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Sir Andrew Davis

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

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 Opera Opening Night

Mariusz Kwiecien as Don Giovanni, Metropolitan Opera

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.

A British Import: the BBC Proms

Proms4

They gave the world Monty Python and the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Leave it to the British to organize something as inexplicable and wonderful as the BBC Proms, with a subculture of devoted attendants, some of whom line up hours before a concert for a £5.00, standing-room-only ticket

Stars of Lyric Opera Shine Over Millennium Park

Millennium Park in downtown Chicago

On Saturday, Lyric Opera of Chicago gives its annual free concert beneath the lattice of the Pritzker Pavilion. Stars of Lyric Opera will showcase several of the season’s productions.

With the Don Giovanni principals already in rehearsal – opening night is September 27 – the stars will make the short commute to Millennium Park to perform the opera’s finale.

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

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