Lyric Lately Blog - Page 3

Welcome to the Lyric Lately blog

Our blog is here to educate and amuse, with enlightening articles, exclusive artist interviews, behind-the-scenes photos, engaging videos, and more. Take a look below to see what's been happening at Lyric Lately!

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An unforgettable “Ride”— Lyric Opera Orchestra delights with virtual performance

An unforgettable “Ride”— Lyric Opera Orchestra delights with virtual performance

When Lyric had to cancel the Ring, the wonderful members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra still found a way to perform for Lyric audiences, playing individually from apartments and home studios all over the Chicago area and beyond, and — as you'll see — very much sharing the experience.

The Instruments of the RING

The Instruments of the RING

What exactly is a "Wagner Tuba?" Can an anvil be an instrument? Click through to learn about Wagner's groundbreaking instrumentation of the Ring cycle and hear some examples performed by members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra.

Week eight: Lyric Commentaries for Met Opera Nightly Streams

Week eight: Lyric Commentaries for Met Opera Nightly Streams

Begin the month of May on a high note with week eight of Metropolitan Opera's Nightly Streams!

Prepare yourself for the upcoming season with The Marriage of Figaro streaming on Monday evening and Cavalleria rusticana & Pagliacci streaming on Sunday to bookend your first full week of May. You'll also have the chance to revisit the 18/19 Season's beloved La bohème streaming on Friday night. Renée Fleming returns for another week alongside Lyric favorites Bryn Terfel, Eric Owens and Patricia Racette.

La bohème: "Quando me'n vo'"

La bohème: "Quando me'n vo'"

"Quando me'n vo'" (also known as "Musetta's Waltz") is a soprano aria from Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème. Here, in Act Two, Mimì, Rodolfo, and their friends have come to Café Momus for a drink. Musetta appears, accompanied by Alcindoro, her rich admirer. Agitated at being ignored by Marcello, Musetta launches into a song — to provoke and seduce him.

Lyric Music & More: April 28

Lyric Music & More: April 28

Many of us probably wish we could visit a bustling Parisian café right now, which is why this week we're living vicariously through soprano Danielle de Niese as Musetta singing "Quando me'n vo'" from our 2018 production of La bohème. We're also reprising a lighthearted Patter Up interview with mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, a behind-the-scenes Q&A with Wig Master and makeup designer Sarah Hatten, and a little inspiration for the at-home mixologists with new Lyric Libations.

With 15 hours worth of music, you have plenty of time to perfect these recipes before sitting back to enjoy your favorite recording of Wagner's Ring cycle.

With 15 hours worth of music, you have plenty of time to perfect these recipes before sitting back to enjoy your favorite recording of Wagner's Ring cycle.

Lyric Libations: RING cycle

Lyric Libations: RING cycle

With 15 hours worth of music, you have plenty of time to perfect these recipes before sitting back to enjoy your favorite recording of Wagner's Ring cycle.

Lyric Zoom Backgrounds

Lyric Zoom Backgrounds

While we await the day you can join us at the Lyric Opera House for a live performance, you can show off your Lyric love with a custom Zoom background. Whether you want to have a drink with Carmen at Lillas Pastia's Inn, face a larger-than-life dragon with Siegfried, or be the star of your own opera on the Ken Pigott Stage, scroll down to find the perfect background for your next meeting or family gathering.

Week seven: Lyric Commentaries for Met Opera Nightly Streams

Week seven: Lyric Commentaries for Met Opera Nightly Streams

April 27 marks week seven of the Metropolitan Opera's Nightly Streams. Enjoy your opera favorites from the comfort of your own home!

Revisit this previous season's The Three Queens with Donizetti's Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux streaming Monday-Wednesday. Supplement your time with a feature article written by Lyric's Roger Pines as he delves into the historical context of these Donizetti queens. This week's lineup also showcases many Lyric favorites including Sondra Radvanovsky, Ryan Opera Center Alum Matthew Polenzani, and Joyce DiDonato.

