August 16, 2022

Beyond the stage

Art has a beautiful way of extending beyond the bounds of its original form into other mediums, and opera and musical theater are no different. From remixes to retellings, read on to see a few of the melodies and moments you may recognize onstage this season.

"Sunrise, Sunset." "Matchmaker, Matchmaker." "Tradition." Fiddler on the Roof is a Broadway classic with some of the most recognizable tunes. One song you're sure to know, whether you've seen Fiddler or not, is "If I Were a Rich Man." This song was adapted in 1993 by British female ragga duo Louchie Lou & Michie One with their debut single "Rich Girl." Gwen Stefani and Eve later covered this duo's song in 2004 which received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and topped charts in the United States and abroad.

Gwen Stefani - Rich Girl (Official Music Video) ft. Eve

An ominous twist on a childhood classic, Hansel and Gretel will be a "deliciously dark" (Chicago Tribune) treat. As the brother and sister duo battle against hunger and an actual witch, they learn that not all that glitters is gold — or, a perfectly golden brown cookie. From its first publication in the Grimm brother's 1812 Grimm's Fairy Tales to a recent retelling in Oz Perkins's 2020 horror film Gretel & Hansel, the story has been admirably adapted making audiences fall in love with it all over again.

Dr. Opera - Session 1: Hansel and Gretel

Lyric Opera & The Second City put the fun in dysfunctional with the classical music world's therapist of choice: Dr. Opera. His first appointment? Adult children Hansel & Gretel grapple with the misadventures of their youth.

Inspired by Rossini's The Barber of Seville, The Factotum is a perfect balance of opera with a modern twist. Set in a Black barbershop on the Southside of Chicago, co-creators Will Liverman and DJ King Rico merge contemporary genres like gospel, soul, funk, and R&B with classically trained voices all while paying homage to Rossini's opera buffa in all the right ways.

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 K-Rico.

What do a singing orange, Doritos, and Beyoncé have in common? If you guessed Bizet's Carmen, you're correct! One of the most frequently performed operas in the world, it's no wonder that Carmen holds space where opera usually does not. Popular arias, including the "Habanera" and the "Toreador Song" are in constant use in popular culture and Carmen's story is no different. This classic has been adapted in Hammerstein's 1943 musical Carmen Jones, Wong Tin-Lam's 1960 film The Wild, Wild Rose, and Robert Townsend's 2001 film Carmen: A Hip Hopera, starring Beyoncé as Carmen.

Habanera | Muppet Music Video

Lyric’s 2022/23 Season reflects the ways art forms can expand beyond their intended audiences and take on a life of their own. Join us this season and see firsthand why opera and musical theater are admired across creative mediums and around the world. 

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Header photo: Sondra Radvanovsky as Elvira in Lyric's 2009/10 production of Verdi's Ernani