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
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 by Noel Morris
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.
Monday, December 30, 2013 by Noel Morris
Strauss waltzes were the ultimate party mix; the kind of song set one would imagine for Cinderella in glittering gemstones and long, white gloves. It was a hundred years later in 1939 (and a dark time in Vienna) when Clemens Krauss started a tradition: an annual concert of these 19th century dances to celebrate
Tuesday, December 17, 2013 by Noel Morris
Most careers take twists and turns; Ward Stare’s career has been more like Formula 1 auto racing. He went from playing principal trombone in the Lyric Opera Orchestra to being one of the company’s go-to conductors (debuting in last season’s production of Hansel and Gretel), all before the age of 30
Friday, December 13, 2013 by Noel Morris
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
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 by Noel Morris
[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.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 by Noel Morris
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
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 by Noel Morris
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
Friday, November 8, 2013 by Noel Morris
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
Monday, October 14, 2013 by Noel Morris
[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