Lyric Music & More: December 15

Holiday songs have a special way of marking place and time. So many of us have songs that we play every year, conjuring memories of holidays past. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” has been one of those tunes for over 75 years. Sung from the perspective of a soldier longing to return home, it became a smash hit when Bing Crosby first recorded it in 1943, in the midst of World War II. Though it has a melancholy ending, the song became a major morale booster for troops stationed overseas as well as families at home.

This year “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” takes on a new significance, as many families look for new ways to be together while staying apart. We hope this gorgeous rendition from first-year Ryan Opera Center mezzo-soprano Katherine Beck brings you joy and comfort this season, and perhaps inspires some new holiday traditions that will stay with you for years to come.

Then, meet the creative team behind The Factotum, get an inside look at Pasión Latina, check out Maestro Mazzola’s holiday playlist, watch a holiday special from Norm Lewis, and catch the latest episode of Breaking Down the Score.

Ryan Opera Center At Work: "I'll Be Home For Christmas"

Meet the Factotum team

An operatic baritone and a DJ team up

Work has begun on “Creating The Factotum,” a workshop and documentary following the development of a new opera that reimagines Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Meet the musical minds behind this new work: Will Liverman and K-Rico.

Meet Will & K-Rico

WTTW goes inside Pasión Latina

Get excited for this free virtual concert

Pasión Latina premiered Sunday with nearly 5,000 fans watching on YouTube and Facebook. A special two-person crew from public television station WTTW was in the house as it was being captured and spoke with the performers about their experience. Watch the coverage, and then check out the full concert.

Get the full scoop

Maestro Mazzola’s holiday playlist

See how Lyric’s music director designate spends his holidays

We talked with Maestro Mazzola about his holiday traditions growing up in Milan, and what it’s like to conduct during the holidays. As it turns out, the maestro is a big fan of holiday music. He even created a Spotify playlist for us, sure to put you in a festive spirit.

Turn it up

Broadway star Norm Lewis sings holiday favorites

A festive holiday program

Broadway legend Norm Lewis was set to thrill Lyric audiences as Julian Marsh in 42nd Street in May of this year. Though we missed the opportunity to see him then, you can access his annual holiday show, an event which sells out each year, on demand beginning December 17.

Get tickets

Breaking Down the Score: Attila with Maestro Enrique Mazzola

Part 11: Finale Secondo

This scene begins and ends with massive choral numbers, as Attila is surrounded by friends and enemies at a party. A storm blows in, bringing with it an eerie silence and a sense of foreboding. As the four main characters sing together, the storm passes and the party resumes. The drama ultimately reaches its peak when Odabella saves Attila’s life after Foresto attempts to poison him, bringing Act II to an electrifying end.

Tune in each week and be the first to see new episodes by subscribing to Lyric's channel on YouTube.

Photos: Nellie Beavers, Kyle Flubacker, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Joe Mazza/Brave Lux