HARRIS THEATER ANNOUNCES BEYOND THE ARIA 16-17 IN ASSOCIATION WITH LYRIC UNLIMITED With Craig Terry as Artistic Director; Featuring Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens, and many more

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With Craig Terry as Artistic Director

Featuring Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens, and many more

CHICAGO (August 10, 2016) The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, in association with Lyric Unlimited, has announced the return of Beyond the Aria the highly acclaimed performance series produced by the Harris Theater which pairs internationally celebrated opera singers of Lyric’s mainstage alongside rising stars from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago.


Beyond the Aria brings audiences a one-night-only experience with some of the greatest operatic talents of our generation in performances that will never be repeated. To audiences’ delight, artists perform a repertoire of their choosing which may include Broadway, American Songbook, Jazz, and more, with accompaniment by pianist Craig Terry. These intimate performances take place “cabaret style,” seated on the enclosed stage of the Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park. Each is unique and customized by the featured artists, and the program is always a surprise for audiences to experience together as it unfolds. Craig Terry returns as Artistic Director for Beyond the Aria.


These performances are sure to sell out. Reserve your seats now with a series subscription to these five incredible performances on October 17, November 16, January 19, February 21, and April 26 (full details below). Purchase choral riser subscriptions for $250 HERE; single choral riser tickets are $60. Table subscriptions start at $1,250; please call 312-334-7777 to reserve. Single tickets go on sale on August 15.


“The success of Beyond the Aria has been incredible – the feedback from both artists and audiences alike has been one of inspiration and tremendous respect,” said Michael Tiknis, President and Managing Director of Harris Theater. “It is an honor producing something, in association with Lyric Unlimited, that is so special and exclusive. There is nowhere else to experience performances like these where you can really see into the personalities of the artists we admire.”
Audiences will share the stage with very special guests – soprano and Lyric Opera Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, as well as acclaimed performers from Lyric’s 2016–2017 season: bass-baritone Eric Owens, Wotan in Das Rheingold; tenor Piotr Beczała, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor; soprano Christiane Karg, Pamina in The Magic Flute; bass-baritone Adam Plachetka, Papageno in The Magic Flute; tenor Russell Thomas, Pollione in Norma; and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong, Adalgisa in Norma. Joining them are Ryan Opera Center ensemble members: sopranos Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi and Diana Newman, mezzo-sopranos Lindsay Metzger and Annie Rosen, baritone Takaoki Onishi, bass-baritone Bradley Smoak, and bass Patrick Guetti.


“It’s difficult to believe that this will be our third season of Beyond the Aria!” said Artistic Director Craig Terry. “The experience of artists and audiences alike responding so enthusiastically to both the unique environment and diverse repertoire has been a joy of almost unfathomable proportions.  I’ve treasured every evening. The coming season promises to be our best yet, with myriad surprises in store!”


The Harris Theater gratefully acknowledges generous support from Kenneth R. Norgan, Beyond the Aria Series Presenting Sponsor.  Additional support has been provided by the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Series Lead Foundation Sponsor.


Choral riser subscriptions are on sale now for $250 – purchase them HERE. All single tickets are available through the Harris Theater Box Office beginning August 15 at 205 East Randolph Drive, 312.334.7777, and online at HarrisTheaterChicago.org. For table subscriptions, starting at $1,250, please call 312-334-7777.



Dates and artists for Beyond the Aria are below:


Monday, October 17, 2016, 7:30 PM

Featuring Eric Owens, bass-baritone • Piotr Beczała, tenor • Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, soprano


Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 7:30 PM

Featuring Renée Fleming, soprano • Annie Rosen, mezzo-soprano • Takaoki Onishi, baritone


Thursday, January 19, 2017, 7:30 PM    

Featuring Christiane Karg, soprano • Adam Plachetka, bass-baritone • Lindsay Metzger, mezzo-soprano


Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 7:30 PM                    

Featuring Russell Thomas, tenor • Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo-soprano • Patrick Guetti, bass


Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 7:30 PM                     

Featuring Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano • Diana Newman, soprano • Bradley Smoak, bass-baritone


  • •• All programs, prices, and dates are subject to change •••




Beyond the Aria is made possible by the generous support of Kenneth R. Norgan, Series Presenting Sponsor, and the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Series Lead Foundation Sponsor.


The Northern Trust Company is the Harris Theater’s 2016–2017 season sponsor. United Airlines is the official airline of the Harris Theater. The Theater gratefully acknowledges the Irving Harris Foundation for its leadership support of the Presenting Fund.


About Harris Theater for Music and Dance

The Harris Theater’s primary mission is to partner with an array of Chicago’s music and dance performing arts organizations to help them build the resources and infrastructure necessary to achieve artistic growth and long-term organizational sustainability. The Harris Theater’s original group of 12 resident companies has grown to include 35 diverse organizations. Through these partnerships, the Theater has earned national recognition as a distinctive model for collaboration, performance, and artistic advancement.