Idomeneo: "Solitudine amiche...Zeffiretti lusinghieri"

Idomeneo: "Solitudine amiche...Zeffiretti lusinghieri"

Here, in a moment of solitude, the Trojan captive princess Ilia (Janai Brugger) — unaware that her beloved, the Cretan prince Idamante, is nearby — thinks of him and asks the breezes to carry her love to him.

Lyric Family Favorites: April 24

Lyric Family Favorites: April 24

At a time when the days often blend into one another, does "TGIF" still apply? We think it does! If you feel like you've binge-watched every show on your list and you long for the thrill of great opera performance, today we're sharing an extended excerpt from Mozart's incomparably beautiful Idomeneo

Lyric Music & More: April 21

Lyric Music & More: April 21

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.

Week six: Lyric Commentaries for Met Opera Nightly Streams

Week six: Lyric Commentaries for Met Opera Nightly Streams

Week six of the Metropolitan Opera's Nightly Streams begins on April 20. You can still enjoy your opera favorites while practicing social distancing! 

The week kicks off with Richard Strauss' Elektra, featuring Nina Stemme in the titular role. Lyric audiences will remember her visceral performance from our 2018|19 Season. You'll also see Lyric Special Projects Advisor Renée Fleming, and Ryan Opera Center Alum Matthew Polenzani featured in this week's lineup.  

Lyric Family Favorites: April 17

Lyric Family Favorites: April 17

Today, we pay homage to the Ring with the famed "Ride of the Valkyries" from our 2017 production of Die Walküre, and share a Lyric Legends profile of magnificent French soprano Régine Crespin, a soul-nurturing performance of Rusalka's "Song to the Moon," and a fun game of spotting our music director.

Spot Sir Andrew Davis

Spot Sir Andrew Davis

Even though Sir Andrew Davis is safe and sound at home, his heart will always be at the opera house. Thankfully, with a little Photoshop magic, he can hang out with Don Quichotte, Brünnhilde, or Figaro while still observing social distancing. See if you can spot him in some of his favorite opera scenes

Ryan Opera Center From Home: Anthony Reed

Ryan Opera Center From Home: Anthony Reed

Bass Anthony Reed is a first-year member of the Ryan Opera Center. Here, he shares his own experience of training at home due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Lyric Music & More: April 14

Lyric Music & More: April 14

We're all looking forward to that "one fine day" when we can be together again, so today, we bring you an extended clip of "Un bel di" from Puccini's Madama Butterfly, performed by soprano Ana María Martínez earlier this season at Lyric.

Madama Butterfly: “Un bel dì vedremo”

Madama Butterfly: “Un bel dì vedremo”

In this scene, the maid Suzuki (Deborah Nansteel) doubts that, after a three- year absence, Cio-Cio-San's American husband will ever return. Cio-Cio-San (Ana María Martínez) assures her that it will happen, and describes what it will be like when he climbs the hill to the house, and how she will feel when she finally sees him again.

Pets of Lyric

Pets of Lyric

They've always been there to welcome us home after a long day at the opera house. Now, meet some of the friendly and furry faces keeping us company while we work from home. The pups may not have perfect pitch and the cats don't know how to collate, but they are still a very important part of the team.

Jesus Christ Superstar - Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar - Superstar

"Superstar" is the title song from Jesus Christ Superstar, the 1970 rock opera written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

“Au fond du temple saint” - The Pearl Fishers Duet

“Au fond du temple saint” - The Pearl Fishers Duet

"Au fond du temple saint" ("At the back of the holy temple", also known as "The Pearl Fishers Duet") is a duet from Georges Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). 

Lyric’s RING: An inside look at the week when the stage went dark

Lyric’s RING: An inside look at the week when the stage went dark

The decision to cancel the 2020 Ring cycle, while absolutely necessary to ensure the health and safety of our patrons, our artists, our staff, and our city, was heartbreaking for Lyric.

