Lyric Lately

Welcome to the Lyric Lately blog

Our blog is here to educate and amuse, with enlightening articles, exclusive artist interviews, behind-the-scenes photos, engaging videos, and more. Take a look below to see what's been happening at Lyric Lately!

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Share the beauty of music on #GivingTuesday

Share the beauty of music on #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday is a social movement dedicated to celebrating how everyday acts of generosity by ordinary people make extraordinary things happen. When you make a gift to Lyric Opera of Chicago in support of #GivingTuesday we'll put your donation to work presenting virtual concerts, generating a wide range of online content for opera lovers, showcasing the talents of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Ensemble, and sharing educational resources for adults and children to enjoy and learn at home. Additionally, we are exploring bold—and safe—avenues for creating opera during this time.

Holiday Zoom Backgrounds

Holiday Zoom Backgrounds

Fa-la-la-la-la! Deck your screens with these fun and festive Zoom backgrounds. Whether you long to be on the snowy streets of Paris with the characters from La bohème, listening for the stroke of midnight with Cinderella, or simply want to add a wintery touch to your next Zoom meeting, we hope you enjoy these virtual backgrounds.

Get to Know: Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Get to Know: Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Lyric has announced exciting highlights from the 2021/22 Season, one of which will be the Chicago premiere of Terence Blanchard's powerful Fire Shut Up in My Bones. Learn more about this bold and affecting opera, a co-production between Lyric and the Metropolitan Opera, before tickets go on sale.

Sir Andrew Davis and The Marriage of Figaro

Sir Andrew Davis and The Marriage of Figaro

Lyric's music director, Sir Andrew Davis, has a long history with Mozart, and especially with Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) on the Lyric Opera House stage. As Lyric continues its final year of Davis's tenure as music director, let's take a look back at the Figaro productions that have provided us exceptional pleasure, both onstage and in the pit, under the baton of our beloved Sir Andrew Davis.

Which Lyric digital experience is right for you?

Which Lyric digital experience is right for you?

Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of the streaming options available these days? If you're not sure where to begin, take this brief quiz to find the perfect first virtual experience.

Spotlight on EmpowerYouth mentors

Spotlight on EmpowerYouth mentors

EmpowerYouth!, Lyric's partnership with the Chicago Urban League that was launched in 2017, is back for its fourth year. Learn more about the talented multidisciplinary artists who will serve as mentors to this season's ensemble in this blog post.

Spotlight on Ana María Martínez

Spotlight on Ana María Martínez

Puerto-Rican-born soprano Ana María Martínez has been a Lyric favorite since her debut in the 2008/09 Season. Learn more about the Grammy Award-winning soprano's career and take a look back at some of her Lyric highlights in this blog post.

What is a Master Class

What is a Master Class

To those who may not be familiar with the concept, master classes exist across many artistic mediums, and consist of an expert in a particular field sharing knowledge and guidance with a participating student. Learn how Lyric utilizes this format to cultivate the next generations of opera singers and music performers.

Rossini: composing the perfect meal

Rossini: composing the perfect meal

Gioachino Rossini is one of opera's most beloved composers—writing 39 operas in his first 37 years, including The Barber of Seville, La donna del Lago, and William Tell. However, after the premiere of William Tell, Rossini abruptly retired from composing to pursue his second passion—food. Learn more about his reputation as a celebrated gourmand and try out some Rossini-inspired recipes for yourself!

Spotlight on Renée Fleming

Spotlight on Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming is no stranger to Lyric Opera of Chicago. While the Grammy Award-winning soprano has performed at every major opera house around the world, on the soundtracks of Oscar-winning films, and even at the Super Bowl, we have been proud to call her a member of the Lyric family for more than 25 years.

What's happening at Lyric this fall

What's happening at Lyric this fall

While the Lyric Opera House doesn't have live productions on stage due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, that doesn't mean that Lyric Opera of Chicago is dormant! Learn more about what's happening at Lyric, whether it's online or in our building, as we prepare to welcome you back to the opera house when circumstances allow.

Give opera's regard to Broadway

Give opera's regard to Broadway

Did you know that some Broadway musicals are based on operas? Just as opera takes inspiration from novels or plays, musicals can be influenced by the operas that came before them! Here are some famous examples of musicals that are based on operas, as well as some typically classical works that have been seen on the Great White Way.

Opera Has Made It To TikTok

Opera Has Made It To TikTok

That's right—opera is all over TikTok, if you look for it. Whether it's from fellow acclaimed opera houses, directly from our favorite artists, or from up-and-coming young opera hopefuls, there is yet another "virtual concert" happening daily on the TikTok app as artists share the joy of music with the world.

Your seat awaits

Your seat awaits

When performances resume in the Lyric Opera House, new seats will be waiting for you in the Ardis Krainik Theatre. Thanks to dedicated funding from an Anonymous Donor, this project represents an exciting step forward for Lyric's Patron Accessibility initiative. Learn more about our updated main floor sightlines; wider, better-lit aisles; additional wheelchair seating; and lush, state-of-the-art seats in this blog post.

Get to Know: Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas

Get to Know: Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas

Lyric recently announced some highlights of the 2021/22 Season, one of which will be the Lyric Opera of Chicago premiere of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. Learn more about this magical opera before tickets go on sale next year!

