Lyric Opera of Chicago Presents Special Family-Friendly Performance of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, 3/6

Lyric Opera of Chicago Presents Special Family-Friendly Performance of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, 3/6

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents The Family Barber, a special performance for youngsters ages 5-10 and their families, on Saturday, March 22, at 2pm at the Civic Opera House in downtown Chicago.

Fully staged and performed entirely in English, The Family Barber combines the familiar music and characters of Gioachino Rossini's beloved comic masterpiece The Barber of Seville (on stage at Lyric through February 28) with a clever, newly written story that reveals behind-the-scenes opera basics in a fun and engaging way. In addition to English-language surtitles, the onstage action will be transmitted to two large screens hung above the stage. Snacks will also be available for purchase and can be enjoyed in the theater during the performance!

In this kid-friendly introduction to the joys of opera, José Antonio Garcia plays an opera director who is completely out of his league trying to put on The Barber of Seville. His sidekick, Tutti, played by Alex Goodrich, is desperate to sing and unwittingly helps the director navigate his way through all that goes into staging an opera. The singing cast includes mezzo-soprano J'nai Bridges as the beautiful heroine Rosina, tenor John Irvin as the dashing young Count Almaviva, baritoneWill Liverman as the ultimate fixer Figaro, baritone Philip Kraus as the buffoonish Dr. Bartolo, along with the brilliant Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Bridges, Irvin, and Liverman are all current members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center.

Elise Sandell directs, and the conductor is Emanuele Andrizzi. The sets and costumes by Scott Pask (set designer)and Catherine Zuber (costume designer)come from Lyric's current mainstage production. The Family Barber is written by David Kersnar (Lookingglass Theatre Company) and Jacqueline Russell (Chicago Children's Theatre), who created last year's delightful family presentation Popcorn & Pasquale. The chorus master is Michael Black.

The Family Barber is a project of Lyric Unlimited, a multifaceted program of expanded community engagement and artistic initiatives that includes Lyric's longstanding education programs. It follows the resounding success of the sold-out Popcorn & Pasquale in the 2012-13 season, Lyric's first-ever family opera adventure. Lyric Unlimited will also present another all-new family program, The Magic Victrola, as part of the 2014-15 season.

"This will be a first-time introduction to the world of opera for many of our youngest audiences members so we want to make it as accessible and enjoyable as possible," said Cayenne Harris, director of Lyric Unlimited. "Therefore, the entire show, including the singing, will be in English. We're also projecting the stage action onto screens above the stage, which means there will be terrific viewing for everyone whether they are sitting in the balcony or on the main floor."

The running time for The Family Barber is approximately 60 minutes with no intermission. Tickets for youngsters are $10, $15, and $20. For adults (18+) the prices are $20, $30, and $40. Call 312-827-5600 or visit lyricopera.org/familybarber for tickets.

For families with children who are ready to experience a full-length performance of The Barber of Seville (in Italian with projected English texts), Lyric is offering special children's pricing for the regular mainstage performances through February 28. Call 312-827-5600 or visit lyricopera.org/barber for more information on The Barber of Seville.

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