December 07. 2015 - January 17. 2016
December 07. 2015 - January 17. 2016
World Premiere Bel Canto
Ann Patchett's 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.
Superstar American diva Roxane Coss 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?
The extraordinary international cast of Bel Canto is led by Danielle de Niese, who caused a sensation as Lyric's Cleopatra in 2007. Sir Andrew Davis teams up with Kevin Newbury(Anna Bolena) for this world premiere with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz and music by Jimmy López, a native of Peru and "one of the most interesting young composers anywhere today." Chicago Sun-Times
- Language: In Spanish, English, Japanese, Russian, German, French, Latin, and Quechua, with projected English titles
- Running Time: Performance running time: 3 hours including 1 intermission
- Location: Lyric Opera House
Bel Canto videos
by Jimmy López
Features the symphonic music of composer Jimmy López, available on the Harmonia Mundi label.
Composed by Jimmy López
Libretto by Nilo Cruz
Based on the novel by Ann Patchett
Lyric Opera Commentaries are sponsored by the Patrick G. and Shirley Welsh Ryan Foundation in memory of their parents.
© 2015/16 Lyric Opera Commentaries
All rights reserved. Recording & Production services provided by Mark Travis.
A project of the Women's Board.
commentary by Jesse Gram, Audience Education Manager
Bel Canto articles
Behind the Scenes of Bel Canto
In anticipation of the premiere of Bel Canto, Lyric is excited to offer audiences exclusive musical sneak peeks, free events, and online resources all designed to explore the process of taking a story from the page to the stage.
A Sneak Peek: The Music of Bel Canto
Recently, we were invited into an early rehearsal of Bel Canto, led by Lyric chorus master Michael Black and featuring the men of the Lyric Opera Chorus. With only piano accompaniment representing the full orchestral score, listen to some of López's haunting melodies revealed in the rehearsal room!
The Reviews are in for the Bel Canto World Premiere!
Bel Canto had its world premiere at Lyric on December 7. See for yourself what the critics are saying!
Bel Canto World-Premiere Headed to PBS's Great Performances
Lyric is excited to share that Thirteen Productions LLC for WNET New York has selected the world-premiere production of Bel Canto to be part of the prestigious Great Performances television series on PBS.
Raring to Go: Danielle de Niese readies herself for Bel Canto
When Lyric asked Danielle de Niese to star as diva Roxane Coss in the world premiere of Bel Canto, "I was completely beside myself – really gobsmacked," the renowned Australian-born soprano recalls.
Bel Canto - Page to Stage
All of us at Lyric are eager to make Bel Canto the focus of your fall reading and we're pleased to offer the brand-new Bel Canto book-and-opera discussion guide.
Behind the Scenes with the Bel Canto Creative Team
It's exciting – and complicated! – to get a brand-new opera from page to stage.
Bel Canto opera synopsis
PLACE: A mansion in Lima, Peru
Go inside this production of Bel Canto with engaging articles, notes from the director, a complete plot synopsis, artist bios, and more.
Meet The Artists
* Lyric debut
** Ryan Opera Center alumni
*** Ryan Opera Center Ensemble
Lyric Opera world premiere generously made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Helen and Sam Zell, Ethel and William Gofen, Ada and Whitney Addington, the Walter E. Heller Foundation, and Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Prince Charitable Trusts.
Bel Canto was created with funds from the Prince Prize for Commissioning Original Work, which was awarded to Jimmy López and Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2013.
Steingraeber & Söhne is the Official Piano of Lyric’s new production of Bel Canto, in partnership with the Grand Piano Haus, Skokie, Illinois.