Lyric Opera of Chicago

2007/08 Podcasts

 

Audio

Backstage at Lyric #1

La traviata: soprano Elizabeth Futral and tenor Joseph Calleja

September 19, 2007

Futral2Resized100WThe 2007/08 season opens with Elizabeth Futral, a Ryan Opera Center alumna who has achieved major stardom internationally, as the Parisian courtesan Violetta; and Joseph Calleja, an important rising tenor on the operatic horizon, as Alfredo, the young man who falls in love with her. The pair discuss their chemistry in rehearsals, how they interpret their roles, their first experiences singing as children, and how they renew their energies in meeting the demands of high-pressure careers. Hosted by Roger Pines.

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Backstage at Lyric #2

La traviata: baritone Mark Delavan

September 25, 2007

Mark Delevan Resized Mark Delavan, star of Lyric's upcoming La traviata, provides lively commentary about his role as Giorgio Germont, the man who tears apart his son's relationship with the famed Parisian courtesan, Violetta Valery. Mr. Delavan discusses how his portrayal compares to his own life as a father, the influence of film actors, the similarities between singers and athletes, and his favorite roles. Hosted by Roger Pines.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #3

Discovery Series: La traviata with Elizabeth Futral, Joseph Calleja, and Mark Delavan

October 4, 2007

JosephCallejaResized100W

One of opera's greatest love stories seen through the eyes of its characters. Elizabeth Futral (Violetta), Joseph Calleja (Alfredo), and Mark Delavan (Germont) discuss what it is about this Verdi favorite that makes us endlessly enthralled -- with its story and music. Moderated by Jean Kellogg.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #4

Discovery Series: La bohème with Renata Scotto and Roger Pines

October 8, 2007

RenatoScottResized100WLegendary soprano Renata Scotto was our Mimi in 1960 and is back at Lyric to direct this season's production. Scotto joins Lyric Opera dramaturg and opera-expert-without-equal, Roger Pines, for an engaging conversation on the Puccini classic.


 

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Backstage at Lyric #5

Doctor Atomic: Director-librettist Peter Sellars

October 12, 2007

PeterSellars100WCelebrated stage director Peter Sellars discusses Lyric's upcoming premiere of John Adams's Doctor Atomic. Mr. Sellars discusses the unique way in which the libretto was crafted, the mythology of the story, the differences between opera and theater, and living in the nuclear age. Former Chicago Sun-Times music critic Wynne Delacoma hosts.


 

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Backstage at Lyric #6

Julius Caesar: countertenor David Daniels and soprano Danielle de Niese

October 17, 2007

DeNiese100WCountertenor David Daniels and soprano Danielle de Niese discuss Lyric's upcoming production of Handel's Julius Caesar. Topics include the Bollywood-influenced choreography in the production, humor in Handel's music, the duo's onstage chemistry, ornamentation, working in Chicago, and more. Roger Pines hosts.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #7

Julius Caesar: conductor and harpsichordist Emmanuelle Haïm

October 24, 2007

EmmanuelHaimResized100WThe Parisian-born conductor discusses the popularity of Handel's Julius Caesar, David McVicar's visionary staging, working with stars David Daniels and Danielle de Niese, Handel's arias as "paintings" of a character's personality, her relationship with the orchestra as conductor and harpsichordist, being a woman conductor in opera, and much more. Roger Pines hosts.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #8

Die Frau ohne Schatten: director Paul Curran

November 1, 2007

PaulCurranFinal100WThe brilliant Scottish director gives his personal take on the fantastic story of Die Frau ohne Schatten. Additional topics include the production's magical effects, the unique role dancers play, the influence of playwrights and TV programs, and the overwhelming, earth-shaking power of Strauss's music. Roger Pines host.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #9

Discovery Series: Julius Caesar with soprano Danielle de Niese and conductor Emmanuelle Haïm

November 7, 2007

DiscoveryCleopatra played by Danielle de Niese: "A knockout!" The Times (London). And the very first female conductor in Lyric history: Emmanuelle Haïm. The pair discuss the 1724 Handel opera that holds modern audiences spellbound. Moderated by Roger Pines.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #10

Die Frau ohne Schatten: soprano Christine Brewer and bass Franz Hawlata

November 10, 2007

ChristineBrewerResized100WSoprano Christine Brewer and bass Franz Hawlata provide lively commentary about their role as the "earthly" couple – Barak the dyer and his wife – in Richard Strauss's epic fantasy Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow). The duo discuss the couple's "very real" contemporary relationship, how their own marriages influence their portrayals, their approach to tackling the Olympian vocal demands, the magical effects in the production, and the score's erotic "ocean of sound." Moderated by Roger Pines.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #11

Die Frau ohne Schatten: soprano Deborah Voigt

November 11, 2007

VoigtResized100WSoprano Deborah Voigt describes her role as the part-divine, part-human Empress in Richard Strauss's Die Frau ohne Schatten. She talks about the opera's rich layers; the Empress's extraordinary journey from spoiled rich kid to sympathetic adult; the unique beauty in the production; working with director Paul Curran and the "spectacular cast;" and the impact of last season's "Salome." Moderated by Roger Pines.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #12

Discovery Series: Die Frau ohne Schatten with Deborah Voigt, Christine Brewer, Paul Curran, and Sir Andrew Davis.

