American baritone Lucas Meachem to portray Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera of Chicago Nov. 14 - 30, replacing Ildar Abdrazakov

CHICAGO (10/17/2019) - Lyric Opera of Chicago announced today that American baritone Lucas Meachem will portray the title role of Mozart’s Don Giovanni November 14 - 30.  Due to a family situation in Europe, Russian bass Ildar Abdrazakov has had to withdraw from Lyric's production in order to be closer to home in the coming months.   

Lucas Meachem is one of the most accomplished, in-demand singers of the moment, captivating audiences around the world with his “buttery-smooth lyric baritone” (Houston Chronicle) and “commanding presence” (San Francisco Chronicle). The celebrated American artist has previously starred as Don Giovanni at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Dresden’s Semperoper, San Francisco Opera, and The Santa Fe Opera. Other title roles include Eugene Onegin (San Francisco, Montpellier), Billy Budd (Paris), and Figaro/The Barber of Seville (eight companies internationally, including The Dallas Opera this season). 

Meachem began the 2019/20 season as Mercutio/Roméo et Juliette, his twelfth role at San Francisco Opera, and will portray Marcello/La bohème at the Opéra National de Paris next June and July. Last season he debuted with the major companies of Washington (La traviata), Toronto (La bohème), and Detroit (Barber). Another Figaro, in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, brought Meachem a Grammy Award (LA Opera production). The baritone has also earned critical praise as Mozart’s Count Almaviva (Munich, London), Wolfram/Tannhäuser (Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival), and Robert/Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta (European tour with Anna Netrebko). Meachem has been featured at the Metropolitan Opera in Roméo et Juliette, Pagliacci, La bohème, and Iolanta; and in concert at the Salzburg Festival in Penderecki’s St Luke’s Passion.

Meachem will return to Lyric in February to portray Yeletsky/The Queen of Spades. He is well known to Lyric audiences for his wide-ranging previous roles here. Meachem debuted as Oreste/Iphigenée en Tauride (2006/07), returning as Valentin/Faust  (2009/10), Demetrius/A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2010/11), Marcello/La bohème (2012/13), and most recently Chorebus and the Ghost of Chorebus/Les Troyens (2016/17).

Born in North Carolina, Lucas Meachem studied music at Appalachian State University, the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University before becoming an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera. He was named the winner of San Francisco Opera’s inaugural “Emerging Star of the Year” Award in 2016.

Meachem will portray Don Giovanni in the first six performances at Lyric, in November. As previously announced, Italian baritone Davide Luciano (Lyric debut) will portray Don Giovanni in the final three performances at Lyric, in December.

About Lyric

About Lyric

Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to redefining what it means to experience great opera. The company is driven to deliver consistently excellent artistry through innovative, relevant, celebratory programming that engages and energizes new and traditional audiences.

Under the leadership of General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola, and Special Project Advisor Renée Fleming, Lyric is dedicated to reflecting, and drawing strength from, the diversity of Chicago. Lyric offers, through innovation, collaboration, and evolving learning opportunities, ever-more exciting, accessible, and thought-provoking audience and community experiences. We also stand committed to training the artists of the future, through The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center; and to becoming increasingly diverse across our audiences, staff, programming, and artists—magnifying the welcoming pull of our art form, our company, and our city.

Through the timeless power of voice, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus, theater, dance, design, and truly magnificent stagecraft, Lyric is devoted to immersing audiences in worlds both familiar and unexpected, creating shared experiences that resonate long after the curtain comes down.

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Lyric production revival of Mozart’s Don Giovanni generously made possible by

Lead sponsor

The Negaunee Foundation


Howard L. Gottlieb and Barbara G. Greis

Nancy and Sanfred Koltun

Mazza Foundation