Lyric Opera of Chicago RING cycle performances canceled

CHICAGO (3/13/20) — Lyric Opera of Chicago, following the lead of our city, state, and federal elected officials, as well as the recommendations of the Chicago Department of Public Health, has made the difficult decision to cancel all performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle.

The three full Ring cycles were set to begin on Monday, April 13, with performances through May 3. Rehearsals have been ongoing since mid-February. In response to the city’s COVID-19 related protocols, Lyric’s rehearsals will cease immediately and all three of the Ring cycles are canceled. Additionally, the two performances of Götterdämmerung that were scheduled for April 4 and April 11 have been canceled, along with all Ring festival programming.

“The health, safety and security of our audiences, artists, and employees is our highest priority,” said Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, president & CEO. “While this decision is very difficult, there was no other option.” Freud added that Lyric hopes to identify a future opportunity to present the new production of Götterdämmerung and the complete new Ring cycle.

Ticket holders are being notified directly. Their options include:

  • Putting the value of the tickets on account to be used for a future performance this season or in the 2020/21 season.

  • Donating the full or partial value of tickets as a tax-deductible contribution.

  • Requesting a full refund to the original payment method.

All other Lyric Opera of Chicago activities, including classes, backstage tours, and educational events, will be canceled from today through April 12, 2020. Registered participants will be notified directly.

Enthusiasts of Wagner’s Ring cycle from all 50 states and thirty countries had purchased tickets for Lyric’s new production, which was to be the first new production in North America since 2012. Lyric’s music director, Sir Andrew Davis, was scheduled to conduct the production created by Sir David Pountney.

“Lyric is extremely grateful for the understanding and support of our patrons and our sponsors, who have been looking forward to these performances for the past several years, and who have supported this new production as we presented one installment per season beginning in 2016/17,” said Freud. “We are deeply grateful to our artists, our orchestra members, our chorus members, and the creative team, all of whom have been preparing diligently for these performances. Our deep gratitude extends to Lyric’s stage management, backstage crews, and administrative staff, who have all worked tirelessly in support of this massive project in countless ways. The depth of our disappointment cannot be overstated, even as we all recognize that this is the only course of action to pursue under the current circumstances.

“We look forward to resuming normal activities and welcoming our patrons, performers, and staff back to the Lyric Opera House as soon as circumstances permit, as guided by public health and government officials,” Freud said. “Art endures, and so shall Lyric.”

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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Photo: Cory Weaver