March 06, 2019

Music. Family. Fun.

Enjoy all three starting in September with free or low-cost Lyric activities happening across the city.

Your summer might be filled to the brim with beach outings, outdoor grilling, road trips, and more, but be sure to pencil in these upcoming free or low-cost Lyric activities that are headed your way this fall. As always, Lyric is excited to continue connecting with a wide variety of audiences and communities across the Chicago area. Check out these upcoming events to learn more! 

Friday, September 8 at 7:30pm 
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Free admission, no ticket required

For the 17th year in a row, thousands of music lovers will flock to hear Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park, a free concert under the stars. The performance features acclaimed artists of Lyric’s upcoming season, along with the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus and members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

Saturday, September 9 at Noon 
Lyric Opera House
Free admission for Lyric donors and subscribers with promo code, but tickets must be reserved

Join us as a talented group of finalists representing the world’s finest emerging singers vie for a spot in next season’s 2018/19 Ryan Opera Center Ensemble – plus, participate in the process yourself by voting for the singer you believe should receive the “Audience Favorite” Award. Founded in 1974, The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center is celebrated as one of the world’s premier artist-development programs. Every year, some 400 singers audition for a chance to join the prestigious Ensemble. You won’t want to miss hearing these rising stars of tomorrow! More information about ticket reservations will be available soon.

Sunday, September 10 at 2pm
Harris Theater
Free admission, but tickets must be reserved

For the second year in a row, Lyric Unlimited’s groundbreaking Chicago Voices Community Created Performances program invited Chicago-based groups to tell their compelling, untold stories through music. After a public voting process, three groups emerged as the finalists and began an intensive creative process. Now, the three finalist groups are ready to share their final original music-theater works with the public in a free performance. Blu Rhythm Collective, Kuumba Lynx, and YOLO Boomers have all been working hard over the summer during a 16-week creative process with a Lyric-hired artistic team to bring their stories to life. The show will take place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance (205 E Randolph, Chicago). Read more about each of the group’s journey to the stage here. Check back this August to make your ticket reservations! 

10:00am on September 8, 30; October 6, 26; November 10, 30; December 14, 17; January 3, 17; February 24, 28; March 8, 18; April 2, 3

Visiting tourists, architecture buffs and music fans alike are able to experience a compelling behind-the-scenes look at the storied 1929 Lyric Opera House during a one-hour interactive backstage tour. Experience an up-close-and-personal view of theater highlights such as the grand foyer, the orchestra pit, and a series of unique backstage destinations where skilled professionals bring operatic stagecraft to life. Tour tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 312-827-5600, or at the Lyric’s Box Office at 9:30am on tour dates. Group tours of 10 or more may be arranged on these or additional dates by contacting the group sales department at 312-827-5927 or Be sure to watch WGN’s new show See Chicago on Sunday, July 23 at 10:30pm to catch a segment on Lyric’s family-friendly backstage tours! 

Saturday, October 14 at 2pm & 4pm and Sunday, October 15 at noon & 2pm 
Studebaker Theater
$20 Adult/$10 Child 

Presented by Lyric Unlimited, The Scorpions’ Sting is a Chicago premiere opera for young people by acclaimed Canadian composer and librettist Dean Burry. Perfect for families with children ages 7 - 12, four performances will take place at the Studebaker Theater (410 S. Michigan, Chicago). The opera follows a group of archaeology students and their professor as they uncover the Lost Temple of Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess of healing. A mythic tale unfolds as they read the ancient hieroglyphics. Through the story of Isis, the students learn the importance of knowledge and the power of forgiveness. Tickets will be available this August so save the date! 

Saturday, April 7, 2018, 11am – 3pm
Lyric Opera House
$10 Adult/$5 Child

Lyric Unlimited is excited to offer a day of behind-the-scenes fun and exploration with the first-ever Family Day at Lyric, a wonderful way to discover opera with family members of all ages. The event includes exclusive access to Lyric’s backstage areas, demonstrations of operatic stagecraft, and costume try-ons throughout the day. The afternoon will feature a short live performance and programming geared specifically to children ages 5 to 10—and the entire family can learn something new about opera at this unique event. 

Photos: Todd Rosenberg, Jaclyn Simpson