Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera's lectures, special events, and benefits

 For Immediate Release:
August 22, 2013 

Eight operas, a musical, and more!
Get the most out of YOUR experience with 
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s lectures, special events, and benefits!

Lyric’s fabulous 2013/14 season is about to begin! To help audiences make the most of their opera experience, Lyric Opera of Chicago offers an array of lectures, tours, galas, and other special events during its 59thseason, September through May. Please take note of these highlights for your season-preview coverage and calendar listings. Photos available on request. Additional information at


OTELLO /Verdi (Lyric production)
8 performances beginning at 7:30pm, except for opening night at 5pm and matinees at 2pm: Oct. 5, 9, 13(m), 17(m), 21, 25, 29; Nov. 2

MADAMA BUTTERFLY/ Puccini  (new Lyric coproduction)
11 performances beginning at7:30pm, except for matinees at2pm: Oct. 15, 18(m), 23(m), 26, 30;Jan. 11, 14, 17, 20, 23(m), 26(m)

PARSIFAL/Wagner (new production)
6 performances beginning at 6pm, except for matinee at 1pm: Nov. 9, 13, 17(m), 22, 25, 29

LA TRAVIATA/Verdi   (new production)
10 performances beginning at 7:30pm, except for matinees at 2pm: Nov. 20, 23, 27(m), 30; Dec. 3, 6 (m), 9, 12 (m), 15 (m), 20

DIE FLEDERMAUS/Strauss   (new-to-Chicago production)
9 performances beginning at 7:30pm, except for matinees at 2pm: Dec. 10, 13, 16, 18, 21; Jan. 10 (m), 12 (m), 15 (m), 18

THE BARBER OF SEVILLE/Rossini   (new production)
10 performances beginning at 7:30pm, except for matinees at 2pm: Feb. 1, 3, 6(m), 9(m), 12(m), 15, 18, 21, 25, 28(m)

RUSALKA/Dvořák (new production)
6 performances beginning at 7:30pm, except for matinee at 2pm: Feb. 22, 26; Mar. 4, 7, 10, 16(m)

LA CLEMENZA DI TITO/ Mozart (new-to-Chicago production)
7 performances beginning at 7:30pm, except for matinee at 2pm: Mar. 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23 (m)

THE SOUND OF MUSIC/ Rodgers and Hammerstein (new production)
17 performances: evenings 7pm Apr. 25, 26, 30, May 2 (8pm), 3, 6, 8, 9, 10; matinees 1:30pm Apr. 27, 30, May 4, 7, 8, 10, 11


Free 30-minute pre-opera lectures will be offered starting an hour before every performance of every opera in the mainstage season (except Oct. 5, opening night of the season) to enhance the opera-going experience. Ardis Krainik Theatre, Civic Opera House. Ticket for that date’s opera performance must be shown for lecture admission.Open seating on main floor. Call (312) 827-5912 for more information. Pre-opera lectures start at 6:30pm evenings/1pm matinees, except for Parsifal: 5pm evenings/12 noon matinees.


Saturday, September 7, at 7:30pm
Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park Concert
This thrilling free outdoor concert, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s preseason gift to the city, annually attracts capacity audiences of several thousands. This year’s concert features highlights from OtelloMadama ButterflyLucia di LammermoorIl trovatoreLohengrin, and Béatrice et Bénédict. Conductor Ward Stare will lead the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus and outstanding soloists including sopranos Ana María MartínezAlbina Shagimuratova, and Laura Wilde*; tenor James Valenti; baritone Anthony Clark Evans*; and bass Evan Boyer. The Lyric Opera of Chicago Broadcasts airs this concert live on 98.7WFMTand starting at 7:15pm. Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion. A Lyric Unlimited event.

*2013-2014 Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center ensemble member

Monday, September 30, at 6:30pm
Season Preview Concert
Lyric’s Season Preview Concert features selections from the upcoming season performed by members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, with a season overview by Roger Pines, Lyric's dramaturg. Open to new subscribers and donors of $35 or more. For tickets, go to or call (312) 827-5657.

Saturday, October 5: Doors open at 4pm for Gala reception; performance at 5pm
OTELLO Opening Night Gala Benefit and Opera Ball
Lyric Opera’s Opening Night Gala has always been the event on the Chicago social calendar, complete with red carpet, gorgeous gowns, and elegant décor. Complimentary hors d’oeuvre will be served before the performance and during the intermission on all levels of the opera house. Black tie/formal attire recommended. Verdi’s stirring Otello begins at 5pm, starring Johan BothaAna María MartínezFalk Struckmann, and Antonio Poli (American operatic debut) in a revival of Sir Peter Hall’s original production directed by Ashley Dean (debut) and conducted by Bertrand de Billy (debut). Production design is by John Gunter, with lighting by Duane Schuler.

