Lyric Opera of Chicago Announces its 2022/23 Season

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CHICAGO (2/1/2022) – Lyric Opera of Chicago, led by General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud and Music Director Enrique Mazzola, today announces the company’s 2022/23 Season, featuring productions of classic operas, a continuing long-term focus on developing and presenting new work, plus the return of Lyric’s annual spring musical.

The company’s 68th season opens with Verdi’s Ernani, conducted by Music Director Enrique Mazzola and directed by Louisa Muller, featuring the exhilarating vocal fireworks of four of America’s finest singers, each with a rich performance history at Lyric: Tamara Wilson, Russell Thomas, Quinn Kelsey, and Christian Van Horn. The season continues with a new operatically scaled production of the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof, conceived by iconoclastic opera director Barrie Kosky and conducted by Kimberly Grigsby in her Lyric debut. This heralded production from the Komische Oper Berlin, which has triumphed in a number of European cities, makes its long-planned United States debut at Lyric.

Next in the season is Verdi’s epic drama Don Carlos, presented at Lyric for the first time in its original five-act French version, conducted by Music Director Enrique Mazzola in Sir David McVicar’s production and featuring Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Clémentine Margaine, Joshua Guerrero, Igor Golovatenko in his Lyric debut, Dmitry Belosselskiy, and Soloman Howard. The 2022/23 Season continues with the Lyric premiere of Rossini’s frothy Le Comte Ory, whose cast—including Lawrence Brownlee, Kathryn Lewek, and Joshua Hopkins—will thrill audiences with the opera’s bravura vocal acrobatics, in a Bartlett Sher production from the Metropolitan Opera conducted by Music Director Enrique Mazzola.

Next, Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric’s former music director, returns to conduct Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, in Lyric’s iconic production originally directed by Richard Jones.

At the heart of Lyric’s 2022/23 season announcement is the news of two world premieres, a signal of Lyric’s ongoing commitment to creating and presenting new and recent operas as a regular part of its future seasons. Lyric has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years with presenting chamber operas, works such as The Property by Wlad Marhulets and Stephanie Fleischmann, Charlie Parker's Yardbird by Daniel Schnyder and Bridgette A. Wimberly, Fellow Travelers by Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce, and An American Dream by Jack Perla and Jessica Murphy Moo. And later in the current 2021/22 Season, Lyric will present Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones on its mainstage.

The first of two world premieres in the 2022/23 Season is the soul opera The Factotum, composed by the star singer Will Liverman and DJ/producer King Rico, who bring their unique blend of musical styles to a new comedy set in a Black barbershop on Chicago’s South Side. Kedrick Armstrong and Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj make their Lyric debuts conducting and directing this world premiere production at Chicago’s Harris Theater. The Factotum’s first workshop in 2020 was chronicled in a documentary feature available for viewing on Lyric’s website. Lyric will detail the creative development of both world premieres next season with behind-the-scenes features on Lyric’s website and social media channels.

The second world premiere in the 2022/23 Season is Proximity, a trio of new American operas. This exciting and groundbreaking project features three new works with intertwining themes—intended to be experienced as a single, riveting whole—and features the Lyric debuts of some of the most important artists of our time: composer Daniel Bernard Roumain working with acclaimed playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith as librettist; Caroline Shaw, composer and co-librettist working with Jocelyn Clarke as co-librettist; and John Luther Adams, setting a text by the late poet John Haines. Director Yuval Sharon has been instrumental in working with the creative teams in the development of the project and he will direct this production. Proximity is conducted by Kazem Abdullah in his Lyric debut; Lyric Special Projects Advisor Renée Fleming is the project’s curator. Proximity continues Lyric’s commitment to expand the art form beyond its traditional roots and to bring new creative voices to Lyric and to Chicago.

Lyric will soon share more details on projects planned for several future seasons. Works to be presented include:

  • Omar, co-composed by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels with a libretto by Giddens, based on the life and autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved Muslim-African man. This Lyric coproduction will have its world premiere at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston this summer.
  • Two works by the celebrated team of composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek: the North American premiere of The Listeners, a co-commission with Opera Philadelphia and Norwegian National Opera, based on the Jordan Tannahill novel; and Proving Up, a supernatural story of Nebraska homesteaders in the 1870s, based on the short story by Karen Russell, in a production by James Darrah that was originally to be presented in Lyric’s 2021/22 Season.

The 2022/23 Season also features the return of Bizet’s Carmen, starring J’Nai Bridges, an alumna of Lyric’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, as opera’s most alluring femme fatale; her co-stars include Charles Castronovo with Golda Schultz and Andrei Kymach in their Lyric debuts. The production is conducted by Henrik Nánási and directed by Marie Lambert.

Heralding the return of its traditional spring musical, Lyric’s hit production of the classic West Side Story concludes the company’s 2022/23 Season. This Francesca Zambello production stands as one of the most successful shows in company history.

The season also includes a one-night-only concert event featuring beloved soprano Renée Fleming and baritone Rod Gilfry in concert with the Lyric Opera Orchestra, conducted by Enrique Mazzola, the program of which includes the Chicago premiere of The Brightness of Light, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts.

“Our next season at Lyric will showcase the breadth of opera at its most engaging, with a diverse mix of traditional productions of classic operas alongside new contemporary American works and grand-scale musical theater favorites in reimagined productions for the operatic stage,” says Freud. “I am particularly excited by the two world premieres we have commissioned as part of our new commitment to developing and presenting new and recent works each season, and for Chicago audiences to experience the works of these relevant and diverse stories told by diverse storytellers. I am proud that Lyric is at the forefront of expanding the boundaries of the opera house and bringing new authorial voices to the stage and into our community.”

“In my second full season as music director, I am honored to be conducting three classic works: Ernani, a key title in our Early Verdi Series, and Don Carlos and Le Comte Ory, two sensational operas that I have the pleasure of introducing to Lyric audiences,” says Mazzola. “I also look forward to welcoming my predecessor Sir Andrew Davis back to the podium to lead our performances of Hansel and Gretel, and to experiencing the sonic and dramatic worlds of our two world premiere operas. This exciting season presents thrilling music theater in all its forms—past, present, and future!”

For more information on Lyric’s 2022/23 Season, visit lyricopera.org/newseason

* Lyric Opera of Chicago debut
+ Alumni of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center

Lyric Opera's 22/23 Season

Giuseppe Verdi
Ernani

September 9, 16, 21m, 25m & October 1, 2022

Sung in Italian with projected English titles

The 2022/23 Season opens with a thrilling continuation of Lyric’s acclaimed early Verdi series. Ernani reveals Verdi at his most irresistibly melodic and dramatic. A persecuted nobleman forced to disguise himself as an outlaw, Ernani loves beautiful Elvira, but she’s pursued by two other men—her uncle, Silva, and the King of Spain, Carlo. This “love quadrangle” inspires grand-scale arias and ensembles, bursting with the unique energy and drive that were Verdi’s own. Music Director Enrique Mazzola leads a quartet of world-renowned Verdians in Lyric’s sumptuously beautiful production that is designed to bring you an exhilarating operatic experience.

Ernani
Russell Thomas

Elvira
Tamara Wilson

Carlo
Quinn Kelsey +

Silva
Christian Van Horn +

Conductor
Enrique Mazzola

Director
Louisa Muller

Set & Costume Designer
Scott Marr

Lighting Designer
Duane Schuler

Chorus Master
Michael Black

Lyric’s presentation of Verdi’s Ernani is generously made possible by Alice & John ButlerH. Gael NeesonSylvia Neil & Daniel Fischel, the Robert & Penelope Steiner Family FoundationAbbott, and Patricia A. Kenney & Gregory J. O’Leary.

***

Lyric premiere

Fiddler on the Roof

Book by Joseph Stein
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

September 17, 18m, 22, 23, 24, 28m, 29m, 30, October 2m, 6 & 7, 2022

Sung in English

One of the world’s leading opera directors, Barrie Kosky is celebrated from Vienna to Paris and from Bayreuth to London, where his new Ring cycle will take the stage at the Royal Opera starting next year. When his production of Fiddler on the Roof premiered at Komische Oper Berlin in 2017, international critics heralded the arrival of a completely original and unique experience created from this revered, Tony Award-winning masterpiece. “Songs many of us have heard our whole lives sentimentalized...are given weight and take on deep meaning,” raved the Los Angeles Times. Experience a Fiddler like no other, with the full power of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus and a production that is both grand in scale and intimate in its power to bring you directly to the heart of the village of Anatevka. Join us as Tevye, his wife Golde, and their five daughters experience the real joys and sorrows that have made this meaningful work an enduring part of our culture.

Casting to be announced.

