Welcome to Lyric Notes, Lyric Opera of Chicago's monthly eNewsletter.

Our monthly eNewsletter is designed to inform and delight, with enlightening articles, opera news, exclusive artist interviews, behind-the-scenes photos, engaging videos, and more. See below to enjoy our latest monthly editions. 

October 2019

The curtain has just gone up on The Barber of Seville to open our 65th season and we couldn't be more excited to welcome you back to the opera house! In this issue, you'll get a glimpse at the critical acclaim the Lyric production is receiving, as well as a brief video recap of the red carpet excitement outside the Lyric Opera House on opening night.

Up next this season is the early Verdi masterpiece Luisa Miller conducted by our newly named music director designate, Enrique Mazzola. See him in action from October 12-31 and you'll instantly understand why he's such a sought-after conductor, world-wide.  Continue with this issue to hear more from him directly on the piece and gain insights on the production from its director, Francesa Zambello. And be sure not to miss your exclusive first look at Sister Helen Prejean's Dead Man Walking (November 2-22) program note.

Toi toi toi to everyone onstage, behind the scenes, and in the theater  here's to a captivating new season of opera!  

September 2019

In just one month, the 65th Season kicks off with an original Lyric production of The Barber of Seville — full of artist debuts and returning favorites. But before we return to the opera house, we invite you to join us tonight for a night of music under the stars for our annual Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park  Friday at 7:00 p.m.  Gates open today at 4:30 p.m. for your picnicking pleasure. We hope to see you there.

July/August 2019

Now that it feels like summer outside, our work schedule inside the opera house is really starting to heat up as we prepare to bring you a showstopping 2019/20 Season.

In this issue, be sure to check out what books inspired some of today's great operas — including the upcoming Dead Man Walking. We'll also give you an insider preview on Krassimira Stoyanova, who will be seen on stage as Luisa in Luisa Miller, as well as a summer guide to what some of our staff is up to in the off-season.

We also invite you to explore more about the exciting Lyric debut of Blue, which will be presented at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare in June 2020.

Enjoy this special July/August edition, and we'll see you in September for Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park on September 6 and the special Maria Callas Hologram concert in the opera house on September 7 and the Ryan Opera Center Final Auditions September 15.

June 2019

The 2018/19 Season has officially come to an end with the closing of the critically acclaimed run of West Side Story — but your Lyric team is far from taking a summer break! The hard work of preparing for the new season is underway as we look towards a bucket-list Ring cycle, and a host of highly-anticipated performances at the Lyric Opera House along the way. In this issue, we introduce one of the operas making an appearance in 2019/20, speak with Burkhard Fritz, who will be seen once more as Siegfried in the Ring Cycle, preview Lyric Unlimited's upcoming season, and share the unique way you'll see Maria Callas back on the Lyric Opera stage. We thank you again for helping to make the 2018/19 Season a successful one and look forward to welcoming you back in just a few months!

May 2019

The Sharks and Jets are ready to rumble, and in this issue, you can glimpse behind the scenes and read about Lyric's new production of West Side Story that's winning critical and audience acclaim. You'll enjoy articles about Lyric's fall early Verdi work, Luisa Miller and a new, original on-stage production from Lyric Unlimited's EmpowerYouth! program. Plus, join us in welcoming the new Ryan Opera Center ensemble, and learn more about the epic Ring cycle you won't want to miss. This issue of Lyric Notes will catch you up on all the exciting news for the month of May and how to create more memorable Lyric experiences.

April 2019

Spring is here and at Lyric, we're celebrating another successful season of opera, thanks in no small part to you. But still, "Something's Coming!" In just 2 weeks, we begin rehearsals for the beloved Broadway musical, West Side Story. In this edition of Lyric Notes, you can read notes from director Francesca Zambello, and get a glimpse what goes into creating this iconic show for the Lyric stage. 

