Opera Remix

Lyric Opera of Chicago's premiere of The Factotum is inspired by Rossini’s classic The Barber of Seville, with the setting and musical stylings of a present-day Black barbershop in Chicago. In the same spirit, Chicago youth ages 13-18 are invited to share their own take on classic operatic works. “Opera Remix” encourages young people to sample one of four pre-selected vintage opera recordings below, and, with the help of a digital audio workstation (DAW), bring new life to these historic tracks!

Young artists are encouraged to chop, mix, loop, or warp original recordings as they please  whatever it takes to remix their work to its operatic heights. Click the download arrow next to the song you would like to use below and import it into your own DAW to remix. Bonus: the winner will receive a cash prize of $250 and 4 complimentary tickets to the world premiere of The Factotum at the Harris Theater in February!

Suggested free, browser accessible digital audio workstations include BandLab and Audiotool.

Tracks are due January 22, 2023. 


The inspiration

Creating The Factotum

Creating The Factotum

What does it take to bring a new opera to life? Find out in this behind-the-scenes documentary by Chicago filmmaker Raphael Nash. Follow the development of The Factotum, a new opera inspired by Rossini's The Barber of Seville, created by acclaimed baritone and Ryan Opera Center alumnus Will Liverman and DJ/recording artist DJ King Rico.

Rules and regulations

  • Tracks are due January 22, 2023.
  • Artists must live in the greater Chicago area.
  • Teens 13-18 are allowed to apply. Anyone under 18 must have parent or guardian consent.
  • Track submissions must be uploaded to YouTube, SoundCloud, or other music streaming platforms with the necessary access settings.
  • Track must be at least one minute in length and no longer than four minutes.
  • Final track can not include additional samples from other songs other than the four provided by Lyric.
  • Finalists must be able to provide the full audio file upon request.

“Largo al factotum” from The Barber of Seville

An iconically catchy tune, Figaro uses this boastful song to tell the people of Seville to “Make way for the jack of all trades of the city!” Sung by Titta Ruffo (1920).

“Habanera” from Carmen

One of opera’s most well-known melodies, Carmen tells us in this sultry song that, “Love is like a rebellious bird, which nobody can tame.” Sung by Maria Gay (1921).

“Brünhilde’s Battle Cry” from Die Walküre

With a fearless “ho jo ho to,” the valkyrie Brünhilde leads her fellow warriors into the fray! Sung by Johanna Gadsik (1906).

“Vesti la giubba” (Put on the costume) from Pagliacci

The musical version of the old phrase “tears of a clown,” we find the main character of Pagliacci singing his mournful lament after finding out about his lover’s faithlessness. Sung by Harry Macdonough (1912).

Music submission form

Music rights
If you are the selected winner, which The Factotum performance(s) are you available to attend? *
By participating in this contest, you agree to allow Lyric Opera of Chicago to use any type or reproduction or representation of your submitted entry for use in promotional, marketing, or programmatic activities in relation to this contest and The Factotum, and for the general ongoing promotion of the goals and vision for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Lyric Unlimited. *

Please contact lyricunlimited@lyricopera.org with any issues you may encounter submitting your final work.

Music provided by the Library of Congress, National Jukebox.

Photos: Todd Rosenberg, Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera, Cory Weaver, Kyle Flubacker