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interview

Butterfly: “Not to Be Missed”

Stefano Secco and Patricia Racette, c.Dan Rest

At least, that’s what The New York Times said of Patricia Racette’s Madama Butterfly in 2008. In the aftermath, it’s not surprising Lyric Opera would engage her for their production, even if she could only do half the run. It’s one of those cases of an artist forming a union with a part that transcends everything one knew about the opera; like peering into a precious gem, giving it a quarter turn, and seeing something

Backstage Exclusive: Lyric’s Butterfly Patricia Racette

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Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Madama Butterfly opens (again) on Saturday night starring Patricia Racette and Stefano Secco. Listen to an exclusive interview with Ms. Racette who laughs about the challenges of live performance.

Video Exclusive: Lyric’s Violetta Goes Searching for Callas

Maria Callas

Some of the most zealous opera fans are the ones using the stage entrance. Recently, Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka stopped by the office of Lucy Lindquist at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Lindquist is wardrobe mistress; Rebeka was seeing about her costumes for Violetta, as the lead in Verdi’s La traviata. Rebeka recalls her jaw hitting the floor when she noticed the headpiece. Lindquist explained, “It was worn by Maria Callas

Video Exclusive: An American Prince Charming

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[LIVE Broadcast, Tuesday at 7:15] Johann Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus has a fairy tale quality (although it’s most decidedly adult). Set in the perfumed world of Imperial Vienna, the maestro in the middle for Lyric’s production is the dashing, young American Ward Stare.

No Abridged Verdi

Party scene from "La traviata"; photo by Todd Rosenberg

When Lyric Opera of Chicago opens its production of La traviata on Wednesday evening, there will be music that has never been heard in that opera house before. In its thirteen previous runs at Lyric Opera, starting with the inaugural season in 1954, La traviata has always been staged with cuts to the score. There’s been a resurgence of interest

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

Web Exclusive: Inside Parsifal

Director John Caird

Lyric Opera of Chicago gets set for Round 3, their third production of the 2013-2014 season. It seems no LOC season is complete without at least one of the German composer’s operas/music dramas/or stage-consecrating festival plays, as he referred to this one. We’re talking about Richard Wagner’s final opus, Parsifal.

Director John Caird and designer Johan Engels underwent an intense process together, grappling with the many layers contained within the score

A Young Girl’s Undoing

Tenor James Valenti, Pinkerton in LOC's "Madama Butterfly"

[Madama Butterfly, live at 7:15 PM] One villain in opera always get booed. So many operas are based on assumptions that don’t resonate with us today, like Ernani’s pledge to commit suicide (who would honor such a thing?), or Leonora’s retreat into a monastery in “La forza del destino.” “Madama Butterfly,” on the other hand

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.

Postcard: Renée Fleming at WFMT

Renee Fleming, photo by Andrew Eccles

“The people’s diva,” Renée Fleming paid WFMT a visit on Tuesday, which also happened to coincide with the release of her latest recording, Guilty Pleasures. Ms. Fleming chatted with Lisa Flynn and discussed the new recording (hear the interview)