January 27, 2020
The Second City Takes on Wagner
Chicago’s music lovers have undoubtedly heard about Lyric’s upcoming production of Wagner’s Ring cycle — a massive operatic undertaking of epic proportions. But while you may have already purchased your tickets for the monumental drama, there are also plenty of other events happening as part of Lyric’s Ring Festival Programming. One of the most anticipated programs is the return of Lyric’s partnership with The Second City in Longer! Louder! Wagner! The Second City Wagner Companion, opening April 15.
Longer! Louder! Wagner! brings audiences to 1848 Germany where Wagner first began work on the Ring; and then to modern-day Bayreuth, home of Wagner’s personally designed opera house. This original musical comedy hilariously illustrates the lasting effects of his masterpiece and the headaches an opera company might encounter trying to mount this behemoth. The Chicago Tribune called its 2016 premiere “compulsively entertaining,” while the Chicago Sun-Times said it was “deliciously naughty,” and Stage and Cinema said it was “laugh-out-loud funny whether or not you’re familiar with Wagner…a little bit of everything and a lot of fun.”
Longer! Louder! Wagner! is just one of Lyric’s collaborations with The Second City. The first was a series of opera parody videos featuring “Dr. Opera,” a therapist who hilariously worked through the issues of some of opera’s most famous characters. Next up was the wildly popular Second City Guide to Opera, which premiered as a sold-out, one-night-only gala event at Lyric featuring Patrick Stewart and Renée Fleming that won two Jeff Awards. Following the popularity of that show, a unique cabaret version was developed for a month-long run on Lyric's stage later that year. Longer! Louder! Wagner! premiered in 2016 as Lyric presented the first of its new RIng operas, Das Rheingold. (Read what Second City veteran Tim Sniffen has to say about developing the show here.)
Curious as to what Longer! Louder! Wagner! looks like? Take a look at the trailer:
With a running time of approximately 90 minutes, Longer! Louder! Wagner! will have 10 cabaret-style performances, all backstage at Lyric in the William Mason Rehearsal Hall, giving ticket holders a unique opportunity to enjoy spaces of the Lyric Opera House rarely seen by the public.
You won’t want to miss this hilarious spoof of Wagner, happening under the same roof as one of the greatest achievements in Western music and culture. Tickets for Longer! Louder! Wagner! start at $39 and can be purchased by visiting lyricopera.org/LLW or by calling 312.827.5600.
And hear what the composer, music director and star of Longer! Louder! Wagner!, Jesse Case, has to say about why you should see the Ring cycle at Lyric this April and May: