The Factotum

February 03. 2023 - February 12. 2023

Upcoming Dates

February 03. 2023 - February 12. 2023

World premiere The Factotum


Grammy-nominated baritone Will Liverman, a Ryan Opera Center alumnus, is rapidly rising to national prominence and recently triumphed at the Metropolitan Opera. Now he joins dynamic producer/DJ/multi-instrumentalist DJ King Rico in creating a new work inspired by Rossini's The Barber of Seville that has grown into a joyful, original piece all its own, commissioned by Lyric. Updating the action to a Black barbershop on Chicago's South Side, this gifted duo has created an irresistibly upbeat work that celebrates the strength of community. The Factotum blends diverse musical styles with boundless imagination to create a soul opera, moving from gospel and funk to rap, hip-hop, classic barbershop quartet, and R&B. Those styles connect brilliantly with classical singing in a very human comedy that redefines everything that opera can be.

The Factotum addresses adult themes and contains adult language.

The Factotum will have an at-home streaming option available in 2023.

  • Language: Sung in English with projected English titles
  • Running Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission
  • Location: Harris Theater

Concept, Music, and Lyrics by Will Liverman and DJ King Rico
Book by Will Liverman, DJ King Rico, and Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj
Dramaturgy by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj

Commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera. Co-production of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Portland Opera, and Washington National Opera.


Lyric’s world premiere of The Factotum is generously made possible by the Ford Foundation, The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Board, Roberta L. & Robert J. Washlow, the John R. and Grace K. Stanek Charitable Fund, Gene & Jean Stark, OPERA America, the Bill & Orli Staley Foundation, Mary Stowell, the Eisen Family Foundation, an Anonymous Donor, and Laurel Appell Lipkin.

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

Meet the artists

* Lyric debut

*** Ryan Opera Center Ensemble

** Ryan Opera Center alum

Program book

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


Original mural artwork by Barrett Keithley commissioned by Lyric Opera of Chicago. Photo: Todd Rosenberg.