March 06, 2019

Season of Delights - Part 2

The second half of the 2017/18 season at Lyric brings us a fabulously diverse quartet of operas from some of our audiences’ favorite composers.

In the music (including the world’s favorite tenor aria, “Nessun dorma”), sets and costumes, and the singing, Puccini’s Turandot is truly spectacular! In ancient Peking, ice-hearted Princess Turandot will consent to marry only if her suitor can answer three riddles. Will Prince Calaf succeed? Come to Lyric and find out! Our Turandot is the glorious Amber Wagner, a Ryan Opera Center alumna and Lyric favorite who’s become a major international star. And we’ll present three exciting debuts – tenor Stefano La Colla as Calaf and sopranos Maria Agresta and Janai Brugger, sharing the role of the slave girl Liù. The Metropolitan Opera’s Marco Armiliato returns to conduct and Rob Kearley directs the production.

The English Civil War is the setting for Bellini’s romantic drama I Puritani (The Puritans), the crowning achievement of this Italian master’s career. Like Romeo and Juliet, sweet Elvira and dashing Arturo belong to opposing factions, but they’re in love! The plot unfolds to melodies that will never be surpassed for their breathtaking beauty – music that truly glorifies the human voice. You need four dazzling voices for I Puritani, and Lyric has them in Lawrence Brownlee, Albina Shagimuratova, Anthony Clark Evans, and Adrian Sâmpetrean. Bel canto specialist Enrique Mazzola will conduct, and the Met’s lovely production will be staged by Eric Einhorn.

The wittiest and most sophisticated of Mozart’s operas is Così fan tutte (That’s What Women Do), the tale of an aging, cynical philosopher who makes a bet with two young men that their fiancées can’t remain faithful for 24 hours. Lyric’s production by the legendary John Cox updates the action to the Europe of World War I. Six superb singers who are also stupendous actors grace this cast, headed by two great Lyric favorites – Ana María Martínez as Fiordiligi and Alessandro Corbelli as Don Alfonso. With James Gaffigan, a new star among conductors internationally, Così is going to be an entrancing, provocative, utterly memorable production!

Gounod’s Faust brings us the riveting confrontation between an old scientist disillusioned with life and Méphistophélès, the messenger of the devil, who offers to make him young again – of course, at a price! Now a young man, Faust pursues the innocent Marguerite, leading to catastrophic consequences for them both. Conducted by Emmanuel Villaume, our new Faust is a magnificently inventive new production by a brilliant team led by director Kevin Newbury and production designer John Frame (the great American sculptor in his theatrical debut). Two remarkable Ryan Opera Center alumni, soprano Erin Wall and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, will be joined by debuting tenor Benjamin Bernheim, now embarked on a major international career.

Following the eight operas of the mainstage season are two other unforgettable productions. Presented by Lyric Unlimited at the Athenaeum Theatre, Fellow Travelers chronicles a riveting story of forbidden love in the secretive, unnerving Washington of the McCarthy era. With music by Gregory Spears and libretto by Greg Pierce, the opera triumphed at its world premiere last season in Cincinnati. And Lyric’s annual musical will be Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s incomparable Jesus Christ Superstar, the rock opera that has captivated the world for more than four decades. Lyric will present it in the Regents’ Park Open-Air Theatre production that took London by storm.

We’ll look forward to seeing you at every Lyric production this season! 

Photos: Reed Hummell/Nashville Opera, Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera, Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera, Faust production design by John Frame/scenic design and rendering by Vita Tzykun, Catrin Welz-Stein/Cincinnati Opera, David Jensen/Regent's Park Open Air Theatre