Baritone Mark Delavan to debut with Chicago Bears singing National Anthem at Nov. 28 game - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Baritone Mark Delavan to debut with Chicago Bears singing National Anthem at Nov. 28 game

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bear Down, Chicago Bears!!
Baritone Mark Delavan, currently costarring in A MASKED BALL
at Lyric Opera of Chicago,
to debut with Chicago Bears singing National Anthem
at Nov. 28 game against Philadelphia Eagles


American baritone Mark Delavan is a man of many talents, operatic and otherwise. In Chicago to portray Count Anckarström (Renato) in Giuseppe Verdi’s A Masked Ball at Lyric Opera of Chicago through Dec. 10, he will make his first appearance at Soldier Field on Sunday, Nov. 28 to sing the National Anthem before the Chicago Bears’ game with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Delavan has sung seven roles previously at Lyric Opera since 2001-02, including Count Di Luna in Il trovatore and Germont in La traviata, both by Verdi. (Renato is his 14th Verdi role.) In 2004 at Lyric he created the role of Snooks in the world premiere opera A Wedding by William Bolcom, based on the film by Robert Altman and directed by Altman.

Delavan is a big country-music fan who covers Johnny Cash hits impressively. He’s become friends with Larry Gatlin the Gatlin Brothers Band, and has occasionally been called to the stage to sing at the band’s concerts.

When not singing, Delavan makes knives – daggers, Scottish dirks, and the like – carving the handles from fine woods, honing the blades and etching them with elaborate designs. He carved his own spear (Wotan’s most prized possession) for the San Francisco Ring cycle.

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 Delavan has sung the National Anthem previously for an Atlanta Hawks/Orlando Magic basketball game at Philips Arena in Atlanta, and at other sports events and venues, as well.

Sought after by opera houses throughout the United States and abroad for his dramatic, powerful voice, daring performances and commanding stage presence, Delavan is a charismatic vocal force. His repertoire spans more than 40 roles, including the title roles of Falstaff, Rigoletto, The Flying Dutchman, Gianni Schicchi, Simon Boccanegra and Sweeney Todd. In October he performed Iago in Otello with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, singing from a wheelchair following surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee, an injury sustained during rehearsal. (At Lyric he’s performing with a brace under his costume.)

Also this season Delavan travels to Germany to reprise the role of Iago for the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He ends the season singing Wagner’s top-dog god, Wotan, in Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, and Siegfried (role debut) in the San Francisco Opera’s Ring cycle in June.

A Masked Ball is performed in Italian with projected English translations. A magnificent drama of love, betrayal, and revenge, it tells the story of a Swedish monarch who flirts with his trusted friend’s wife. Delavan plays the betrayed friend who kills the king at a masked ball. His costars are tenor Frank Lopardo and Sondra Radvanovsky.  A Masked Ball performances begin at 7:30 p.m., except for matinees at 2:00 p.m.: Remaining performance dates are  Nov. 30, Dec. 4, 10 (mat).  A free pre-opera lecture starts an hour before each performance in the Ardis Krainik Theatre of the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr. For tickets and information, go to or call 312-332-2244.

The Lyric Opera presentation of A Masked Ball is generously made possible by the NIB Foundation, Margot and Joseph Lakonishok, an Anonymous Donor, and Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Reyes.