Directing the RING

Directing the RING

One of the world’s most admired and innovative opera directors,
Sir David Pountney, discusses the great challenges of directing the Ring.

Conducting the RING

Conducting the RING

Lyric's music director, Sir Andrew Davis, shares his insights on conducting the Ring cycle.

Choreographing the RING

Choreographing the RING

How does one differentiate the physical vocabulary of various types of beings in Lyric's Ring?

Wigs and Makeup in the RING

Wigs and Makeup in the RING

The Ring's major challenge for Wigmaster and Makeup Designer Sarah Hatten is the prosthetics for the giants.

Designing the RING

Designing the RING

The Ring designers talk about the sets, costumes, and lighting.

Singing and Acting the RING

Singing and Acting the RING

Onstage the Ring cycle offers tremendous artistic rewards to its performers. The leading artists of Lyric’s Ring discuss the challenges of their roles.

Philosophy and the RING

Philosophy and the RING

Two philosophers popular in his time clearly guided Wagner as he shaped and reshaped his Ring. In the end, though, Wagner created a tragic drama that is all his own, focusing on the nature of love, its glory and its tragedy.

Who Owns the Gold?

Who Owns the Gold?

Richard Warren Shepro, a board member of both our Board of Directors and the Ryan Opera Center, is an international lawyer, professor, and writer. Here he writes about legal issues in The Ring of the Nibelung.

Lyric Family Favorites: April 10

Lyric Family Favorites: April 10

This week, we're here to transport you, as only opera can do. We're visiting the faraway land of Ceylon, where The Pearl Fishers is set, and you'll hear tenor Matthew Polenzani as Nadir and baritone Mariusz Kwiecień as Zurga in the heartfelt duet "Au fond du temple saint," recounting the moment they both fell in love with the same beautiful, veiled priestess. 

Lyric Music & More: April 7

Lyric Music & More: April 7

In these times of social distancing and spending our days at home, we’ve become very familiar with our pets’ daily nap schedules, the neighbors’ strange vacuuming hours in thin-walled apartments, and our coworkers’ coffee mug collections during video meetings. Thankfully, we’ve also gotten to know you better and we’re enjoying our conversations through email and on social media! To show you how we feel, we’ve included a clip of “Getting to Know You” from our 2016 production of The King and I, sung by Kate Baldwin.

Lyric Opera original Commentaries for free Metropolitan Opera Nightly Streams

Lyric Opera original Commentaries for free Metropolitan Opera Nightly Streams

The Metropolitan Opera has been providing free nightly operas through streaming on their web site. These presentations provide a great opportunity to enjoy the majesty of opera within the comforts of home. One way to enhance your enjoyment of these broadcasts is by listening to Lyric Opera Commentaries.

The Work Continues

The Work Continues

How our Ryan Opera Center Ensemble is continuing their training from home.

Lyric Family Favorites: April 3

Lyric Family Favorites: April 3

Enjoy learning more about the legendary Tito Gobbi, testing your Lyric know-how, a video of some of our favorite artists performing together virtually, and this previously unreleased footage of tenor Lawrence Brownlee in our 2018 production of Bellini’s I Puritani.

10 of Opera's Silliest Moments

10 of Opera's Silliest Moments

Yes, the music is sublime, the spectacle is incredible, and the characters find their ways into our hearts. But even the most avid opera lovers can admit that some of our favorite operas have plot holes you could drive a bus through. Here are ten examples of operas with stories so wild, you'd think they were an April Fool's joke.

Conductor’s Note - Götterdämmerung

Conductor’s Note - Götterdämmerung

Compositionally and instrumentally, Götterdämmerung couldn’t have been written the way it was if Wagner hadn’t stopped midway in the cycle to write Tristan and Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. The astonishing thing is that, although you might think there would be a huge change in style, it actually doesn’t quite feel that way, except that certainly Götterdämmerung is miles ahead of the others in terms of complexity and virtuosity of orchestration. 

