Lyric News, Events & Offers for September 2019

Youth Opera Council

The new 2019/20 Youth Opera Council gathered in August to kick off the new Lyric season. This group of Chicagoland high school students deepen their love for opera and the performing arts through the program, which grants them special access to Lyric Opera performances, artists, staff, and behind-the-scenes exploration. These young arts advocates also host events throughout the season so that their friends can share in the opera experience. We're excited to see how they engage with Lyric this season!  

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Online Auction: September 24 - October 1

The Virtuoso Collection: Opera Memorabilia Sale to Benefit Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera is thrilled to present "The Virtuoso Collection" in collaboration with Hindman Auctions. The collection includes images of many of the most memorable operatic artists and composers of the twentieth century, and features signed images, original photographs, caricatures, and other collectibles. All pieces are in superb condition, and the images make an overwhelming impact, conjuring up a dazzling, bygone era of opera. Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bid on a piece of operatic history!

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Ryan Opera Center Final Auditions

Every year, some of the world's best up-and-coming opera superstars audition for a spot in Lyric's world-famous artistic development program for emerging talent, The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Join us on Sunday, September 15, for the Ryan Opera Center's Final Auditions, when more than 20 finalists will vie for a place in 2020/21 Ensemble. Ryan Opera Center alumna Laura Wilde (2013-2016) will also perform. Attendees are invited to participate in the process by voting for the Audience Favorite Award. Tickets are free, but required.

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Earth to Kenzie

On November 9 and 10, Lyric Opera of Chicago will present its brand-new children’s opera, Earth to Kenzie, in three public performances at the Vittum Theater in Chicago's Noble Square neighborhood. Created specifically for children ages 7-10, Earth to Kenzie puts fifth-grader Kenzie at the heart of its story. In the 45-minute production, audiences will see Kenzie deal with personal challenges like homework and asthma – plus bigger issues  using her out-of-this-world imagination. When she and her mother must move into a family shelter, Kenzie finds refuge in the world of video games, alongside her avatar Edwin. Through their imaginary space adventures, Kenzie dares to go further than ever before. Watch as Kenzie gains friends and confidence in the classroom.

Earth to Kenzie is by composer Frances Pollock and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo (librettist of last season’s An American Dream). The director is Jess McLeod (here previously for 2016/17’s Chicago Voices: Stories and Songs of Chicago and 2017/18’s Empower).

The cast features soprano Kateri Gormley as Kenzie, mezzo-soprano Emma Ritter as her mom, mezzo-soprano Christina Pecci as Edwin, and baritone Keanon Kyles as Kenzie's Teacher. Costumes are by Mieka van der Ploeg, and scenic and prop designs are by Jeffrey D. Kmeic. The English language opera will feature the four singers with piano accompaniment.

Earth to Kenzie is a co-commission with Seattle Opera. Because the opera involves the world of video games, Lyric is excited to partner with Codeverse, a cutting-edge training ground that helps kids develop life skills through computer programming and app development.

Tickets for the November performances are $10 for kids and $20 for adults.

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Opera in the Neighborhoods

Opera in the Neighborhoods, Lyric's longtime touring opera program that serves thousands of Chicago elementary and middle school students annually, will begin this fall with presentations of Earth to Kenzie in 30 performances at 15 different venues. OIN will debut in new venues including Morgan Park High School and Westinghouse College Prep, reaching approximately 18,000 students. To maximize accessibility, the Opera in the Neighborhoods program is offered free of cost with an optional $65 per-classroom donation, and bus scholarships are available for qualifying Chicago Public Schools. 

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Don't Forget Your Dining Reservations!

Nothing makes a visit to Lyric more special than adding an enjoyable meal to a beautiful performance — and we're excited to share that dining reservations are now available! Save your table for a delicious and convenient lunch or dinner in the Sarah and Peer Pedersen Room or Florian Opera Bistro to complete your Lyric experience.

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Need A Ride? The Lyric Bus Has You Covered.

Lyric Opera is pleased to offer luxury motor coach service from Northbrook Court Shopping Mall for weekday matinee opera performances throughout the 2019/20 Season. Avoid the hassles of traffic and public transportation — plus, ride to your performance with fellow music lovers! Call Lyric's Audience Services department at 312.827.5600 to purchase bus tickets for your ride to your opera or musical performance.

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Photos: Kyle Flubacker, Jaclyn Simpson, Todd Rosenberg