Lyric Opera of Chicago presents a brand-new production of Mozart’s masterpiece directed by Barbara Gaines
THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO
Opens Saturday, September 26
9 performances through October 24
Adam Plachetka, Christiane Karg, Amanda Majeski, Luca Pisaroni, Rachel Frenkel, Katharine Goeldner, Brindley Sherratt,
and Keith Jameson
Henrik Nánási/conductor, Barbara Gaines/director, James Noone/set designer, Susan Mickey/costume designer, Robert Wierzel/lighting designer, Michael Black/chorus master, Harrison McEldowney/choreographer
CHICAGO – To open its 61st season, Lyric Opera of Chicago presents Mozart’s wise and witty comedy, The Marriage of Figaro, conducted by Henrik Nánási in a lively new production by renowned director Barbara Gaines, founder and artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The Marriage of Figaro opens on Saturday, September 26 with 9 performances through Saturday, October 24. Performance dates are Sept. 26 (5pm), Sept. 30, Oct. 3, 6, 9, 15, and 24 at 7:30pm; and Oct. 18 and 21 at 2pm.
Adam Plachetka and Christiane Karg (both Lyric debuts) are the determined newlyweds Figaro and Susanna, with Luca Pisaroni as the restless, rakish Count Almaviva, Amanda Majeski as his heartsick Countess, Rachel Frenkel (debut) as the lovestruck teenager Cherubino, Katharine Goeldner as Marcellina, the housekeeper who thinks she should marry Figaro, Brindley Sherratt (debut) as Dr. Bartolo, still seething that Figaro thwarted his plan to marry Rosina (now the Countess), and Keith Jameson as meddlesome music teacher Basilio. Production designers are James Noone (sets), Susan Mickey (costumes/Lyric debut), and Robert Wierzel (lighting). Michael Black is chorus master, and Harrison McEldowney is choreographer.
“Barbara is the perfect director for Figaro – she has the lightness of touch and sense of fun, and through comedy she’ll really get to the humanity of the piece,” says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director. “The world she’s created is reminiscent of her CST production of A School for Lies – a whimsical 18th-century world that isn’t historically accurate in every way but is rooted in the 18th century with lightness, wit, and imagination. This will be a very glamorous production, with a sexy cast of impressive artists.”
“Figaro is one of those perfect operas,” says Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric’s music director, who has conducted Mozart’s masterpiece at Lyric and elsewhere. “It deals with several kinds of human relationships – between Figaro and Susanna, very touchingly between Susanna and the Countess, between Figaro and the Count, who are constantly butting heads and trying to outwit each other, and between the Count and Countess, whose reconciliation is one of the most touching moments in all of opera, I think. The whole architecture of the piece is extraordinary. The finale of the second act is probably the most perfect half-hour of music ever written.”
For tickets and information call (312) 827-5600 or go to lyricopera.org.
The new Lyric Opera production of The Marriage of Figaro is generously made possible by The Negaunee Foundation,the Abbott Fund, Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin, Exelon, JPMorgan Chase & Co.,and Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel. The Gala Opening Night Performance is sponsored by Aon.
The opening night performance of The Marriage of Figaro can be heard live locally on 98.7WFMT and globally on wfmt.com, beginning at 4:45pm. The Lyric Opera of Chicago Broadcasts are generously sponsored by The Hurvis Family Foundation with matching funding provided by The Matthew Bucksbaum Family, The John and Jackie Bucksbaum Family,and Richard P. and Susan Kiphart.
Before the performances at the opera house, the principal cast members will perform Act Two of The Marriage of Figaro as the grand finale of the annual Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park free concert on Fri. Sept. 11, 7:30pm. Both Sept. 11 and Sept. 26 performances will be broadcast live on 98.7WFMT and streamed live on wfmt.com.
About Lyric Opera of Chicago
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.