CHICAGO (10/11/2022) — Comedy takes center stage at Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Rossini’s frothy delight Le Comte Ory makes its Lyric premiere for five performances only, November 13 – November 26, 2022. Audiences are invited to experience one of Rossini’s rarely performed works, featuring humor and hijinks performed by a stellar cast of Lyric favorites and debuting artists, all powered by the lush melodies of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus.
While the brother is away, the count will play. In the midst of the French Crusades, Countess Adèle shutters herself deep within the walls of her castle while her brother — and nearly every other man in the country — heads to battle. Sensing an opportunity, the mischievous Count Ory shirks his duty and concocts a wildly misguided plan to sweep the Countess off her feet. Disguises, shenanigans, and a surprising love triangle ensue, resulting in an effervescent spectacle full of nonstop laughs, astonishing musicality, and powerhouse performances from some of the world’s top artists.
The maestro returns! Following his engagements as conductor for Ernani, The Brightness of Light, and Don Carlos earlier in the season, Lyric Music Director and "Chicago’s maestro-around-town" Enrique Mazzola leads the brilliant Lyric Opera Orchestra in giving life to Rossini’s delightful score. He is joined by accomplished stage director Kathleen Smith Belcher, who leads Lyric’s starry cast in an original production from the Metropolitan Opera by Bartlett Sher.
Find love at Lyric, with superstar Rossini tenor Lawrence Brownlee starring as the titular Count Ory alongside coloratura soprano Kathryn Lewek as Countess Adèle. Last seen at Lyric during the 2019/20 Season as Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, Brownlee returns for another Rossini masterpiece, requiring nothing short of an Olympic-level operatic performance. Lewek was last at Lyric for the 2016/17 Season in The Magic Flute, wowing audiences with her critically acclaimed interpretation of Queen of the Night that has since traveled the globe. They are joined by Ryan Opera Center alum Kayleigh Decker, last seen on the Lyric stage in the 2019/20 Season’s Madama Butterfly, who returns in the leading role of Isolier. The cast also features Joshua Hopkins as Raimbaud, Zoie Reams as Ragonde, and Mirco Palazzi in his Lyric debut as the Tutor. Together, these accomplished artists bring new life to Rossini’s irresistible hidden gem.
She’s just not that into you, but artists from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center are here to ease the heartache. The cast features third-year Ensemble member Lunga Eric Hallam (Fire Shut Up in My Bones in the 2021/22 Season) as the First Courtier along with first-year Ensemble members Lindsey Reynolds as Alice and Wm. Clay Thompson, who makes his Lyric debut as the Second Courtier.
It takes a village, and this positively decadent production of Le Comte Ory features the talents of set designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer Catherine Zuber, the original lighting design of Brian MacDevitt reimagined for Lyric by Chris Maravich, and an impressive chorus directed by Lyric’s chorus master, Michael Black — transporting audiences to 12th century France for a new-to-Lyric premiere.
Leave your habit at the door! With Lyric’s signature musicality and the return and debuts of gifted artists, Le Comte Ory is a must-see operatic delight. Lyric invites audiences to fall in love with the biggest comic opera of the season. After all, it's not every day that opera has a happy ending.
The fine print
- Five chances to see the Lyric premiere of Le Comte Ory: November 13 matinee, 16 matinee, 18, 22, and 26.
- Performed in French with projected English titles.
- A total running time of 2 hours and 40 minutes, including one intermission.
- For updated information about Lyric’s ongoing health and safety protocols, visit lyricopera.org/safety.