and Hagen/Götterdämmerung (both at San Francisco Opera Ring cycle, Fasolt at Lyric), the Landgrave/Tannhäuser (Tokyo), Pogner/Die Meistersinger (Trieste), La Roche/Capriccio (Parma)

American bass-baritone DALE TRAVIS (Benoit, Alcindoro)

  • Has sung 23 roles at Lyric Opera since1994-95, most recently Zeta/The Merry Widow and the Sacristan/Tosca (both 2009-10)
  • A highly successful guest artist in a diverse repertoire with companies throughout America and Europe, with recent successes including Tosca (Ravinia Festival), Sulpice/The Daughter of the Regiment (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis), Alidoro/La Cenerentola (Opera Colorado), Louis/Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge (Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera – he created the role at Lyric and sang it for his Metropolitan Opera debut), and Dr. Kolenatý/The Makropulos Case (San Francisco Opera)

French conductor EMMANUEL VILLAUME

  • Has appeared previously at Lyric Opera leading The Tales of Hoffmann this season; The Merry Widow (2009-10); Manon (2008-09); Samson et Dalila (2003-04)
  • Highlights this season include Werther, Washington National Opera; concerts with Czech Philharmonic, National Slovak Philharmonic (of which he is chief conductor) and National Slovenian Philharmonic (of which he is artistic director and chief conductor); served as Spoleto Festival USA’s music director for opera & orchestra from 2001 to 2010
  • Has triumphed repeatedly in his native repertoire, including Les contes d’Hoffman (Madrid, Turin), Carmen (Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles), Werther (San Francisco), Samson et Dalila (Met, Marseille), Dukas’s Ariane et Barbe-bleu (Turin), Massenet’s Chérubin, DVD), Pelléas et Mélisande (Buenos Aires); has also appeared at Covent Garden; with the major companies of Paris, Toulouse, Washington, Dallas, and Santa Fe; and with prestigious orchestras in both North America (Boston, Montreal, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit), and abroad (La Scala, Radio France, Bonn, Sydney)

DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG

American bass-baritone JAMES MORRIS (Hans Sachs)

  • Triumphant at Lyric in 11 roles since 1979, most recently Four Villains/The Tales of Hoffmann (2011-12), title role/The Mikado (2010-11), and Scarpia/Tosca (2009-10)
  • Long a favorite artist at the Metropolitan Opera, where he returns this season as Scarpia, Ramfis/Aida, and Claggart/Billy Budd
  • Has won acclaim as Sachs at both the Met and San Francisco Opera – is also celebrated in every major international opera house (including Lyric Opera) as Wagner’s Wotan and Dutchman, while also making a profound impact in many other major bass and bass-baritone roles in the German, French, Italian, and Russian repertoire

South African tenor JOHAN BOTHA (Walther von Stolzing)

  • Created a sensation at Lyric Opera (2010-11) in one of his signature roles, Wagner’s Lohengrin, having previously been heard here as Calaf/Turandot (2006-07), Canio/Pagliacci (2002-03), and Enzo/La Gioconda (1998-99)
  • Acclaimed as one of today’s few genuine heroic tenors, frequently heard at the Metropolitan Opera and a greatly admired guest artist with virtually every major European house; particularly closely associated with the Vienna Staatsoper, and has also recently appeared at Covent Garden, La Scala, the Berlin Staatsoper, and the Hamburg Staatsoper
  • Made his long-awaited debut at the Bayreuth Festival last summer as Siegmund/Die Walküre

American soprano AMANDA MAJESKI (Eva)

Ryan Opera Center alumna

  • Made an indelible impression as Countess Almaviva/The Marriage of Figaro at Lyric Opera (2009-10)
  • Joined the ensemble of Dresden’s renowned Semperoper this season to perform the title role/Alcina (a triumph in the premiere of a new production), Vitellia/La clemenza di Tito (previously highly praised  at Chicago Opera Theater), and the Countess/Capriccio
  • Has also been heard at Pittsburgh Opera (Blanche/Dialogues of the Carmelites), Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (Countess Almaviva, Musetta/La bohème), Washington Concert Opera (Marguerite/Faust), and Michigan Opera Theatre (Lisa/La sonnambula)

Danish baritone BO SKOVHUS (Beckmesser)