Opening Night Gala Benefit, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., $79 to $425. To purchase tickets for the Opening Night Gala Benefit, go to, or call (312) 827-5600.

The Opera Ball immediately follows the performance at the Hilton Chicago’s Grand Ballroom, 720 S. Michigan Ave., white or black tie, $575. Cocktail reception, Grand March presentation of the evening’s artists, seated dinner, and dancing. To purchase tickets for the Opera Ball, please go to or call(312) 827-5682.

Saturday, October 19, 8am – midnight
Tune in to 98.7WFMT or for Lyric Opera’s 34thannual live radio fundraiser featuring on-air conversations with Lyric stars, artistic staff, and general director Anthony Freud. To phone in your pledges and purchase exclusive Lyric Opera merchandise on October 19, call (888) 726-5700. To pre-order merchandise and restaurant gift certificates after Labor Day visit or call (312) 827-5658 to receive an OPERATHON brochure. All proceeds benefit education and community engagement programs, now part of Lyric Unlimited. To pledge on Oct. 19, call (888) 726-5700.

Friday, January 31, at 6:30pm
Fantasy of the Opera
Celebrate the 30thannual Fantasy of the Opera benefit at the Civic Opera House. Sample fine cuisine at restaurant tasting stations or partake in an exquisite seated dinner. Stay for the silent auction, raffle, cabaret, and dancing! Fantasy is the “hottest party in the coldest month” – a perfect mid-winter revel and Lyric fundraiser, and one of Chicago’s liveliest black-tie events. Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., $275 or $500, reservations required. For more information, call Lyric Opera’s Guild Board office: (312) 827-5656.

Sunday, February 16 and Sunday, March 19, 10:30am to 2pm
Guild Board Backstage Tours
The backstage at Lyric Opera of Chicago is open to the public just two times this season! Don't miss this chance to see the magic behind the scenes! Tour stops include wardrobe department, wig & make-up department, scenery handling facility, armory room, props room, orchestra pit, and mainstage. Tours last approximately two hours. Backstage Tour $35, box lunch available for $12, cash bar. Premier Tour $150 departs between 10:30 – 11am; includes photograph on Lyric Opera's mainstage, parting gift, seated gourmet lunch in an exclusive private dining room with a Lyric Opera insider.Group Toursof 15 or more available at a discounted price. Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr. Reservations required. For more information call the Guild Board office: (312) 827-5626.

Wednesday, March 19, 7:30pm
Renée Fleming and Jonas Kaufmann in Concert
Two of the most electrifying singers of our time combine their artistry for one memorable evening – in their first-ever duo concert! Sir Andrew Davis conducts the Lyric Opera Orchestra onstage at the Civic Opera House. Tickets from $37. Call 312-332-2244or go to lyricopera.orgto reserve.

Saturday, March 22, 2pm
The Family Barber– A Special Opera Performance for Kids and Families
Following the resounding success of last year’s Popcorn & Pasquale, Lyric Opera presents The Family Barbera kid-friendly introduction for youngsters (ages 5-10) and their families to the joys of opera, featuring music from The Barber of Seville. The 60-minute opera adventure combines the familiar music and characters of Rossini’s comedy with captivating dialogue to reveal behind-the-scenes opera basics in a fun and engaging way. $10-20 for ages 17 and under, $20-40 for adults. Call 312-332-2244 or go to to reserve.

Saturday, March 29, 7:30pm
Rising Stars in Concert
Members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center perform this annual end-of-season concert with the Lyric Opera Orchestra as the culminating event of their residencies. Rising Stars in Concert is an incredible opportunity to hear these artists’ exceptional abilities in repertory they are destined to perform all over the world in coming seasons. Open to donors of $75 and above. Rising Stars in Concert will be broadcast locally on 98.7WFMT and streamed on For more information, or to become a donor, visit

Sunday, April 5, 2pm
Itzhak Perlman in Recital
Lyric Opera is pleased to present a special performance by world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman. The legendary virtuoso will make his Civic Opera House debut in a recital with his frequent collaborator, pianist Rohan De Silva. Video screens will provide outstanding viewing for every seat in the theater. Tickets from $25. Call 312-332-2244 or go to for tickets.


