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Lyric Opera of Chicago Broadcasts
Peter Van De Graaff and Roger Pines, hosts
Join WFMT’s Peter Van de Graaff and LOC Dramaturg Roger Pines for live opening-night broadcasts from the 2015-16 season: The Marriage of Figaro, Cinderella, Wozzeck, The Merry Widow, Bel Canto, Nabucco, Der Rosenkavalier, and Romeo and Juliet.
Lyric Opera of Chicago boasts having the most loyal subscribers in North America. Year after year, Chicago’s largest opera company presents the finest international singers, directors, and designers. The broadcasts deliver the magic of live performance while taking you backstage to meet the stars.
Lyric Opera of Chicago Broadcasts are generously sponsored by The Hurvis Family Foundation with matching funding provided by The Matthew and Kay Bucksbaum Family, the John and Jackie Bucksbaum Family, and Richard P. and Susan Kiphart.
Please visit lyricoperalive.org for a live web stream of texts and translations during Lyric broadcasts.
The Marriage of Figaro
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The resourceful Figaro gets ready to marry his lovely Susanna – and endeavors to get his fiancée to the altar with her virtue still intact! His boss, the Count, has designs on Susanna and sees no reason to let her escape his noble snare, even if it means breaking the heart of his own long-suffering bride. But there’s rebellion in the air in a comedy that boasts more salon drama and backroom maneuverings than a whole season of Downton Abbey.
Enjoy Mozart’s masterpiece of mistaken identities, morals, and manners, directed by Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s brilliant Barbara Gaines with stunning new sets and sumptuous costumes. Experience the Lyric debuts of two major European stars – Adam Plachetka and Christiane Karg – with Luca Pisaroni as the brilliantly rapacious Count and Amanda Majeski as “a ravishing, moving, and dignified Countess.” (Financial Times)
The beloved tale of Cinderella (La Cenerentola) meets operatic delight in this bubbling Rossini hit! You know the story: Cinderella is dressed in rags and destined to toil away for her nasty stepsisters and horrible stepfather — who is scheming to convince the Prince to marry one of his "real" daughters. But not so fast, ladies — mean girls aren't the Prince's style, and there's a happily-ever-after ending for the maid with the heart of gold in this "triumphant, dazzling production...that blends a riot of color with sophisticated comedy just oozing with mirth." (Houston Chronicle)
Superstar mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard partners with bel canto master Lawrence Brownlee in his eagerly awaited Lyric debut as he sings "with freedom and fervor…a reminder of the infectious excitement Rossini makes possible" (The New York Times) and acclaimed Lyric favorite Alessandro Corbelli as the pompous stepfather.
Raw, powerful, and transformational in its emotional punch and musical form, Wozzeck is an opera that's meant to shake an audience to its core. Sir David McVicar makes his triumphant return to Lyric to deliver a thrilling new production of this 20th-century masterpiece.
Wozzeck, a poverty-stricken soldier, is working to support Marie and their young son, born out of wedlock. Mocked, discounted, and abused by his superiors, when he is cheated on by the only woman he loves, he finally snaps — driven to madness and murder. All that remains is a lonely little boy to remind the world that once there was a man named Wozzeck.
Sir Andrew Davis conducts a work he considers one of the most important pieces written in the 20th century, with a stellar cast that includes Tomasz Konieczny, a favored headliner all across Europe, and Angela Denoke, in one of her signature roles, "dramatically as well as vocally transcendent." Neue Zürcher Zeitung
The Merry Widow
In English with projected English titles Beautiful Hanna’s late husband has left her a very rich woman. In fact, she’s so rich that the economy of her homeland depends on her marrying a local — so the ambassador springs into action with the help of his wife (a former cancan girl) to find Hanna the right husband. But it’s a tricky affair because the wily widow already has someone in mind: Count Danilo, an old flame, who has no intention of giving up bachelorhood. He’s got a bevy of beauties delighted to keep him happy with no strings attached.