  • Greatly acclaimed at Lyric in two highly contrasting roles, Eisenstein/Die Fledermaus (2006-07) and Prince Yeletsky/The Queen of Spades (2000-01)
  • One of Europe’s most charismatic and versatile singing actors; has triumphed as Beckmesser at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Semperoper Dresden
  • Other recent stage successes encompassing operas of Mozart (Così fan tutte, Salzburg Festival/DVD; The Marriage of Figaro, Metropolitan Opera), Strauss (Arabella, Vienna Staatsoper, Semperoper Dresden), Verdi (Don Carlos, Vienna Staatsoper), Tchaikovsky (Eugene Onegin, Deutsche Oper Berlin), and Wagner (Tristan und Isolde, Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Glyndebourne/DVD

American tenor DAVID PORTILLO (David)

Ryan Opera Center alumnus

  • Seven roles previously at Lyric Opera since 2007-08, most recently Trin/The Girl of the Golden West (2010-11), Don Curzio/The Marriage of Figaro, Raoul St. Brioche/The Merry Widow (both 2009-10)
  • Recent successes include Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera Company of Philadelphia), Almaviva/The Barber of Seville (Pittsburgh Opera), and Rinuccio/Gianni Schicchi (Virginia’s Castleton Festival)
  • This season includes his role debut as Belmonte/The Abduction from the Seraglio (Pittsburgh Opera), role debut as Renaud/Gluck’s Armide (presented by the Metropolitan Opera and the Juilliard School), and return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Ferrando/Così fan tutte

American mezzo-soprano JAMIE BARTON (Magdalene)

  • Debuted at Lyric as the Voice of Antonia’s Mother/The Tales of Hoffmann, followed by the Nurse/Boris Godunov, and Dryad/Ariadne auf Naxos (all 2011-12)
  • Recently debuted in Europe as Mother Marie/Dialogues of the Carmelites at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper
  • Has also been heard at the Metropolitan Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and last summer as the Maharani /The Last Savage and Marthe/Faust at Santa Fe Opera

Russian bass DIMITRY IVASHCHENKO (Pogner) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Based in Germany, where his many prestigious appearances have included Pogner (Berlin’s Komische Oper, where he has also sung the Water Spirit/Rusalka), Kaspar/Der Freischütz (Baden-Baden Festspielhaus), Philip/Don Carlos (original French version, Darmstadt), andSarastro/The Magic Flute (Deutsche Oper Berlin); began his European career as ensemble member in Augsburg, major roles included Gremin/Eugene Onegin and the title role/Don Quichotte
  • Has also appeared at La Scala (Schuman’s Faustszenen), the Salzburg Festival (Don Giovanni, Roméo et Juliette), Scottish Opera (The Abduction from the Seraglio), Toulouse’s Théâtre du Capitole (Euryanthe), and with the Vienna Philharmonic under Boulez (Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass)
  • Future plans include Act One of Die Walküre (Amsterdam Concertgebouw), Rusalka (Vienna), Rigoletto (Opéra National de Paris, Bavarian State Opera), and new production of The Magic Flute (Vienna’s Theater an der Wien)

English bass-baritone DARREN JEFFERY (Kothner) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Alumnus of the young-artist program at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden – has appeared there as Bottom/A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Trulove/The Rake’s Progress, the Bartender/Nicholas Maw’s Sophie’s Choice (world premiere), and in works of Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, and Massenet
  • Other important engagements include English National Opera (the Speaker/The Magic Flute, Donner/Das Rheingold), Opéra National de Montpellier (title role/The Marriage of Figaro, Haly/L’italiana in Algeri), Madrid’s Teatro Real (Truffaldino/Ariadne auf Naxos), Glyndebourne (Ratcliffe/Billy Budd), and Salzburg Festival (Capulet/Roméo et Juliette)
  • Has recorded Pistola/Falstaff and the Mozart Requiem under Sir Colin Davis’s baton

