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.

The season will open with Verdi's thrilling Macbeth, conducted by Enrique Mazzola, in his first engagement as Lyric's new music director. Anthony Freud comments "This continuation of Lyric's Early Verdi Series will be a new production directed by Sir David McVicar with the same set and costume design team that created Lyric's acclaimed Rusalka for the 2012/13 Season."

Preliminary scenic sketch by John Macfarlane, designer of Macbeth.

For the first time, Chicago audiences will have the opportunity to see acclaimed director Barrie Kosky's incredibly popular production of Mozart's The Magic Flute. "Inspired by the world of silent movies, it has received enormous acclaim around the world for its innovative staging approach and tremendous visual impact" says Freud. Reviewing the production's New York City premiere, The New York Times says "What the audience is in for comes through in the opening scene, a tour de force."

Mozart's The Magic Flute (Photo: Cory Weaver/LA Opera)

The first Spanish-language opera to be performed in a mainstage season at Lyric, Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas follows opera singer Florencia Grimaldi as she journeys deep into the Amazon in search of her long-lost lover Cristóbal. Freud shares that the opera is "inspired by the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez," the Nobel Prize-winning author of Love in the Time of Cholera.

Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas (Photo: Lynn Lane/Houston Grand Opera)

Closing the mainstage opera season in 2021/22 will be Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in My Bones. "Lyric, in a co-production with The Metropolitan Opera, is thrilled to present the Chicago premiere," Anthony Freud says. Grammy Award-winning composer Terence Blanchard got his start as a jazz trumpeter, performing with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and has worked on most of director Spike Lee's films, including the recent Oscar winner BlacKkKlansman, and many others.

Based on Charles M. Blow's memoir of the same name, Fire Shut Up in My Bones explores the author's coming of age in the deep south and his struggle to overcome the trauma and hardship he endured. Its premiere at Opera Theatre of St. Louis was praised by The New York Times as "bold and affecting" and "subtly powerful."

Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in my Bones (photo: Eric Woolsey/Opera Theatre St. Louis)

Maestro Enrique Mazzola will conduct Missy Mazzoli's Proving Up, a "journey into the heart of Manifest Destiny's darkness" (The New York Times). Previously postponed, Freud says "Lyric is committed to presenting new and recent works and this gripping, supernatural drama about the quest for the American dream comes back into our next season."

Mazzoli's Proving Up (photo: James Matthew Daniel/Opera Omaha)

Finally, Lyric will end the season with a grand-scale, Broadway-style production of Warren and Dubin's 42nd Street. "This toe-tapping, high energy production of 42nd Street will be just what we need to round out the 2021/22 Season, and I'm delighted that we will be able to reschedule this work for Lyric audiences with the gorgeous production from the Théâtre du Châtelet" says Freud.

Warren/Dubin's 42nd Street (Photo: Marie-Noëlle Robert/Théâtre du Châtelet)

The full 2021/22 Season will be announced and go on sale in the spring of 2021 — we can't wait to welcome audiences back to the Lyric Opera House. In the meantime, you can watch Lyric's virtual concerts, For the Love of Lyric and Lawrence Brownlee & Friends: The Next Chapter, plus the new web series Breaking Down the Score: Attila with Maestro Enrique Mazzola, and more virtual programming coming soon.

Header image: Kyle Flubacker