Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Lately

Inside the Youth Opera Council with Adina Harris

Lyric Unlimited's Youth Opera Council had a second great season. Officially launched with the 2013/14 season, the Youth Opera Council is a group of 22 high school-aged opera lovers who are dedicated to spreading the word about this fantastic art form. Here's an insider's perspective on the council from member Adina Harris, who talks about the "wild ride of opera."


Adina Harris (second from left) poses with Youth Opera Council members and soprano Ana María Martínez (second from right) at Millennium Park in September 2014

Lyric Unlimited's Youth Opera Council had a second great season. Officially launched with the 2013/14 season, the Youth Opera Council is a group of 20 high school-aged opera lovers who are dedicated to spreading the word about this fantastic art form. Among their many activities, they have weekly meetings, have conversations with Lyric staff and guest artists, and have the opportunity to attend every mainstage production. They even plan special events like A Night at the Opera so their friends can experience Lyric.  

Here's an insider's perspective on the council from member Adina Harris, who talks about the "wild ride of opera."

Journey to Youth Opera Council

I first heard about the Youth Opera Council when my choir director posted a flyer in his room. The past year I was involved in a program at the Goodman Theatre that I really enjoyed. I met a group of extremely interesting people, learned how to be a theater critic, and saw all of the plays for the season for free. Reading the description and application requirements, I thought, "This would be a cool thing to do this year!" My choir director noticed my interest and also added that it was a really great program and I had a good chance of getting accepted. With those words of encouragement ringing in my head, I went home that same day and submitted my application. I soon received an e-mail accepting my application and requesting an interview. After an amazing interview with Alejandra Boyer, the coordinator of the Youth Opera Council, I found myself on the Youth Opera Council for the 2014/15 season!

First Meeting

Now that I was a part of the YOC, the next step was of course the meetings. Every Wednesday from 5:30-7pm, perfect time and date! My mom dropped me off in front of the entrance and as I pushed through the revolving doors, several questions plagued my mind. What was it going to be like? Would I meet any fun people on the council? What will they be like? Can I keep up with all these opera lovers? I walked down the hallway of the 8th floor, turned and entered through an open doorway. So far, the only face I recognized was Alejandra, and with her welcoming smile, I sat down in between two of my fellow council mates. The chattering ended as Alejandra called us to order and began the agenda. "Let's go around the table and say our name, grade, school, and your favorite musical/theater moment of the past two weeks." As we went around the table, I heard musical/theater moments that confirmed one thing in my mind. This council might be made up of members from all walks of life, but one thing definitely united us: our love for the theater and opera.  

 
Photos from Youth Opera Council events: A Night at the Opera reception before Don Giovanni (left) and chalk drawing to promote Porgy and Bess (right). 

Wild Ride of Opera

Throughout the season, the Youth Opera Council was able to do some amazing things and I'm so happy I was a part of it. Everything from planning our Night at the Opera events for our classmates, chalk drawings, and special talk sessions with opera stars and important members of Lyric's staff made me realize how many different levels are involved in running an opera company and getting opera out to the masses.

 
An in-depth look at A Night at the Opera, created and edited by Youth Opera Council member Lauren Craig

One talk really stands out in my memory and that's when director Matthew Ozawa came to speak to the council. From the moment he stepped in with his bright smile and black framed glasses, I determined that Matthew Ozawa was my spirit animal. He told us about his performing arts company, Mozawa, and how its goal is "to break down the barriers that exist between differing artistic media and cultures." I realized that Lyric is trying to do the same thing, and I'm so happy that Matthew works with them because they both clearly have the same goal. Lyric Opera and Ozawa both want to show the world that opera is not just a stuffy art form for one generation, but an art form that should be admired by all for its technique and mastery.   

 
(clockwise from top left) Adina and Youth Opera Council members met with Lyric General Director Anthony Freud, soprano Amanda Majeski and mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, and Lyric creative consultant Renée Fleming. 

About Adina

Hello! My name is Adina Harris and I am a senior at Providence St. Mel. I will be going to Iowa State University in the fall to major in Animal Sciences. I love volunteering at my local animal shelter and participating in theater programs that expose me to all manners of theater.

Want to Learn More?

Here's a look back at the Youth Opera Council's inaugural 2013/14 season:

 

Photo credits:

  • Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park photo credit Robert Kusel
  • A Night at the Opera photo credit Jaclyn Simpson
  • Adina Harris photo courtesy Adina Harris
Subjects:

Audiences are crazy for CAROUSEL

You've read the great reviews. You've seen our fabulous stars on TV. Now hear directly from Carousel  fans just like you why this amazing new production is the theater event of the season. Don't delay and see this show before it closes on May 3.

You've read the great reviews. You've seen our fabulous stars on TV. Now hear directly from Carousel  fans just like you why this amazing new production is the theater event of the season. Don't delay - the show must close May 3!

 

And if that's not enough, here's just a sampling of some of the social media chatter. Carousel is lighting up the Twitterverse and beyond, especially from some die-hard fans that want to see this great production come to Broadway. Plus, don't forget to check out our online collection of Stage Door Selfies, a look at our fabulous stars posing with some of their biggest fans after each performance. 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:

  • Carousel at Lyric Opera of Chicago photos credit Todd Rosenberg

 

CAROUSEL by the numbers

Lyric's production of Carousel  is one of the grandest spectacles ever to be seen at the Civic Opera House. Here are just a few of the numbers that make all of the onstage splendor possible. Don't miss your opportunity to see a program that the Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones gave a perfect four stars and says "has the smell of Broadway!" Catch this ride before it leaves Chicago on May 3.

