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Renee Fleming

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

Show Boat’s Voyage into the Opera House

showoat1

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

Renée Fleming on Her Way to WFMT

Renee Fleming with Impromptu Producer Louise Frank and host Lisa Flynn at WFMT; photo 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

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’s New Opera (Just a Peek)

Lyric Opera Music Director, Sir Andrew Davis, c. Todd Rosenberg

Getting beyond “The book was better” – Last week, when Lyric Opera presented a sneak peek at the opera based on Ann Patchett’s bestselling novel “Bel Canto,” general director Anthony Freud quickly closed the door on comparisons to the book.

Addressing a gathering of patrons and members of the media, Mr. Freud shared some of

Lyric Opera Takes It to the Neighborhoods

Pepe Martinez

On Thursday Lyric Opera of Chicago unveiled four new productions with one objective: community. Part of the Lyric Unlimited initiative for 2015 these shows reach beyond Lyric’s mainstage appealing to diverse age and ethnic groups.
Lyric announced plans to produce a klezmer opera based on a graphic novel

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.

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…