Proving Up

January 22 – 30, 2022

Upcoming Dates

January 22 – 30, 2022

Lyric Premiere Proving Up


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. A 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.

On Sale Summer 2021

  • Language: Sung in English with projected English texts
  • Running Time: 1 hour 25 minutes with no intermission
  • Location: Goodman Theatre

Meet the artists

Casting will be announced at a later date.


* Lyric debut

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Your safety is our priority

Your safety is our priority

Lyric is fully committed to the health and safety of our entire family — our audiences, artists, technicians, administrative staff, and all of the communities we serve throughout each season. Though there are still many unknowns around the fall season, we are committed to communicating to you with transparency about our plans for the fall.

Lyric’s presentation of Mazzoli’s Proving Up is generously made possible by

Sylvia Neil & Daniel Fischel

Robert & Penelope Steiner Family Foundation

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

Adapted from the short story "Proving Up" by Karen Russell.

Co-commissioned by Washington National Opera, Opera Omaha, and Miller Theater at Columbia University. ©2018 G. Schirmer, Inc.

Original Production by Opera Omaha.

Performed in the Owen Theatre at Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago

Production photos: Opera Omaha/Proving Up 2018