Lyric presents a special season opening concert, “For The Love of Lyric,” on Sunday, September 13

A new way to celebrate the start of the virtual fall season

CHICAGO, IL (8/4/2020) — Lyric Opera of Chicago will open the company’s reimagined fall season with For the Love of Lyric, a virtual concert from the stage of the Lyric Opera House, on Sunday, September 13, available for free streaming starting at 6:00pm CDT.

“Lyric’s Opening Night Opera Ball has long been a signature project of Lyric’s Women’s Board,” says Lyric’s general director, president and CEO, Anthony Freud. “Even before we began to imagine the extent of public-health limits on events and performances, the Women’s Board was hard at work rethinking what our season-opening event could and should be. Now, with further evolution and much hard work, we are proud to present For the Love of Lyric—a very special concert presentation available to the largest possible audience via streaming.”

As originally announced, world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming, Lyric’s special projects advisor and honorary Women’s Board member, will team up with special guests for an evening of celebration and music-making. Performances from Lyric’s mainstage will include Tony Award® and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-actress Heather Headley (Broadway’s Aida, The Lion King), soprano Ailyn Pérez (Marguerite/Faust, 2018, concert appearance, 2017), bass Soloman Howard (Wurm/Luisa Miller, Lawrence Brownlee & Friends concert, both 2019) and mezzo-soprano and Ryan Opera Center alumna J’Nai Bridges (Carmen/Bel Canto, 2015, Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter, 2020)—with Doug Peck (Chicago Voices concert, 2017) serving as music director. Members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Ensemble and members of the Chicago Children’s Choir will also perform.

“I'm grateful that Lyric is giving me full support, as they did with Chicago Voices, to plan something special that follows Nina Simone’s dictum that the artist’s duty is to reflect the times,” says Peck. “We have a real opportunity to craft a program that is healing, enlightening, and entertaining in perfect proportion.” The viewing audience can look forward to familiar and revelatory selections from the worlds of opera, Broadway, popular music, and some surprising sources. Peck is especially excited to introduce his longtime friend and collaborator, Heather Headley, to members of the Lyric family who may not be familiar with her work.

The For the Love of Lyric concert will be available to a select group of sponsors on Saturday, September 12 at 7:30pm for a special “first look” screening, with a variety of exclusive benefits at different levels of support. Hosted by Event Chair Mimi Mitchell and Lyric Women’s Board President Caroline Huebner, all proceeds benefit Lyric Opera of Chicago. To learn more, please call 312-827-5676, or go to

This concert is the perfect excuse for an at-home dinner and show—put on your ballgown or tux, and roll out your own red carpet if you’re in the mood. To watch the For the Love of Lyric concert stream on Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m. CDT, go to and share your love of Lyric using the hashtag #ForTheLoveofLyric during the concert.

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.

Join us @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

For the Love of Lyric concert sponsors



Rebecca and Lester Knight

Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr.

Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel

Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan

Liz Stiffel


Mrs. John V. Crowe

Harris Family Foundation/Caryn and King Harris/ Pam Friend Szokol

Caroline and Charlie Huebner

Mr. and Mrs. Todd Mitchell

Donna Van Eekeren Foundation

Photo: Todd Rosenberg