Opera Residencies

Due to the ongoing health crisis, delivery of the 2020/21 Opera Residencies has been modified to suit virtual classrooms. In the meantime, we invite you to explore the full scope of this immersive program for students and teachers in anticipation of its return in a future season. To learn more about Lyric Unlimited - Learning & Creative Engagment 2020/21 programs, please visit us here. 

Opera Residencies for Schools pair classroom teachers with professional Lyric teaching artists to enrich students’ learning through opera. Programs are available for grades 1-12 and each program is tailored to customized learning objectives and goals identified by teachers.

Lyric offers three unique in-school residency programs:  

Elementary Opera Residency (Grades 1-5)

Explore Opera Residency (Grades 6-12)

High School Choir Residency (Grades 9-12)

Program Duration: 12 or 18 sessions (typically once a week)
Session Length: One full class period (50-60 minutes) for each participating class
Cost: $2,000 or $3,000 per class (free for qualifying Chicago Public Schools)

This multi-disciplinary program empowers students in grades 1-5 to create and perform an original opera that integrates learning content objectives with arts learning in music, theater, and movement. Teachers and Lyric teaching artists work collaboratively to develop a custom residency plan that addresses desired learning outcomes while students engage in creative storytelling through the art of opera. Teachers determine a session schedule that coordinates with the established class meeting schedule and the program can be implemented any time during the school year.

This program requires participating classroom teachers to attend a Professional Development Workshop at Lyric before the start of the residency. Teachers may also elect to enhance the experience by scheduling an optional backstage tour of the Lyric Opera House, and attend a performance of Lyric's Opera in the Neighborhoods.

The Elementary Opera Residency program downloadable PDF contains helpful information regarding the goals, structure, and application process.

Elementary Opera Residency (grades 1-5)

The Elementary Opera Residency empowers students in grades 1-5 to create and perform an original opera that integrates learning content objectives with arts learning in music, theater, and movement.

Teachers and Lyric teaching artists work collaboratively to develop a custom residency plan that addresses desired learning outcomes while students engage in creative storytelling through the art of opera.

Teachers determine a session schedule that coordinates with the established class meeting schedule and the program can be implemented any time during the school year.

Explore Opera (grades 6-12)

Explore Opera engages students in grades 6-12 in an in-depth study of opera through activities that integrate language arts, music, drama, and performance skills. Students gain a rich understanding of a selected work, its history and context, and important themes.

Working in collaboration with the classroom teacher, a Lyric Teaching Artist guides students through a creative process to reinterpret select operatic scenes with their own words and music.

The program includes a field trip to the Lyric Opera House to attend a final dress rehearsal. Teachers determine a session schedule that coordinates with the established class meeting schedule.

Explore Opera

High School Choir Residency (grades 9-12)

The High School Choir Residency supports vocal instruction in high school (grades 9-12) choir programs by providing regular, year-round assistance from a Lyric professional teaching artist. Teaching artists work collaboratively with choir teachers to deliver student instruction and foster student artistic growth. The program features three integrated components:

  • Regular, ongoing music learning support in the choral classroom.
  • Special guest artists in-school visits.
  • An embedded Explore Opera unit of study including a field trip to the Lyric Opera House for a final dress rehearsal.

Opera Residencies Sponsors

Lloyd A. Fry Foundation

Polks Bros. Foundation

Paul M. Angell Family Foundation

Lyric Unlimited - Learning & Creative Engagement Sponsors

The Beaubien Family

The Grainger Foundation

Robert and Evelyn McCullen

Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, Inc.

Rose L. Shure and Sidney N. Shure

Wintrust Community Banks

Anonymous Donor

Photos: Kyle Flubacker, Jaclyn Simpson