March 06, 2019

Reserve Your Free Tickets for an Incredible Afternoon of Music

Three Unique Groups Share the Stories of Their Communities

On Sunday, September 10 at 2pm, three unique, Chicago-based community groups will take the stage of the Harris Theater (205 E. Randolph St.) to present Stories and Songs of Chicago as part of Lyric Unlimited’s groundbreaking Chicago Voices initiative. Blu Rhythm CollectiveKuumba Lynx, and YOLO Boomers will each perform their compelling works that have taken shape over the past 15 weeks through an incredible creative journey to transform their community’s stories into fully-produced music theater pieces.

Tickets are free, but reservations are encouraged. Same-day walk-ups will be seated as space permits.

Learn more about Chicago Voices and Community Created Performances: Stories and Songs of Chicago from Lyric Unlimited Vice President Cayenne Harris:

Blu Rhythm Collective 

It’s hard to believe that only a year and a half ago, on a cold evening early in January 2016, we announced the start of a major new initiative called Chicago Voices. The announcement and launch event took place at The Hideout, an iconic Chicago music venue and a fitting spot to kick off an initiative that would take Lyric Opera into a multitude of new directions.

The Lyric Unlimited staff, with input and guidance from creative consultant Renée Fleming, had already been planning the wide-ranging and ambitious set of activities for over a year, engaging in research, pilot programming, and the creation of a new website, Looking back, I can say with confidence that Chicago Voices has been the most ambitious project Lyric Unlimited has undertaken to date, in terms of its scope and scale and its intent to engage the entire city in a celebration of the human voice.

Kuumba Lynx 

Since that announcement in January, more than 7,000 people from all over the city have participated in Chicago Voices programming through participatory arts experiences, discussions and panels, concerts and performances, master classes, and much more. An additional 26,000 voted online to see the groups of their choosing have the opportunity to participate in Community Created Performances, culminating in an event like the one you can see next Sunday. In all, more than 80,000 people have taken part in the initiative since it began.

On September 10 at 2pm, we celebrate the culmination of the Chicago Voices Community Created Performances Program in which three Chicago groups participated in an intensive, 15-week creative journey to transform their community’s stories into fully-produced music theater pieces. Your presence and encouragement is a part of the strength of this experience: you can help create a supportive environment for creativity and self expression.

YOLO Boomers

I hope, too, that you’ll learn or understand something new about another community that might not be a part of your day-to-day world. The artistic teams that Lyric Unlimited assembled to support each group through the creation process strove to always let the community’s voice lead. You’ll witness the authentic words, songs, and experiences of each group and its members.

We hope you’ll join us for the performance!

Cayenne Harris
Vice President, Lyric Unlimited
The Chapters' Endowed Chair for Education
Lyric Opera of Chicago

Photos: Jaclyn Simpson