Lyric Opera of Chicago's mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

Lyric Opera is proud to be a member company of OPERA America.

History of Lyric Opera of Chicago

Founded in 1954, Lyric has always distinguished itself by presenting the finest international singers, conductors, directors, and designers in classic and less-familiar operatic repertoire and in world-premiere productions.

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Lyric Opera House History

Shaped like a gigantic throne facing the Chicago River, the Civic Opera House (now known as the Lyric Opera House) was completed in 1929, after just 22 months of planning and construction. The building has served as the home for Lyric Opera of Chicago since the company was founded in 1954.

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Lyric Opera House History

Shaped like a gigantic throne facing the Chicago River, the Civic Opera House (now known as the Lyric Opera House) was completed in 1929, after just 22 months of planning and construction. The building has served as the home for Lyric Opera of Chicago since the company was founded in 1954.

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Vision & Mission

We believe in the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great art and opera. Lyric Opera of Chicago exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to the Chicago region and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form of opera.

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Performance & Cast Archive

Browse the Lyric Opera of Chicago archives for lists of opera, musical, and recital performances and artists from past seasons.

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Performance & Cast Archive

Browse the Lyric Opera of Chicago archives for lists of opera, musical, and recital performances and artists from past seasons.

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Legends of Lyric

Lyric's early decades boasted one astonishing performer after another. Many of those artists — "Legends of Lyric" — are showcased in a series of tributes that reveal just what the excitement was all about. Listen to them to discover anew the thrill of truly great singing.

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