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Lyric Opera Announces Single Tickets on Sale July 10 - 2017/18 Season
Source: Lyric Opera of Chicago

Single Tickets on Sale Monday, July 10 at 10am

for all performances in 

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2017/18 Season

Orphée et Eurydice, RigolettoDie Walküre, The Pearl Fishers, 

Turandot, I Puritani, Così fan tutte, Faust, and Fellow Travelers


Jesus Christ Superstar,

 Piotr Beczała Recital, and Celebrating 100 Years of Bernstein


CHICAGO  – Single tickets go on sale Monday, July 10 at 10am for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 63rd season.




This season, which opens on Saturday, September 23, offers tremendous stories set to glorious music and performed by outstanding casts. There will be three brand-new productions – including an eagerly anticipated first-time collaboration with The Joffrey Ballet – and four new-to-Chicago productions: three at the Lyric Opera House and one at the Athenaeum Theatre.




“Lyric’s new season offers a wonderful range of musical and dramatic styles, and an exceptional roster of internationally acclaimed artists,” said the company’s general director, Anthony Freud. “Musically, dramatically, choreographically, and visually, the season will offer abundant rewards for longtime opera lovers and newcomers alike. Every opera tells an unforgettable story in its own unique way – through beautiful music combined with compelling acting and movement. It’s a truly singular experience.”




The week of July 10 “will be the best time to secure tickets for individual productions in Lyric’s extraordinary season,” Freud added.




English translations on a screen above the stage for every opera make it easy for everyone to follow the stories of love lost and found, illicit passion and retribution, mistaken identities, family battles, royal riddles, romantic triangles, the pursuit of perpetual youth, and more. Here’s what awaits audiences in Lyric’s opera season.


  • Orphée et Eurydice: A sudden tragedy robs newlyweds of their happiness. What will it take to recapture love? Who should see it: Dance aficionados, anyone who likes the music of Gluck, Haydn, Mozart, and Handel; hopeless romantics, fans of ancient Greek mythology.
  • Rigoletto: A widowed father fiercely protects his teenage daughter, not realizing she has a secret boyfriend – his boss in disguise. Who should see it: Opera newcomers, fans of Victor Hugo (who wrote Les MisérablesThe Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the novel on which this opera is based, Le roi s’amuse), fans of Verdi’s other operas, lovers of great hummable melodies, teens and their parents.
  • Die WalküreThe most famous installment of Wagner’s epic Ring delves into complex relationships between gods and mortals, siblings, spouses, father and daughters, and more. Plus, there’s nothing better than hearing the thrilling “Ride of the Valkyries” performed live and in context vs. in a Doritos commercial. Who should see it: fans of The Lord of the RingsWonder Woman, Norse mythology, comic books, Bugs Bunny, epic storytelling, majestic and passionate music, immersive experiences.
  • The Pearl Fishers: Best friends fall in love with a beautiful priestess and vow to hold their friendship sacred in a famously beautiful duet. One breaks his promise, and all struggle with the consequences. High drama and gorgeous music will sweep you away. Who should see it: Fans of Carmen (which Bizet wrote 12 years later), opera newcomers, anyone who loves beautiful melodies and romantic tragedies.
  • Turandot: How do you  guard against the terrors of love? Execute your suitors if they can’t answer your riddles! That’s what Princess Turandot does until Prince Calaf breaks the code and challenges her to guess his name. In the super-famous “Nessun dorma” he exults at his expected romantic triumph. Who should see it: lovers of spectacle and luscious music, newcomers to opera, fans of Puccini’s other operas.
  • I Puritani: A wedding in the midst of a civil war is interrupted when the groom has to rescue the imprisoned queen and uses his bride’s veil to disguise the monarch for escape. Confusion and madness ensue, but eventually all ends well and the couple happily reunites. Who should see it: Fans of Shakespeare, historical drama, vocal thrill-seekers who love high-flying and acrobatic bel canto singing.