Lyric's production of Carousel  is one of the grandest spectacles ever to be seen at the Civic Opera House. Here are just a few of the numbers that make all of the onstage splendor possible. Don't miss your opportunity to see a program that the Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones gave a perfect four stars and says "has the smell of Broadway!" Catch this ride before it leaves Chicago on May 3.

890

Lights in the working carousel that was built especially for this production

600

Fiber optic stars. Both the carousel lights and the stars give this production an otherworldly feel. Celebrated Italian visual artist Paolo Ventura is making his theatrical design debut with Carousel

300

Fake "puff-puff" cigarettes will be used during the entire course of the run. You're most likely to find them in the hands of Billy Bigelow, Mrs. Mullin, and that ne'er-do-well Jigger Craigin!

220

Total costumes in the show, all designed by Tony Award-winner Catherine Zuber. Lyric's wardrobe department has been busy! (To compare, The Sound of Music last season had 130 costumes.)

160

Pairs of shoes. All of those dancers need to hoof in style, fitted with special non-skid soles from Brooks Shoe Repair.

83

Wigs in the show. It takes 40 to 60 hours to create each new wig. Laura Osnes, Jenn Gambatese, Denyce Graves, and Charlotte d'Amboise account for 8 of the wigs—they got two each! And it takes 12 members of Lyric's hair and makeup staff to get everyone ready for each show. 

60

Ensemble members, which may be a Lyric record! This huge cast of singing actors and dancers includes 14 members of the Lyric Opera Chorus. 

37

Musicians in the orchestra, all members (or subs) of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, under the baton of celebrated conductor David Chase.

11

Carousel horses. Five are used on the actual carousel and the other six are in the "dream ballet" sequence, choreographed by the amazing Rob Ashford.

3

Characters in clown makeup.

2

Incredible love stories. Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan are two tornadoes of passion that collide. Carrie Pipperidge and Enoch Snow have a more practical approach, but are no less in love. 

1

Can't-miss experience. Carousel is on stage through May 3!!

 

Photo credits:

  • Carousel production photos credit Robert Kusel and Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Carousel behind-the-scenes photos credit Todd Rosenberg / Lyric Opera of Chicago
  • Carousel costume sketches credit Catherine Zuber

 

 

CAROUSEL is the talk of Chicago!

If the rave reviews weren't enough, the acclaimed cast and creative team of Carousel are making their way around Chicago, whether it's on TV or at a Cubs game. Don't miss your chance to see this amazing production. This Carousel must move on May 3!

If the rave reviews weren't enough, the acclaimed cast and creative team of Carousel are making their way around Chicago, whether it's on TV or at a Cubs game. Don't miss your chance to see this amazing production. This Carousel must move on May 3!

The entire cast and director/choreographer Rob Ashford were interviewed on WCIU's "You and Me This Morning" about starting the rehearsal process:

;

Jenn Gambatese, who plays the irrepressible Carrie Pipperidge, performed “Mr. Snow” on ABC 7’s  Windy City Live and gave away some tickets to lucky audience members:

ABC 7's Janet Davies interviewed the incomparable Charlotte d'Amboise and Tony Roberts about their illustrious careers and current roles in Carousel:

Mr. and Mrs. Snow—Jenn Gambatese and Matthew Hydzik—went on  WTTW's Chicago Tonight  to talk with host Phil Ponce about the show and performed "When the Children Are Asleep."

 

Matthew also performed another one of Enoch's signature songs, "In a Manner of Speaking," his ode to his plans for a big sardine factory…and a big family:

 

Jarrod Emick, who plays everyone's favorite bad boy Jigger Craigin, sang the National Anthem at the April 14 Cubs game. 

 

Denyce Graves and Matthew Hydzik visited WGN Radio's Andrea Darlas for an in-depth conversation about preparing for Carousel. Tony Roberts also stopped by WGN Radio to talk with Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano.

Michigan Ave magazine interviewed and photographed the cast of Carousel.

CS magazine interviewed Steven Pasquale about his dream role of Billy Bigelow. 

The Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones interviewed director Rob Ashford about the show and speculated on whether it is Broadway bound. Carousel stars Steven Pasquale and Laura Osnes also recorded a special version of "The Bench Scene" for the Tribune's Theater Loop Showcase video series

Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times talked with Ashford and stars Steven Pasquale and Laura Osnes.

Tony Roberts also reflected on his career and talked about his upcoming memoir in this profile in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Photo credits:
  • Steven Pasquale in CS magazine
  • Jarrod Emick performs at Wrigley Field
  • Laura Osnes, Jenn Gambatese, and Steven Pasquale in Michigan Ave
  • Jenn Gambatese and Matthew Hydzik on Chicago Tonight
 

Select an image to pin

    << July 2015 >>
    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2 3 4
    5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    12 13 14 15 16 17 18
    19 20 21 22 23 24 25
    26 27 28 29 30 31  

    Subjects

    Tags