Statement from Lyric Opera of Chicago

CHICAGO (10/21/2020) Lyric Opera of Chicago’s General Director, President & CEO, Anthony Freud, has made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of Lyric’s 2020/21 Season, based on guidance from city and state agencies regarding the ongoing health crisis. The company had previously canceled performances through the end of calendar year 2020.

“Having to cancel the remainder of our season is devastating but unavoidable, in order to keep our guests, artists, and company safe,” says Freud. “We want nothing more than to get back to the live performances that we are all craving at the Lyric Opera House with all of you, but the safety of our Lyric family comes first. We will continue to follow the policies and guidelines set by the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois’ five-phase plan of reopening. In the meantime, Lyric is still hard at work creating a broad array of special digital offerings for our audiences, which have been well received to date, and we remain committed to our virtual education and community programming this season.”

Lyric plans to return to performances in the opera house in September, 2021 with the opening of the company's 2021/22 Season. Anthony Freud offers a preview of some of the planned titles in the upcoming season:

  • Verdi’s Macbeth—“The opening new production of the season will be Enrique Mazzola’s first as Lyric’s new music director,” says Freud. “This continuation of Lyric's Early Verdi Series will be a new production directed by Sir David McVicar with the same set and costume design team that created Lyric's acclaimed Rusalka for the 2013/14 Season.”

  • Mozart’s The Magic Flute—“Lyric will bring the wildly successful production by acclaimed director Barrie Kosky to Chicago for the first time. Inspired by the world of silent movies, it has received enormous praise around the world for its innovative staging and tremendous visual impact.”

  • Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas—“Inspired by the magical realism of Gabriel Garcia Márquez, this will be Lyric's first Spanish-language opera to be performed in a mainstage season.”

  • Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones—“Lyric is thrilled to present the Chicago premiere of Terence Blanchard’s powerful Fire Shut Up in My Bones, a co-production with The Metropolitan Opera. It opens the Met's 2021/22 season and will be our closing mainstage opera of the season.”

  • Missy Mazzoli’s Proving Up—“Lyric is committed to presenting new and recent works and this gripping, supernatural drama from composer Missy Mazzoli about the quest for the American dream comes back into our next season with Enrique Mazzola conducting.”

  • Warren and Dubin’s 42nd Street—“This toe-tapping, high energy production of 42nd Street will be just what we need to round out the 2021/22 Season, and I’m delighted that we will be able to reschedule this work for Lyric audiences.”

The full 2021/22 Season announcement and season on-sale information will be released in spring 2021.

The canceled productions that were part of the second half of the 2020/21 Season include: Tesori & Thompson’s Blue, which Lyric is committed to presenting in its Chicago premiere at a future date; Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah; Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love; Christine Goerke in Recital; Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro; Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress; A Knight to Celebrate (a concert recognizing Sir Andrew Davis); Green & Comden’s Singin’ in the Rain; and the company’s annual Family Day at the Opera event.

All patrons currently holding tickets for canceled performances will automatically have the value of those tickets transferred to their accounts. That credit can be applied to future performances, refunded, or donated. All ticket holders affected will receive communication directly from Lyric with a full description of their options by October 30.

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. #Lyric2021 #LongLivePassion 

Photo: Kyle Flubacker