English conductor SIR ANDREW DAVIS – see above

RIGOLETTO

Polish baritone ANDRZEJ DOBBER (Rigoletto/Feb. 25-Mar. 10) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Has earned a sterling international reputation in Verdi, including Metropolitan Opera debut as Amonasro/Aida (2007), with return engagements at the Met in two other major Verdi roles: Germont/La traviata and Stankar/Stiffelio
  • The past few seasons alone have included Verdi roles in Dresden (Don Carlo), Brussels (Aida), Berlin (Aida), Amsterdam (Simon Boccanegra), Paris (Rigoletto, Luisa Miller), Los Angeles (La traviata), Valencia (Luisa Miller), Toulouse and Vienna (Simon Boccanegra), Glyndebourne (Macbeth), and Hamburg (Aida), among other companies
  • Successes beyond Verdi include Kurwenal/Tristan und Isolde (Glyndebourne), Tonio/Pagliacci (Barcelona), and the title role/Szymanowski’s King Roger (Brussels, Edinburgh)

Serbian baritone ŽELJKO LUČIĆ (Rigoletto/Mar. 14-30) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • A specialist in the Verdi repertoire, has triumphed as Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera, where he premiered a new production of Macbeth (HD transmission) and has also appeared in La Gioconda (debut), La traviata, Il trovatore, Il tabarro, Enrico/Lucia di Lammermoor (2011 tour to Japan), and most recently the title role/Nabucco earlier this season
  • Premiered Peter Stein’s new Macbeth (Muti conducting) at the 2011 Salzburg Festival and has also starred at La Scala (Tosca), the Vienna Staatsoper (La forza del destino), Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper (Luisa Miller), and the leading houses of London, Paris, San Francisco, Berlin, and Frankfurt
  • Appears on DVD in four major Verdi roles – Rigoletto (Dresden’s Semperoper), Macbeth (Met), Count di Luna (Bregenz Festival), and Germont (Aix-en-Provence Festival)

Russian soprano ALBINA SHAGIMURATOVA (Gilda) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Has been acclaimed as one of the most outstanding singers of the younger generation since the 2007 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (Gold Medal winner)
  • Mozart’s Queen of the Night/The Magic Flute, which she has sung at Moscow’s Bolshoi, has also been the vehicle of her Metropolitan Opera debut and introduced her to the Salzburg Festival, La Scala, the Hamburg Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Dusseldorf’s Deutsche Oper am Rhein, and Los Angeles Opera; alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio; has appeared at HGO as the Queen of the Night, Musetta, and Lucia (role debut)
  • Current season includes her first Violetta/La traviata (Houston Grand Opera), her return to Moscow’s Bolshoi in Ruslan and Lyudmila, and appearances as the Queen of the Night for debuts at San Francisco Opera, the Lucerne Festival, the Vienna Staatsoper (where she also sings Musetta and her first Adina/The Elixir of Love) and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu

Italian tenor GIUSEPPE FILIANOTI (Duke of Mantua)

  • Warmly acclaimed for Lyric Opera appearances in two of his signature roles – Edgardo/Lucia di Lammermoor (new production, 2011-12) and Nemorino/The Elixir of Love (debut, 2009-10)
  • Renowned for a wide variety of leading roles, among them the Duke of Mantua (La Scala), Macduff/Macbeth (premiere of 2011 new production at Salzburg Festival under Muti), Tito (Turin) and Idomeneo (Hamburg), Don Carlo (Zurich), Hoffmann (Met, Paris Hamburg), Werther (Madrid, Washington), and Tom Rakewell (Palermo)
  • Highlights of the current season include Don Ottavio/Don Giovanni in his return to La Scala, his first Des Grieux/ Manon at the Opéra National de Paris, and Rodolfo/La bohème at the Hamburg Staatsoper

Italian bass ANDREA SILVESTRELLI (Sparafucile) – see above

American mezzo-soprano NICOLE PICCOLOMINI  (Maddalena) – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Has portrayed Maddalena at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Florence’s Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and the Deutsche Oper Berlin (has appeared with the latter company in 12 roles to date)
  • This season has included role debut as Ulrica/Un ballo in maschera (Parma’s Teatro Regio, reprised at Modena’s Teatro Comunale), and upcoming is Azucena/Il trovatore (concert performance, Busseto’s Teatro Verdi)
  • Last season’s highlights included La Scala debut as Grimgerde/Die Walküre, a reprise of that role at the Berlin Staatsoper, and a return engagement at the Opéra National de Paris for the First Norn and Flosshilde/Götterdämmerung

