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November 2014
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Civic Opera House

Lyric Opera Timeline: the First 60 Years

The interior of Chicago's Civic Opera House

In 1952, a student singer named Carol Fox got to chatting with her vocal coach, Nicola Rescigno, and insurance man Lawrence Kelly about ways to sustain an opera company in Chicago – a series of previous attempts had ended in bankruptcy. They agreed, if they were to attempt such a venture, they would need to marshal community support – and what better way to recruit supporters than to show them an opera? In February 1954

WFMT’s Lyric Opera Weekend

Stars gather at the Civic Opera House to celebrate Lyric's 60th in an unforgettable concert

In February of 1954, Lyric Opera founders Carol Fox, Nicola Rescigno, and Lawrence Kelly launched the first production, hoping it would inspire opera lovers to step forward and offer financial and community support for an opera company in Chicago – it did. Rescigno conducted two performances of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Nicola Rossi-Lemeni as the Don, and Eleanor Steber

Artur Rodzinski, A Fire Breathing Maestro

RodzinskiArtur

Tune in for two fascinating documentaries. Polish-American conductor Artur Rodziński is remembered for his fiery temperament on and off the podium. Stories abound of his having kept a loaded pistol in his pocket. Some rumors, likely apocryphal, go so far as to claim that he once

Next Up at Lyric: Capriccio

Renee Fleming as the Countess in Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Capriccio," c. Ken Howard

Two rivals, a poet and a musician, clamor for the affections of a capricious Countess in Richard Strauss’s 1942 opera “Capriccio.”

Each according to his talents, the suitors offer gestures of undying love (a Sonnet and the opening String Sextet); which Strauss parlays into a heated debate

Lyric Opera, Sir Patrick Stewart, Renee Fleming and The Second City

On Saturday night, Lyric Opera turned the spotlight back on itself, lampooning the rarified world of…well…opera.  If you missed the show, here’s one skit in which Patrick Stewart plays a retiring store manager at Kinko’s.

The Second City Guide to the Opera

This week, Lyric Opera of Chicago unveiled a new partnership with legendary comedy troupe The Second City.  According to General Director Anthony Freud, it all began with a Chicago-style date night.  Freud recalled Creative Director Renee Fleming and her husband going to Second City for an opera-free evening, only to find her own voice playing more…