Conductor
Kimberly Grigsby*

Director
Barrie Kosky

Set Designer
Rufus Didwiszus*

Costume Designer
Klaus Bruns*

Original Lighting Designer
Diego Leetz*

Revival Lighting Designer
Marco Philipp*

Chorus Master
Michael Black

Original Choreographer
Otto Pichler*

Revival Choreographer
Silvano Marraffa*

A Production by Komische Oper Berlin

Lyric’s presentation of Fiddler on the Roof is generously made possible by Marlys A. Beider, The Davee Foundation, and Ethel & William Gofen.

* * *

Lyric premiere of five-act version in the original French

Giuseppe Verdi
Don Carlos

November 9, 12, 17m, 20m, 25, 2022

Sung in French with projected English titles

Acknowledged by audiences and critics alike as one of the most magnificent achievements in the history of opera, Don Carlos masterfully reveals the private turmoil of very public personalities. In 16th century Spain, King Philip II is torn apart by his own jealous suspicions that his son, crown prince Carlos, and Queen Elisabeth—Philip’s young wife and Carlos’s stepmother—are in love. The drama unfolds and confronts you with unforgettable intensity and thrilling musical splendor. The full stature of this epic opera will be revealed at Lyric as never before when performed in the full five acts, with the matchless eloquence of the opera’s original French text. Don Carlos is a tour-de-force experience for those who love Verdi in his prime.

Elisabeth
Rachel Willis-Sørensen

Eboli
Clémentine Margaine

Carlos
Joshua Guerrero

Rodrigue
Igor Golovatenko*

Philippe
Dmitry Belosselskiy

Grand Inquisitor
Soloman Howard

Conductor
Enrique Mazzola

Original Director
Sir David McVicar

Revival Director
Axel Weidauer*

Set Designer
Robert Jones

Costume Designer
Brigitte Reiffenstuel

Original Lighting Designer
Joachim Klein*

Revival Lighting Designer
Jan Hartmann*

Chorus Master
Michael Black

Original Choreographer
Andrew George

A production of Oper Frankfurt

Lyric's premiere of Verdi's Don Carlos in five acts is presented by Julie & Roger Baskes with additional support from Production Sponsors Alice & John Butler, H. Gael Neeson, Sylvia Neil & Daniel Fischel, the Robert & Penelope Steiner Family Foundation, and Sonia Florian.

* * *

Lyric premiere

Gioachino Rossini
Le Comte Ory

November 13m, 16m, 18, 22, 26, 2022

Sung in French with projected English titles

The master of operatic comedy who created The Barber of Seville strikes again with this sidesplitting comedy replete with onstage antics that match its high-energy music. High jinks ensue when Countess Adèle sequesters herself in her castle while her valiant brother is away on a crusade. In his absence, the amorous Count Ory stops at nothing (including disguising himself as a nun!) to gain entry to the castle and woo the virtuous Countess. Le Comte Ory is one of opera’s most frothy delights, with music that bubbles over like the most effervescent champagne. In this pricelessly witty production, bel canto tenor par excellence Lawrence Brownlee stars in the virtuosic title role — one of his specialties internationally — opposite the Countess of Kathryn Lewek, one of her generation’s most scintillating coloratura sopranos. You’ll smile from the overture to the happy ending.

Ory
Lawrence Brownlee

Adèle
Kathryn Lewek

Isolier
TBA

Ragonde
Zoie Reams

Raimbaud
Joshua Hopkins

The Tutor
Mirco Palazzi*

Conductor
Enrique Mazzola

Original Director
Bartlett Sher

Revival Director
Kathleen Smith Belcher*

Set Designer
Michael Yeargan

Costume Designer
Catherine Zuber

Lighting Designer
Brian MacDevitt*

Chorus Master
Michael Black

Production owned by The Metropolitan Opera. This production premiered at The Metropolitan Opera on March 24, 2011. All scenery, properties, and costumes constructed by The Metropolitan Opera shops.

Lyric’s presentation of Rossini’s Le Comte Ory is generously made possible by Alice & John Butler, H. Gael Neeson, Sylvia Neil & Daniel Fischel, and the Robert & Penelope Steiner Family Foundation.

* * *

Engelbert Humperdinck
Hansel and Gretel

January 25, 27, 29m, February 1m, 3, 5m, 2023

Sung in German with projected English titles

When this universally celebrated production debuted 20 years ago, it took Chicago by storm. It did the same in 2012, and this season it returns again by popular demand. This rivetingly modern, astonishingly inventive view of the Brothers Grimm’s fairytale features an eye-popping production that does full justice to Humperdinck’s glorious score. You’ll be rooting for Hansel and Gretel at every moment in their battle against the witch in the massive, industrial-strength kitchen, and you’ll be captivated by the “Dream Ballet.” From the exquisite “Evening Prayer” to the uproarious “Witch’s Ride,” this ever-fresh, whimsical masterpiece is packed with musical gems that make it a wonderful introduction to opera for audiences of all ages.

