March 06, 2019

Exciting New Artists in 2015/16 - Part 2

A world premiere, a biblical battle, a Strauss comedy, and a timeless tale of romance — meet some of the star artists that will be making Lyric Opera debuts in leading roles during the second half of Lyric's season!

Giuseppe Verdi's biblical battle royale pits Nabucco against Zaccaria, and Dmitry Belosselskiy, who is taking the operatic world by storm, makes his debut as Nabucco's nemesis.  He recently triumphed in the Met's Ernani: "The cast was dominated by Dmitry Belosselskiy, a Ukranian bass who enhanced the evil stances of Silva with dignified restraint. He sang powerfully, with dark, rich, rolling tone and fine expressive focus," wrote the Financial Times. Also at the Met recently he portrayed Ramfis/Aida and the Old Convict/Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. A Bolshoi principal artist, his 2014/15 roles there included Boris Godunov and King Philip/Don Carlo. Through early June he's portraying Oroveso/Norma in Venice. He earned raves locally as Banquo/Macbeth with the CSO under Ricardo Muti in 2013.

This new opera by composer Jimmy López and librettist Nilo Cruz, based on Ann Patchett's novel, starts with a Japanese mogul's infatuation with an American operatic diva who gives a command performance for him in an embassy in Peru — and the international hostage crisis that follows.

Korean bass-baritone Jeongcheol Cha comes to Lyric with the thrilling challenge of creating the character of Hosokawa from scratch in collaboration with director Kevin Newbury and other cast members, in particular Danielle De Niese as the diva Roxane Coss, the object of his character's obsession. The New York Times has praised his "strong, mellifluous voice" as Don Pasquale at The Juilliard School, from which he graduated recently. In the current season he's sung the title role of Don Giovanni with North Carolina Opera and Leporello with the Seoul City Opera.

A delectable young woman is promised in marriage to a pompous aristocrat, but the messenger gets the girl.

German soprano Christina Landshamer has triumphed in a wide range of repertoire in Europe and England, including Die Frau Ohne Schatten and Carmen (Salzburg), The Magic Flute (Amsterdam), Rinaldo (Glyndebourne), and Der Freischütz (Dresden). She has performed with top conductors and orchestras throughout Europe. She will make her American debut and her role debut as Sophie in Lyric's new-to-Chicago production of Richard Strauss's beloved romantic comedy.

British bass Matthew Rose, praised as "absolutely first-class" by The Telegraph and "ever impressive" by The Guardian, launched his career as Bottom/A Midsummer Night's Dream at Glyndebourne in 2006, and has repeated the role at La Scala, Covent Garden, Lyon, Houston, and the Met, and returned to each in several roles, including Talbot/Maria Stuarda and Colline/La Bohème (Met), Sparafucile/Rigoletto, Sarastro/The Magic Flute, and Talbot (Covent Garden); Leporello/Don Giovanni and Nick Shadow/The Rake's Progress (Glyndebourne), and more.

Romeo's pageboy, Stephano, provokes the Capulets with a saucy song about protecting their prized daughter Juliet.

French mezzo-soprano Marianne Crebassa has  portrayed  Juliette previously — but in Berlioz's version of Shakespeare's tragedy, not the Gounod work Lyric will stage in a new-to-Chicago production. She debuted at the Salzburg Festival in 2012 in Tamerlano, and appeared in Paris Opera's Lulu and Rigoletto. Crebassa recently debuted at La Scala in Lucia Silla and made her American debut at the CSO in May in L'enfant et les Sortilèges.


These are just a few of the exciting artists making their Lyric debuts in the 2015-16 season — you won't want to miss their captivating portrayals in brand-new and beloved familiar works.

Photos: Catherine Ashmore (Royal Opera House), Matthias Baus (Salzburg Festival), Marco Borggreve, W.Hosl (Munich Opern Festispiele), Luc Jennepin, Lena Kern, Scenic design for Bel Canto by David Korins