Also in this issue — we preview this weekend's Ryan Opera Center Rising Stars in Concert event; we invite you to learn more about the highly-anticipated Lyric premiere of Dead Man Walking, part of the newly announced 2019/20 Season; and we share what's in store for Family Day.

March 2019

In this edition of our e-newsletter read the rave reviews from Lyric's "electrifying" La traviata and learn more about the Lyric premiere of Handel's Ariodante — one of the greatest glories of Baroque opera. With West Side Story rehearsals starting in just one month, we offer an inside look at what it takes to put such a grand scale Broadway production on our stage. Plus don't forget the Renée Fleming 25th Anniversary Concert & Gala, a night of celebration that you won't soon forget!

February 2019

In this issue of Lyric Notes, we are thrilled to introduce you to the productions hitting the Lyric stage in the 2019/20 Season — the premieres, the classics, and the truly spectacular.Hear from the director of Lyric's exhilarating production of Elektra, Sir David McVicar, and learn more about its leading lady, Nina Stemme. Then dive into the Lyric debut of Giorgio Berrugi, who portrays Alfredo in La traviata, and meet the newly announced cast of West Side Story

December 2018/January 2019

With the last performances of 2018 finished, it's time to celebrate the holidays! In this month's issue, browse our holiday gift guide and be inspired to find that perfect gift for the friends and family in your life. When the second half of our season is back in 2019, we return with La bohème and Cendrillon, two fan favorites that opened to rave reviews earlier in the season. Do remember to get your tickets to experience a pair of highly anticipated Lyric debuts — Nina Stemme in the title role of Elektra with conductor Donald Runnicles on the podium.

November 2018

November opens with Siegfried, the next installment in Wagner's Ring cycle. With an all-star cast and only four performances, this is a production not to be missed. In this edition, you will read about the exciting debuts in the upcoming production of Verdi's Il trovatore. Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Massenet's Cinderella, the reimagining of the classic fairytale, kicks off the holiday season at Lyric. And don't forget to get your tickets to see famed soprano Anna Netrebko, who is making her return to Lyric in a rare recital. There are so many great performances to share yet this season and we look forward to welcoming you!

October 2018

The curtain is set to rise on our 64th season and we are looking forward to welcoming you back to Lyric with Puccini's La bohème. This sparkling new coproduction brings the Lyric debuts of Michael Fabiano (Rodolfo) and Maestro Domingo Hindoyan, as well as the return of many Lyric favorites including Maria Agresta (Mimì), Danielle de Niese (Musetta), Zachary Nelson (Marcello), and Adrian Sâmpetrean (Colline). Also in this issue, you'll discover the new 2019/20 Ryan Opera Center ensemble members and catch up with Ryan Opera Center alumnus David Portillo, who will be seen in this season's Idomeneo. Toi toi toi to a fantastic new season of opera!

September 2018

In just one month, the 64th Season opens with a gorgeous new production of La bohème, a coproduction between Lyric Opera of Chicago, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and Teatro Real Madrid. Soon after, Matthew Polenzani returns to our stage in the critically acclaimed title role of Idomeneo. In this issue, you will also learn about the many additional amenities that Lyric offers to make your day or night at the opera a unique experience, including new afternoon tea service for Sunday matinees. We also introduce you to "People of Lyric," the new initiative designed to let you share your story and get to know us, the people of Lyric, along the way.

August 2018

The countdown is on to the start of our 2018/19 Season opening with Puccini's passionate La bohéme, but first our much anticipated Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park event is just around the corner! In this issue, we'll invite you in for more information about our Opening Night Opera Ball, the special opportunity to see the spectacular Anna Netrebko in recital, an insider's interview with Janai Brugger — star of the upcoming Idomoneo, your guide to a night of music under the stars at Millennium Park, and how the worlds of Opera and Broadway collide within La bohéme and Jonathan Larson's Rent

June/July 2018

Another fabulous season at Lyric has concluded, and we couldn't have done it without you! Thank you for your continued support of our mainstage operas, Lyric Unlimited programming, Ryan Opera Center, and special events. 

