Thank you for joining us for Bel Canto...

...Lyric’s first main stage world premiere in more than ten years.

Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of ChicagoAs you know, the opera is based on Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel which was published in 2001. We have been planning and preparing Bel Canto the opera for the last five years.
We are living in troubling and volatile times. On an almost daily basis, the news is dominated by reports of horrifying and indiscriminate violence. Through its years of planning, none of us could have known how startlingly topical Bel Canto would be at the time of its world premiere performances.

Bel Canto — both the novel and the opera — is a work of fiction. While the event that triggers its story is based on a real hostage crisis (in Lima, Peru in 1996/7), it is not a documentary. However, the production contains scenes of violence, and includes loud theatrical gunfire.

At the heart of both the novel and the opera is the idea that humane relationships can develop in the least likely of circumstances, with the voice of Roxane Coss, the world’s most famous operatic soprano, providing a humanizing catalyst. Those of us who care passionately about the arts dream that, in real life, works of art offer insight and maybe even some healing in our turbulent times.

I believe that opera is a relevant art form and must not shy away from dealing with contemporary and disturbing subjects. Hopefully, we can play a part in stimulating thought, discourse and debate.

We will host a thirty minute discussion about Bel Canto on the main floor of the opera house immediately following each performance*.

Please enjoy Bel Canto.

 Anthony Freud
Anthony Freud
General Director

*Please note: There will be no post-performance discussion on Friday, January 8.