For 61 years, Lyric Opera of Chicago has produced world-class opera with many of the world's greatest artists. With decades of dedicated support from donors and subscribers, the company has flourished, gaining global recognition for its artistic excellence and fiscal stability.

Technology Brings Storytelling to Life

Behind the thrill of every Lyric production should be sophisticated technology and engineering. This is not the case. It takes dozens of stagehands countless hours and considerable manpower to lift, light, fly, and maneuver Lyric's increasingly realistic and complex scrims and set.

Point Hoists-The Unsung Heroes of Stage Technology

Point hoists, or spot motors, enable us to fly anything, anywhere, in any direction. In 2001, we purchased motors from the Millennium Dome in London which we were able to inexpensively obtain secondhand. Fifteen years later, these outdated motors are severely slowing us down. New motors - which will help us fly bridges of people in Das Rheingold - are capable of lifting 1200 pounds each at triple the speed of our current motors!

Needed: 48 New Point Hoists
Cost: $64,000 each

-Purchase a point hoist!
-Name a point hoist after your favorite person, pet, or opera character!
-Make an immediate and lasting impact on our upcoming productions!


Counterweight Pipe Automation System

With the existing equipment, we can only move scenery and scrims (and actors on zip lines) either horizontally or vertically. We need to be able to move them along angles as well. The cost of a new Counterweight Pipe Automation System is $5 million. 


Increasingly, opera productions require video projections as part of their design. Right now, Lyric has two projectors that are very old; only one can be used at a time, and their projection capacity is only 27' x 36'. We need 6 projectors that can project 70' wide x 40' tall. In this day and age, these projectors are all computerized and server-based. The total cost for these computerized and server-based projectors is $800,000.

Stage Lifts

Lyric has no stage lift system. We only have one single temporary stage lift, which was installed in 1994 as a short-term solution in preparation for our first Ring cycle. As we prepare for our third Ring cycle, we still have only that one temporary stage lift! We need to demolish the pylons in the third sub-basement under the stage and install a lift system comprised of 12 lifts (4 x 48 each). Investing in this equipment will save Lyric hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and allow us to rent or co-produce productions with our sister organizations. Right now, we have to build elevators for each production instead of pushing a button to create the elevations instantly. The cost of this project is $6 million.

Contribute toward a lift or consider purchasing an entire lift ($500,000) and naming it after a loved one or a favorite operatic character.

Your stage lift will be used in Lyric's new Ring cycle and in future productions.


Scenic automation is at the forefront of the largest, most intricate opera productions in the world, ensuring that the most mind-numbingly complex sequences of scene changes can happen at the touch of a button - right before the audience's eyes.

Motorized Turntable - an investment to round out our future.

The Lyric stage has no turntable. We have been inventing temporary solutions on an ad-hoc basis. Safety is our principal concern when there are 15 tons of scenery and up to 100 chorus members in our upcoming productions.

Needed: One Turntable
Cost:  $1 million

Help "turn" the pages of Lyric's history book
- Contribute toward our turntable!
- Make an immediate and lasting impact for Lyric Opera audiences!