November 19, 2021

Spotlight on Raymond Aceto

It is a joy to welcome back bass Raymond Aceto — a familiar face to the Lyric stage — as Captain in our 2021/22 production of Florencia en el Amazonas. With over a dozen roles to date, Aceto has captivated Chicago audiences with his rich tone and impressive range since his company debut in the 1997/98 Season as The Voice of Neptune in Mozart's Idomeneo. Aceto soon became a regular on the Lyric stage, appearing as the High Priest of Baal in Nabucco (1997/98), Jed in Mourning Becomes Elektra (1998/99), Alaskan Wolf-Joe in The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1998/99), Pistola in Falstaff (1999/00), Banco in Macbeth (1999/00), Old Hebrew in Samson et Dalila (2003/04), Count des Grieux in Manon (2008/09), and Varlaam in Boris Godunov (2011/12).

Raymond Aceto returns to Lyric in the 2021/22 Season as The Captain in Florencia en el Amazonas.

One of Aceto’s first major roles at Lyric was as Nourabad in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. The 1997/98 production was the company’s first presentation of the Bizet opera in more than 30 years! Later, in Lyric’s 2000/01 Season, Aceto brought the perfect mix of slapstick humor and lofty airs to Basilio, Rosina’s supercilious music teacher (portrayed by Vesselina Kasarova), in Rossini’s The Barber of Seville

Marcello Giodani (left) as Radames and Raymond Aceto (right) as High Priest Ramfis in Lyric's 2011/12 production of Aida


Aceto's compelling High Priest Ramfis dazzled Lyric audiences in our 2004/05 production of Verdi's Aida. He returned to the role in the 2011/12 Season.


From giant to dragon, Lyric's 2004/05 Season was an eventful one for the American bass as he brought his larger-than-life voice to Wagner's Ring cycle, singing Fafner in both Das Rheingold and Siegfried.

Raymond Aceto as Fafner (left) and Andrea Silvestrelli as Fasolt (right) in Lyric's 2004/05 production of Das Rheingold

Aceto has also graced many of the nation's largest concert and opera stages including San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, and Washington National Opera. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Aceto has performed frequently with the company since his 1992 Met debut. Abroad, he has starred in leading roles at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the major companies of Madrid, Palermo, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, and Frankfurt.

After nearly a decade away, Lyric audiences can see Raymond Aceto as The Captain in Daniel Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas, November 13-28. In a stunning new production from director Francesca Zambello, he joins an all-star cast in this beautiful Spanish-language opera.

November 13 – 28, 2021

Florencia en el Amazonas

Florencia en el Amazonas

Lyric’s first Spanish-language work to be presented as part of the mainstage opera season, this story about a glamorous diva on a life-changing adventure on the Amazon is suffused by the entrancing allure of magical realism. Florencia Grimaldi, a renowned diva, is engaged to perform at the opera house of Manaus, Brazil. Traveling there by boat, she’s consumed by longing for her long-lost lover, who she hopes will be awaiting her. Florencia and her fellow passengers are all intensely memorable characters, and they’re illuminated by the magnificent, sumptuous romantic music created by a true musical genius — Mexico’s finest opera composer, Daniel Catán.

Header: Lyric's 2021/22 Season production of Catán's Florencia en el Amazonas. Credit: Lyric Opera of Chicago

All other photos: Cory Weaver, Dan Rest