March 24. 2023 - April 08. 2023

Upcoming Dates

March 24. 2023 - April 08. 2023

World premiere Proximity

Sure to be one of the most widely heralded musical events of 2022/23, Proximity is a gripping, powerful trio of new works that confronts head-on some of the greatest challenges affecting us as a society: yearning for connection in a world driven by technology; the devastating impact of gun violence on cities and neighborhoods; and the need to respect and protect our natural resources. As the story zooms in and out from the individual to the community to the cosmic, we find ourselves in a compelling snapshot of 21st century life, with all of its complex intersections and commonalities. This new Lyric commission, bringing together a complement of some of the most important creative minds of our time, including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, Grammy Awards, and the MacArthur Genius Grant, promises to be by turns riveting, provocative, and inspiring.

The Walkers Composed by Daniel Bernard Roumain with libretto by Anna Deavere Smith.
Four Portraits Composed by Caroline Shaw with libretto by Caroline Shaw and Jocelyn Clarke.
Night Composed by John Luther Adams with libretto by John Haines.

Content advisory: Proximity features adult content that may not be suitable for some audiences, including detailed, firsthand accounts of gun violence, death by gun violence, and profanity. Proximity also includes themes related to loneliness, isolation, and climate change.

  • Language: Sung in English with projected English titles
  • Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes with 1 intermission
  • Location: Lyric Opera House
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Lyric’s world premiere of Proximity is generously made possible by an Anonymous Donor, OPERA America, and support from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Additional support is provided by Lyric Opera of Chicago's Production Circle

Sunday, March 26 Post-Show Panel

Creating Change: Arts and Activism

Creating Change: Arts and Activism

“The role of the artist is that of the soldier of the revolution.”
-Diego Rivera

Through captivating music and compelling words, Proximity addresses three major issues that affect us all, and every day, artists around the world are using the arts to create change on the ground. Following the matinee performance on Sunday, March 26, audience members are invited to stay for a conversation with those working at the intersection of arts and activism, using different forms of expression to ignite change every day. Chaz Ebert, CEO of The Ebert Company and member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Board of Directors, will moderate this conversation.

This program is dedicated to the memory of Joseph London Smith, grandson of Chaz Ebert.

Meet the artists






* Lyric debut
** Ryan Opera Center alumnus
*** Ryan Opera Center Ensemble

Program book

Go inside this production of Proximity with engaging articles, notes from the director, a complete plot synopsis, artist bios, and more.