May 11, 2022

Lyric Music & More: May 11

The weather is changing, Lyric’s 2021/22 Season has ended, and it’s time to take a moment for reflection and celebration. Lyric had the privilege of engaging an incredible lineup of celebrated conductors this season. From artists making their Lyric debut to our Music Director Enrique Mazzola, take a look back at the masterful maestri who led from the podium in the 2021/22 Season and learn more about this important role in making the music come to life.

Meet the maestri

Plus, see how you can celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month in Chicago, explore a rarely seen area of the Lyric Opera House with Enrique Mazzola, watch Quinn Kelsey perform an excerpt from Pagliacci, meet Ryan Opera Center conductor/pianist Donald Lee III, see J’Nai Bridges perform the “Habanera,” and listen in as Terence Blanchard and Will Liverman talk about Fire Shut Up in My Bones.

How to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in Chicago

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, which pays tribute to the generations of Americans from across the Asian continent and from the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. See how you can celebrate in this article from Choose Chicago.


Exploring with Enrique: Edison Vault

They say there’s nothing more boring than watching paint dry, but the Edison Vault is far from boring. In fact, it has an electrifying history. Join Maestro Enrique Mazzola as he explores the busy basement space in this episode of Exploring with Enrique.

Quinn Kelsey performs in Pagliacci

In an excerpt from the Lyric film Pagliacci, Tonio (baritone Quinn Kelsey) addresses the audience, reminding them that the actors they are about to see onstage are real people with very real feelings. Quinn Kelsey returns to the Lyric stage in Ernani this September.

Meet Donald Lee III

In the 2021/22 Season, Donald Lee III was the first person to take on the newly created position of conductor and pianist in the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble. Learn more about this talented artist and what it takes to be a professional conductor.

Get to know him

J’Nai Bridges performs the “Habanera” from Carmen

In May 2023, soprano and Ryan Opera Center alumna J'Nai Bridges will take the stage as Carmen in Bizet’s widely beloved opera. Watch her perform one of the most well-known pieces of music in the entire opera world, the “Habanera,” in this clip from San Francisco Opera’s production.

Take a seat

Terence Blanchard and Will Liverman in conversation

With six Grammy wins, two Oscar nominations, and a host of other awards to his name, Terence Blanchard has long been an influential figure in the music industry. In this conversation with baritone Will Liverman, the composer discusses the creation and evolution of Fire Shut Up in My Bones.

Photos: Joe Mazza, Kyle Flubacker, Jaclyn Simpson, Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera