Exciting Doings at the Ryan Opera Center

It’s been a busy summer for current members of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center! Several of the singers were active abroad: 

  • Second-year tenor Josh Lovell participated in the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, part of England’s Aldeburgh Festival. During the one week that Josh was at Aldeburgh, the distinguished faculty included Julia Faulkner, the Ryan Opera Center director of vocal studies.
  • First-year soprano Emily Pogorelc participated in the Mozart Residency at the Académie du Festival d'Aix, soon after portraying Cunegonde/Candide at Washington National Opera.  
  • Third-year soprano Ann Toomey participated in the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition, winning two of the preliminary rounds.
  • Second-year soprano Whitney Morrison and third-year bass-baritone Alan Higgs participated in the Georg Solti Accademia in Tuscany.

Here at home, Whitney Morrison and Ann Toomey were joined by third-year contralto Lauren Decker and first-year baritone Christopher Kenney for a captivating performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act comedy, The Old Maid and the Thief, with Carlos Kalmar conducting the Grant Park Orchestra.

Coming up on Sunday, September 30, are the Ryan Opera Center’s Final Auditions, beginning at 12 noon. Singers in all the major vocal categories will travel to Chicago from all over the country to audition for what has long been one of the most prestigious programs of its kind in the world. In addition to possible new members of the Ensemble, the judges will hear several current members who will audition for an additional year. 

At the end of the auditions, while the judges are deliberating, attendees will have the pleasure of hearing a special performance by tenor David Portillo, one of the program’s most successful alumni. David is now established as one of the leading lyric tenors of his generation, with major successes internationally including leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival. He’ll return to Lyric this fall to portray Arbace in Idomeneo.

David Portillo 

Lyric donors and subscribers are entitled to attend the final auditions. Use the promo code you were emailed to access your two complimentary tickets. (Don't have your promo code? Call our audience services department at 312.827.5600 for assistance.) Please note, seating is open by section — first come, first served.

You owe it to yourself to be at the Lyric Opera House on Sunday, September 30 for what will certainly be a tremendously exciting afternoon of thrilling singing by opera’s future stars!