Rendezvous are rampant. Complications abound. Hanna ultimately gets her man as Lehár’s unforgettable tunes bubble happily along. Susan Stroman, one of Broadway’s hottest directors, leads Lyric’s blockbuster cast, featuring the incomparable star power of Renée Fleming, Elizabeth Futral, and Thomas Hampson in an “eyepopping production...breathtaking to look at and a pleasure to hear.” Huffington Post
Composer Jimmy López Libretto by Nilo Cruz Based on the novel by Ann Patchett In Spanish, English, Japanese, Russian, German, French, Latin and Quechua, with projected English titles Ann Patchett's best-selling novel Bel Canto took the literary world by storm — now, in a new work curated by Lyric's creative consultant, Renée Fleming, this riveting story inspired by a real-life event becomes a powerful opera.
Superstar American diva Roxane Coss has flown to Peru to sing at the vice president's home for a visiting Japanese mogul who is an opera buff. Dignitaries of every nationality are there — but an international crisis explodes when terrorists storm the mansion and take everyone hostage. Isolated for months, unlikely alliances form between captors and captives as fear and anger mingle uneasily with desire and even love. Music is the one universal language — but can it draw forth the humanity that exists in us all?
An extraordinary international cast is led by Danielle de Niese, who caused a sensation as Lyric's Cleopatra in 2007. Sir Andrew Davis teams up with Kevin Newbury (Anna Bolena) for this world premiere with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Nilo Cruz and music by Jimmy López, a native of Peru and "one of the most interesting young composers anywhere today." Chicago Sun-Times.
Politics. Religion. A dangerous love triangle. Plus two killer roles and some of the greatest choral music ever written, including the soul-stirring "Va, pensiero" chorus. This is the opera that made Verdi a star!
On one side, the fiery Hebrew priest Zaccaria, battling to lead hispeople from oppression. On the other, Nabucco, the tyrannical Babylonian king and hisformidable adopted daughter Abigaille, who will stop at nothing to get her father's throne and her sister's lover.
Željko Lučić, Lyric's riveting Rigoletto in 2013, is Nabucco, a role compared to Shakespeare's King Lear in its majestic sweep. Experience his journey from despised despot to self-proclaimed god; then from paranoid madman to grateful father redeemed by faith. And watch as dramatic-soprano phenom Tatiana Serjan eats up the stage as the warrior princess Abigaille, worthy sister to Lady Macbeth in her lust for power. Mighty Russian bass Dmitry Belosselskiy is Zaccaria.
It's exactly what you want a Strauss opera to be — deliciously extravagant!
Can the elegantly alluring Marschallin find lasting happiness with her lover Octavian, who's half her age? Does the hot-blooded Baron really think his exalted position guarantees that young Sophie will be his wife? All bets are off when Sophie receives an engagement rose from the Baron — delivered by the devastatingly handsome Octavian. Love, sex, fidelity, and aging are delicately explored in a masterwork that artfully blends laugh-out-loud humor with insightful poignancy.
Der Rosenkavalier is a grand event with more than 100 musicians, famous waltzes, and ravishing performances in store from Alice Coote, Sophie Koch, and Amanda Majeski — glorious singing actresses who have each triumphed at Lyric and internationally. And treat yourself to two eagerly awaited Lyric debuts: celebrated British bass Matthew Rose and silver-voiced German soprano Christina Landshamer.
Romeo and Juliet
He's a Montague and she's a Capulet — families who have hated each other for centuries. Yet when Romeo meets Juliet, they fall instantly and rapturously in love. Secretly, they marry — but Shakespeare's famed young couple is ultimately doomed. Everything that could have been is lost as they die tragically in each other's arms.
The world's most famous love story finds new dimension in Gounod's deeply romantic music. This is passion personified, from tender intimacy to ecstatic grandeur, including five iconic love duets and soaring music for the chorus and orchestra. With her "exquisite" voice of "purity and bloom" (The New York Times) Susanna Phillips will be a Juliet to remember, while Joseph Calleja and Eric Cutler embody all the elegance and golden ardor that Romeo demands.