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March 2014
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Stars on the Rise

Tracy Cantin, J'nai Bridges, and Emily Birsan at the Pritzker Pavilion, c. Robert Kusel

Tracy Cantin, J'nai Bridges, and Emily Birsan at the Pritzker Pavilion, c. Robert Kusel

Sunday at 7:00 PM


The quality of singer at Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center is high enough that it would seem the lines between pro and apprentice have blurred. Even opera’s top singers continue to work with a favorite voice coach; most hope to get better, and probably all would agree that singing is a moving target. On such a continuum, where do the Ryan members stand; especially when they’ve all had roles on Lyric’s main stage this last season?

Singing alongside Ana María Martínez would indicate the Ryan singers are doing pretty well—of course Lyric Opera’s audience never sees the loving, professional support system that comes with sending an apprentice into a role like that. Nor do they see all the training and work behind so many local engagements throughout the season, which has included a recital series on WFMT (click for podcasts).

The results speak for themselves. Many of Ryan’s members pick up management and go on to professional engagements immediately. It is rewarding to see performers like Matthew Polenzani assume lead roles at Lyric and other opera houses. At the very least, the Ryan artists leave Chicago with a lot more mileage under their belts and a greatly enhanced bio.

The culmination of the 2013-2014 class at the Ryan Opera Center happens on Saturday evening with the Rising Stars in Concert. This live event is held annually as a “thank you” to Lyric’s supporters. As always, the concert is broadcast on WFMT. The broadcast is Sunday, March 30 at 7:00 PM.

  • Bonnie

    Will tonight’s broadcast of the Rising Stars in Concert be on a podcast any time soon?????

  • Noel

    Alas, we do not have the rights to post the performace online. Thank you for your interest.

  • Bonnie

    how about a play list??? would that be available anywhere that you know of???

  • Noel

    Here’s the playlist. Thanks again.

  • Bonnie

    thank you!!!!