  • Così fan tutte: This bittersweet relationship comedy has a cynical philosopher betting two young men that their sweethearts – a pair of lovely sisters – can’t stay faithful for 24 hours. Departing as if for war and returning in disguise, the guys test their ladies’ resolves and confront some uncomfortable truths in the process. Who should see it: Anyone who’s dating or married, rom-com fans, lovers of Mozart’s music.
  • FaustWhat would you give to be young again? Faust sells his soul for a second chance at youth, wrecking the lives of lovely Marguerite and her brother Valentin in the process. Who should see it: newcomers to opera, fans of classic literature and romantic French music, the visually adventurous.
  • Fellow TravelersForbidden love in a time of rampant political persecution and paranoia is the subject this critically acclaimed 2016 opera. Who should see it: Fans of powerful plays on contemporary themes, anyone interested in mid-20th-century history and how McCarthy-era prejudice impacted American lives, Baroque music fans (composer Gregory Spears’s music evokes Baroque styling), and audiences interested in LGBTQ stories.


Lyric’s music director Sir Andrew Davis will conduct three operas: Die WalküreThe Pearl Fishers, and Turandot.



Here’s what awaits audiences for Lyric’s annual musical and special-event performances:


  • Jesus Christ SuperstarThe seminal rock opera explores the personal and public struggles of Jesus Christ and his disciple, Judas Iscariot.
  • Piotr Beczała in Recital: The Polish tenor is acclaimed for his glorious sound and ardent romanticism – expect a wide range of thrilling operatic arias and art songs in a warm and passionate performance.
  • Celebrating 100 Years of Bernstein: Costars Susan Graham and Nathan Gunn will spar in Leonard Bernstein’s delightful one-act opera, Trouble in Tahiti, and will join Broadway star Kate Baldwin (familiar to Lyric audiences as Anna in The King and I) to perform beloved songs and some rarer gems from the composer’s extensive vocal catalog.





Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2017/18 Season – Casts, Creative Teams, Sponsors



 New Production (featuring The Joffrey Ballet)


Orphée et Eurydice by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714 – 1787)


Seven performances, Sept. 23 - Oct. 15, 2017, in French with projected English translations




For the first time in Lyric’s history, a single individual – John Neumeier – serves as director, choreographer, and production designer (sets, costumes, lighting). Familiar from Greek myths, the plot centers on Orphée (Orpheus), whose singing was so beautiful that it could charm the fierce guardians of the Underworld. Encouraged by the god of love, Amour, Orphée travels to Hades to bring his dead wife, Eurydice, back to earth. Gluck revised the original 1762 Italian version for the Paris Opera in 1774, adding extensive ballet music to the score. Integral to this exciting new production will be the participation of TheJoffrey Ballet in the company’s first collaboration with Lyric.



Dmitry Korchak*

Harry Bicket

Andriana Chuchman˚

John Neumeier*

Lauren Snouffer

Set/Costume/Lighting Design
John Neumeier*


Associate Set Designer
Heinrich Tröger*


Lighting Realization
Chris Maravich


Chorus Master
Michael Black

*Lyric Debut   ˚Ryan Opera Center Alumna 



New Lyric Opera production of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice generously made possible by The Monument Trust (UK), the Abbott Fund,Margot and Josef Lakonishok, the NIB Foundation, an Anonymous DonorJ.P. MorganThe Anne and Burt Kaplan FundBill and Orli Staley Foundation, and Liz Stiffel.   Orphée et Eurydice is a coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, and Staatsoper Hamburg.



New-to-Chicago Production

Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901)

Eight performances, Oct. 7 – Nov. 3, 2017, in Italian with projected English translations


Rigoletto, Verdi’s masterpiece of 1851, presents a magnificent, deeply moving characterization of a hunchbacked court jester consumed by bitterness and revenge. Rigoletto is the father of Gilda, who is seduced and abandoned by the licentious Duke of Mantua. Sparafucile is the assassin hired by Rigoletto to murder the Duke; Maddalena is Sparafucile’s seductive sister; and Count Monterone’s curse on Rigoletto initiates the drama of the opera.


Quinn Kelsey°

Marco Armiliato

Rosa Feola*

E. Loren Meeker

Matthew Polenzani°

Set Designer
Michael Yeargan

Alexander Tsymbalyuk*

Costume Designer
Constance Hoffman

Zanda Švēde*

Lighting Designer
Chris Maravich

Todd Thomas

Chorus Master
Michael Black 

*Lyric Debut   °Ryan Opera Center Alumni


Lyric Opera presentation of Verdi’s Rigoletto generously made possible by Julie and Roger BaskesHoward L. Gottlieb and Barbara GreisCandy and Gary Ridgway, and Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow. Production owned by San Francisco Opera.  