November 12, 2007

DiscoveryComposer Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal gave us a fairy tale for adults - a paean to Mozart's The Magic Flute. Deborah Voigt, who plays the part-divine, part-human empress; Christine Brewer (the Dyer's Wife), director Paul Curran; and conductor Sir Andrew Davis offer their views on what many consider Strauss's finest opera. Moderated by Roger Pines.

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Backstage at Lyric #13

Doctor Atomic: conductor Robert Spano

November 29, 2007

RobertSpanoResized100WConductor Robert Spano first discusses the music in Doctor Atomic, highlighting its rhythmic volatility, Debussy-like textures, and outpouring of emotion. He then explains the role of the chorus as "us" (the questioning citizenry). Among the other fascinating topics in this conversation are the way working with singers reconnects Spano with "breath" and the lyricism of music-making, the unfolding of musical and theatrical time in opera, working with living composers, and the evolution of opera. Wynne Delacoma hosts.

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Backstage at Lyric #14

Doctor Atomic: baritone Gerald Finley and bass Eric Owens

December 10, 2007

GeraldFinleyResized100WBaritone Gerald Finley and bass Eric Owens star as the real-life characters J. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves. The pair discuss the historical research involved in preparing for the roles, their love for Oppenheimer's deeply moving Act I aria, "Batter my heart," their characters as archetypes, the challenge of opera in the age of the soundbyte, and their enthusiasm for contemporary opera. Wynne Delacoma hosts.

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Backstage at Lyric #15

Doctor Atomic Symposium: Part 1

December 12, 2007

JohnAdamsResized100WThe defining event of the 20th century, the development of the Atomic Bomb, is the basis for this John Adams work. The symposium's distinguished panelists include composer John Adams; his librettist and director Peter Sellars; Gerald Finley, who portrays Robert Oppenheimer in the opera; and president and CEO of The Art Institute of Chicago, James Cuno. Join them for a fascinating look at both the opera and the incidents and characters that inspired it. A once-in-a-lifetime convergence of music, history, and scholarship, this not-to-be-missed symposium is an historic event in its own right! Moderated by Wynne Delacoma.

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Backstage at Lyric #16

Doctor Atomic Symposium: Part 2

December 16, 2007

PeterSagalResized100WThe defining event of the 20th century, the development of the Atomic Bomb, is the basis for this John Adams work. The symposium's distinguished panelists include Nobelist Norman Ramsey who worked with Oppenheimer at Los Alamos; Pulitzer Prize-winning Oppenheimer biographer Martin Sherwin; and noted physicist and teacher Henry Frisch, whose parents worked on the Manhattan Project and who now is a keeper of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' Doomsday Clock (the figurative representation of humanity's proximity to global catastrophe). Join them for a fascinating look at both the opera and the incidents and characters that inspired it. A once-in-a-lifetime convergence of music, history, and scholarship, this not-to-be-missed symposium is an historic event in its own right! Moderated by Peter Sagal.

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Backstage at Lyric #17

Doctor Atomic Symposium: Part 3

December 17, 2007

PeterSellars100WThe defining event of the 20th century, the development of the Atomic Bomb, is the basis for this John Adams work. The symposium's distinguished panelists include composer John Adams; his librettist and director Peter Sellars; Gerald Finley, who portrays Robert Oppenheimer in the opera; Nobelist Norman Ramsey who worked with Oppenheimer at Los Alamos; Pulitzer Prize-winning Oppenheimer biographer Martin Sherwin; noted physicist and teacher Henry Frisch, whose parents worked on the Manhattan Project and who now is a keeper of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' Doomsday Clock (the figurative representation of humanity's proximity to global catastrophe); and president and CEO of The Art Institute of Chicago, James Cuno. Join them for a fascinating look at both the opera and the incidents and characters that inspired it. A once-in-a-lifetime convergence of music, history, and scholarship, this not-to-be-missed symposium is an historic event in its own right! Moderated by Wynne Delacoma and Peter Sagal.

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Backstage at Lyric #18

Falstaff: stage director Olivier Tambosi

December 18, 2007

OlivierTambosiResized100WStage director Olivier Tambosi tells us why he believes Verdi's Falstaff is the composer's greatest masterpiece. He describes the beauty of the score and the joy of experiencing the comedy in the opera house. Tambosi discusses the differences between Shakespeare's plays and adaptations of his works by 19th-century opera composers. He delves deeply into the character of Falstaff, revealing why generations of audiences have fallen in love with this incorrigible – and profoundly human – stage creation.