In this summer issue, be sure to review the upcoming 2018/19 Season. Also, get a first look at the exciting production of West Side Story, and check in on the Ryan Opera Center's activities. 

May 2018

What's the Buzz this spring? It's Jesus Christ Superstar rocking the Lyric Opera House. With acclaim from critics and audiences alike, check out what they have to say and find out why the cast thinks this is a must-see! Continue reading to learn more about the 2018/19 Season, an original opera from EmpowerYouth!, and the new Ryan Opera Center ensemble. This issue of Lyric Notes will catch you up on all the news you need to enjoy the current month at the opera house and make future plans for more exciting Lyric experiences. 

April 2018

Happy Spring! The 2017/18 Opera Season was a huge success and has come to a close — and we wanted to take a moment to say thank you for helping to make it unforgettable! 

Our backstage area stays electric with rehearsals starting this week for Jesus Christ Superstar. In this edition of Lyric Notes, you can read all about the history of this iconic rock musical and the Olivier Award-winning production making its North American premiere on Lyric's stage. 

Looking forward to the 2018/19 Season? Learn about some of the most anticipated artist debuts for La bohèmeIdomeneo, and Siegfried

March 2018

In this issue of Lyric Notes, we are excited to introduce you to the productions slated for the 2018/19 Season — the classics, the premieres, and the larger-than-life. If you haven't renewed your subscription yet, there is still time! Check out what critics are saying about Mozart's romantic comedy, Così fan tutte. Then, hear from the stars of Faust and meet the cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. Catch up on all the news you need to enjoy the current month at the opera house and make future plans for more exciting Lyric experiences. 

February 2018

It's February, and love is in the air — and onstage at Lyric, where two romances will warm up Chicago this month. From Bellini's dazzling bel canto feast I Puritani, to Mozart's glorious battle of the sexes Così fan tutte, in this issue you'll learn more from the artists behind the virtuosic singing. We'll also preview upcoming special events including famed tenor Piotr Beczała in Recital, our star-studded Bernstein Concert, the much-anticipated premiere of contemporary American opera Fellow Travelers, and a newly-commissioned February song cycle starring Puritani star Lawrence Brownlee.

January 2018

Lyric has two happily-ever-after masterpieces on tap in February. First, Bellini's bel canto favorite I Puritani. The cast is simply stunning, led by Lyric favorites Lawrence Brownlee and Albina Shagimuratova. Hear more from director Eric Einhorn in this issue. Rehearsals are also underway for Mozart's beloved Così fan tutte in a production adored by Lyric audiences and critics. You'll want to make sure to treat yourself to this romantic comedy — and battle of the sexes — just in time for Valentine's Day.

December 2017

Celebrate the holidays with Lyric this season! Enjoy reading this month's issue of Lyric Notes as you think about the perfect gifts for friends and family — maybe even from our Lyric gift guide. 

As you know, Turandot opens tonight, and in this issue you can learn all you need to know before seeing a performance. We also share comments from critics raving  about the eye-popping production and lush sounds of The Pearl Fishers

We hope you are sharing our excitement at the return of tenor Lawrence Brownlee in I Puritani and Cycles of My Being, a one-night- only performance, new co-commission by Lyric Unlimited, Opera Philadelphia, and Carnegie Hall.

November 2017

November is a month for giving thanks, and Lyric is grateful for the wonderful support and enthusiasm of our audience as we've opened a new season! In this issue of Lyric Notes, we invite you to join us for some amazing on-stage performances all month long. Read what critics have to say about our all-new production and next installation of the Ring cycle, Die Walküre. Once you've learned more about this epic story, you'll surely want to join us for an upcoming performance. Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecień return to Lyric's stage in The Pearl Fishers; discover new dining options for an enhanced opera experience; and find out how Turandot and other productions at Lyric make for a great holiday gift. We look forward to sharing more great performances this season with you!