Director's Note - Götterdämmerung

Director's Note - Götterdämmerung

One of the curiosities of the Ring is its reversed compositional timeline – in itself a tribute to the astonishing artistic grasp that Wagner maintained over his huge project. Götterdämmerung was the first of the libretti to be crafted, and then the other three pieces were gradually added to flesh out its backstory.

Siegfried's Sabbatical

Siegfried's Sabbatical

Of the myriad musical marvels that flow from Richard Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen cycle, one of the most significant takes place shortly after the midpoint of Siegfried, the third opera in the tetralogy.

Die Walküre: A Tug at the Heart

Die Walküre: A Tug at the Heart

Die Walküre, the second opera of Richard Wagner’s mammoth Ring of the Nibelung cycle long has reigned as the most popular of the tetralogy and ranks among the favorites of the composer’s entire oeuvre. Wagner is challenging to many operagoers, but even those devoted to more compact, more obviously tuneful Italian and French standard-repertoire works often make room for Die Walküre.

A Vote for Das Rheingold

A Vote for Das Rheingold

From the sustained E-flat chord that opens the work in the depths of the Rhine to the final grand entrance of the gods into Valhalla, Das Rheingold is filled with musical glories. There is nonstop action, a rarity in Wagner operas, as the composer keeps the pedal to the metal.

Lyric Music & More: March 31

Lyric Music & More: March 31

Welcome to the latest Lyric Music & More! This week, we bring you an interview with our charge artist, Brian Traynor, a birthday tribute to composer Jake Heggie, activities you can do with the little ones in your life, and more original Lyric commentaries to enjoy before the Met’s nightly free streams. But everything starts with music, and in this issue we’re sharing a previously unreleased excerpt from our 2018 production of Puccini’s Turandot — featuring the wonderful Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. 

 

 

Backstage Life: Scott Wolfson

Backstage Life: Scott Wolfson

Backstage life with Scott Wolfson Lyric Opera's Associate Technical Director.

Backstage Life: Kevin Krasinski

Backstage Life: Kevin Krasinski

Backstage life with Kevin Krasinski, Lyric's Artist Services Manager.

Backstage Life: Michael Schoenig

Backstage Life: Michael Schoenig

Backstage life with Michael Schoenig, Lyric's Operations Finance Director.

Backstage Life: Meaghan Stainback

Backstage Life: Meaghan Stainback

Backstage life with Meaghan Stainback, Philanthropy Officer.

Backstage Life: Ben Bell Bern

Backstage Life: Ben Bell Bern

Backstage life with Ben Bell Bern, Lyric's Rehearsal Department Manager.

Lyric Libations: TOSCA

Lyric Libations: TOSCA

Love. Jealousy. Revolution. Death. It all can be found in Puccini's Tosca. Three characters—the rebel, the diva, and the villain—are caught a game of cat-and-mouse with deadly consequences. Non-stop drama could require a cocktail (or three) to unwind. Pick your favorite!

Lyric Family Favorites: March 27

Lyric Family Favorites: March 27

As we get ready to ride into a new weekend, we hope you're doing well and have everything you need — including some great music to pass the time. Today, we share a clip from our 2019 production of Verdi's Luisa Miller  a scene between Luisa and her father starring Krassimira Stoyanova and Quinn Kelsey with the Lyric Opera Orchestra under Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola. If you need a little excitement in your life right now, we hope these vocal fireworks will be just the thing to make your day!

Lyric Music & More - March 24

Lyric Music & More - March 24

We hope you'll enjoy a clip of Adam Plachetka singing Figaro's famous aria from The Barber of Seville, an interview with Lyric Technical Operations Director April Busch, a fun 60-second "Patter Up!" with tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and more!

Lyric Opera of Chicago Trivia

Lyric Opera of Chicago Trivia

How well do you know Lyric's history? Here is your opera-tunity to test your knowledge!

Photo: Cory Weaver