Lyric Opera of Chicago Presents THE FAMILY BARBER Today

Lyric Opera of Chicago Presents THE FAMILY BARBER Today

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

The Family Barber, a kid-friendly introduction to the joys of opera, is a project of Lyric Unlimited. It follows the resounding success of last season's Popcorn & Pasquale, Lyric's first-ever family opera adventure, which sold out. (As with last season's presentation, popcorn will be available for purchase and will be allowed in the theater.)

A special cast including members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center will perform The Family Barber with the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The performance will be fully staged and costumed, and will be entirely in English. As with regular performances, projectEd English texts will also be used.

The cast features Ryan Opera Center members J'nai Bridges/Rosina, John Irvin/Almaviva, andWill Liverman/Figaro, with Lyric regular Philip Kraus/Bartolo. Elise Sandell will direct The Family Barber, which will be conducted by Emanuele Andrizzi. Set designer is Scott Pask and costume designer is Catherine Zuber.

The Family Barber combines the familiar music and characters of Gioachino Rossini's The Barber of Seville ("Figaro! Figaro!") with some captivating dialogue to reveal behind-the-scenes opera basics in a fun and engaging way. The Family Barber is being written by David Kersnar(Lookingglass Theatre Company) and Jacqui Russell (Chicago Children's Theatre), who created last year's Popcorn & Pasquale, which combined spoken English and sung Italian.

"Since this will be an introduction to the world of opera for many of our youngest audience members, we want to be sure there are as few barriers as possible to enjoyment of the story and the music," says Cayenne Harris, director of Lyric Unlimited. "Presenting The Family Barber in English will make the experience even more accessible."

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.

Pre- and post-performance activities are also being planned for March 22, Harris notes. Details will be announced at a later date.

For families with children older than ten, or 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 Feb. 3-28. Call 312-332-2244 or visit www.lyricopera.org for special pricing information.

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.

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