March 06, 2019

Second Nature World Premiere at Lincoln Park Zoo

This August, animals and arias meet in Lyric Unlimited’s world premiere youth opera from acclaimed composer Matthew Aucoin. Second Naturea unique chamber opera written specifically for children ages 7 to 12, will premiere at Chicago’s historic Lincoln Park Zoo. Taking place in a futuristic world where humans dwell in an artificial habitat due to a worsening environment, two brave kids must embark on a quest to save the planet. The premiere performances will take place on Wednesday, August 19 at 10am and 12pm, and Thursday, August 20 at 4pm and 6pm at Lincoln Park Zoo’s Cafe Brauer. 

Costume sketch for the character of Bonobo

25 year old award-winning composer, pianist, poet, and conductor Matthew Aucoin, makes his Lyric Opera debut with this work. As a recent Harvard graduate with a degree in English, Aucoin has jumped headfirst into the world of opera, becoming a fresh voice of a new generation of operatic composers and more importantly, a young composer writing for young people. Second Nature is an original work that celebrates the importance of nature and conservation, which makes it’s performances at the zoo all the more fitting. After its world premiere, Second Nature will tour to 15 different Chicago area venues as part of Lyric Unlimited’s Opera in the Neighborhoods program.
Due to high demand, we are no longer accepting reservations for the four free performances at Cafe Brauer at Lincoln Park Zoo (2021 N. Stockton Dr., Chicago). 

Great news, though: Lyric Unlimited is currently finalizing plans for an additional performance at the Francis W. Parker School on Saturday, October 17 at 2pm. Ticket reservations and additional performance details will be available soon. Keep an eye on for more information.

In partnership with

Major support provided by the Nancy W. Knowles Student and Family Performances fund. Second Nature and Opera in the Neighborhoods are supported by Lead Sponsor J. Christopher and Anne N. Reyes and cosponsors two Anonymous DonorsJoyce E. ChelbergDover FoundationBrent and Katie GledhillGoldman SachsMr. and Mrs. Eric L. HirschfieldKenneth R. Norgan, the Donna Van Eekeren FoundationMarilyn D. Ezri, M.D., the Walter Family Foundation, and Wintrust Community Banks.

Costume sketch by Sally Dolembo for the character of Bonobo