what’s playing now

      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 2014-2015 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 Monday of the month at 6:00 pm, with a repeat broadcast the following Sunday at 11:00 pm.
      The series producer is Dan Goldberg. Program engineers are Chris Willis and Mary Mazurek. The program is administered by Director Dan Novak and music director Craig Terry. Renée Fleming is serves as an advisor.

      Program Schedule | Fall 2014

      Monday, October 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm* 
      Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Duo recital with Laura Wilde and J’nai Bridges

      Listen to the Program
      Play

      Soprano Laura Wilde and mezzo-soprano J’nai Bridges take the stage to sing duets from Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Bellini’s Norma, and solo pieces by Brahms, Ravel, and Peter Derose. They’ll be accompanied by the Ryan Opera Center’s music director, Craig Terry. 

      *This broadcast is on a special day due to the live opening night broadcast of Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Capriccio.

      Monday, November 3, 2014 at 6:00 pm 
      Sunday, November 9, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Songs about Women

      Listen to the Program
      Play

      If love is what makes the world go ‘round, the adoration of women is what goes ‘round our music.  From movies to opera to the stage we will hear works by Brodzky and Cahn, Verdi, Faure, Bernstein, and Sondheim.  We will also hear some French melodies with songs by Reynaldo Hahn and Henri Duparc.  The performers from the Ryan Opera Center are tenors Jesse Donner and Jonathan Johnson and bass Bradley Smoak.  The pianists are Ryan Opera Center pianist Maureen Zoltek and Craig Terry, music director of the Ryan Opera Center.

      Monday, December 1, 2014 at 6:00 pm 
      Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm

      Music for the Holidays

      Listen to the Program
      Play

      The recital includes festive works by John Rutter, Francesco Durante, Benjamin Britten, and George Frideric Handel. The featured artists are sopranos Tracy Cantin and Laura Wilde, mezzo-soprano J’nai Bridges, tenors Jesse Donner and Jonathan Johnson, and bass Bradley Smoak.  They will be joined by Lyric Opera Orchestra violist Frank Babbitt, and Craig Terry and Laurann Gilley at the piano.