2016 Lineup: Preview & Listen to the Next Three Operas!

January marks the start of a new year — and three much-anticipated classic operas that will open in January and February, replete with drama, laughter, and breathtaking moments of music and theater. Preview the spring operas below, and enjoy musical excerpts from Warner Classics — and recommendations for great recordings for all of our 2015/16 operas!

Nabucco — Triumph with us

Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco sweeps you from one thrilling highlight to another in a constant frenzy of excitement. In the career of the greatest of all Italian opera composers, this was his first great triumph.  Every note brings you the excitement of Verdi’s youthful genius.  

There are three formidable leading roles, and they all have fabulous opportunities to show blazing intensity onstage: the Babylonian king Nabucco, whose fury toward the Hebrew slaves changes to compassion and solidarity in the course of the opera; the crazed Abigaille, whose lust for power is her undoing; and the fanatical Hebrew prophet Zaccaria. Each gets thrilling arias, demanding the vocal prowess of a true master singer. And then there are Verdi’s choruses for the Hebrews — including the greatest hit of all operatic choruses, “Va, pensiero”!


by Giuseppe Verdi

Warner Classics – Manuguerra, Scotto, cond. Muti

“Deh perdona, deh perdona”
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“Va, pensiero”
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Der Rosenkavalier — Delight with us

Comedy, romance, and some of the most rapturously beautiful music ever composed — that’s Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. You’ll laugh uproariously as you watch the handsome Octavian play a memorable trick on the boorish Baron Ochs. And tears will come to your eyes as the Marschallin, Octavian’s lover, nobly gives him up after he falls in love with sweet young Sophie.  

18th-century Vienna, in all its amorous intrigue and its deeply heartfelt sentiment, comes to life in Strauss’s sumptuous melodies.  There’s nothing in opera to surpass the breathtaking  “Presentation of the Rose,” the glorious waltz that ends Act Two, and above all, the exquisite final trio.  It’s there that you’ll have unforgettable evidence of this composer’s lifelong love affair with the soprano voice.  You’ll melt when you hear the magnificence of Strauss’s orchestra — sheer sensuous pleasure!

Der Rosenkavalier

by Richard Strauss

Warner Classics – Schwarzkopf, Ludwig, cond. Karajan

“Herr Kavalier”
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“Hab mir’s gelobt”
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Romeo and Juliet — Fall in love with us

The most celebrated love story of all time, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, illuminates the operatic stage as composed by Charles Gounod (of Faust fame).  All the great scenes in the play are here — and most of the wonderful characters, too — but Gounod concentrates on the lovers, with stupendous arias and no fewer than four heavenly love duets.

This opera gives you white-hot drama (just wait until you see the spectacular duel scene!), but at the same time all the passion of young love and longing. Gounod gives it all an elegance that is unique, as well as heartstopping beauty.  Juliet’s waltz, Romeo’s balcony-scene soliloquy, the poignant farewell duet and the devastating tomb scene — all this and more await you in one of the true classics of French opera. 

Romeo and Juliet

by Charles Gounod

Warner Classics – Gheorghiu, Alagna, cond. Plasson

“Je veux vivre”
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“Ah, lève-toi, soleil”
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Special thanks to Warner Classics, the Official Educator and Promotion Music Provider of Lyric Opera of Chicago. Stop by our Audience Services table in the lobby during opera performances to receive your free copy of the 2015/16 Season Sampler CD featuring the tracks here, or purchase the full recordings from Warner Classics. 

Warner Classics CD Selections for 2015/16:

Erato — Tomlinson, Rodgers, Bartoli, cond. Barenboim

Warner Classics — Larmore, Gimenez, cond. Rizzi

Warner Classics — Skovhus, Denoke, cond. Metzmacher

Warner Classics — Schwarzkopf, Waechter, cond. Matacic

Warner Classics — Manuguerra, Scotto, cond. Muti

Warner Classics — Schwarzkopf, Ludwig, cond. Karajan

Warner Classics — Gheorghiu, Alagna, cond. Plasson

Musical excerpts are courtesy of Warner Classics, the Official Education and Promotion Music Provider of Lyric Opera.

Photos: Cory Weaver/San Diego Opera, Robert Kusel, Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera