March 06, 2019

Free Preview Events for "Bel Canto"

As Lyric prepares for the much-anticipated world premiere of Bel CantoLyric Unlimited is offering a series of three free, public events that explore the creation and themes of this powerful new opera.  We hope you’ll join us — read more about the events and how you and your book club can make the most of this unique opportunity to experience a novel-turned opera below!

View our online Bel Canto opera guide (PDF for printing) to learn more about the creation of this world premiere.

Please note: Registration is strongly encouraged for these free, public events. Capacity is limited and ticketed attendees will receive priority access.  Register by clicking below!

An Afternoon of Chamber Music with Bel Canto Composer Jimmy López

Sunday, November 8 at 2pm
Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington Street, Chicago

Join us for an afternoon of chamber music performed by members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, curated and hosted by Jimmy López, composer of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s world-premiere production of Bel Canto. This concert will feature music by Bach, Stravinsky, Grisey, and López.

Performers: Jennifer Bouton Schaub, flute; Gene Collerd, clarinet*; Carol Cook, viola; Paul Dwyer, cello; Patrick Godon, piano*; Bing Grant, violin; Kay Kim, piano*; William Koehler, piano*; Ann Palen, violin; Walter Preucil, cello; Mary Stolper, flute*; Andrea Swan, piano*; Susan Warner, clarinet; Eric Weimer, conductor; Heather Wittels, violin                                
*Guest artist with Lyric Opera Orchestra members

From Page to Stage: A Conversation with Bel Canto author Ann Patchett and Lyric creative consultant Renée Fleming

Wednesday, November 18 at 7pm
Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, 400 S. State Street, Chicago

Join Lyric Opera creative consultant and Bel Canto curator Renée Fleming and Bel Canto author Ann Patchett for an intimate discussion of the journey involved in transforming a best-selling novel about an operatic diva into a Lyric Opera of Chicago world premiere.

In partnership with Chicago Public Library.

The Creation of a World Premiere: Join the Bel Canto creative team as they discuss the evolution of an original opera.

Wednesday, December 2 at 6pm
Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago

Lyric Unlimited presents a panel discussion on the creation of an original opera including Bel Canto composer Jimmy López and librettist Nilo Cruz, director Kevin Newbury, conductor and Lyric music director Sir Andrew Davis, and soprano Danielle de Niese, moderated by Lyric dramaturg Roger Pines.

This event is supported by the Katherine A. Abelson Educational Endowment Fund.

Bring Your Book Club to Bel Canto

If you're a lover of great stories, consider reading Ann Patchett's best-selling novel Bel Canto this fall, and share the experience through a book club. Whether you're already part of a book club, or want to encourage a group of friends to read this page-turning drama together, Lyric has the discussion and background tools to help you make the most of it. Book clubs receive special discounts on opera tickets, plus the opportunity to attend one of two complimentary pre-show receptions for book clubs on December 10 or January 5. Group leaders also receive a free copy of Bel Canto.

Learn more at and view the Bel Canto Book Club Discussion Guide (or download the PDF for printing). 

If you already have a group, email to book your opera tickets today!

Lyric Opera world premiere generously made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Helen and Sam Zell, Ethel and William Gofen, Ada and Whitney Addington, the Walter E. Heller Foundation, and Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Prince Charitable Trusts.

Bel Canto was created with funds from the Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work, which was awarded to Jimmy López and Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2013.

Steingraeber & Söhne is the Official Piano of Lyric’s new production of Bel Canto, in partnership with the Grand Piano Haus, Skokie, Illinois.
Steingraeber & Söhne Grand Piano Haus