Lyric Opera of Chicago¬'s OPERATHON 2012 Raises $482,465

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Lyric Opera of Chicago’s OPERATHON 2012 Raises $482,465

OPERATHON 2012, Lyric Opera of Chicago's annual live-radio marathon fundraiser on 98.7WFMT, celebrated its 33rd anniversary by raising $482,465 during its 16-hour broadcast on Saturday, October 20, exceeding the $450,000 goal.

All proceeds support Lyric Opera's education and community-engagement programs, which serve more than 135,000 children, adults, and seniors in the Chicago area each year. These include Opera in the Neighborhoods, OperaKids, the Discovery Series, Community and Pre-Opera Lectures, Senior Matinee and 'Students at the Opera' performances at the Civic Opera House, the Teen Opera Circle and College Opera Circle programs, NExT Discount Student Tickets, Student Backstage Tours, and Teachers' Professional Development Workshops.

"We are deeply grateful to our friends at WFMT for making OPERATHON possible for more than three decades," said Anthony Freud, Lyric's general director. "It is an outstanding collaboration.

"The success of this event is integral to achieving our 2012-13 annual fundraising goal of $19.6 million," Freud continued. "We are extremely grateful to all of our generous supporters who made pledges at all levels, and we deeply appreciate the hard work of the legions of volunteers and Lyric staff members who answered phones and assisted in many other ways behind the scenes. We are very proud of the support shown by the entire extended Lyric Opera family for our outstanding education and community engagement programs, which are part of our Lyric Unlimited initiative."

OPERATHON 2012, sponsored by Booz & Company, went on the air at 8:00 a.m. and concluded at midnight, broadcasting from Lyric's administrative offices in the Civic Opera House.

The 16-hour event was anchored by 98.7WFMT's CaroLyn Paulin, George Preston, and David Schwan, and by Lyric's dramaturg Roger Pines, who also selected all the musical excerpts heard throughout the day and night. Steve Robinson, general manager of 98.7WFMT and The WFMT Radio Network, orchestrated activities behind the scenes. WFMT's engineers for the 16-hour broadcast were Don Mueller and Joshua Sauvageau.

OPERATHON 2012 exceeded its $450,000 goal thanks to numerous challenge grants offered by individuals, foundations, corporations, various Lyric Opera Chapters; exceptional participation by the Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago Overture Society, Richard P. and Susan Kiphart, Dr. and Mrs. Tapas Das Gupta, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Marjan, Allan and Elaine Muchin, Julie and Roger Baskes, Sir Andrew Davis and Gianna Rolandi, Anthony Freud, Renée Fleming, and an Anonymous Donor; donations, purchases, and pledges from listeners. Generous sponsors of merchandise for OPERATHON 2012 were Fellowes, Inc., and Sidley Austin LLP. The Season Poster featured in the OPERATHON catalog, designed by world-renowned graphic designer and artist Per Arnoldi, is generously sponsored by Classic Color.

Flights to New York, Beijing, Los Angeles, and London were auctioned on the air, courtesy of American Airlines, Lyric's official airline.

Lyric's general director, Anthony Freud, was in the radio studio for the entire 16-hour marathon fundraiser. Several Lyric stars made on-air appearances throughout the fundraiser in person or by phone, including Renée Fleming, Lyric's creative consultant; Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric's music director and conductor of Elektra, Simon Boccanegra, and Werther this fall; Elektra stars Christine Goerke, Emily Magee, Jill Grove, Alan Held, and Roger Honeywell; Boccanegra stars Thomas Hampson, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Krassimira Stoyanova, and Quinn Kelsey; Werther stars Matthew Polenzani and Sophie Koch; and Bohème star Ana María Martínez.

Also stopping by the studio were Gary Griffin, who will direct Oklahoma! next May; Tim Sniffen and Robin Hammond from The Second City, with which Lyric is collaborating on The Second City Guide to the Opera in January; new chorus Master Martin Wright; members of the Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra; and ensemble members of the Ryan Opera Center, among others.

Lyric used social media outlets Facebook and Twitter to engage audiences in OPERATHON. Lyric Opera tweeted all day and encouraged others to do so with #OPERATHON. To view photos from Saturday's radio fundraiser become a Facebook friend of Lyric Opera of Chicago.

OPERATHON 2012 was hosted by Lyric Opera and its 15 Chapters. Peggy Beata (Near North Chapter) and Sherie Shapiro (Northwest Chapter) served as the co-chairs.

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