October 2017

Welcome to October with Lyric, where if you need to unplug and feed your soul, we have the beautiful performances to help you do just that. We're celebrating a four-star opening of Orphée et Eurydice featuring the Lyric debut of The Joffrey Ballet. We're getting ready to open a star-studded Rigoletto in a new-to-Chicago production. And we're looking ahead to Wagner's thrilling Die Walküre, with nearly 100 members of the Lyric Orchestra just waiting to blow your hair back with "The Ride of the Valkyries!" This month's Lyric Notes also highlights The Scorpions' Sting, our opera for young people, a gala masquerade for young professionals, an invitation to sing with us at Lyric with Choir! Choir! Choir! and much more.

September 2017

For Lyric, September always means the end of summer, and the beginning of a new season. The 63rd season opens with the highly anticipated new production of Orphée et Eurydice, the first Lyric production to feature The Joffrey Ballet. Rigoletto follows, with Quinn Kelsey and Matthew Polenzani returning to Lyric. 

August 2017

The marquee on Washington Street may say "Gone Fishing" but truth be told, we're hard at work inside the Lyric Opera House and at other locations around the city. In this issue, we'll invite you in for a glimpse of season opening Orphée et Eurydice with the Joffrey Ballet, give you some insight into how productions get shared between companies, introduce you to the artists of the Ryan Opera Center you haven't yet met and keep you up to date on some new works being developed and new artists being nurtured through Lyric Unlimited. 2017/18 is going to be an amazing season. So, until we can personally welcome you back to Lyric, please enjoy this issue and we'll hope to see you at Millennium Park, the Harris Theater and home at the Lyric Opera House very soon.

July 2017

Summer is a time of relaxation, but at Lyric we are working hard to provide you with a spectacular 2017/18 season when we open our theater doors again. Can't wait until September? In this issue, discover the upcoming ways to connect with Lyric all summer, both at the Lyric Opera House and around the city of Chicago.

June 2017

Our marquee may say "Gone Fishing," but Lyric's team is far from taking a summer break as we prepare for the upcoming season! In this issue, we'll take some time to thank you and reflect on the end of another successful season. Also, we invite you to join us as we welcome new Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members, honor a legend, and catch up with Chicago Voices. Keep reading to find out about the highly anticipated main-stage operas to come.

May 2017

Lyric has welcomed May flowers with the successful opening of Lerner & Loewe’s My Fair Lady. "Lyric Opera of Chicago has another hit on its hands," raves Musical America — see what audiences and critics are saying about this Broadway hit. Read about Lyric Unlimited’s Chicago Voices project, learn more about Lyric's Create Your Own subscriptions, think about hosting your next party in a Lyric space, and more this month!

April 2017

The opera season may have come to a close, but we're still in high gear with new activity humming in the rehearsal rooms as we anticipate the opening of Lerner & Loewe's My Fair Lady with a stellar cast and artistic team later this month, plus two wonderful upcoming recitals. If that weren't enough, the 2017/18 season has been unveiled and we're sharing many reasons to take advantage of special offers on season tickets and perks designed just for you.

March 2017

In this edition of our e-newsletter read the rave reviews about the last two main stage opera productions of the 2016/17 season — Carmen and Eugene Onegin. If you're holding tickets for either production, a fantastic experience awaits. We will also introduce you to the productions slated for the 2017/18 season. Learn more about the Spring musical My Fair Lady plus other special Lyric performance opportunities and company news. 

February 2017

Enjoy articles this month on Norma, which opened to rave reviews, and get to know the men of Carmen. We'll welcome back Ana María Martínez and Mariusz Kwiecień in Eugene Onegin at the opera house and Lawrence Brownlee in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird at the Harris Theater, and we'll introduce you to the stunning, newly-announced cast for My Fair Lady.  Plus, the stars come out this spring with recitals and concerts – Plácido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, Eric Owens, and more!