American conductor EVAN ROGISTER – LYRIC DEBUT

  • Has garnered much praise as one of today’s most gifted young conductors
  • Closely associated with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he is currently principal assistant conductor and has led a varied repertoire including works of Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Bizet, Puccini, and Humperdinck ; made a highly successful Seattle Opera debut conducting Robert Lepage’s celebrated production of Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung
  • Worked at Houston Grand Opera in a conducting fellowship created especially for him by music director Patrick Summers; made successful HGO debut on short notice leading Hansel and Gretel, subsequently conducted the company’s La bohème

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE

American soprano RENÉE FLEMING (Blanche)

Lyric Opera creative consultant

  • One of the most widely admired artists of our time, has presented seven of her most celebrated characterizations at Lyric, most recently Verdi’s Violetta (2007-08), Massenet’s Thaïs (2002-03), and Verdi’s Desdemona (2001-02) – has also headlined three Subscriber Appreciation Concerts, including that of January 7, 2012 (with Dmitri Hvorostovsky)
  • Began the current season at San Francisco Opera in the title role/Lucrezia Borgia (which she had previously sung at La Scala and Washington National Opera), later returned to the Metropolitan Opera in the title role/Rodelinda, which the Met staged especially for her in 2004
  • Other highlights this season include her first performances of the title role/Ariadne auf Naxos (Baden-Baden), her return to the Vienna Staatsoper in her renowned portrayal of the title role/Arabella, and appearances with major orchestras throughout North America, also in London and Madrid

American soprano SUSANNA PHILLIPS (Stella)

Ryan Opera Center alumna

  • Seven roles at Lyric Opera since 2005-06, most recently the title role/Lucia di Lammermoor (new production, 2011-12), Adina/The Elixir of Love (2009-10), and Juliette/Roméo et Juliette (2006-07)
  • Current season also includes return to the Metropolitan Opera as Musetta, Pamina in Barcelona (European debut), and Countess Almaviva in Bordeaux
  • Acclaimed as one of today’s most outstanding young singers for four leading roles of Mozart at the Santa Fe Opera, and for performances at Boston Lyric Opera (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Giovanni) and Minnesota Opera (Orfeo ed Euridice, Keister’s Croesus)

New Zealand baritone TEDDY TAHU RHODES (Stanley) – LYRIC DEBUT  

  • Has portrayed Stanley at Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, Washington National Opera, and at Sydney’s Opera Australia (where his other recent roles include Don Giovanni, the Mozart Figaro, Escamillo, and Billy Budd)
  • Most important engagements include Washington National Opera (Count Almaviva), Bilbao’s Opera de la ABAO (Escamillo), New York City Opera (Antony/Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra), Santa Fe Opera (title role/Billy Budd), Oper Leipzig (Lescaut/Manon Lescaut), Paris’s Châtelet (Escamillo); and has starred in two world premieres at Houston Grand Opera: as Bendrix/Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair (2004) and the Pilot/Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince (2003)
  • Has appeared in Met HD transmissions as Ned Keene/Peter Grimes and Escamillo (both now on DVD)

American tenor ANTHONY DEAN GRIFFEY (Mitch)

  • Previously at Lyric as Sam/Floyd’s Susannah (2002-03), one of many English-language roles for which he has won great acclaim
  • Created Mitch in Streetcar’s San Francisco Opera world premiere (CD, DVD), has reprised his portrayal in Washington, London, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Tanglewood
  • In the title role, premiered John Doyle’s new production of Peter Grimes at the Metropolitan Opera, where he has also been heard in operas of Mozart, Verdi, Massenet, Wagner, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky

American conductor EVAN ROGISTER – see above

Evening performances of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2012-13 season begin at 7:30 p.m. sharp except for Opening Night (6:30 p.m.) and Die Meistersinger (5:30 p.m.). Matinee performances begin at 2:00 p.m. sharp except for Die Meistersinger (1:00 p.m.). Latecomers will not be seated until intermission.

Call 312-332-2244, ext. 5600 to purchase subscription tickets, or go to www.lyricopera.org.  Current subscribers will receive their renewal packages in the mail in early February.

Also available on Lyric’s website in early February will be a 15-minute season preview with commentary and musical excerpts from each opera, which can be downloaded.

Photographs are available on request – please contact Carrie Napolilli Krol, 312-827-5923, or cnapolilli@lyricopera.org. Images can also be downloaded from this link: http://lyricoperamedia.s3.amazonaws.com/_img/PR/12_13_preseason_photos.zip. This link will allow you to download a zip file of all images from 2012-13.

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