New Production 

Die Walküre by Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)

Seven performances, Nov. 1 – Nov. 30, 2017, in German with projected English translations


Die Walküre (1870) focuses on the conflict between Wotan, king of the gods, and his mortal son, Siegmund, who has unwittingly fallen in love with his own twin, Sieglinde, the wife of the brutish Hunding. This arouses the wrath of Wotan’s wife, Fricka (the goddess of marriage), and the compassion of Wotan’s daughter, the warrior-maiden Brünnhilde, one of eight Valkyries. The turning point of the opera arrives when Brünnhilde disobeys her father by siding with Siegmund in the latter’s fight against Hunding. This production continues Lyric’s new Ring cycle, which began last season with Das Rheingold.


Christine Goerke

Sir Andrew Davis 

Elisabet Strid*

David Pountney

Tanja Ariane Baumgartner

Original Set Designer
Johan Engels

Brandon Jovanovich

Set Designer
Robert Innes Hopkins

Eric Owens

Costume Designer
Marie-Jeanne Lecca

Ain Anger*

Lighting Designer
Fabrice Kebour


Denni Sayers

*Lyric Debut


New Lyric Opera coproduction of the Ring cycle generously made possible by Lead Sponsor: an Anonymous Donor and cosponsors Mr. & Mrs. Dietrich M. Gross, the Gramma Fisher Foundation of Marshalltown, Iowa, and Ada and Whitney Addington.


New Lyric Opera coproduction of Wagner’s Die Walküre generously made possible by the Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, the Mazza FoundationHelen and Sam Zell, the Marianne Deson Trust, in memory of her parents Samuel and Sarah Deson, and Bulley & Andrews. 



New-to-Chicago Production

The Pearl Fishers by Georges Bizet (1838 – 1875)

Seven performances, Nov. 19 – Dec. 10, 2017, in French with projected English translations


Bizet’s captivating 1863 opera, The Pearl Fishersis beloved by audiences everywhere for its score, which includes the most popular tenor-baritone duet in opera. The setting is ancient Ceylon, where the priestess Leïla is loved by the fisherman Nadir and by his best friend Zurga, king of the pearl fishers. The travails of this love triangle lead to disaster when Zurga believes himself betrayed by Leïla and Nadir. 


Marina Rebeka

Sir Andrew Davis 

Matthew Polenzani°

Andrew Sinclair

Mariusz Kwiecień

Set and Costume Designer
Zandra Rhodes*

Andrea Silvestrelli

Lighting Designer
Ron Vodicka*


Chorus Master
Michael Black 


John Malashock*

*Lyric Debut   °Ryan Opera Center Alumnus


Lyric Opera presentation of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers generously made possible by Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel. Production owned by San Diego Opera.



New-to-Chicago Production

Turandot by Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924)

Ten performances, Dec. 5, 2017 – Jan. 27, 2018, in Italian with projected English translations


Turandot (1926), which premiered after the composer’s death, showcases his magnificent melodic outpourings (including the tenor’s celebrated “Nessun dorma”) and reveals Puccini at his peak as a creator of exotically beautiful orchestration. Set in ancient Peking, the story centers on the icy Princess Turandot, who will marry the prince who answers her three riddles correctly, but any suitor who fails is put to death. Calaf is the unknown prince who falls in love with Turandot at first sight and, victorious in the riddles, challenges her to learn his name. Calaf is loved by the slave Liù, who serves his father Timur, the exiled Tartar king. The lighter side of the opera is contributed by Turandot’s three lively ministers – Ping, Pang, and Pong.


Amber Wagner°

Sir Andrew Davis (12/5 – 1/21)
Robert Tweten (1/27)

Maria Agresta (December)*
Janai Brugger (January)*

Rob Kearley*

Stefano La Colla*

Set and Costume Designer
Allen Charles Klein*

Andrea Silvestrelli

Lighting Designer
Chris Maravich

Zachary Nelson 

Chorus Master
Michael Black

Rodell Rosel°


Keith Jameson 


*Lyric Debut   °Ryan Opera Center Alumni


Lyric Opera presentation of Puccini’s Turandot generously made possible by Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison. Production owned by Lyric Opera of Chicago, originally created by Bliss Hebert and Allen Charles Klein for Florida Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, and San Francisco Opera.



