South African opera singer Johan Botha is a regular at Lyric Opera of Chicago. In recent years, he’s sung Walther in “Die Meistersinger” and opened Lyric’s season last year as Otello. He’s been Lohengrin, and comes back to Chicago in February as Tannhäuser. The 49-year-old heldentenor is made for these heftier roles. The heldentenor is a voice type that can sing comfortably
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Friday, December 5, 2014 by Noel Morris
“Divorced, Beheaded, Died,
Divorced, Beheaded, Survived”
– It was the fate of six women, one after another, to produce heirs for Henry VIII. On the chopping block were not only women’s heads, but a royal dynasty, the sanctity of the Church, and the unity of a people. With such enormous forces at work, history often overlooks the intimate spaces from which they explode
Friday, October 31, 2014 by Noel Morris
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
Thursday, October 30, 2014 by Noel Morris
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
Monday, October 27, 2014 by Noel Morris
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
Friday, October 24, 2014 by Noel Morris
When Lyric Opera of Chicago added the music theater piece Show Boat to its schedule in February of 2012, it seemed like a departure to some, a reconciliation to others. Many felt the gesture was long overdue: opera companies should produce American musicals.
Lyric’s production was soon staged by the Houston Grand Opera and the San Francisco Opera. American director Francesca Zambello
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Noel Morris
Richard Ollarsaba, who was the “cover” for Don Giovanni star Mariusz Kwiecien, got the call at 10:00 am: “Mr. Kwiecien will not be able to sing today. You’re on.” He had four hours until curtain.
“The instant I got the call, adrenaline shot through my system, but after the initial shock I immediately went into work mode and the only thing I could tell myself was ‘Just do your job’
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by Noel Morris
Renée Fleming is stopping by WFMT’s studios Tuesday afternoon around 2:30 pm to speak with Lisa Flynn about her new CD, Christmas in New York. With dozens of recordings to her credit, this is her first holiday record. The popular diva used the project as an opportunity to reach across genres to some of her favorite artists. Chris Botti, Kurt Elling
Monday, October 6, 2014 by Noel Morris
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
Friday, September 26, 2014 by Noel Morris
The 60th season at Lyric Opera of Chicago begins on Saturday with a bit of nostalgia: Mozart’s Don Giovanni, the same opera that launched the company 60 years ago.
Lyric Opera’s new production won’t look much like the original, however. It is directed by Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls, who is putting a more modern spin on the classic tale.