An original opera from the hearts and minds of our city's youth. Empower

In this world premiere, a group of South Side youth band together to change their neighborhood and fight against the negative media representation by a reporter obsessed with corruption. From redefining their own narrative to sharing what Chicago means to them, hear the stories and sounds of Chicago's youth in this groundbreaking new work written by Ike Holter with music by Damien Sneed as it debuts on Chicago's biggest stage.

This performance is the culmination of EmpowerYouth!: Igniting Creativity through the Arts, a groundbreaking partnership between Lyric and the Chicago Urban League that immerses high school students in the creation and performance of an original opera. Students will perform their opera alongside opera stars Angela Brown and Will Liverman and a 10-piece orchestra, bringing this dynamic new work to Lyric audiences in a fully-staged and costumed opera performance.

Learn more about EmpowerYouth! and students' creation of an original opera that tells their stories as young people in Chicago.

Upcoming Dates
Full Calendar

Empower was presented at Lyric on Thursday, May 31, 2018. View our calendar to see what's currently on stage.

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EmpowerYouth! Igniting Creativity through the Arts is made possible by leadership support from the Centene Charitable Foundation, with additional support from the Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund, Eric and Deb Hirschfield, an Anonymous Donor, and the Eisen Family Foundation.


Photo: Todd Rosenberg