Hansel
Samantha Hankey*

Gretel
Heidi Stober

Witch
Michaela Martens

Mother
Alexandra LoBianco

Father
Alfred Walker*

Conductor
Sir Andrew Davis

Original Director
Richard Jones

Revival Director
Eric Einhorn

Set & Costume Designer
John Macfarlane

Lighting Designer
Jennifer Tipton

Original Choreographer
Linda Dobell

Coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Welsh National Opera. Coproduction originally made possible by the Vance Family Fund, with additional funding from BP America Inc.

* * *

World premiere

Will Liverman and King Rico
The Factotum

February 3, 5m, 8, 10, 12m, 2023
Performed at the Harris Theater

Sung in English with projected English titles

Grammy-nominated baritone Will Liverman, a Ryan Opera Center alumnus, is rapidly rising to international prominence and recently triumphed at the Metropolitan Opera. Now he joins dynamic producer/DJ/multi-instrumentalist King Rico in creating a new work inspired by Rossini’s The Barber of Seville that has grown into a joyful, original piece all its own, commissioned by Lyric. Updating the action to a Black barbershop on Chicago’s South Side, this gifted duo has created an irresistibly upbeat work that celebrates the strength of community. The Factotum blends diverse musical styles with boundless imagination to create a soul opera, moving from gospel and funk to rap, hip-hop, classic barbershop quartet, and R&B. Those styles connect brilliantly with classical singing in a very human comedy that redefines everything that opera can be.

Casting to be announced.

Conductor
Kedrick Armstrong*

Director
Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj*

Lyric’s world premiere of The Factotum is generously made possible by the Ford Foundation, Roberta L. & Robert J. Washlow, the John R. and Grace K. Stanek Charitable Fund, Gene & Jean Stark, OPERA America, and the Bill & Orli Staley Foundation.

* * *

Georges Bizet
Carmen

March 11, 15m, 19m, 22, 25, 30m, April 2 & 7, 2023

Sung in French with projected English titles

Carmen is irresistible from the first note of the electrifying prelude right to the end of the devastating finale. The immortal tale of the restless, free-spirited heroine and Don José, the soldier who’s drawn to her in a truly “fatal attraction,” Carmen has long been one of the world’s favorite operas. It returns this season in the company’s vividly colorful, powerfully dramatic production with dynamic Ryan Opera Center alumna J’Nai Bridges, who is now enjoying a dazzling career internationally, in the title role. Partnering with her is Charles Castronovo, one of the world’s most acclaimed tenors. You’ll be drawn to the drama like moth to flame as this alluring opera brings you along to its edge-of-your-seat ending.

Carmen
J’Nai Bridges +

Don José
Charles Castronovo

Micaëla
Golda Schultz*

Escamillo
Andrei Kymach*

Conductor
Henrik Nánási

Director
Marie Lambert

Set Designer
Robin Don

Costume Designer
Robert Perdziola

Chorus Master
Michael Black

* * *

World premiere

Proximity
A trio of new American operas

Git Here
Composer: Daniel Bernard Roumain
Libretto by Anna Deavere Smith

Four Portraits
Composer: Caroline Shaw
Libretto by Caroline Shaw and Jocelyn Clarke

Night
Composer: John Luther Adams
Text by John Haines

March 24, 26m, 29, April 5m & 8, 2023

Directed by Yuval Sharon
Curated by Renée Fleming

Sung in English with projected English titles

Sure to be one of the most widely heralded musical events of 2022/23, Proximity is a gripping, powerful trio of new works that confronts head-on some of the greatest challenges affecting us as a society: yearning for connection in a world driven by technology; the devastating impact of gun violence on cities and neighborhoods; and the need to respect and protect our natural resources. As the story zooms in and out from the individual to the community to the cosmic, we find ourselves in a compelling snapshot of 21st century life, with all of its complex intersections and commonalities. This new Lyric commission, bringing together a complement of some of the most important creative minds of our time, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Awards, and the MacArthur Genius Grant, promises to be by turns riveting, provocative, and inspiring.

