Pietro Mascagni, "Serenata"
Martin Luther Clark, tenor; Enrique Mazzola, piano

In 1894, four years after the triumph of his Cavalleria rusticana, Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945) produced what was to become arguably the most popular of his more than 35 songs. This was "Serenata" ("Serenade"), which has graced recitals by innumerable celebrated Italian artists, among them soprano Renata Tebaldi and tenors Giuseppe Di Stefano, Carlo Bergonzi, and Luciano Pavarotti.

By comparison to the white-hot passion of Cavalleria's Santuzza and Turridu's music, "Serenata" is fairly gentle in the easy buoyancy of its melodic line. Musically Mascagni gives the listener two identical verses, sung to a deliciously sweet and romantic text. The singer thinks of his sleeping beloved, with the hope that she won't wake up, because he's about to kiss her in her dreams.

Meet the artists

*** Ryan Opera Center Ensemble

Donate now

Donate now

The Sole E Amore performance you enjoyed is just one example of how Lyric Opera of Chicago is expanding the definition of what opera means in today's world.

Through a timely and diverse array of programming coupled with our industry-leading artist training program, Lyric Opera of Chicago aims to expand the space for classical music in the 21st century. A space that's more inclusive to artists and audiences alike. Sharing the majesty of opera with all who seek to find it. This collaborative vision will deliver ever more exciting, thought-provoking, and inclusive audience and community experiences.

As a nonprofit organization, Lyric needs your help to bring this vision to fruition. Your gift will support our artists as we navigate through difficult times and help ensure that Lyric can provide opportunities to showcase their immense talent. At the same time, your gift will help make opera more accessible to a broader audience.

Thank you for your generous support of our vision for Lyric.

About the Ryan Opera Center

About the Ryan Opera Center

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center is Lyric's preeminent artist-development program that nurtures the talents of some of the most promising operatic singers and pianists of each generation. The program's Ensemble members earn their coveted spot by successfully auditioning among more than 400 artists worldwide. Its alumni are among the dominant names in opera today. Donor generosity ensures continued unparalleled training, performance experience, and professional readiness of Ensemble members. This highly competitive program, established in 1974, is honored to enjoy the support of acclaimed soprano Renée Fleming as Advisor, along with full-time staff Director Dan Novak, Music Director Craig Terry, and Director of Vocal Studies Julia Faulkner.

Photos: Kyle Flubacker