Harris Theater Announces Partnership with Lyric Opera

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Harris Theater Announces Partnership with Lyric Opera

Michael Tiknis, President and Managing Director of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, today unveiled Beyond the Aria, a new performance series produced by Harris Theater in a unique first-time association with Lyric Unlimited, on the Pritzker Pavilion Stage at Millennium Park.

Four performances-October 21, November 10, January 14, and March 10 (details below)-will feature internationally celebrated opera singers alongside rising stars from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, the eminent artist-development program. The artists will perform a repertoire of their choosing, which may include Broadway, American Songbook, Jazz, and more, with accompaniment by pianist Craig Terry.

Audiences will enjoy these intimate performances "cabaret style," seated on the enclosed stage of the Pritzker Pavilion. At café tables and choral risers, patrons will share the stage with acclaimed performers starring in Lyric's 2014-2015 season: mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, performing the role of Azucena in II Trovatore; mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, Jane Seymour in Anna Bolena; tenor Bryan Hymel, Percy in Anna Bolena; tenor Brandon Jovanovich, Walter in The Passenger; baritone Quinn Kelsey, Count di Luna in II Trovatore; soprano Ana María Martínez, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni; baritone Bo Skovhus, the Count in Capriccio; and soprano Amber Wagner, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser. Joining them are Ryan Opera Center ensemble members mezzo-soprano J'nai Bridges, baritone Anthony Clark Evans, baritone Will Liverman, and soprano Laura Wilde.

Beyond the Aria marks the first partnership between the Harris Theater and Lyric Unlimited.

"We are so pleased that Harris Theater is producing an innovative series to celebrate great opera singers through a unique and accessible experience," said Michael Tiknis, President and Managing Director of Harris Theater. "The concept of unscripted performances on the singers' night off from the opera is a rare opportunity for Chicago audiences to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Collaboration is the hallmark of the Harris Theater-this series truly represents our mission at work."

Beyond the Aria will highlight these lead guest artists of Lyric's upcoming season and members of Lyric's prestigious Ryan Opera Center, with Craig Terry as Artistic Director for the series. "When approached by Michael Tiknis and the Harris Theater for this exciting project, I immediately envisioned a musical world through which audience members could experience the visceral nature of hearing spectacular voices, up close and unbuttoned, in a beautiful space, and in favorite and divergent repertoire chosen by the artists themselves," said Terry, also Music Director of the Ryan Opera Center. "The incredible opportunity for our gifted Ryan Opera Center singers to perform alongside these operatic stars in this way is unparalleled. I couldn't be more grateful to the Harris Theater and to these magnificent artists for joining me on this adventure!"

"People seldom have an opportunity to hear artists of this caliber perform classical works in such an intimate setting," said Anthony Freud, General Director at Lyric Opera of Chicago. "We are excited to be working in partnership with the Harris Theater to offer audiences something new and unique."

The Harris Theater gratefully acknowledges the generous support from Kenneth R. Norgan, the Beyond the Aria series presenting sponsor.

Subscriptions for the four-performance series are on sale beginning tomorrow, September 4, starting at $99. Single performance tickets will be available September 16 starting at $35. All tickets are available through the Harris Theater Box Office at 205 East Randolph Drive, 312.334.7777, and online at HarrisTheaterChicago.org.

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