January marks the start of a new year — and three much-anticipated classic operas that will open in January and February, replete with drama, laughter, and breathtaking moments of music and theater. Preview the spring operas below, and enjoy musical excerpts from Warner Classics — and recommendations for great recordings for all of our 2015/16 operas!
Nabucco — Triumph with usGiuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco sweeps you from one thrilling highlight to another in a constant frenzy of excitement. In the career of the greatest of all Italian opera composers, this was his first great triumph. Every note brings you the excitement of Verdi’s youthful genius.
There are three formidable leading roles, and they all have fabulous opportunities to show blazing intensity onstage: the Babylonian king Nabucco, whose fury toward the Hebrew slaves changes to compassion and solidarity in the course of the opera; the crazed Abigaille, whose lust for power is her undoing; and the fanatical Hebrew prophet Zaccaria. Each gets thrilling arias, demanding the vocal prowess of a true master singer. And then there are Verdi’s choruses for the Hebrews — including the greatest hit of all operatic choruses, “Va, pensiero”!
Act III, "Deh perdona, deh perdona"
Act III, "Va, pensiero"
Nabucco opens January 23: click here for tickets.
Der Rosenkavalier — Delight with usComedy, romance, and some of the most rapturously beautiful music ever composed — that’s Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. You’ll laugh uproariously as you watch the handsome Octavian play a memorable trick on the boorish Baron Ochs. And tears will come to your eyes as the Marschallin, Octavian’s lover, nobly gives him up after he falls in love with sweet young Sophie.
18th-century Vienna, in all its amorous intrigue and its deeply heartfelt sentiment, comes to life in Strauss’s sumptuous melodies. There’s nothing in opera to surpass the breathtaking “Presentation of the Rose,” the glorious waltz that ends Act Two, and above all, the exquisite final trio. It’s there that you’ll have unforgettable evidence of this composer’s lifelong love affair with the soprano voice. You’ll melt when you hear the magnificence of Strauss’s orchestra — sheer sensuous pleasure!
Act II, "Herr Kavalier"
Act III, "Hab mir’s gelobt"
Don’t forget to secure your tickets: February 8 – March 13.
Romeo and Juliet — Fall in love with usThe most celebrated love story of all time, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, illuminates the operatic stage as composed by Charles Gounod (of Faust fame). All the great scenes in the play are here — and most of the wonderful characters, too — but Gounod concentrates on the lovers, with stupendous arias and no fewer than four heavenly love duets.
This opera gives you white-hot drama (just wait until you see the spectacular duel scene!), but at the same time all the passion of young love and longing. Gounod gives it all an elegance that is unique, as well as heartstopping beauty. Juliet’s waltz, Romeo’s balcony-scene soliloquy, the poignant farewell duet and the devastating tomb scene — all this and more await you in one of the true classics of French opera.
Act I, "Je veux vivre"
Act II, "Ah, lève-toi, soleil"
Romeo and Juliet’s love story hits Lyric’s stage February 22, click here for tickets!
Special thanks to Warner Classics, the Official Educator and Promotion Music Provider of Lyric Opera of Chicago. Stop by our Audience Services table in the lobby during opera performances to receive your free copy of the 2015/16 Season Sampler CD featuring the tracks here, or purchase the full recordings from Warner Classics.
Warner Classics CD Selections for 2015/16:
Mozart THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
Erato — Tomlinson, Rodgers, Bartoli, cond. Barenboim
Warner Classics — Larmore, Gimenez, cond. Rizzi
Warner Classics — Skovhus, Denoke, cond. Metzmacher
Lehár THE MERRY WIDOW
Warner Classics — Schwarzkopf, Waechter, cond. Matacic
Warner Classics — Manuguerra, Scotto, cond. Muti
Strauss DER ROSENKAVALIER
Warner Classics — Schwarzkopf, Ludwig, cond. Karajan
Gounod ROMEO AND JULIET
Warner Classics — Gheorghiu, Alagna, cond. Plasson