I Puritani by Vincenzo Bellini (1801 – 1835)

Seven performances, Feb. 4 – Feb. 28, 2018

In Italian with projected English translations


The opera takes place at a fortress near Plymouth during the English Civil War of the 1640s. Elvira is betrothed to Sir Riccardo Forth, a Puritan colonel, although she is not in love with him. Instead, she loves Arturo Talbot, a Cavalier and a Stuart sympathizer, who loves her in return. Once aware of Elvira’s unhappiness, Elvira's uncle, Sir Giorgio, convinces her father, Lord Walter, to give his permission for her to marry Arturo. At the wedding celebration, Arturo discovers that Queen Enrichetta has been imprisoned in the castle. By covering the queen in a wedding veil, Arturo helps her escape. Elvira believes she has been abandoned by Arturo, but in the end, the two are happily reunited.


Albina Shagimuratova

Enrique Mazzola 

Lawrence Brownlee

Eric Einhorn

Anthony Clark Evans°

Set Designer
Ming Cho Lee

Adrian Sâmpetrean

Costume Designer
Peter J. Hall


Lighting Designer
Chris Maravich


Chorus Master

Michael Black

°Ryan Opera Center Alumnus


Lyric Opera presentation of Bellini’s I Puritani generously made possible by the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation and an Anonymous Donor, with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.  This production was originally directed by Sandro Sequi and premiered at The Metropolitan Opera. All scenery, properties, and costumes constructed by The Metropolitan Opera.



Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)

Seven performances, Feb. 17 – Mar. 16, 2018, in Italian with projected English translations


The most sophisticated and intimate of the three Mozart/da Ponte operas, Così fan tutte (1790) is a fascinating “school for lovers” story in which two couples learn a great deal about their true feelings for each other. The cynically mischievous Don Alfonso stirs the pot with two earnest young officers, Ferrando and Guglielmo, betting that their fiancées, sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi, cannot remain faithful for 24 hours. The officers depart as if to go to war, then return disguised to woo each other’s beloved. Don Alfonso manipulates the proceedings in cahoots with the sisters’ maid, the ever-resourceful Despina.


Ana María Martínez

James Gaffigan*

Marianne Crebassa

John Cox

Elena Tsallagova*

Set & Costume Designer
Robert Perdziola

Andrew Stenson

Lighting Designer
Chris Maravich

Joshua Hopkins

Chorus Master
Michael Black 

Don Alfonso

Alessandro Corbelli


*Lyric Debut 


Lyric Opera presentation of Mozart’s Così fan tutte generously made possible by Lead Sponsor The Negaunee Foundation and cosponsors Randy L. and Melvin R. BerlinMarion A. Cameron, and Nancy and Sanfred KoltunCosì fan tutte is a joint production of Opéra de Monte Carlo and San Francisco Opera.



New Production

Faust by Charles Gounod (1818 – 1893)

Seven performances, Mar. 3 – Mar. 21, 2018, in French with projected English translations


This exceptionally romantic, universally popular work premiered in Paris in early 1859. The story is one of the most justly celebrated in opera. The aged philosopher Faust – at the urging of Satan’s agent, Méphistophélès – is made young again in exchange for his soul. The drama encompasses Faust’s encounter with the innocent Marguerite, his wooing and subsequent abandonment of her, the death of her brother Valentin at Faust’s own hand, and Marguerite’s ensuing madness, death, and redemption. Siébel is the boy in love with Marguerite, and Marthe, Marguerite’s busybody neighbor, offers comic relief. Lyric’s haunting new production is designed by the renowned visual artist John Frame.


Benjamin Bernheim*

Emmanuel Villaume

Erin Wall° (3/3 – 3/18)
Ana María Martínez (3/21)

Kevin Newbury

Christian Van Horn° 

Production Designer
John Frame*

Edward Parks*

Set/Costume Designer
Victoria Tzykun*

Annie Rosen°

Lighting Designer
Duane Schuler

Jill Grove

Projection Designer
David Adam Moore*


Chorus Master
Michael Black

*Lyric Debut   °Ryan Opera Center Alumni


New Lyric Opera coproduction of Gounod’s Faust generously made possible by Henry M. and Gilda R. BuchbinderStefan Edlis and Gael NeesonEthel and William Gofen, the Harris Family Foundation, and ITW. Faust is a coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Portland Opera.


