Through the timeless power of voice, acting that brings characters to life in triumph and tragedy, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus—coupled with theater, dance, design, and truly magical stagecraft—Lyric transports you to worlds both familiar and unexpected, leaving us all thinking and feeling differently long after the curtain comes down. Don’t miss a moment: secure your place for Lyric’s 2020/21 Season of grand opera, chamber opera, special events, and musical theater.
Mascagni & Leoncavallo
Lyric opens the season with the scale, spectacle, and vocal magnificence of these two gloriously paired works, which have not been seen here for more than a decade. In Cavalleria rusticana, seduced and abandoned by the irresponsible Turiddu, the lovelorn Santuzza is desperate for her lover to leave the seductive Lola and return to her. Pagliacci’s Canio, the clown, laughs on the outside but inside he’s seething with jealousy once he realizes that his wife loves another man. Mascagni and Leoncavallo have created two searing dramas, revealing the hearts of characters who love and suffer with a passion that is unique in all opera.
Sir George Benjamin & Martin Crimp
Lyric presents the North American premiere of a riveting new political thriller, which takes place in a contemporary totalitarian state. The king’s wife, Isabel, is having an affair with Mortimer, a key military commander, while the king has a male lover, Gaveston. Isabel and Mortimer conspire to murder Gaveston and to overthrow the king. Observing the actions of the older generation, the teenage children of the ruling couple learn about both love as a commodity and the usefulness of violence, with terrifying consequences. British composer Sir George Benjamin, who received international acclaim for his 2012 opera Written on Skin, has triumphed again with this turbulent and gripping drama, with a score that critics have hailed as “explosive,” “poetic,” and “masterly.”
A diva who has all of Rome at her feet. A woman who takes charge of her life and fights for what she wants. A heroine who is brave and loving, extravagantly emotional, yet utterly irresistible. Floria Tosca is all these things. She’s loved by Mario Cavaradossi, the revolutionary, and lusted after by Baron Scarpia, Rome’s vicious police chief. Puccini’s lushly grand-scale music illuminates these characters, and the entire opera bursts with a theatricality that makes Tosca a favorite of audiences everywhere.
There’s nothing like the thrilling energy and excitement of Verdi’s early operas. Attila, which hasn’t been seen on our stage for 20 years, demands huge, house-filling voices and powerhouse personalities for this story of the infamous “Scourge of God,” his consuming desire for power, and his final downfall. In his pursuit of conquest, Attila kills the father of Odabella, who lives only for revenge. And with the help of her beloved Foresto and the Roman general Ezio, she finally gets her wish. With vocal fireworks galore from the principals and spectacular choruses as well, Attila is a musical feast.
Missy Mazzoli & Royce Vavrek
On sale this spring
The American dream: the promise of a better life for those who work to achieve it. In this gripping drama, acclaimed composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek explore whether regular, hardworking people are able to fulfill their destiny– and what happens when fate is cruel, and their dreams turn into nightmares. The haunting, supernatural story of Nebraska homesteaders in the 1870s and their dream of “proving up” and obtaining the deed to the land they’ve settled, the opera draws us vividly into a world where the requirement of a single glass window can shatter the hopes and dreams of a family. The Washington Post called Proving Up “harrowing...powerful... a true opera of our time.” Join us for the anticipated Chicago premiere of this new chamber opera.
Presented in collaboration with Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave, Chicago
Visual, musical, and vocal magnificence reigns onstage at Lyric in the retelling of this powerfully dramatic biblical tale. Behold Samson the Israelite, greatest of all heroes, a role made for a true heroic tenor. And behold Delilah, the Philistine temptress, who uses all her feminine allure to learn the secret of Samson’s might. Thus the stage is set for one of the most stupendous climactic scenes to be seen in an opera house. Along the way are sensuously beautiful melodies, including Delilah's mesmerizing “Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” and a wild bacchanale that truly sets the stage ablaze with excitement.
No operatic hero is more endearing than Nemorino, who pines for the flirtatious Adina. She’s the owner of the town’s hotel, he’s her delightfully naive waiter. His only hope to win her is the “elixir” sold by the quack, Dr. Dulcamara—little does he know that it’s just Bordeaux wine! From start to finish we root for Nemorino, as Adina toys with him until she finally lets him know how she really feels. Elixir is opera’s most heartwarming comedy, filled with Donizetti’s delectable music that brings nonstop smiles.
Mozart’s sublime comedic masterpiece about relationships and human nature takes place on a single crazy day. The Count’s valet, Figaro, is engaged to the Countess’s maid, Susanna. The only problem is that the Count is eager to exercise his right as lord of the manor and have his way with Susanna. But the endlessly resourceful Susanna is too smart for him, and the two servants and the Countess join together to get the better of the Count. Will true love prevail? Find out as Mozart’s incomparable music illuminates every moment, showing us these wonderful characters with all their vulnerabilities and virtues.
At last this English-language masterpiece makes its eagerly awaited return to the Lyric stage for the first time in more than a quarter-century. A simple young man from the country inherits a fortune and longs for the excitement of London. Leaving the girl he loves, he travels there escorted by the devil, who leads him into all manner of temptation — and ultimately, to total disaster. Tom Rakewell, his devoted Anne Trulove, the devil Nick Shadow, and the bearded lady Baba the Turk (whom Nick persuades Tom into marrying) are among 20th-century opera’s most memorable characters. They’re brought to life through music that is sparkling, lyrical, and endlessly imaginative in an iconic production designed by famed artist David Hockney.
After her triumphs on Lyric’s stage in riveting performances as Brünnhilde in the Ring, the title role of Elektra, and Cassandre in Les Troyens, Christine Goerke returns to Lyric for what promises to be a thrilling vocal recital. The world-renowned American soprano's richly vibrant voice, flawless musicianship, and celebrated stylistic versatility have been acclaimed in recitals all over America. With her passionate musical curiosity and her wonderful ability to reveal the essence of any music she performs, Christine’s artistry will once again captivate the Lyric audience. Count on her recital being one of Chicago’s most memorable musical events of the 2020/21 Season!
Lyric will celebrate Sir Andrew Davis’s magnificent two-decade tenure as music director with one of his favorite works, never previously performed at Lyric: Beethoven’s enthralling, life-enhancing Symphony No. 9, the “Choral,” music’s most exalted hymn to the human spirit. Sir Andrew will conduct a superb vocal quartet with the wonderful Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The concert will begin with a new choral work by Sir Andrew’s son, Ed Frazier Davis, an impressively gifted composer.
Comden, Green, Freed & Brown
One of the most joyously exhilarating of all movie musicals, now onstage and more magical than ever! Revel in the glamour of Hollywood in the Roaring Twenties, when the “talkies” were taking over from silent films. The romance between matinee idol Don Lockwood and budding actress Kathy Selden, the machinations of squeaky-voiced star Lina Lamont, and the lovable deviousness of Don’s best friend, Cosmo Brown, combine with spectacular dancing and unforgettable songs. It’s pouring—and you, too, will be ready to kick up your heels in the rain!
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At Lyric, you’re enthralled, replenished, and
inspired by must-see, must-hear live performances.
Through the timeless power of voice, acting that brings characters to life in triumph and tragedy, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus — coupled with theater, dance, design, and truly magical stagecraft — Lyric transports you to worlds both familiar and unexpected, leaving us all thinking and feeling differently long after the curtain comes down. Don’t miss a moment: secure your place for Lyric’s 2020/21 Season of grand opera, chamber opera, special events, and musical theater.