Verdi's early masterpiece LUISA MILLER opens at Lyric Oct. 12

What You Need to Know About Lyric's Production

October 12 - October 31

CHICAGO (8/28/2019)Verdi’s heart-wrenching romantic drama follows a pair of star-crossed lovers who are driven apart by one man’s selfish plot. The battle between passionate love and violent jealousy is set to thrilling, electrifying music.

  • The thrill of discovery: A new-to-Chicago production and Lyric’s first presentation in more than three decades of this early Verdi gem.

  • Disastrous deceit: Fake names, treacherous rumors, counterfeit letters, and more -- the tragic cousin of a Gilbert-and-Sullivan plot.

  • Innovative for its time: Considered the transition work leading into Verdi’s “middle period,” Luisa Miller combines bel canto with Parisian opera and traditional structure with new musical concepts.

  • Clashing of the classes: Verdi often exposed class struggles in his work, and this opera is no exception, as the lovers are torn asunder by their fathers' fortunes.

  • Devastatingly beautiful music: Strategic compositional choices add depth to the tragedy, including the tenor hit “Quando le sere al placido.”

  • First installment of Lyric’s Early Verdi Series: Future seasons will explore more of the composer’s less-familiar operas.

  • Italian opera in experienced hands: Bel canto specialist Enrique Mazzola returns to Lyric to conduct Luisa Miller, with Michael Black as chorus master.

  • A stylized, traditional production: The spare but evocative period setting moves the story from the early 17th century into Verdi’s era in the 1800s. Francesca Zambello directs the production designed by Michael Yeargan (sets), Dunya Ramicova (costumes), and Mark McCullough (lighting).

  • Emotionally charged characters: The desperately hopeful but doomed couple Luisa and Rodolfo are portrayed by Krassimira Stoyanova and Joseph Calleja. Ryan Opera Center alumni Quinn Kelsey and Christian Van Horn are the strict fathers Miller and Count Walter, respectively. Soloman Howard makes his Lyric debut as Walter’s conniving retainer Wurm, and Alisa Kolosova plays Duchess Federica, to whom Rodolfo is engaged.

  • Six performances: October 12, 16, 20, 25, 28, 31 (performances in bold are matinees).

  • 2 hours and 45 minutes, including 1 intermission -- shorter than some movies.

  • Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.

For more information and to order tickets, go to or call 312.827.5600.

For information about pre-performance dining options at Lyric, visit to learn about on-site restaurants, beverage service, and more.

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 presentation of Verdi’s Luisa Miller generously made possible by

Julie and Roger Baskes

Henry and Gilda Buchbinder Family Foundation

Liz Stiffel

The Nelson Cornelius Production Endowment Fund

Production owned by San Francisco Opera. Scenery construction and painting by the San Francisco Opera Scenic Shop and costumes fabricated by the San Francisco Opera Costume Shop.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg