August 29, 2022

Catching up with Enrique

With temperatures finally beginning to drop, and a fall full of hefty opera on the horizon, we wanted to catch up with our music director, Enrique Mazzola, to see how he spent his summer, and what he is the most excited for in the 2022/23 Season. His highlights include a summer residency at Austria's Bregenzer Festspiele — where he was recently appointed conductor in residence — leading Madama Butterfly with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, collecting records, and preparing to conduct three operas and a concert back at Lyric this fall. Find his thoughts on this and more as we catch up with Enrique.

Lyric: How has your time in Bregenz been?

Mazzola: Really exciting, Madama Butterfly has been an enormous success and it’s really great to have 7,000 people in the audience every night, including many young people and also a lot of people going to the opera for the first time!


Lyric: What are you missing most about Chicago?

Mazzola: Just the people and the city; I am missing being in Chicago and interacting with my Lyric family.


Lyric: You're conducting three operas and a concert this fall at Lyric — what are you most excited about for each (Ernani, Don Carlos, Le Comte Ory, The Brightness of Light)?

Mazzola: Well, with Ernani opening the 2022/23 Season, how can I not be excited about opening the season with this “early Verdi” masterpiece? For Don Carlos, it’s my first time conducting this epic opera, and I can’t wait to see it on stage with our fabulous cast! Le Comte Ory, it’s an unknown opera in Chicago, but I actually have conducted it often: for me, it’s one of the best Rossini ever! And Renée Fleming? I had a concert with Renée and the London Philharmonic Orchestra last April, and it was one of the most memorable moments of my life, and I want to repeat this feeling again here at Lyric!

Lyric: Working with The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, you've taken Donald Lee III under your wing. Are you looking forward to working with him and the new Ensemble in the fall?

Mazzola: Indeed! So much! Donald and all the Ryan Opera Center members are a treasure for Chicago and Lyric Opera, and I had so much fun with all of them at Millennium Park!

Lyric: You've been record shopping —  what's your song of the summer?

Mazzola: Liza Minnelli - Lucky Lady


Lyric: Let’s go over some other summer favorites.
Your drink of choice?

Mazzola: Moscow Mule


Lyric: Your favorite place to spend your down time?

Mazzola: I have been spending a few days in the mountains behind Bregenz, called Bregenzerwald: I have spent fantastic moments of calm, and relaxation in the silence of pure nature.


Lyric: Any TV shows you've been binging?

Mazzola: This summer no TV, I conducted almost every night!!!


Check out what Enrique is working on this season.

September 09 - October 01, 2022



The 2022/23 Season opens with a thrilling continuation of Lyric's acclaimed early Verdi series. This "love quadrangle" inspires grand-scale arias and ensembles, bursting with the unique energy and drive that were Verdi's own. Music Director Enrique Mazzola leads a quartet of world-renowned Verdians in Lyric's sumptuously beautiful production that is designed to bring you an exhilarating operatic experience.

October 08, 2022

Renée Fleming and Rod Gilfry in Concert

Renée Fleming and Rod Gilfry in Concert

The incomparable Renée Fleming will be joined by charismatic baritone Rod Gilfry for an extraordinary musical event: the Chicago premiere of The Brightness of Light, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Kevin Puts.

November 09 - 25, 2022

Don Carlos

Don Carlos

Acknowledged by audiences and critics alike as one of the most magnificent achievements in the history of opera, Don Carlos masterfully reveals the private turmoil of very public personalities. In 16th-century Spain, King Philip II is torn apart by his own jealous suspicions that his son, crown prince Carlos, and Queen Elisabeth — Philip's young wife and Carlos's stepmother — are in love. The drama unfolds and washes over you with unforgettable intensity and thrilling musical splendor.

November 13 - 26, 2022

Le Comte Ory

Le Comte Ory

Le Comte Ory is one of opera's most frothy delights, with music that bubbles over like the most effervescent champagne. In this pricelessly witty production, bel canto tenor par excellence Lawrence Brownlee stars in the virtuosic title role — one of his specialties internationally — opposite the Countess of Kathryn Lewek, one of her generation's most scintillating coloratura sopranos. You'll smile from the overture to the happy ending.

Header photo: Enrique Mazzola laughs with Lyric listeners at Sunday in the Park with Lyric; credit: Kyle Flubacker

Photos: Kyle Flubacker, Enrique Mazzola - Instagram