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      WFMT Ryan Opera Center Recital Series

      The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago

      What do Nicole Cabell, Matthew Polenzani, and Susanna Phillips have in common?

      These international opera singers trained at Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center.

      Each year, the Ryan Opera Center nurtures gifted young artists who are on their way to major careers. Singers from all over the world compete for a place in this program, which offers vocal coaching, coaching in languages, performance experience, and a supportive environment to learn numerous operatic roles.

      WFMT proudly presents the 2015-2016 Ryan Opera Center class in this recital series hosted by Colin Ure.

      Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members

      The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center was established in 1974 as the professional artist-development program for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Since its inception, the Ryan Opera Center has been recognized as one of the premier programs of its kind in the world. That standing is maintained by providing the finest up-and-coming singers with unparalleled training and experience.

      Selected from some 400 singers who audition annually, the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members are in residence for twelve months. During Lyric Opera’s main stage season, Ryan Opera Center members perform and understudy a significant number of principal and supporting roles. This presents an extraordinary opportunity to work with the world’s greatest opera singers, conductors, directors, orchestra, and chorus.

      A testament to the Ryan Opera Center’s caliber and success is the roster of distinguished alumni who perform regularly on the stages of leading international opera houses, including René Barbera, Harolyn Blackwell, Nicole Cabell, Elizabeth DeShong, Mark S. Doss, Christopher Feigum, Elizabeth Futral, Roger Honeywell, Joseph Kaiser, Maria Kanyova, Quinn Kelsey, Gregory Kunde, Dina Kuznetsova, Emily Magee, Amanda Majeski, Susanna Phillips, Matthew Polenzani, Christian Van Horn, Amber Wagner, and Erin Wall.

      The Ryan Opera Center Recital Series is made possible by the generous support of Julie and Roger Baskes.

      Recitals will be broadcast on the first Tuesday of the month at 8:00 pm.
      The series producer is Daniel Goldberg. Program engineer is Christopher Willis. The program is administered by Director Dan Novak and music director Craig Terry. Renée Fleming is serves as an advisor.

      Program Schedule | Fall 2015 / Spring 2016

      Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 8:00 pm 

      Duo Recital with Annie Rosen and Jesse Donner

      Mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen and tenor Jesse Donner take the stage to sing solo works by Anton Webern, Gabriel Faure, and Gustav Mahler. And will also be singing a delightful duet from the comic genius of Flanders and Swann. They’ll be accompanied by the Ryan Opera Center’s music director, Craig Terry. 

      Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 8:00 pm 

      Duo Recital with Alec Carlson and Bradley Smoak

      Tenor Alec Carlson and bass Bradley Smoak are featured on this duo recital which features works by Franz Liszt, Charles Ives, and Benjamin Britten. And for a special treat we will hear a duet inspired by the Marx Brothers’ film At the Circus. The Ryan Opera Center’s music director, Craig Terry, will join them on piano.

      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm 

      Duo Recital with Diana Newman and Patrick Guetti

      On our next program you will hear three artists from Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G and Shirley W Ryan Opera Center. Soprano Diana Newman, bass Patrick Guetti and pianist Mario Antonio Marra and they will be performing songs written about children by Francis Poulenc, a duet from one of Mozart’s operas, a piece written by American song writer Randy Newman, and a song-cycle written for one of the singers.

      Tuesday, January 5, 2016

      Duo Recital with Laura Wilde and Richard Ollarsaba

      Soprano Laura Wilde, bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba, and pianist Mario Antonio Marra come together for our next Ryan Opera Center Series Recital. Featured on this program are the Gypsy Songs by Dvorak, So Pretty by Leonard Bernstein, and a duet from Gilbert and Sullivans’ The Mikado. Host Colin Ure will also be speaking with Richard Ollarsaba about one of the main jobs from the Ryan Opera Center, cover roles.

      Tuesday, February 2, 2016

      Duo Recital with Lindsay Metzger and Anthony Clark Evans

      Soprano Lindsay Metzger and baritone Anthony Clark Evans team up with Ryan Opera Center pianist Mario Antonio Marra for this next Ryan Opera Center Recital.  And love is in the air for this program which features love songs by Richard Strauss and the song cycle Four Love Madrigals by Joaquin Rodrigo.  We will also have a laugh with Dominick Argento’s take on Judith Martin also known as Miss Manners.

      Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 8:00 pm 

      Duo Recital with Hlengiwe Mkwanazi and Jonathan Johnson

      South African soprano Hlengiwe Mkwanazi and tenor Jonathan Johnson are the next duo to perform in our recital series recorded live at the Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio at WFMT. Host Colin Ure will be speaking with Ms. Mkwanazi about traveling from South Africa to Chicago to study with Ryan Opera Center and she will be singing a traditional song from her country and music by Francis Poulenc.  Jonathan Johnson will be singing the powerful and challenging Songs from Dichterliebe by Robert Schumann. Ryan Opera Center Music Director Craig Terry will join them on the piano.