Lyric Opera of Chicago

Jack Zimmerman, Kiri Deonarine on A Prairie Home Companion

Press Release Letterhead
For Immediate Release:
June 22, 2011

Ryan Opera Center ensemble member Kiri Deonarine
and Lyric Opera of Chicago PR man Jack Zimmerman
to debut on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor
at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park
on this Saturday, June 25, 5-7 p.m.,
broadcast live locally on WBEZ-FM

“Skydiving Texas soprano” Kiri Deonarine, a first-year member of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera Center, will perform with pianist Craig Terry during A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor during its live broadcast from the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park this Saturday, June 25, between 5 and 7 p.m.

Also appearing on the perennially popular radio variety show will be author and performance artist Jack Zimmerman, Lyric Opera’s subscriber relations manager, media services.

Zimmerman, a southwest side Chicago native, will read an excerpt from “The Gift,” a CD of six autobiographical stories. The recording is interlaced with original music, composed and performed by his son Andrew Zimmerman. “Of all the things I’ve written or had a hand in producing, I am most proud of this project,” he says.

Jack Zimmerman has worked as a parking-lot attendant, greenhouse laborer, dock hand, trombonist, college instructor, piano tuner, newspaper columnist, magazine editor, and PR man (at Ravinia before joining the Lyric staff). He also served in the Navy. Throughout his life he has always told stories. “The Gift” offers an intimate look into his experiences, filled with poignant, funny, and sentimental moments which are augmented by mellow, contemplative compositions for saxophone, piano, and bass. The CD is available from To see Zimmerman reading “The Wake,” go to

Soprano Kiri Deonarine, a first-year Ryan Opera Center member, has spent the past two seasons as a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. While at HGO she appeared as Adina/The Elixir of Love, First Niece/Peter Grimes, Sister Catherine/Dead Man Walking, Despina/Così fan tutte, Barbarina/The Marriage of Figaro, and Najade/Ariadne auf Naxos. She also participated in the Apprentice Singer Program at The Santa Fe Opera in 2009 and 2010. Originally from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, the soprano earned a bachelor’s degree in music education from Baylor University and studied at the Technische Universität Dresden Institute of Advanced Studies before pursuing a master’s degree in vocal performance at Indiana University. Honors include a 2010 George London Vocal Competition Award, first place in the 2010 Dallas Opera Guild Competition, and selection as a Grand Finalist in the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She recently sang the Fauré Requiem with the Milwaukee Symphony under the baton of Edo de Waart and Teutile/Vivaldi’s Montezuma with Mercury Baroque (Houston). In the 2011-12 season, Deonarine will make her Lyric Opera debut as Echo/Ariadne auf Naxos, later performing Pamina/The Magic Flute (student matinees) and A Siren/Rinaldo. 

Craig Terry is an assistant conductor at Lyric Opera of Chicago. An accomplished pianist, he regularly performs with renowned singers in recital, including Stephanie Blythe, Christine Brewer, Nicole Cabell, Sasha Cooke, Joseph Kaiser, Kate Lindsey, and Patricia Racette, among others.

A Prairie Home Companion is heard by more than 4 million listeners each week on some 590 public radio stations, and abroad on America One and the Armed Forces Networks in Europe and the Far East. A Prairie Home Companion is produced by Prairie Home Productions, and distributed nationwide by American Public Media. The program is underwritten by Ford.