Roger Pines, Lyric’s dramaturg and broadcast commentator, moderates 8 sessions with singers, directors, and conductors from the 2013-14 season. All sessions held at the Civic Opera House except for Parsifal, which takes place at the Art Institute of Chicago. Individual sessions available for $16 each; entire series of eight sessions for $104. Call (312) 332-2244or go to to purchase tickets.

Wednesday, October 2, 6 – 7pm
Discovery Series –Otello
Shakespeare’s searing drama is even more intense when coupled with Verdi’s music. Don’t miss this discussion with Johan Botha (Otello), Ana María Martínez (Desdemona), and conductor Bertrand de Billy.

Thursday, October 10, 6 – 7pm (Art Institute of Chicago)
Discovery Series –Parsifal
Parsifal is an enigmatic work by the greatest of all German opera composers. Join John Caird, the director of this new production, and set designer Johan Engels for a discussion of Wagner’s last opera.

Wednesday, October 16, 6 – 7pm
Discovery Series –Madama Butterfly
Puccini’s East-meets-West heartbreaker is one of the most popular and beloved operas of all time. Amanda Echalaz (Cio-Cio-San), James Valenti (Pinkerton), and conductor Marco Armiliato discuss how this early 20th-century blockbuster reaches listeners on multiple levels.

Tuesday, November 12, 6 – 7pm
Discovery Series – La traviata
La traviata tells the tale of a courtesan with a heart of gold and a young man from a proper family who are forced to deal with a very cruel world. Marina Rebeka (Violetta) and Joseph Calleja (Alfredo) join conductor Massimo Zanetti and director Arin Arbus to discuss this middle-period Verdi masterpiece.

Thursday, November 21, 6 – 7pm
Discovery Series –Die Fledermaus
Extreme flirting and copious amounts of champagne pair with the music of Johann Strauss Jr. in one of the greatest of all operettas. Bo Skovhus (Eisenstein), Juliane Banse (Rosalinde), Daniela Fally (Adele), director E. Loren Meeker, and conductor Ward Star eengage in a lively conversation on the ever-popular work.

Thursday, January 30, 6 – 7pm
Discovery Series –The Barber of Seville
A jack-of-all trades barber gets into the thick of things with a starry-eyed young couple and a lecherous old uncle.Nathan Gunn (Figaro), Isabel Leonard (Rosina), and conductor Michele Mariotti talk about Rossini’s comedic gift.

Wednesday, February 12, 6 – 7pm
Discovery Series – Rusalka
Water nymph Rusalka falls in love with a mortal and faces dire consequences in this sensual Czech fairytale.Ana María Martínez (Rusalka), Brandon Jovanovich (Prince), and conductor Sir Andrew Davis reveal the subtleties and intricacies of Dvořák’s best-known opera.

Thursday, March 6, 6 – 7pm
Discovery Series –La clemenza di Tito
Mozart’s penultimate opera tosses conflicted characters into a thicket of a plot with music that hints at 19th-century romanticism. Join Matthew Polenzani(Tito), Joyce DiDonato (Sesto), and Sir Andrew Davis as they discuss Mozart’s once-underappreciated two-act opera seria.

Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park lead sponsor: Liz Stiffel; lead corporate sponsor: closerlook, inc.;cosponsored by: An Anonymous DonorAT&TBaker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLPChristine and Paul Branstad Family FoundationRhoda L. and Henry S. Frank,Greg and Annie Jones/The Edgewater Funds, and Music Performance and Film Funds.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago Broadcasts are generously sponsored by The Hurvis Family Foundation with matching funding provided by The Matthew Bucksbaum FamilyThe John and Jackie Bucksbaum Family, and Richard P. and Susan Kiphart.

Opening Night Gala Benefit 2013 sponsored by Aon Corporation.

The Opera Ball sponsored by ITW and Northern Trust.

Operathon 2013 sponsored by Walgreens and Ardmore Associates.

The Family Barber media sponsor:Chicago Tribune.

Renée Fleming & Jonas Kaufmann concert made possible by Ann Ziff and an Anonymous Donor.

Rising Stars in Concert lead sponsor: Donna Van Eekeren Foundation.

Rising Stars in Concert exclusive broadcast sponsor: Donna Van Eekeren Foundation.

Guild Board Backstage Tours sponsored by Paul and Amy Carbone.

Lyric Opera Discovery Series made possible by support from the Katherine A. Abelson Educational Endowment Fund.

Pre-Opera Lectures supported by Mr. and Mrs. Edward O. Boshell, Jr.