Ryan Opera Center Final Auditions

September 20. 2022

Upcoming Dates

September 20. 2022

Ryan Opera Center Final Auditions

Join us as more than 20 finalists representing the world's finest emerging singers vie for a spot in next season's 2023/24 Ryan Opera Center Ensemble — plus, participate in the process by voting for the Audience Favorite Award.

The Final Auditions will begin at 12:00 p.m. Doors will open at 11:00 a.m., and the theater will open at 11:30 a.m. Attendees may come and go throughout the day during designated breaks. The final announcement will take place at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Check this page on the day of the event to cast your vote for the Audience Favorite Award.

  • Location: The Lyric Opera House

Ryan Opera Center Final Auditions are generously made possible by Lead Sponsor Philip G. Lumpkin.

Finalists' airfares are generously provided by American Airlines, Official Airline of Lyric Opera of Chicago.


12:00 p.m.   Welcome by Master of Ceremonies, Roger Pines

                       Basses/Bass-Baritones | Laurann Gilley, piano

12:40 p.m.   Baritones | Laurann Gilley, piano

1:05 p.m.     Mezzo-Sopranos | Noah Lindquist, piano

2:05 p.m.     Intermission

3:05 p.m.     Welcome by Master of Ceremonies, Roger Pines

                      Tenors | Laurann Gilley, piano

3:50 p.m.     Sopranos | Noah Lindquist, piano

4:30 p.m.     Break

5:00 p.m.     Performance & Interview

                      Whitney Morrison, soprano, Ryan Opera Center alumna,
                      Donald Lee III, piano

5:30 p.m.     Announcement of 2023/24 Ensemble & Audience Favorite


* Current Ensemble member auditioning for a return year.


*** Ryan Opera Center Ensemble

Whitney Morrison

Whitney Morrison

The soprano, a Chicago native and a Ryan Opera Center alumna, made her Lyric debut in our 2017/18 Season in supporting roles in Die Walküre and Rigoletto. She was recently seen at Lyric as Billie in Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in My Bones (2021/22).

A graduate of Alabama's Oakwood University, Morrison earned her Master of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music and has also studied at Germany's Neil Semer Vocal Institute and Italy's Georg Solti Accademia di Bel Canto. Competition successes include top prizes in the National Classical Singer University Competition, the R. Nathaniel Dett Club NANM Scholarship Competition, and the Musicians Club of Women Competition.


Anthony Freud

General Director, President & CEO
The Women’s Board Endowed Chair


Enrique Mazzola

Music Director
John D. and Alexandra C. Nichols Endowed Chair


Matthew Ozawa

Chief Artistic Administration Officer


Andreas Melinat

Vice President, Artistic Planning


Cory Lippiello

Director of Artistic Programs


Dan Novak

Vice President and Director, Ryan Opera Center
The Ryan Opera Center Board Endowed Chair


Craig Terry

Music Director, Ryan Opera Center
The Jannotta Family Endowed Chair


Julia Faulkner

Director of Vocal Studies, Ryan Opera Center
Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation

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 artists 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.

The road to the Ryan Opera Center

Founded in 1974, The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center is celebrated as one of the world's premier artist-development programs.

Every year some 400 singers audition for a chance to be one of 11-12 members of each season's Ensemble. These rising stars of tomorrow are in residence year-round for a comprehensive curriculum that includes:

  • Distinguished instruction in voice, language, acting and movement

  • Master classes and individual coachings with opera's leading artists, including Ryan Opera Center Advisor Renée Fleming and Lyric's Music Director Enrique Mazzola

  • Performance opportunities throughout Chicagoland and on Lyric's mainstage alongside today's greatest opera singers

Header Photo: The 2021 Ryan Opera Center Final Auditions/Lyric Opera of Chicago