Lyric Opera of Chicago

Creative Consultant Renée Fleming among the featured artists for Lyric’s annual gift to Chicago! “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park”

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
August 22, 2011

Creative Consultant Renée Fleming among the featured artists for Lyric’s annual gift to Chicago!
“Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” free concert
Performance begins 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 10, honoring the victims of 9/11, their families, and the men and women of the armed services
Presented in cooperation with the City of Chicago and Millennium Park

Featured artists: René Barbera, Jamie Barton, Anna Christy, Renée Fleming, Emily Fons, James Morris, Susanna Phillips, Matthew Polenzani, and Ljubomir Puskaric with the Lyric Opera Orchestra led by French conductor Emmanuel Villaume

Program includes highlights from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, La fille du régiment, La favorite, and Linda di Chamounix; Bellini’s I puritani; Verdi’s Nabucco and 
I vespri siciliani; Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi; Gounod’s Faust and Roméo et Juliette; Massenet’s Manon and Werther; Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila; Delibes’s Lakmé; and Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann

Lead Sponsor: Accenture
Cosponsors: an Anonymous Donor, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Rhoda and Henry Frank, and AT&T
Additional funding by the  Music Performance and Film Funds

The Matthew Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Broadcasts to air “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert live on 98.7WFMT and www.wfmt.com, anchored by George Preston and Roger Pines
The Matthew Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Broadcasts are made possible by The Matthew Bucksbaum Family, with matching funds generously provided by The Crown Family and Richard P. and Susan Kiphart

Check Lyric’s Facebook and Twitter pages for live behind-the-scenes and audience video and photos throughout the evening of September 10

On Saturday, September 10, at 7:30 p.m., Lyric Opera of Chicago will present its annual star-studded free outdoor concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Soprano superstar Renée Fleming, Lyric’s creative consultant, will be among the featured artists for the concert, which annually attracts capacity crowds. Fleming sang previously in Lyric’s second annual free pre-season concert, then held in Grant Park’s Petrillo Bandshell, a decade ago.

“I’m so pleased to be singing for the first time in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, one of our country’s great architectural symbols,” says Fleming. “It’s a thrill to share this wonderful Lyric tradition with my colleagues and members of the Ryan Opera Center as we kick off an exciting season of culture in Chicago.”

Lyric’s General Director Designate Anthony Freud will also make his debut appearance at the annual concert. Taking place on the eve of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the performance will be dedicated to the victims of 9/11, their families, and the men and women of the armed services.

French conductor Emmanuel Villaume will lead the Lyric Opera Orchestra and an array of outstanding soloists including several stars from the season. These include tenors Matthew Polenzani and René Barbera, bass-baritone James Morris, sopranos Anna Christy and Susanna Phillips, mezzo-sopranos Jamie Barton and Emily Fons, and baritone Ljubomir Puskaric. Polenzani, Morris, Christy, and Fons star in Lyric’s season opener, The Tales of Hoffmann, conducted by Mo. Villaume. Phillips stars in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor.  Barbera, who recently won three top prizes at Plácido Domingo’s Operalia competition, has roles in Lucia and Ariadne auf Naxos. Barton (Lyric debut season) has roles in The Tales of Hoffmann, Boris Godunov, and Ariadne auf Naxos. Puskaric makes his Lyric debut in Boris.

“Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” will feature a superb selection of overtures, arias, and ensembles from the upcoming season and from the general repertory. The first half of the concert will comprise works by Italian masters Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, and Puccini, while the second half features French composers Gounod, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Delibes, and Offenbach.

The September 10 free outdoor concert is Lyric’s eleventh. It will take place in Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry.

The “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert is made possible by lead sponsor Accenture and cosponsors Anonymous Donor, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, Audrey Love Charitable Foundation, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Rhoda and Henry Frank, and AT&T; with additional funding from the Music Performance and Film Funds. 

The “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” free concert will be carried live on 98.7WFMT and wfmt.com by The Matthew Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Broadcasts. George Preston, 98.7WFMT’s afternoon drive-time program host, and Roger Pines, Lyric’s dramaturg, will host the “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert broadcast beginning at 7:15 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 10.

Additionally, Lyric will post live photos and video clips of the audience and the artists behind the scenes via Facebook and Twitter throughout the evening.

Lyric Opera of Chicago opens its 57th season on Saturday, October 1. The season continues through March 25, 2012, with 72 performances of eight operas: Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann (Oct. 1-29), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Oct. 10-Nov. 5), Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (Nov. 7-29),  Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (Nov. 19-Dec. 11), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Dec. 6-Jan. 22), Verdi’s Aida (Jan. 21-Feb. 8 and Mar. 6-25),  Kern & Hammerstein’s Show Boat (Feb. 12-March 17), and Handel’s Rinaldo (Feb. 29-Mar. 24).

All of Lyric’s regular-season performances take place at the Civic Opera House, Madison Street and Wacker Drive in Chicago. There are projected English translations for every opera. Subscriptions are still available, as are tickets for individual performances. Discounts are available for group tickets. For information on specific performance dates and ticket availability, please call (312) 332-2244, ext. 5600, or go to www.lyricopera.org.

Photos available on request: call or email Digital/Media Assets Specialist Carrie Napolilli: 312-827-5923 or cnapolilli@lyricopera.org.

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