Lyric Music & More: August 11

Now more than ever, the arts play a vital role in our society. One key aspect of that role is to lift and amplify bold new voices telling stories that capture the world around us. To that end, Lyric has been committed to presenting new and contemporary works that examine critical issues facing people historically and today, and allow audiences the space to consider different perspectives.

This week, we highlight contemporary works presented at Lyric, from the 1997 commission of Amistad, to the celebrated new work Blue. Read up on Lyric’s history of presenting thrilling new operas, then dive in deeper with these articles and videos from Amistad, Dead Man Walking, Blue, and An American Dream.

Read about the thrill of the new

Dead Man Walking: "This Journey"

One of the most riveting operas of the 21st century, Dead Man Walking makes us think in new ways about basic, life-changing concepts, such as guilt, innocence, punishment, and forgiveness. In the first act, Sister Helen ponders the journey that lies ahead of her in becoming a spiritual adviser for the death-row inmate Joseph De Rocher.

An in-depth look at the making of this landmark opera

Amistad: A virtual experience

In late 1997, Lyric gave the world premiere of a work commissioned from composer Anthony Davis, 2020 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music. In collaboration with librettist Thulani Davis and director George C. Wolfe, Davis’s opera retells the 1839 story of the slave ship, La Amistad, whose captives’ rebellion changed the course of history. Learn more about this groundbreaking work in this engaging article from Chicago History Museum, filled with rehearsal photos and illustrations.

Explore history

An extremely personal role for actor Kenneth Kellogg

Blue: The Father

Originally planned for June 2020 and postponed due to the pandemic, Lyric is excited to present Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson's opera Blue. Get an inside look at how bass Kenneth Kellogg prepared to play the role of the father in Washington National Opera's production of Blue and where he found inspiration in this moving video from The Kennedy Center Digital Stage.

Ride along

Families uncover painful truths

An American Dream: Inspiring conversations in our communities

One of the most powerful ways music moves us is by sparking ideas and conversations, especially on difficult or painful topics. In conjunction with Lyric’s production of An American DreamChicago Tribune reporter Lolly Bowean moderated an invigorating discussion exploring the realities of immigration in the U.S. Inspired by the conversation, she penned this powerful story following a new generation of Japanese-Americans as they trace their family history in U.S.-run internment camps.

Hear their stories
Music can change the world because it can change people.

Bono (U2)

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Photos: Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival, Ken Howard, Dan Rest