Featured Artists:

Talise Trevigne
Zoie Reams
John Holiday*
Lucia Lucas*
Gordon Hawkins

Conductor
Kazem Abdullah*

Director
Yuval Sharon

Production Designers
Jason H. Thompson
Kaitlyn Pietras

Chorus Master
Michael Black

Lyric’s world premiere of Proximity is generously made possible by OPERA America.

* * *

The return of the critically acclaimed Lyric production

West Side Story

Based on a conception of Jerome Robbins
Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Original production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins

June 3 - 25, 2023

In 2019, Lyric’s larger-than-life new production and company premiere of West Side Story took Chicago by storm with sold-out performances. With the lush sound of the Lyric Orchestra playing the original orchestrations and a cast that was called “expansive” by the Chicago Tribune, seeing a Broadway classic this way is a rare treat.

In 2023, Leonard Bernstein’s music and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics will once again transplant Romeo and Juliet to the backstreets of New York City in this timeless Broadway musical masterpiece. Tony and Maria are wide-eyed teenagers from two communities in conflict, who fall in love. As their friends and family battle with one another, Tony and Maria long for “a place for us…somewhere.” Their songs illuminate every scene and permeate our culture, from the romance of “Maria” and “Tonight” to the exuberance of “America” and the humor of “Gee, Officer Krupke.” Add to that the bold, sexy, iconic choreography of Jerome Robbins that smolders and sizzles with energy, and you have a timeless musical theater experience you’ll never forget.

Casting to be announced.

Director
Francesca Zambello

Set Designer
Peter J. Davison

Costume Designer
Jessica Jahn

Lighting Designer
Mark McCullough

A coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and Glimmerglass Festival.

Lyric’s presentation of West Side Story is generously made possible by The Davee Foundation.

* * *

Renée Fleming and Rod Gilfry in Concert
Lyric Opera Orchestra, conducted by Enrique Mazzola

Saturday, October 8, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

The incomparable Renée Fleming will be joined by charismatic baritone Rod Gilfry for an extraordinary musical event: the Chicago premiere of The Brightness of Light, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts. This superb new work is based on letters between legendary painter Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, the world-renowned photographer Alfred Stieglitz. These texts and Puts’s remarkable music offer a marvelous showcase for the probing, profoundly connecting and sensitive artistry of Fleming and Gilfry, who sang the premiere with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2019.

* * *

Sunday in the Park with Lyric’s Rising Stars

Sunday, August 21, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Join us for an evening of beautiful music as artists from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center perform a variety of favorites from the 2022/23 Season accompanied by members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and conducted by Enrique Mazzola, Lyric’s music director. Bring a blanket, your favorite snacks, your fellow music lovers, and those you can’t wait to introduce to opera for this free, fun and friendly, can’t-miss summer delight that always ushers in a new cultural season on a high note.

* * *

Season Opening Gala

A night of celebration

On Saturday, September 10, 2022 return to Lyric, walk the red carpet, and enjoy performances by artists from the world of opera and beyond! Join us for cocktails, dinner and dancing in true Lyric style—an evening not to be missed.

Susan E. Morrison, Chair

For more information about premium packages, please contact the Boards Office at 312.827.5676 or boards@lyricopera.org.

Lyric’s Season Opening Gala is a project of the Women’s Board

* * *

Wine Auction

The wait is over.

The famous Lyric Wine Auction returns Saturday, May 13, 2023

This marquee fundraiser auctions some of the world’s greatest wine, luxury trips, and one-of-a-kind experiences all from The Ken Pigott Stage of the historic Ardis Krainik Theatre.

Honored Guest: Maison Joseph Drouhin

Chairs: Erica L. Sandner and Nancy S. Searle
Vice Chairs: Suzanne W. Mulshine and Eileen Murphy
Lead Corporate Sponsor: Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Catalogue Sponsor: Liz Stiffel
Auctioneers: Hart Davis Hart Wine Co.

For more information, email lyricwineauction@lyricopera.org or visit lyricopera.org/wineauction.

Lyric’s Wine Auction is a project of the Women’s Board


Ticketing

Subscriptions to the 2022/23 Season are on sale now.
Visit lyricopera.org/subscribe or call 312.827.5600.

 

Production photos from Lyric's 2022/23 Season are available here in Lyric's online press room.

 

Invesco QQQ, Season Sponsor

Lyric Opera of Chicago thanks its Official Airline, American Airlines.

Lyric Opera of Chicago is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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 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. #Lyric2122 #LongLivePassion