January 2017

As we gear up for the second half of The Magic Flute, see what critics had to say about the opening, prepare to be thrilled by Sondra Radvanovsky in Norma, and meet our two stars of Carmen, which is just around the corner. Learn who is performing in the much-anticipated Chicago Voices Concert — and what's going on around town with this ambitious initiative — plus, don't forget about exciting upcoming events with Plácido Domingo, Lawrence Brownlee, Eric Owens, and more. Lyric has set the stage, now we can't wait for you to join us! 

December 2016

See how critics are raving about Lyric's heartwarming production of Don Quichotte and catch a behind-the-scenes look at the new production of The Magic Flute. We are all eagerly awaiting Lyric Unlimited's presentation of Charlie Parker's Yardbird and share five reasons why you should be excited to see it, too.  As always, we are grateful for your support and for your generosity in sharing the gift of Lyric with others.

November 2016

Grand and glorious, Les Troyens is rarely performed because of its enormous scale. Lyric's all-new production is led by a world-class cast including Susan Graham, Christine Goerke and Brandon Jovanovich. You can learn more in this issue and then rush to get your tickets for one of only five performances. There's much more — legendary bass Ferruccio Furlanetto's returns to Lyric in his favorite role, Don Quichotte, you'll get a glimpse of Lyric's all-new production of everyone's favorite first opera — The Magic Flute and learn more about other special ways to connect with Lyric as we enter the holiday season.

October 2016

With rave reviews from critics on Das Rheingold's opening night, audiences can't wait to see what else Lyric has to offer. After you check out what the critics are saying, head to the next article for a Q&A with Tim Sniffen from The Second City on the new collaboration with Lyric — LONGER! LOUDER! WAGNER! The Second City Wagner Companion. Next on the stage is Lucia di Lammermoor — with vocal fireworks, passion, and rage. It's a can't miss. And don't forget about Ferrucio Furlanetto's return to Lyric in his favorite role, Don Quichotte. You'll experience the beginning of the Ring cycle, the drama of Lucia, the connection Furlanetto has with Don Quichotte, and so much more when you continue to read this month's issue of Lyric Notes!

September 2016

Get a first listen to Lyric's 62nd Season when you join us at Millennium Park for the Stars of Lyric Opera free concert. Find out how Das Rheingold got serious on stage during summer technical rehearsals, and gear up for laughs with The Second City. Learn more about Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova and Polish tenor Piotr Beczała, our superb singers in Lucia. You'll find out all about these two shows, The Ryan Opera Center's Final Auditions, how to join the Trojans Circle, and more in this month's issue!

July 2016

In this month's Lyric Notes, discover more about our 2016/17 Season with our can't-miss summer reading and listening lists and an interview with director David Pountney on why Das Rheingold should be on your single ticket purchase list. And don't forget to join us for Lyric Unlimited's new commission Jason and the Argonauts — great for the kids, grandkids, and adults too! Continue reading for more about these topics and other Lyric news!

June 2016

The 2015/16 season has come to an end and your Lyric team is far from taking a summer break. In fact, work continues at a fevered pitch as we prepare for the upcoming season, making significant renovations to our staging capabilities and hosting some amazing performances at the Civic Opera House along the way. We'll take some time to reflect on the great season that's just ending, and we invite you to join in our excitement as we welcome a new Ryan Center Ensemble, focus on technical rehearsals, get out into the community, and ready the main stage for more outstanding performances... just a few months away!

May 2016

See what critics have to say about The King and I and take our quiz to find out how well you know the story! Also, read why Das Rheingold should be a bucket list performance to see this fall. If you are looking for fun this summer, be sure to enjoy See Jane Sing when Jane Lynch, longtime pal Kate Flannery (Meredith/The Office), Tim Davis, who arranged the music on the hit TV show Glee (which is how most of us know Jane), and the Tony Guererro Quintet transform the Ken Pigott Stage into a night of cabaret. You can find out more about these events and other special offers at Lyric in this month's issue of Lyric Notes.

