The Votes Are In!

Meet the Groups Who Won the Chance to Sing Their Stories

Chicago Voices, a groundbreaking initiative led by Lyric Opera and its Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, received applications this past winter from diverse groups from around the city who wanted the chance to turn their stories into works of original music theater.

Eight groups were selected to proceed to the semifinalist round for public voting as part of the Community Created Performances program. The online video profiles were viewed and voted on more than 16,000 times.

We are excited to announce our finalists, the three groups who received the highest number of votes! 

Harmony, Hope & Healing: Harmony, Hope & Healing provides music-based programming to homeless and underserved communities, which offers emotional and spiritual support to help them prevail daily over their struggles to achieve better lives.

The Kirin-Gornick Band: The Kirin-Gornick Band’s story follows the lifelong collaboration of the group members and reveals how the rich history of traditional Eastern European tambura music impacts people’s lives in Chicago.

Tellin’ Tales Theatre: Tellin' Tales Theatre creates a common bond between people with and without physical and mental disabilities by encouraging them to share their personal stories with the world in a theatrical setting.

Starting in June, these three groups will embark on a 16‐week creative process to bring their stories to life by working with an artistic support team provided by Lyric including animateurs (facilitators), scriptwriters, songwriters, and directors. This artistic team will assist the groups in developing their stories into original music and scripts that will lead to public readings of the new works at neighborhood venues in August.

Following the readings, the artistic process continues, culminating in a fully staged, free public performance of their original works at a major venue in September. Stay tuned for more information as this innovative process unfolds!

Chicago Public Library One Book One Chicago

Partners for Chicago Voices are Chicago Public Library, Chicago History Museum and Columbia College Chicago.

Chicago Voices is a project of Lyric Unlimited, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s department dedicated to education, community engagement, and new artistic initiatives. 

Chicago Voices is made possible by major support from J. Thomas Hurvis and Parent Power ChicagoThe Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. This project is partially supported by The Chicago Community Trust, an IncentOvate Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, and the Eisen Family Foundation

Photo: Jaclyn Simpson