The Sights and Soundbites of Lyric Opera’s Glamorous Opening Night

By Keegan Morris and Michael San Gabino |

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Glamor onstage and off — Lawrence Brownlee (Count Almaviva), Marianne Crebassa (Rosina), Alessandro Corbelli (Bartolo), and Krzysztof Bączyk (Basilio) in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The Barber of Seville (Photo: Todd Rosenberg)

With the red carpet adorning Wacker Drive and the Art Deco opera house buzzing with excitement, Lyric Opera of Chicago celebrated its opening night on Saturday, September 28. Rossini’s Barber of Seville, the bubbly opera buffa, was an appropriate toast to the beginning of Lyric’s 65th season.

Lyric patrons, whether first-time opera-goers or seasoned subscribers, talked with WFMT about the thrill of opening night.

Enjoy some of the sights and soundbites of Lyric’s opening night below!

Jesse Spencer of NBC’s Chicago Fire and Kali from Chicago — “It’s our fourth [opening night] – it’s a yearly tradition. This theater is a beautiful place with a beautiful history. It’s a good excuse to dress up and have fun.”

Jake from Chicago and Erica from San Francisco — “It’s our first opening night … everyone looks fabulous!”

Emily and David from Chicago — “[Opening night] is especially exciting, seeing all of the fashion … This dress was done by a designer from Honduras, and it’s inspired by a work by the artist Lara Hidalgo.”

Nathaniel and Francisco from Chicago — “You arrive at the red carpet, get your photograph taken 10 times [laughs]. It’s exciting!”


Emily from Mongolia [far left] — “My first impression here was, ‘Wow! It’s so beautiful in here!’ I just wanted to take so many pictures.”

Hedda from Germany and her daughter — “I always take my mom to opening night for her birthday – this is our fifth year. We come early, have our champagne, and admire people [from the mezzanine]. We love it.”

Scott (Lyric’s Wardrobe, Wigs, and Makeup Director) and Andy from Waukegan — “There’s a great build-up for all of us backstage who work and really care – tonight is a chance for us to celebrate that work.”

Usha from California — “[The Lyric patrons] are really staunch supporters of the opera…they want the opera to survive, and it does survive with the kindness of friends and strangers. We’re all here to support it.”

The Barber of Seville runs through October 27 at Lyric Opera of Chicago. For ticketing and information, visit