Rock star & humanitarian Bono featured on catalog cover of Operathon 2010 - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Rock star & humanitarian Bono featured on catalog cover of Operathon 2010

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rock star & humanitarian
featured on catalog cover of
Operathon 2010


Previous Operathon covers have featured sports legends, singers,
politicians, actors, columnists, critics, and other major celebrities


Lyric’s fundraising marathon to be broadcast live
Sat., Oct. 16, 8 a.m. to midnight on 98.7WFMT
Catalogs available now


Irish rock star and humanitarian Bono, the lead singer for U2, appears on the cover of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Operathon 2010 catalog, thanks to his friendship with Richard P. Kiphart, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s president and CEO.

The two have known each other since 2004, when Kiphart was asked to join the board of the rock star/humanitarian's advocacy group, Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa (DATA). They have worked together and met with legislators in Washington to discuss AIDS and other issues of import to Africa. When U2 performed in Chicago during the summer of 2009, Bono graciously agreed to be photographed for Lyric Opera’s Operathon 2010 catalog cover, at Kiphart’s request.

Lyric has featured internationally renowned performers, athletes, actors, politicians, and media figures on Operathon catalog covers since 1988. Subjects have included sports legends Michael Jordan (twice), Mike Ditka, Lovie Smith, and Sammy Sosa; stage and screen actor John Mahoney; Mayor Richard M. Daley and former Gov. James R. Thompson; columnists Ann Landers and Irv Kupcinet; film critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel; and opera stars Nicole Cabell, Joyce DiDonato, Plácido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Luciano Pavarotti, and Samuel Ramey, among others. Also featured have been Lyric’s music director Sir Andrew Davis, artistic director emeritus Bruno Bartoletti, and former general director Ardis Krainik.

Operathon 2010 takes place on Sat., Oct. 16, between 8 a.m. and midnight.  98.7WFMT will broadcast live from the Civic Opera House that day and night, interspersing historical and contemporary musical selections by Lyric artists with lively interviews with singers from the current season, as well as opera insiders.

Singers, conductors, and directors from Lyric’s first three productions – Macbeth, Carmen, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream will appear on-air over the course of the 16-hour radio event.  During and after that evening’s performance of Carmen singers will make their way from backstage to the temporary radio studio.

Volunteers will accept pledges by phone throughout Operathon when listeners call

1-888-726-5700 8 a.m. to midnight. More than 200 items are being offered, including “Lyric Rocks” and “Lyric Opera” black T-shirts with white lettering ($30). The catalog cover features Bono wearing the “Lyric Opera” shirt. “Lyric Rocks” beverage mugs are offered for $15.

Autographed recordings and numerous services and merchandise items are also being offered as Operathon fundraising incentives – on Oct. 16 but also in advance:  Lyric’s OperaShop is open online 24/7 at 

The fundraising goal for Operathon 2010 is $400,000.  The 31st annual Operathon fundraiser is cosponsored by American Airlines (the official airline of Lyric Opera of Chicago) and by William Blair & Company. 98.7WFMT produces and broadcasts Operathon. All proceeds of Operathon support Lyric’s education and community engagement programs for children, adults, and seniors. Operathon chairmen are Virginia Jach (Southwest Chapter) and Dorothy Kuechl (Northwest Chapter). The Chapters Executive Board president is Kate Letarte (Riverside Chapter).

“As the lead singer of U2, one of the most popular and influential rock bands of the last 30 years, Bono is a figure adored and admired both within and outside of the music industry. As a rock star, his music with U2 has earned him legions of devoted fans across the world, whilst as a humanitarian and crusader for the world’s poor, co-founder of organizations such as DATA and the ONE Campaign, he has gained deep respect from politicians and global statesmen as well as music fans. His rare ability to effectively straddle the spheres of both entertainment and politics remains rivaled by few in the realm of popular culture, and his determination to change the world for the better continues to inspire millions on both sides of the political divide.” (from, the band’s official website)