Lyric Music & More: April 21 April 21, 2020

Just as you have probably needed to take a step away from some of the people and things you love, so have the artists at Lyric Opera. And what they really love is making music together for you. It’s not surprising, then, that when Lyric had to cancel the Ring, members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra still found a way to perform for our audience, playing individually from apartments and home studios all over the Chicago area, and — as you’ll see — very much sharing the experience together.

So this week, you’ll enjoy a thrilling performance from the “Virtual Lyric Opera Orchestra,” featuring the superb musicians who are usually below stage level in the orchestra pit for performances. You’ll also appreciate an eclectic playlist that captures music from our “Chicago Voices” project and includes selections by beloved singer-songwriter John Prine, whom we recently lost, plus an interview with Rehearsal Department Manager Ben Bell Bern, the title hit from Jesus Christ Superstar, and some fun diversions to pass the time.



 Music from John Prine and other Chicago legends

Chicago Voices: A playlist

Lyric’s “Chicago Voices” project celebrated the many genres of music and artists with roots in our great city. In 2017, a gala concert led by Renée Fleming brought together legendary artists including singer-songwriter John Prine, who we tragically lost earlier this month. We’re so grateful for the memory of this wonderful evening of music-making together. This playlist captures the spirit of the evening with selections from featured artists.

listen now


Get to know Ben Bell Bern

Meet Lyric’s rehearsal department manager

What’s it like to manage the rehearsal department of one of America’s biggest opera companies? “The process can be like solving a seven-dimensional puzzle,” says Ben Bell Bern, who has spent 10 seasons helping to make sure that all of Lyric’s operas and special events smoothly make it to the stage.



A look back at Lyric’s Broadway sensation

Video throwback: Jesus Christ Superstar

Lyric’s premiere of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2018 won audience and critical acclaim. The Tribune called it “fabulous” and “musically thrilling,” while the Sun-Times praised its “lush, glorious sound, the likes of which you’ve never heard” and “explosive” choreography. Revisit the title number with us in this extended-length clip!


Pass the time with these treats

A little fun for all ages

There’s been news coverage lately about the shortage of jigsaw puzzles as people look for ways to pass the time, so we’re sharing two fun diversions that are great for both kids and adults. Enjoy a coloring project starring Lyric Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola, and add a new twist to Hansel and Gretel with this Mad Lib. Whether you’re homeschooling or home alone, we hope you’ve got some good music on in the background.



“[People] are taught to have too much respect for music. They should be taught to love it instead.

Igor Stravinsky

Thank you for being an important part of our Lyric family. The consequences of our recent cancellations are substantial. Contribute to The Heroes' Fund today and your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

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Photos: Todd Rosenberg, Cory Weaver