Ann Patchett's New York Times best-selling novel Bel Canto took the literary world by storm. Now, in a new work curated by Lyric's creative consultant, Renée Fleming, this riveting story inspired by a real-life event becomes a powerful opera.

If you are a lover of great stories, great music, or both, consider reading Bel Canto this fall. The book tells the story of superstar American diva Roxane Coss, who has flown to Peru to sing at the vice president's home for a visiting Japanese mogul who is an opera buff. Dignitaries of every nationality are there — but an international crisis explodes when terrorists storm the mansion and take everyone hostage.  Isolated for months, unlikely alliances form between captors and captives as fear and anger mingle uneasily with desire and even love. Music is the one universal language — but can it draw forth the humanity that exists in us all? 

Lyric Opera has created an online book discussion guide (or PDF for printing) to help lead your book club in conversations about this celebrated work of fiction.

Reading the book is the perfect prelude to a unique opportunity - bring your group to Lyric Opera and experience Bel Canto in a new form - as a world premiere opera. Composed by Jimmy López, a native of Peru and "one of the most interesting young composers anywhere today," (Chicago Sun-Times), with a story adapted by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz, Bel Canto ran December 7 through January 17. A grandscale new production is directed by Kevin Newbury and Sir Andrew Davis conducts.

Bel Canto the Opera

Based on Ann Patchett's best-selling novel, Bel Canto now becomes a riveting new opera. When music is the one universal language, can it draw forth the humanity that exits in us all?