11 New Chicago Ensembles You Should Know

For naysayers who think classical music is on the decline, these Chicago-based performing groups offer the perfect response. All founded in the past three years, they’re offering fresh takes on repertoire familiar and unfamiliar, expanding the musical canon and enlivening the musical life of our city.

Quiz: Can You Name the Most Popular Operas of the Past 15 Years?

They’re classics for a reason! We found the top 30 most popular operas worldwide since 2004. Can you name them?

‘My dream is for Chicago to be at the forefront of new opera’: Meet Ashley Magnus, COT’s New General Director

“Right now, we’re in a golden era of American opera”

Video | Soprano Tamara Wilson Sings Music Inspired by Female Astronauts

With pianist Justina Lee, Wilson shared a selection from Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos and Weightless Dreams, a song cycle composed for Wilson based on the writings and experiences of women astronauts.

Unclothed Emperor? Costumes for opera stolen in Germany

The opera says work is underway to make replacement costumes in time for the premiere in March.

Video: Cast of Lyric’s Cinderella Joins WFMT for a Live Backstage Preview

What is it about Cinderella fairy tale that grabs readers, viewers, audiences, and listeners alike? In between riveting vocal performances, two opera stars shared what makes the story so very resonant.

Plácido Domingo feted at Met Opera for his 50th anniversary

After portraying dozens of characters over a half-century on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House, Plácido Domingo got emotional being himself.

Lyric Backstage Video: Janai Brugger, Angela Brower, Sing ‘Idomeneo’ Excerpts

In an exclusive backstage performance, WFMT hosted a Facebook live with two of the starring performers of Lyric’s new-to-Chicago presentation of Idomeneo.

The Surprising True Origins of Gershwin’s Classic ‘Summertime’

“Summertime” from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess is one of the one most popular songs in the Great American Songbook. But did you know that neither the tune to “Summertime” nor the lyrics are by George Gershwin?

Hitler offered to make this Jewish composer an “honorary Aryan.” Instead, he immigrated to the U.S. through Mexico.

One of the most popular operettas of all time, The Csárdás Princess, was composed by Hungarian Emmerich Kálmán. Discover his incredible story escaping Nazi persecution by coming to the United States through Mexico.

Romanian drama: the mayor, the soprano and the champion

Romania is gripped by a political soap opera featuring French Open tennis champion Simona Halep, a world-famous soprano, and the mayor of Bucharest.

Playlist: 10 Handel Operas Everyone Should Know

This article was originally published on February 23, 2016.

Video: Ailyn Pérez performs LIVE at WFMT

Internationally acclaimed soprano Ailyn Pérez visited the WFMT studios to share “The Jewel Song” from Gounod’s “Faust” as well as one of her favorite songs by composer María Grever, “Júrame.”

VIDEO | Watch this Chinese opera artist transform into a Dragon Princess – in seconds

Getting into full costume and makeup to perform Chinese operas takes hours. You can see an artist from Chongqing Chuanju Opera Theatre transform herself in seconds.

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee on the Artists Who Have Inspired Him the Most and Why Black Composers Matter

Learn how Lawrence Brownlee, hailed as one of the world’s leading tenors, is developing new works that respond to issues facing men of color today.

‘Uncle Alex’, Opera About Russian Immigrants Denied Entry to America, Has Chicago Premiere

Thompson Street Opera Company presents the Chicago premiere of Uncle Alex, an opera that tackles the complexities of immigration in America, Saturday, January 27, 2018 at Adler University. The performance is part of Faulty Systems, an event that invites speakers and artists from all disciplines to speak about civic engagement, social justice, and activism through art. Uncle Alex, with music …

Hear the Opera by Colombian Composer Eustasio Rosales That Was Almost Lost Forever

Hear Andina, a long-lost opera composed by Eustasio Rosales, that had its world-premiere in Chicago after being discovered by the composer’s great-grandson, Arlen Parsa.

From 17th Century Spectacle to Contemporary Classics, a First Look at Chicago’s Fall Opera Season

Whether you’re new to opera or consider yourself a connoisseur, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this fall in Chicago. Here are four operas we are excited to see in the coming months.

The Earliest Opera Is Over 800 Years Old… And It Was Written By a Woman

The extraordinary story of Hildegard von Bingen.

This Chicagoan Never Expected To Sing Opera. Now She’s Singing on One of the World’s Largest Stages.

Soprano Whitney Morrison began singing before she could even speak. Through her early years of singing in church, she never thought she would pursue a career in opera. Now, Morrison is one of 12 young artists selected for the 2017/2018 ensemble at Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. The Ryan Opera Center is one …

10 Operas About Poisonous and Medicinal Plants

Get your cauldron brewing with works by Donizetti, Puccini, Haydn, Delibes, and more!

Pulitzer-Winning Librettist Mark Campbell Explains How to Write an Opera

Mark Campbell has written the words to over fifteen operas to date, making him one of the most active librettists alive. When Campbell visited the Windy City, he spoke about his work and explained, “how do you write an opera?”

Playlist: 10 Shakespeare-Inspired Operas You Should Know

If “Music oft hath such a charm / To make bad good, and good provoke to harm,” perhaps these 10 Shakespeare-inspired operas will charm you.

“Difficult, But Worth It”: Singers Share Their Secrets to Memorizing Opera Scores by Philip Glass

Anyone who’s ever tried to sing or play an instrument knows that hard work and practice are essential to make a performance successful. But performing music from memory presents another challenge. The repetitions Glass uses make memorizing his music particularly difficult.

Hearing George Shirley, the Met’s First Black Tenor, Sing Mozart Will Melt Your Heart

In 2015, former President Barack Obama awarded Shirley with the National Medal of Arts.