What You Need to Know About Sir Andrew Davis Conducts Beethoven 9

Featuring the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus

CHICAGO (3/2/2022) – Lyric Opera will celebrate Sir Andrew Davis’s magnificent two-decade tenure as music director with a special concert on Friday, April 1 at 7:00 pm at the Lyric Opera House. Sir Andrew will conduct Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, the "Choral," music’s most exalted hymn to the human spirit. Beethoven’s 9th is one of Sir Andrew’s favorite works and the first time it will be performed on Lyric’s stage. Audiences eagerly await the return of Sir Andrew Davis to the podium at Lyric, and this one-night-only performance is almost sold out.

The program will begin with the Chicago premiere of new choral work, A Seed of Joy, by Sir Andrew’s son, Ed Frazier Davis, an impressively gifted composer. This concert will be dedicated to the memory of Sir Andrew’s late wife and Ed’s mother, Lady Gianna Rolandi Davis, who, after a distinguished international career as a performing artist, served as director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center from 2006 to 2013.

The performance concert features the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and four outstanding soloists: bass-baritone Eric Owens, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members, soprano Mathilda Edge and mezzo-soprano Kathleen Felty.

  • Soprano Mathilda Edge is in her third year with the Ryan Opera Center. In Lyric’s 2019/20 Season, she was seen as Berta in The Barber of Seville, and her 2021/22 Lyric appearances include Lady in Waiting in Macbeth and First Lady in The Magic Flute.

  • Mezzo-soprano Kathleen Felty is also a third-year Ryan Opera Center Ensemble member. In Lyric’s 2019/20 Season, she sang the role of Laura in Luisa Miller, and last fall she performed Third Lady in The Magic Flute in the 2021/22 Season.

  • Tenor Matthew Polenzani, an alumnus of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, has appeared at Lyric in 15 roles since his debut in Simon Boccanegra in the 1995/96 Season, most recently the title role in Idomeneo in the 2018/19 Season, Nadir in The Pearl Fishers and the Duke in Rigoletto in the 2017/18 Season, and Tamino in The Magic Flute in the 2016/17 Season. His 2021/22 Season includes three appearances at the Metropolitan Opera and his much-anticipated role debut as Cavaradossi in Tosca at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland.

  • Bass-baritone Eric Owens has performed seven roles at Lyric since his debut as General Leslie Groves in Doctor Atomic in the 2007/08 Season, most recently The Wanderer (Wotan) in Siegfried in the 2018/19 Season, Wotan in Die Walküre in the 2017/18 Season, Wotan in Das Rheingold in the 2016/17 Season, and Porgy in Porgy and Bess in the 2014/15 Season. His 2021/22 Season includes a return to the role of Porgy at the Metropolitan Opera, a performance which earned him his second Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording, following his win for Doctor Atomic in 2012.

  • Ed Frazier Davis is an English-American composer, baritone, and conductor. He is the founder and director of the Institute for Choral Creativity, an organization dedicated to building composer-ensemble relationships and fostering the creation and appreciation of contemporary choral music. He is also Senior Composer-in-Residence for the William Baker Choral Foundation.

  • Sir Andrew Davis served as music director and principal conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago from 2000 through the 2020/21 Season. Since his debut engagement in the 1987/88 Season, he led 690 opera performances plus nine special concerts at Lyric, as well as the majority of Lyric’s free concerts in Millennium Park.

  • Only one chance to see this concert, Friday April 1 at 7:00pm

  • Performance in English and German with English titles above the stage.

  • A running time of 95 minutes with no intermission.

  • Lyric Opera of Chicago requires that all audience members provide a valid photo identification and proof of two or more doses of vaccine against Covid-19. Additionally, facial masks worn properly over the nose and mouth, will continue to be required through the end of the season for all patrons for the duration of their time in the opera house. For updated information about Lyric’s ongoing health and safety protocols visit lyricopera.org/safety.

Learn more about this one-night-only concert with Sir Andrew Davis and current ticket availability.

Lyric Opera's 2021|22 Season is presented by

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.

Sir Andrew Davis Conducts Beethoven 9 is generously made possible by

Lead Sponsor

Additional support is provided by Lyric Opera of Chicago's Production Circle.

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.

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