New-to-Chicago Production, Lyric Unlimited

Fellow Travelers by Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce

An opera based on the novel Fellow Travelers by Thomas Mallon

Four performances March 17 – 25, 2018, at the Athenaeum Theatre, in English with projected English texts.


Timothy Laughlin
Jonas Hacker*

Daniela Candillari*

Hawkins Fuller
Joseph Lattanzi*

Kevin Newbury

Mary Johnson
Devon Guthrie*

Set Designer
Victoria Tzykun

Miss Lightfoot
Vanessa Becerra*

Costume Designer
Paul Carey*

Senator McCarthy
Marcus DeLoach*

Lighting Designer
Thomas C. Hase*

Amy Kuckelman


Tommy McIntyre
Will Liverman°


Senator Charles Potter
Reginald Smith, Jr.*


Potter's Assistant
Sam Handley°


*Lyric Debut       °Ryan Opera Center Alumni


At the height of the McCarthy era in 1950s Washington, D.C., recent college graduate Timothy  Laughlin is eager to join the crusade against communism. A chance encounter with a handsome State Department official, Hawkins Fuller, leads to Tim’s first job – and his first relationship with a man. Drawn into a maelstrom of deceit, Tim struggles to reconcile his political convictions and his forbidden love for Fuller – an entanglement that will end in a stunning act of betrayal.


Developed and co-commissioned by G. Sterling Zinsmeyer and Cincinnati Opera. Production owned by Cincinnati Opera.


Lyric Unlimited presentation of Fellow Travelers generously made possible by Lead Sponsor The Wallace Foundation.


Lyric Unlimited was launched with major catalyst funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and receives major support from the Caerus Foundation, Inc.


More information about Fellow Travelers may be found in the casting announcement press release sent today.



Broadway at Lyric 


New Production & Lyric Premiere

Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948) and Tim Rice (1944)

Twenty-six performances, Apr. 27 - May 20, 2018. In English.


One of the greatest stories ever told comes to life in the groundbreaking, iconic rock opera that reinvented musical theater for the modern age. With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, this global blockbuster explores the final weeks of the life of Jesus Christ from the perspective of Judas Iscariot. As Christ’s followers grow more fervent, Judas must make his fateful choice between faith and betrayal. Filled with an exciting mix of musical styles that draw upon 1970s rock, gospel, folk, and funk themes, this contemporary imagining of the biblical tale features high-energy dance and powerful storytelling.



Tom Deering*


Timothy Sheader*


Drew McOnie*

Set/Costume Designer

Tom Scutt*

Lighting Designer

Lee Curran*


*Lyric Debut


The cast will be announced at a later date.


Lyric Opera premiere of Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstargenerously made possible by Lead Sponsor The Negaunee Foundation and cosponsors an Anonymous Donor and Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Reyes. Production by The Regent’s Park Theatre London. 



2017/18 Season Special Performances


Piotr Beczała in Recital with Martin Katz, pianist

Sunday, February 25, 2018, 3pm


Lyric will present world-renowned Polish tenor Piotr Beczała, one of the most sought-after artists of our time, in an intimate recital of opera and song at the Lyric Opera House. Beczała thrilled Lyric audiences last season as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor and as Faust in his company debut. Acclaimed pianist Martin Katz (well known to audiences at Ravinia) will perform with Beczała.



Celebrating 100 Years of Bernstein

Saturday, March 10, 2018, 7:30pm


In 2018, the world celebrates the 100th birthday of the great Leonard Bernstein. Join the Lyric Opera Orchestra under the baton of acclaimed Broadway conductor David Chase (who has conducted Lyric productions of My Fair LadyThe King and I, and The Sound of Music), with soloists Kate BaldwinSusan Graham, and Nathan Gunn. Graham and Gunn will perform Bernstein’s marvelous Trouble in Tahiti, and will join Baldwin for a selection of beloved and rarely heard gems from the Bernstein vocal catalog.



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