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October 2014
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Giuseppe Verdi

“Il trovatore,” An Operatic Thrill Ride

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Combine a searing love triangle, an odious count, a long lost child, some gypsies, a civil war, a haunting, and a witch burned at the stake, and you’ve got Giuseppe Verdi’s “Il trovatore,” an opera stuffed with devices to delight theater-goers and ruin the opera’s protagonists. “Il trovatore” is designed to feel like the fastest two hours and forty-five minutes in theater, with sword fights, shocking cruelty, and tender

Lavish Parties, Sex, and Booze – What Could Go Wrong?

Marina Rebeka as Violetta; photo by Todd Rosenberg

Giuseppe Verdi writes so eloquently about being human, one can wallow in Lyric Opera’s La traviata, and go home feeling completely satisfied. It’s a great “first opera” for your friends. It’s also one of those tales that nags at your subconscious, and keeps you googling

Sumptuous and Sexy: Lyric Opens with “Otello”

Ana Maria Martinez as Desdemona, photo by Dan Rest

Verdi’s 200th birthday is upon us; and Lyric Opera of Chicago pays homage with one of the reigning Verdi tenors, Johan Botha, singing the title role of Otello. Ana María MartÍnez is the unlucky Desdemona, whose demise is collateral damage to the machinations of Falk Struckmann’s Iago. This is a powerful trio; one that will no doubt sharpen the sting of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

Is it Scary to Sing for Muti?

Riccardo Muti rehearsing the Chicago Symphony Chorus, photo by Todd Rosenberg

For Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth, which opens this weekend at Symphony Center, nearly three hundred people will come together under his baton; a chorus, an orchestra, and soloists who’ve collectively logged lifetimes in the practice room. One chorister admits, “When Muti comes out for that first rehearsal, it’s terrifying—but it’s amazing. He’s incredible.”

Halloween Tips by Makeup Artist Chantelle Marie Johnson

Quinn Kelsey as Paolo in "Simon Boccanegra"

At Lyric Opera of Chicago, makeup artist Chantelle Marie Johnson doesn’t sashay with Frank Lopardo or Thomas Hampson; but her work does.  Transforming the world’s opera stars into fictional characters takes artistry, inventiveness and above all, a sense of humor.

Singing with Maestro Muti

Russian Bass Ildar Abdrazakov is in Chicago to sing the rarely performed Suite on Verses of Michelangelo Buonarroti by Dmitri Shostakovich with the Chicago Symphony.  He sang the Verdi Requiem with the Orchestra several years ago and has frequented the world’s stages with Maestro Muti.  Here Abdrazakov talks about learning music with the Maestro. Ildar more…

What Makes a Great Opera Conductor?

Russian Bass Ildar Abdrazakov will follow Riccardo Muti just about anywhere–geographically AND musically.  Here Abdrazakov shares some insight into the Maestro’s work ethic. Ildar on learning a role with Muti Ildar Abdrazakov will be singing with the CSO Thursday, June 14 – Tuesday, June 19