May 12, 2021

How your support sparked Lyric's creativity

In this unusual and challenging year, Lyric continues to find ways to reach our audiences virtually. Our reimagined season has been made possible, in part, by the generous support of Lyric’s subscribers, donors, and production sponsors, which enabled us to pivot our programming and keep music and opera alive. These new projects allowed our artists to share their talents in imaginative and innovative ways that reflect our time while both preserving and expanding our artform. Now that our current digital season is coming to an end, let’s celebrate what we have accomplished together.

This past year, all of our virtual programs were provided to the public free of charge, inspiring hundreds of new donors to come forward and support Lyric. These contributions helped provide the necessities for creating virtual productions — music stands, film crews, audio equipment, technical staff, as well as electricity to light up the rehearsal rooms and more.

During our Creating The Factotum workshop, artists followed strict safety protocols and procedures. To keep the singers safe and socially distant, we created plexiglas compartments for each artist, making it possible to safely return to singing and working together again. The gifts we received from donors enabled this creative solution, playing an important role in the ongoing development of this new piece.

Creating The Factotum workshop on the Lyric stage

Who doesn't need a little sun and love in their life? That's what Lyric's Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola had in mind when he collaborated with members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center in Sole e Amore (Sun and Love ). Donor support helped Lyric provide a memorable atmosphere and music for audiences watching from home. Small elements like adorable cat ears and face masks with whiskers helped create a joyful concert finale: a playful rendition of Rossini’s famous "Comic Duet for Two Cats."

The Ryan Opera Center performing Rossini's "Comic Duet for Two Cats" in Sole e Amore (Sun and Love)

Your generosity supports the dynamic and passionate professionals who brought The Sonata Sessions to life. Enrique Mazzola led an enhanced string ensemble featuring members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra in performances of all six of Rossini’s String Sonatas, which were originally written for a string quartet including a double bass. Thanks to consistent financial support from our Lyric family, a roster of talented musicians came together to bring these lesser-known works to homes across the globe.

Concertmaster Robert Hanford bumping elbows with Enrique Mazzola during the filming of the Sonata Sessions

Philanthropic support from our cherished Lyric family is why this year was a success for Lyric. All contributions, large and small, help make the magic — and your partnership is essential to the future of great opera in Chicago.

Without you, there is no opera.

With your loyalty and love, Lyric Opera of Chicago will weather any storm.

As we return to live performances, we hope you'll consider providing additional support to Lyric by rounding up your subscription total or by making a gift at Every dollar helps bring grand opera back to our stage and supports ongoing digital programming for audiences around the world.

Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar

Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar

Consider making a contribution to the For the Love of Lyric Fund to aid in our recovery from financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gifts made to the Fund will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the generous sponsors of this star-studded concert.

Header photo: Ryan Opera Center Ensemble member Maria Novella Malfatti and Director Matthew Ozawa during the filming of Sole e Amore (Sun and Love). Credit: Kyle Flubacker

All other photos: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Kyle Flubacker