Opened on November 8, 2003, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was the first multi-use performing arts venue to be built in the Chicago downtown area since 1929. Today the Theater continues to host the most diverse offerings of any venue in Chicago, featuring the city’s world-renowned music and dance institutions and the Harris Theater Presents series of acclaimed national and international artists and ensembles.


Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater, is a $38.8M comprehensive fundraising effort supporting the Theater’s multifaceted mission. The campaign ensures the continued growth and artistic development of the Harris Theater over the next 10 years.


The Imagine campaign is led by four transformational gifts: from The Irving Harris Foundation, Joan W. Harris; Alexandra and John Nichols; Chauncey and Marion D. McCormick Family Foundation, Abby McCormick O’Neil and D. Carroll Joynes; Caryn and King Harris, The Harris Family Foundation. Additional leadership gifts supporting programmatic and capital projects have been generously funded by Jay Franke and David Herro, The Crown Family, Jack and Sandra Guthman, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Neisser Family Foundation, The Northern Trust Company, Zell Family Foundation, Laura and Ricardo Rosenkranz, Christine and Glenn Kelly, Jim and Kay Mabie, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Marilyn and David J. Vitale.


The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust and Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust are the lead underwriters of fundraising for Imagine: The Campaign for Harris Theater.


The Harris Theater maintains a commitment to engaging Chicago residents of all ages and communities. Programs like the popular Eat to the Beat and Exelon Family Series advance access to, and understanding of, the performing arts. The Theater partners with health and human service agencies, K-12 schools, and community arts organizations, providing more than 8,800 underwritten performance tickets through the Access Tickets Program since 2009. The Theater also connects gifted young artists and students to presented artists through master classes, artist talks, and other enrichment activities.


To learn more about the Harris Theater, please visit HarrisTheaterChicago.org. Call the Box Office at 312.334.7777 to request a brochure or additional information.


The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Chicago’s state-of-the art 1,525-seat performance venue, can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.


About Craig Terry, Beyond the Aria Artistic Director
Lauded for his “sensitive and stylish” (The New York Times) and “superb” (Opera News) playing, pianist Craig Terry has launched an international career regularly performing with the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists. Currently Mr. Terry serves as Music Director of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago after having spent eleven seasons at Lyric as Assistant Conductor. Previously, he served as Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera after joining its Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Mr. Terry has performed with such esteemed vocalists as Jamie Barton, Stephanie Blythe, Christine Brewer, Nicole Cabell, Sasha Cooke, Eric Cutler, Danielle de Niese, Joyce DiDonato, Giuseppe Filianoti, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Denyce Graves, Bryan Hymel, Joseph Kaiser, Quinn Kelsey, Kate Lindsey, Ana María Martínez, Susanna Phillips, Luca Pisaroni, Patricia Racette, Hugh Russell, Bo Skovhus, Garrett Sorenson, Amber Wagner, and Catherine Wyn-Rogers. He has collaborated as a chamber musician with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchester, and the Pro Arte String Quartet.


About Lyric Unlimited

Lyric Unlimited, a division of Lyric Opera of Chicago, offers a multifaceted program of education, community engagement and artistic initiatives. The purpose of Lyric Unlimited is to provide a relevant cultural service to communities throughout the Chicago area, including communities for whom opera and opera companies have been largely irrelevant; to explore a wide range of ways in which Lyric can collaborate with cultural and community organizations throughout the area; and to advance the development of opera, exploring ways in which opera as an art form can resonate more powerfully, and in a range of different ways, with people of multiple backgrounds, ethnicities, and interests. In the 2015/16 season, 94,386 individuals participated in Lyric Unlimited programs.


For more information about Lyric Unlimited program offerings, visit lyricopera.org/lyricunlimited.


About The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago
The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center is the professional artist development program for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Since its inception in 1974*, the Ryan Opera Center has been recognized as one of the premier programs of its kind in the world. That standing is maintained by providing the finest up-and-coming singers and pianists with unparalleled training and experience. The program is administered by Dan Novak, director; Craig Terry, music director; Julia Faulkner, director of vocal studies; and Renée Fleming, advisor.


Each year the Ryan Opera Center selects 12-15 gifted young artists to join its program from more than 400 applicants. Beginning in the spring, they arrive to join the full-year residency program, under the guidance of Novak, Terry, Faulkner, and Fleming, as well as Anthony Freud, Sir Andrew Davis and numerous other opera professionals. Ensemble members are immediately immersed into the world of opera and vocal performance. Coaching sessions and master classes are augmented by performance and understudy experience in Lyric Opera’s regular season productions as well as other Ryan Opera Center concerts and recitals. For more information, visit lyricopera.org/ryanoperacenter.


*originally The Opera School of Chicago, then the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists; known as the Ryan Opera Center since September 2006.


About Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.


Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.


Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.  For more information, visit lyricopera.org.

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