Chicago (1/6/17) – Through Lyric’s groundbreaking Chicago Voices initiative, the music of Chicago past and present will be in the spotlight in a star-studded weekend of vocal artistry! During the weekend of February 2 – 4, Lyric will present a series of Expert Panels and Master Classes in conjunction with the Chicago Voices Concert, a one-night only, multi-genre concert celebrating Chicago’s diverse vocal music heritage with performances by iconic Chicago singers. Chicago Voices will honor the city’s musical culture, one of Chicago’s greatest gifts to the world, in a spirit of unity and collaboration.
The Concert will showcase unique and eclectic performances, including cross-genre artist collaborations that blend musical styles such as blues, jazz, folk, hip-hop, gospel, and classical. Performers include Renée Fleming (who also acts as artistic director of the event), legendary folk singer/songwriter John Prine, “New Queen of Blues” artist Shemekia Copeland, gospel and R&B artist Michelle Williams, Broadway star Jessie Mueller, critically acclaimed tenor Matthew Polenzani, alternative/indie husband–and-wife duo The Handsome Family, and others to be announced. Concert tickets can be purchased here or by calling 312-827-5600.
The Expert Panels and Master Classes kick off Thursday, February 2 at Columbia College Chicago with a reception featuring concert musical director/conductor Doug Peck and acclaimed Chicago musical theater star Donica Lynn. The panels continue Friday,
February 3 and Saturday, February 4, where many vocalists headlining the Chicago Voices Concert, including Fleming, Mueller, and Williams, will teach master classes and moderate panel talks. Discussions and demonstrations will focus on wide-ranging topics such as vocal health and pedagogy, the business of music, self-marketing and promotion in the digital age, and the power of protest songs. For tickets and a full line-up of presenters and class offerings, visit https://chicagovoices.lyricopera.org/EPMC.
“When violence in Chicago and a divided America are the headlines, Chicago Voices offers an example of unity,” said Fleming. “On February 4, we raise our voices to honor the musical heritage and rich diversity of the city we love.”
Chicago Voices is a groundbreaking, multi-year initiative celebrating Chicago’s vibrant, diverse vocal music culture. This innovative project aims to create an inclusive platform for celebrating the human voice, while illuminating the legacy of Chicago vocal traditions and amplifying the narratives of everyday Chicagoans. Presented by Lyric Opera, Chicago Voices is spearheaded by its creative consultant Renée Fleming and is a joint project with Lyric Unlimited.
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, President & CEO 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.
To learn more about Lyric’s current season, go to lyricopera.org. You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1617 #LongLivePassion
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.
Partners for Chicago Voices are Chicago Public Library, Chicago History Museum, and Columbia College Chicago.
Chicago Voices is made possible by major support from J. Thomas Hurvis and Parent Power Chicago, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. This project is partially supported by The Chicago Community Trust, an IncentOvate Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, and the Eisen Family Foundation.
Chicago Voices is a project of Lyric Unlimited, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s department dedicated to education, community engagement, and new artistic initiatives. Lyric Unlimited was launched with major catalyst funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and receives major support from the Caerus Foundation, Inc.