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Backstage at Lyric #19

Falstaff: soprano Stacey Tappan and tenor Bryan Griffin

December 19, 2007

Bryan GriffinResized100WTwo outstanding young American artists, soprano Stacey Tappan and tenor Bryan Griffin, play the captivating young lovers Nannetta and Fenton in Lyric's production of Falstaff. The duo provide lively commentary about their roles in one of the most effervescent of all operatic comedies. Topics include Verdi's marvelous ensemble writing, the high-energy direction of Olivier Tambosi, and their experiences in Lyric's Ryan Opera Center.

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Backstage at Lyric #20

Discovery Series: Falstaff with Veronica Villarroel, Andrew Shore, Boaz Daniel, and Olivier Tambosi

January 1, 2008

DiscoveryHe's old, unloved, overweight, and broke -- yet Falstaff is one of the most endearing characters in opera and literature. Find out about the work that bears his name, the opera that is the masterful last creation of Verdi's long career. Veronica Villarroel (Alice), Andrew Shore (Falstaff), Boaz Daniel (Ford), and director Olivier Tambosi join Roger Pines for a discussion of this late-Verdi gem.

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Backstage at Lyric #21

The Barber of Seville: Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato

February 13, 2008

JoyceDiDonato100WInternationally celebrated American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato makes one of this season's most anticipated Lyric Opera debuts as Rosina in Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville. She discusses the many aspects of Rosina's character, and why the Lyric production is such over-the-top fun. DiDonato reveals, too, how she developed her own voice and style while performing Rossini in the world's most famous opera houses; overcoming the physical rigors of performing; the value of continuing to return to a particular role onstage; and how her "chemistry" with co-star Nathan Gunn enhances their portrayals in Lyric's now-legendary production.

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Backstage at Lyric #22

The Barber of Seville: baritone Nathan Gunn

February 19, 2008

NathanGunnFinal100W Nathan Gunn, one of today's most charismatic and artistically adventurous artists, sings the title role of Figaro in Lyric Opera's The Barber of Seville. The American baritone discusses the challenges of performing Figaro's aria (probably the most popular baritone aria ever written); his view of Figaro as a character; the wonderful teamwork of Lyric's cast; and the story behind his new solo CD, which features songs by a broad spectrum of gifted contemporary American composers -- from Ben Moore and Gene Scheer to Tom Waits and Billy Joel.

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Backstage at Lyric #23

Discovery Series: The Barber of Seville with Nathan Gunn and Joyce DiDonato

February 20, 2008

DiscoveryWhat is more delightful than a performance of Barber? Especially when it has Nathan Gunn (Figaro) and Joyce DiDonato (Rosina). Both engage in a lively exchange on Rossini's comedic masterpiece, moderated by Roger Pines.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #24

Eugene Onegin: Soprano Dina Kuznetsova and Mezzo-soprano Nino Surguladze

February 22, 2008

DinaKuznetsovaResized100WRussian-American soprano Dina Kuznetsova and Georgian mezzo-soprano Nino Surguladze, star as sisters Tatyana and Olga in Tchaikovsky's masterpiece Eugene Onegin. The pair reflect on Pushkin's classic novel in verse (Tchaikovsky's inspiration for the opera) and its enormous influence in Russian culture; the contrasting natures of Tatyana and Olga; the special touches that make Lyric's production so exquisitely beautiful and romantic, and more.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #25

Eugene Onegin: Tenor Frank Lopardo

February 28, 2008

FrankLopardo100W Frank Lopardo, one of today's leading tenors internationally, returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Lensky in Tchaikovsky's masterpiece Eugene Onegin. The Lyric favorite discusses why he so loves this particular role (his tenth with the company); how he perfected his Russian diction; the philosophy that guides his acclaimed career; the joy of performing again with soprano Dina Kuznetsova (Tatyana, previously Gilda in Rigoletto opposite Lopardo at Lyric); and his special affection for this company.

 

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Backstage at Lyric #26

Discovery Series: Eugene Onegin with Soprano Dina Kuznetsova and Conductor Sir Andrew Davis

March 7, 2008

DiscoveryShe is the dreamy country girl who reveals her deepest passion - too soon. He is the blueblood playboy who discovers true love - too late! Lyric Opera of Chicago closes the 2007/08 season with what critics hail as an "exceptional" and "powerful" production of Eugene Onegin. Listen as soprano Dina Kuznetsova (starring as Tatyana, one of Russia's most beloved heroines), and conductor Sir Andrew Davis, join Roger Pines for an enlightening discussion about Tchaikovsky's poignantly beautiful masterpiece of unrequited love.

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Backstage at Lyric #27

Technical Director Peter Schwob and Production Design Director Scott Marr

March 11, 2008

PeterSchwob100WLyric Opera's technical director Peter Schwob and production design director Scott Marr divulge the secrets of bringing the physical world of opera to life -- from the birth of a concept to the final staging. The two backstage "wizards" discuss their day-to-day challenges; standout productions from seasons past; and some of the many highlights on tap for the 2008/09 season. Moderated by Jack Zimmerman.

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