Lyric Opera of Chicago

2011 Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park

Press Release Letterhead

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Renée Fleming to headline
“Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park,”
Lyric’s annual musical gift to Chicago!
Free concert performance begins 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 10,
Presented in cooperation with the City of Chicago and Millennium Park

  Additional featured artists include Matthew Polenzani, James Morris,
Anna Christy, Susanna Phillips, Jamie Barton, Ljubomir Puskaric, ensemble members of the Ryan Opera Center, and the Lyric Opera Orchestra
conducted by Emmanuel Villaume

  Cosponsors: An Anonymous Donor, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation,
Rhoda and Henry Frank, and AT&T.
Additional funding: The Music Performance and Film Funds

  The Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Broadcasts to air
“Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert live on 98.7WFMT and, anchored by George Preston and Roger Pines

The Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Broadcasts are made possible by
The Matthew Bucksbaum Family, with matching funds generously provided by
The Crown Family and Richard P. and Susan Kiphart



On Saturday, September 10, at 7:30 p.m., Lyric Opera of Chicago will present a star-studded free outdoor concert at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Soprano superstar Renée Fleming, Lyric’s creative consultant, will headline the performance, which annually attracts audiences upwards of 16,000.

Fleming sang previously in Lyric’s second annual free pre-season concert, then held in Grant Park’s Petrillo Bandshell, in early September 2001, while rehearsing a new production of Verdi’s Otello.

“I’m so pleased to be singing for the first time in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion, one of our country’s great architectural symbols,” says Fleming. “It’s a thrill to share this wonderful Lyric tradition with my colleagues and members of the Ryan Opera Center as we kick off an exciting season of culture in Chicago.”

French conductor Emmanuel Villaume will lead the Lyric Opera Orchestra and an array of outstanding soloists including stars from the season tenor Matthew Polenzani, bass-baritone James Morris, sopranos Anna Christy and Susanna Phillips, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, and baritone Ljubomir Purkaric – joined by featured artists from Lyric’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center (TBA). Polenzani, Morris, and Christy star in Lyric’s season opener, The Tales of Hoffmann, conducted by Mo. Villaume. Phillips stars in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor.  Barton has roles in The Tales of Hoffmann, Boris Godunov, and Ariadne auf Naxos; Pusarik appears in Boris.

“Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” will feature a superb selection of overtures, arias, and ensembles from the upcoming season and from the general repertory, to be announced at a later date.

The September 10 free outdoor concert is Lyric’s eleventh. It will take place in Millennium Park’s Jay Pritzker Pavilion, designed by Frank Gehry. “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert cosponsors are an Anonymous Donor, the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Rhoda and Henry Frank, and AT&T; with additional funding from the Music Performance and Film Funds. 

 The “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” free concert will be carried live on 98.7WFMT and by The Bucksbaum Family Lyric Opera Broadcasts. George Preston, 98.7WFMT’s afternoon drive-time program host, and Roger Pines, Lyric’s dramaturg, will host the “Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park” concert broadcast beginning at 7:15 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 10.

Additionally, Lyric will post live photos and video clips of the audience and the artists behind the scenes via Facebook and Twitter throughout the evening.

Lyric Opera of Chicago opens its 57th season on Saturday, October 1. The season continues through March 25, 2012, with 72 performances of eight operas: Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann (Oct. 1-29), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Oct. 10–Nov. 5, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov (Nov. 7–29),  Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (Nov. 19–Dec. 11), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Dec. 6–Jan. 12), Verdi’s Aida (Jan. 21–Feb. 8 and Mar. 6-25),  Kern & Hammerstein’s Show Boat (Feb.12-March 17), and Handel’s Rinaldo (Feb. 29-Mar. 24).

All of Lyric’s regular-season performances take place at the Civic Opera House, Madison Street and Wacker Drive in Chicago. There are projected English translations for every opera. Subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets become available in the late summer. Discounts are available for group tickets. For information on specific performance dates and ticket availability, please call (312) 332-2244, ext. 5600, or go to