Lyric Opera of Chicago and Chicago Park District presents Hansel & Gretel in the Park

Bringing a safe and innovative live production of the poignant fairytale opera to Chicagoans in May and June

CHICAGO (5/17/21) — As a part of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s ongoing reimagined season, the company is pleased to announce a set of all-new free, live performances, presented in partnership with the Chicago Park District and the Greater Chicago Food DepositoryHansel & Gretel in the Park. This early-summer series of outdoor performances at North Park Village Nature Center brings a fresh, hour-long staging of Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera and the beloved fairytale story to life through the eyes of the title characters. 

The original production is conceived and directed by Matthew Ozawa, with new scenic and costume designs created by Lyric's wardrobe, wig and makeup director, Scott Marr. The music is arranged by Simon Bruckard with English translation by Sir David Pountney. This familiar story, set to beautiful music and performed outdoors, is the perfect introduction to opera for families with kids of all ages. Rather than using a fixed stage, this production has each scene taking place in a different location within the park.

Hansel & Gretel in the Park will feature members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Lyric Opera Chorus, with performances at 4:00 pm, 5:15 pm, and 6:30 pm CT on May 27 and 28, June 3, 4, 5, 17, and 18 at North Park Village Nature Center (5801 N. Pulaski Rd., Chicago)

The three performances per date of Hansel & Gretel in the Park will each have a capacity of twenty-five (25) attendees, adhering to current city and state health and safety restrictions and guidelines. During the performances, audience members will be masked and will move with the performers through the park with the performers. Tickets are free, and must be reserved in advance. Children of all ages must have a ticket due to public health and capacity considerations. Ticket reservations are available at or by calling 312.827.5600.

Lyric will offer two simple ways for audiences to donate to the Food Depository during the production, on-site and on-line, to offer support in ending hunger and its root causes. Audience members may either bring a non-perishable food item to donate on-site at the park, or donate to Lyric Opera of Chicago through QR codes at the park, a portion of which will be shared with the Food Depository

During the pandemic, millions of Americans have experienced food insecurity, many of them for the first time. Child hunger has soared, particularly among Black and Latino households with children. Donations to the Food Depository help to feed families facing hunger in Chicago and throughout Cook County. "Hansel and Gretel is a timeless story about the impact that hunger can have on kids as they grow up," says Matthew Ozawa, who also serves as interim VP of Lyric Unlimited. "Partnering with the Food Depository offers an opportunity to shine a spotlight on this important issue in our own community." To learn more about what can be donated at each Hansel & Gretel in the Park site, visit

"We are thrilled to collaborate for the first time with the Chicago Park District, and gratified to collaborate again with the Food Depository, with whom we partnered previously at the Lyric Opera House during performances of Hansel and Gretel," says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, president & CEO. "We are also delighted to showcase several members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus in these live, in-person performances taking place in this beautiful outdoor setting."

“We are excited to welcome back Chicago residents and visitors to our neighborhood parks with live, creative performances by talented cultural organizations like the Lyric Opera of Chicago,” says Cathy Breitenbach, Director of Cultural and Natural Resources for the Chicago Park District. “Lyric’s presentation of Hansel and Gretel in the Park will make rediscovering the outdoors and reconnecting with the arts and cultural landscape of Chicago an exciting and enriching experience for everyone.”

To reserve your ticket for Hansel & Gretel in the Park, visit or call 312.827.5600.

About the Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, believes a healthy community starts with food.  We are at the center of a network of hundreds of partner organizations and programs – food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile distributions and other partners – working to bring food, dignity and hope to our neighbors across Chicago and Cook County. The Food Depository addresses the root causes of hunger with job training, advocacy and other innovative solutions. We are a proud member of Feeding America – the national network of food banks. Learn more at

About Chicago Park District

Hansel & Gretel in the Park is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, supported by the Mayor’s Office and Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Now in its ninth year, the 2021 Night Out in the Parks program presents cultural events year-round in neighborhood parks throughout the city. The Chicago Park District, in partnership with over 100 local artists and organizations, presents engaging events and performances that enhance quality of life across Chicago and amplify the artistic and cultural vibrancy in every neighborhood. Through multiple disciplines, which include theater, music, movies, dance, site-specific work, nature programs, and community festivals, the series aims to support Chicago-based artists, facilitate community-based partnerships and programs, cultivate civic engagement, and ensure equity in access to the arts for all Chicagoans. 

In accordance with the Chicago Department of Public Health and Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 health guidelines to gradually and safely reopen the city, the Chicago Park District will implement the following safety guidelines and expectations for all patrons, partners, and staff participating in Night Out in the Parks. Events will be limited in capacity based on current health guidelines. All visitors and staff are required to wear masks at all times and to social distance upon entering the designated performance or viewing area. The District also urges patrons to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, avoid touching their faces with unwashed hands, and covering their noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing. Also, anyone who is feeling unwell should stay home, per Chicago Department Public Health order. The Park District will closely monitor local and state guidelines regarding COVID-19 and inform the public of modifications to the above mentioned operations at

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. 

Major support for Lyric family programming is provided by

Nancy W. Knowles Student and Family Performances Fund

2020|21 Season programming innovations from Lyric Opera of Chicago are generously supported by

Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel

Patricia A. Kenney and Gregory J. O'Leary

Susan and Robert Morrison



Virginia Tobiason

Lyric Opera of Chicago wishes to thank its Official Airline, American Airlines.