CHICAGO – Lyric Opera of Chicago will celebrate its glorious history and future on Saturday, November 1, with a star-studded 60th Anniversary Concert at the Civic Opera House beginningat 6:30pm – sixty years to the day after the company officially launched its very first season.
Jane Lynch, the force-of-nature comedic actress and Illinois native, will rock the house in her Lyric debut as master of ceremonies. Lynch will mix it up with an internationally acclaimed roster of musical artists including Lyric creative consultant Renée Fleming and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis, plus opera stars Stephanie Blythe, Johan Botha, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Quinn Kelsey, Mariusz Kwiecień, Ana María Martínez, Eric Owens, Marina Rebeka, and Amber Wagner.
Returning to wreak merry havoc on the opera-house stage is The Second City. Writer-performers Kate James and Tim Sniffen and other ensemble members will engage in their distinctively irreverent interpretations of the lyric arts. Current artists and alumni of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Lyric’s premier artist-development program that is celebrating its 40th season, will also be featured on the program. Sir Andrew Davis will conduct the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus (Michael Black, chorus master).
“Lyric’s 60th anniversary is a time to reflect upon our rich history and look ahead to how we want to shape our future. This celebratory concert evening brings together a brilliant roster of performers who share a devotion to Lyric, and come to our stage from a variety of places and perspectives,” says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director. “Some are just embarking upon their global careers, and some have enjoyed some of their greatest successes, to date, upon our stage. The breadth of talent represents the company’s storied history, our devotion to our art form, and a representation of what Lyric is striving to become – a dynamic and innovative opera company for the 21st century.”
Repertoire for the concert includes excerpts from Beethoven’s Fidelio, Mozart’s Idomeneo, Verdi’s Macbeth, Nabucco, and Falstaff, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Turandot, Wagner’s Tannhäuser, Kern & Hammerstein’s Show Boat, Williams’s Serenade to Music, and Arlen & Harburg’s iconic song, “Over the Rainbow.”
The new concert shell created for Lyric by one of the world’s most innovative and respected architects, Jeanne Gang and her firm Studio Gang Architects (studiogang.net), will be seen and heard by the public for the first time at the Nov. 1 concert. Studio Gang’s design for Lyric’s concert shell explores the material properties of wood, bent into conic surfaces with varying degrees of concavity and convexity, and assembled into units that can be stored and assembled with ease. The design of the shell also explores moments of continuity with its surroundings, encouraging an elegant transition between the space of the Civic Opera House and the stage.
Tickets for the 60th Anniversary Concert are available from $75. For more information about the 60th Anniversary Concert, visit lyricopera.org/anniversaryconcert.
Audience members will receive a complimentary commemorative book, 60 Lyric Moments, following the Anniversary Concert.
60th Anniversary Concert Lead Sponsor: Kirkland & Ellis LLP
Co-chairs for the 60th Anniversary Concert and the Diamond Ball are Amy and Paul Carbone and Elizabeth and Michael Cole, all of Chicago. Mr. Carbone and Mr. Cole are both members of Lyric’s Board of Directors and Mr. Carbone is also treasurer of the Board. Ms. Cole is a member of the Women’s Board of Lyric Opera.
Founded in 1954, 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.
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.
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