April 2016

Lyric is preparing "Something Wonderful" with a grandscale production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I. As the starring artists pour into Chicago for this Broadway hit, get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the preparations as the show takes shape, including a sneak-peek video feature on the gorgeous costumes. Preview some of what's ahead in the 2016/17 season and take our fun quiz that tells you which opera you should see in the new lineup. Read about Lyric Unlimited's Chicago Voices project, Jane Lynch's show that is coming to Lyric in June and a new feature with our own resident Opera Answer Man called Ask Roger.

March 2016

This edition of our e-newsletter shares exciting news and reviews about the last two main stage opera productions of the 2015/16 season — Der Rosenkavalier and Romeo and Juliet. If you're holding tickets for either production, a fantastic experience awaits — and if you've already seen them, with new cast members being featured for final performances of both shows, consider an encore viewing! If you don't have your tickets yet, we hope this month's issue will provide many reasons to plan an extra opera or two before the season closes.  We will also introduce you to the stars in Lyric's lavish production of The King and I that we are all eagerly awaiting plus other special Lyric performance opportunities and company news.

February 2016

This is a very exciting time at Lyric.  We are in the midst of a wildly successful run for Nabucco, eagerly awaiting the opening of Der Rosenkavalier, and watching the behind-the-scenes work on Romeo and Juliet under the direction of Bartlett Sher, one of the world's most in-demand theatrical directors.  If that weren't enough, the 2016/17 season has just been unveiled and there are so many reasons to subscribe now.

January 2016

We hope you enjoy the news about and exclusive insights into all the exciting productions yet to come on Lyric's main stage as we head into the second half of a spectacular season. Thank you for being such an important part of the Lyric family. We look forward to welcoming you to the opera house again soon.

December 2015

Enjoy reading this month's issue of Lyric Notes, while you get a sneak peek of the world-premiere opera Bel Canto. See how critics are raving about the witty and glamorous The Merry Widow. And don't forget to join in the spirit of giving with gifts from Lyric and sharing your #LyricMoment.

November 2015

There is great excitement as Lyric prepares for the world premiere of Bel Canto — rehearsals are in full swing and free preview events are introducing Chicago to this grand-scale new work based on the best-selling novel. Wozzeck has opened to rave reviews and audience accolades and The Merry Widow takes the stage starring Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson in a production from Broadway sensation Susan Stroman. Plus, preview Nabucco, learn about how to bring your book club to Bel Canto, and fill in your calendar with upcoming Lyric events!

October 2015

Inside this issue, we’ll catch you up on what critics and audiences have to say about Barbara Gaines’s all-new production of The Marriage of Figaro, look forward to the opening of Cinderella, and move a little further into the season with behind-the-scenes features and insights into WozzeckThe Merry Widow, and the world premiere of Bel Canto.
Long Live Passion!

September 2015

In this month's issue of Lyric Notes find out why Cinderella's Lawrence Brownlee is the "Prince of Tenors," how Susan Stroman "creates the dance" for The Merry Widow, how the vision was created for The Marriage of Figaro, where the journey of Wozzeck will take you, and how Bel Canto went from page to stage in the world premiere opera.

July/August 2015

In this month's issue of Lyric Notes go behind the scenes with the Bel Canto creative team ahead of its world premiere and go inside Ryan Opera Center's Workshop of The Marriage of Figaro. Get to know Isabel Leonard, who returns to Lyric as Cinderella, and director-choreographer Susan Stroman as she takes on The Merry Widow. You can also learn more about Second Nature, the children's opera where animals and arias meet.

June 2015

There's nothing like summer in Chicago! As we enjoy sunny days and summer fun, we also look forward to the 2015/16 Season, which more subscribers are joining each day. This month's Lyric Notes features upcoming artist debuts, a preview of beloved tunes from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and a sneak peak Lyric Unlimited summer premiere. Also learn about a much-anticipated new production of Rossini's well-known fairy tale, what we're reading this summer, and more!

Lyric Notes is part of the Innovation Initiative made possible by Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan.

Main photo: Eugene Onegin (Todd Rosenberg)