March 19, 2021

Lyric Family Favorites: March 19

A great opera performance has so many elements to appreciate—soaring individual voices, splendid melodies, a grand chorus, a powerful orchestra, evocative sets, and brilliant costumes—and when they all come together in one place, it’s a truly magical experience. This scene from Lyric’s 2016/17 production of Massenet’s Don Quichotte perfectly exemplifies this wonderful confluence of factors. Mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine, one of the most acclaimed French singers of her generation, adds breathtaking color and ornamentation to the aria “Quand la femme a vingt ans,” and the crowd gathered below her window in the Spanish plaza echo their reply with a rousing chorus.

Then, see how opera has dipped into political themes over the years, watch Leroy Davis perform in Sole e Amore, and see our weekly streaming picks for next week, including Magical Music Around the World; the Ryan Opera Center Gala. Plus, don’t miss Maestro Enrique Mazzola as he leads the London Philharmonic in Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 next Wednesday.

Politics in opera

Opera is all about love and betrayal, right? Not always—political power struggles have been central to opera plots for centuries. Numerous composers from Beethoven to John Adams have written operas centered around tyrannical rules and political movements.

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Leroy Davis sings “E l’uccellino”

You’re probably familiar with several of Puccini’s many famous operas but you may never have heard this delightful lullaby. In an excerpt from Sole e Amore, Ryan Opera Center baritone Leroy Davis lends a sweet playfulness to the children’s song.

Week of March 22: Streaming opportunities

Make room for more opera in your life this week with our selections for music to stream from around the country. Don’t miss Magical Music Around the World; the Ryan Opera Center Gala, premiering this Sunday, March 21 at 6:00pm CT.

See our picks

Lyric Opera Streaming On Demand

The first set of live-opera audio recordings from Lyric’s archives includes Verdi’s Luisa Miller (2019), Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (2020), and the second installment in Wagner's Ring cycle, Die Walküre (2017), with many more releases to look forward to in the coming months.

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Photos: Todd Rosenberg, Dan Rest, Kyle Flubacker, 2021 Darris Lee Harris Photography