A look at Master Classes with Sir Andrew Davis

A look at Master Classes with Sir Andrew Davis

Step into the rehearsal room with Lyric's longtime music director Sir Andrew Davis as he leads a series of one-on-one master classes with members of the 2020/21 Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Ensemble. Look behind the scenes at how these master classes were flimed—using strict health and safety protocols to keep our artists and technicians safe!

Operatic chills and thrills

Operatic chills and thrills

Just in time for Halloween, take a look back at some of the spookiest operas that have graced our stage. From witches and ghosts to murderous barbers, this list is sure to get you in the spirit (👻) of the season. Scroll to the end for a Spotify playlist of some of our favorite haunting melodies from these eerie operas!

Highlights planned for the 2021|22 Season

Highlights planned for the 2021|22 Season

Even though we won't be coming together this season for opera in the same way, Lyric audiences have much to look forward to on the artistic front. In addition to the widely accessible virtual programs Lyric is offering this season, we're excited to offer a preview of a few of the titles planned for the upcoming 2021/22 Season with notes from Lyric Opera of Chicago's General Director, President & CEO, Anthony Freud.

Spotlight on Lawrence Brownlee

Spotlight on Lawrence Brownlee

A familiar face—and voice—at Lyric, tenor Lawrence Brownlee has been an audience favorite since his company debut in 2015. Here, we take a look back at some of his operatic triumphs and sold-out concerts at the Lyric Opera House and around the city of Chicago.

Spot Maestro Mazzola

Spot Maestro Mazzola

In great demand at opera houses and concert halls around the world, you never know where Maestro Enrique Mazzola will be jetting off to next. In 2021, the internationally renowned conductor will make Chicago his home base as he becomes Lyric's new music director. Thanks to a little photoshop magic, he has stepped out of the orchestra pit and into some of his favorite operas. Can you spot him?

Fall Zoom Backgrounds

Fall Zoom Backgrounds

Leaves are falling, the days are growing shorter, and there is a chill in the air that invites you to curl up with a good book or hide under the covers while watching a scary movie. Whether you have a virtual Halloween party planned with the ghouls or a socially-distanced date night with your boo, we hope you'll treat yourself to one of these Zoom backgrounds from some of our spookiest productions.

Lyric Opera of Chicago announces reimagined season programs

Lyric Opera of Chicago announces reimagined season programs

At the core of Lyric’s mission and vision is a commitment to redefining what it means to experience great opera today. Though our stage may be dark through December 31, 2020 due to public health considerations, Lyric is thrilled to present an exciting slate of virtual performance experiences giving you a multitude of ways to continue to make music, opera, and Lyric a part of your life.

Remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Remembering Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

A pioneer in the legal fight for women's rights and a historic member of the Supreme Court for 27 years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg left behind an incredible legacy. In honor of her recent passing, we look back at Justice Ginsburg's love for opera and the ways she touched the lives of many, in the arts and beyond.

J'Nai Bridges in Conversation: For the Love of Lyric

J'Nai Bridges in Conversation: For the Love of Lyric

Mezzo-soprano and Ryan Opera Center alumna J'Nai Bridges talks about her experience filming the For the Love of Lyric virtual concert and why COVID-19 inspires her for the future of her art form.

From "Ryan Opera Center From Home" to "Ryan Opera Center At Work"

From "Ryan Opera Center From Home" to "Ryan Opera Center At Work"

As Lyric’s artists and administrators began to work from home in March, Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center Ensemble jumped into gear and launched the “Ryan Opera Center From Home” series. From their homes, Ensemble members captured moving arias and fun classics and the videos were shared on social media and in emails to Lyric’s patrons, lifting spirits and reminding Lyric audiences that the music is far from gone. Now that safety protocols allow for limited in-person collaboration, Lyric is making the shift from “Ryan Opera Center From Home” to “Ryan Opera Center At Work.”

From the Opera House to the writing room: Carson's Lyric Story

From the Opera House to the writing room: Carson's Lyric Story

Carson Cook loved music and singing from a very young age—he was even a season ticket holder at Lyric as a freshman in high school. Carson’s experiences as a member of Lyric’s Youth Opera Council and as an audience member at Lyric helped solidify his desire for a career in vocal performance, and even inspired him to write an opera libretto at the age of 22.

Lyric Libations: For the Love of Lyric

Lyric Libations: For the Love of Lyric

Whether you're planning a Zoom happy hour with friends, or just looking for a tasty drink to accompany a night of beautiful music, here are some themed cocktails that are sure to have you feeling the Lyric love!

How to watch FOR THE LOVE OF LYRIC as a family

How to watch FOR THE LOVE OF LYRIC as a family

For the Love of Lyric is the perfect concert to introduce a young person in your life to music and theater! To help you, we have created a special, printable family streaming guide for you to use as you watch For the Love of Lyric. With the family streaming guide, your kids can learn more about the performers and their music selections, dive into activities that will test their music knowledge, and play interactive games sure to inspire imagination as they watch For the Love of Lyric

The Ryan Opera Center returns to the airwaves!

The Ryan Opera Center returns to the airwaves!

One of the most unique opportunities provided to the Ensemble is the Ryan Opera Center’s monthly broadcast recital series with WFMT 98.7, in which Ensemble members record selections for each program, which is then aired and streamed globally. The 2020/21 series is just about to start, enabling audiences around the world to hear from Lyric artists this season.

Photo: Cory Weaver