Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric presents Popcorn & Pasquale

For Immediate Release:
November 14, 2012

Bring the kids to the opera – that’s the whole idea!!
Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Popcorn & Pasquale on Sunday, December 2, at 2pm

An opera adventure for kids 5-12 & their grownups – a Lyric first!
at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr.
Tickets just $10-$20 for kids and $20-$40 for adults
A project of Lyric Unlimited

The 70-minute performance, written expressly for children, features selected scenes from Donizetti’s sparkling Don Pasquale with special guest actor Ross Lehman and the mainstage production stars:
Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Marlis Petersen, René Barbera, & Corey Crider with the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus

Presenting sponsor: Chicago Tribune Media Group
Additional support from Bulley & Andrews LLC and Joyce E. Chelberg

For a terrific and affordable family outing during the holiday season, check out Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Popcorn & Pasquale at the Civic Opera House on Sunday, December 2 at 2pm.

It’s a 70-minute opera adventure created especially for kids ages 5-12 and their families – a breezy introduction to opera at family-friendly prices – written by David Kersnar (Lookingglass Theater
Company) and Jacqui Russell (Chicago Children’s Theater).

The fun-filled performance will feature the stars of Lyric’s Don Pasquale production – Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, Marlis Petersen, René Barbera, and Corey Crider, plus the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus and special guest actor Ross Lehman.

The script for Popcorn & Pasquale is by David Kersnar, a writer and founding member of Lookingglass Theater Company, and Jacqui Russell, a writer of children’s plays and a cofounder of Chicago Children’s Theater. “We’ve created situations so youngsters in the audience can see themselves onstage,” says Kersnar. “They see someone like them with problems that are real and meaningful to them. There’s an interactive quality so that kids will feel as though they’re pulled up onstage.” The program is adapted from Lyric’s mainstage production of Don Pasquale, directed by Sir Thomas Allen. Elise Sandell will direct this delightful family-friendly rendition.

Lehman debuted as Cap’n Andy in Lyric’s Show Boat last season. His extensive Chicago credits include numerous roles with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire, and Writers’ Theatre, plus several Broadway productions. Child actor Nathan Randall will join Lehman in playing servants in the Pasquale household.

The two actors will guide the audience through selected scenes from Donizetti’s sparkling comedy. They’ll help the audience get to know the opera’s characters and what they really think about each other – a nobleman of a certain age, his young nephew, the pretty girl they both want to marry, and the clever friend who works it out so everyone winds up happy. Kids and their families will experience selected songs and scenes, watch demonstrations of set changes and other stagecraft, enjoy opportunities for audience participation, and bring home a special activity-filled printed program for kids and grownups to enjoy together.

“We want families who, for whatever reason, have never been here together before to come to this wonderfully entertaining and interactive performance and get a taste of what we’re all about,” says
Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director. “With Popcorn & Pasquale parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others can share the wonder of opera – the sets and costumes, the storytelling and singing, the beautiful opera house itself – with youngsters as a family outing on a Sunday afternoon. Our cast and orchestra members are delighted to engage in this whimsical ‘show and tell’ experience, and we’re very pleased to have the captivating Ross Lehman as our guide.” And yes, Freud added, “popcorn will be on sale at the opera house!”

Tickets for Popcorn & Pasquale are $10, $15, and $20 for children 12 and under, and $20, $30, and $40 for everyone else. The presenting sponsor is the Chicago Tribune Media Group, with additional support from Bulley & Andrews LLC and Joyce E. Chelberg.

Popcorn & Pasquale is a project of Lyric Unlimited.

Lyric Unlimited is a new, multifaceted program of expanded community engagement and artistic initiatives that includes Lyric's longstanding education programs.
It has been established
• to provide a relevant cultural service to communities throughout the Chicago area, including communities for whom opera and opera companies have been largely irrelevant;
• to explore a wide range of ways in which Lyric can collaborate with cultural and community organizations throughout the area; and
• to advance the development of opera, exploring ways in which opera as an art form can resonate more powerfully, and in a range of different ways, with people of multiple backgrounds, ethnicities, and interests.