Lyric Unlimited 2019/20 Season Highlights

Lyric Unlimited, Lyric’s department dedicated to education, community engagement, and new artistic initiatives, is excited to announce its programming highlights for the 2019/20 Season. Whether you’re a teacher looking to supplement your curriculum in new and exciting ways, a parent looking to expand your child’s interest in the arts, or a patron looking to experience a new opera based on socially relevant themes — we have something for you!

This fall, Lyric Unlimited will present Earth to Kenziea brand-new children’s opera written by composer Frances Pollock and this season’s An American Dream librettist, Jessica Murphy MooEarth to Kenzie tells the story of Kenzie, a fifth grader with homework, asthma, and a big imagination. When she and her mother must move into a family shelter, Kenzie struggles with school and escapes into the world of video games alongside her avatar Edwin. Discover how she finds her way and learns the true meaning of home. An opera for ages 7-12, Earth to Kenzie will make you wonder how far your imagination can truly take you.

Lyric Unlimited's educational partner for Earth to Kenzie is Codeverse, the world's first fully interactive coding studio and development platform for kids aged 6-13.

Earth to Kenzie will tour around Chicago-area venues in performances for school groups beginning October 14 as part of Opera in the Neighborhoods. Public performances for families will take place at the Vittum Theater in Noble Square on November 9 and 10.

Students heading to see Lyric Unlimited's 2018 Opera in the Neighborhoods production of Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt.

New this season, there are even more ways for CPS teachers to engage with Lyric through expanded free Dress Rehearsals. Teachers can also get their students involved with our traditional Performances for Students and Student Backstage Tours, a popular option for school groups.

Students outside the Lyric Opera House before seeing West Side Story.

In Spring 2020, Lyric Unlimited is proud to present the third installment of EmpowerYouth! Igniting Creativity through the Arts, a groundbreaking partnership with the Chicago Urban League that immerses high school students in the creation and performance of an original stage performance; and Family Day, a day of behind-the-scenes exploration at the Lyric Opera House.

Backstage before EmpowerYouth!'s 2019 production of We Got Next!.

Coming to you in June 2020 is Blue, a new opera by Tony Award®–winning composer Jeanine Tesori and NAACP Theatre Award–winning librettist Tazewell Thompson, presented in collaboration with Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Blue centers on an African American couple in Harlem anticipating the birth of their firstborn son with both hope and fear. As the baby grows into a young man, the mother worries for his future, and the father tries to prepare his son for the realities of 21st-century America, while wrestling with his own identity as a police officer, a "Black man in blue." When their deepest fears come true, the family is forced to navigate a devastating reality seeking answers and support from their church and community.

Blue will be presented at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on June 19, 21, 24, 26-28.

Ticket Information

Teachers and Parents

Performances for Students ticket reservations are available now. Follow the link and fill out the form to secure your seats.

Earth to Kenzie family performance tickets go on sale June 27.

Tickets for Opera in the Neighborhoods, Student Backstage Tours, and CPS Dress Rehearsals will be available beginning August 1. 

Dates for the EmpowerYouth! final performance will be announced soon.

This season's Family Day will take place on May 16, 2020, from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Tickets for Family Day will go on sale June 27.

General Public

Summer backstage tours have been announced and are on sale now!

Tickets for Blue go on sale June 27.

Summer Backstage Tours on Sale Now!

Step behind the curtain at Lyric and experience the magic of opera.

Header photo: Lyric's 2018/19 Family Day. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Additional photos: Kyle Flubacker