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Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center Artists Featured Across the Country, Summer 2013


Several alumni and current ensemble members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago are featured artists at music festivals and opera companies at home and around the globe this summer. Herewith, some highlights, with current ensemble members noted by *.

Chicago area:

  • Make Music Chicago: Julie Anne Miller* and Anthony Clark Evans* performed as part of the grand-finale concert, St. James Cathedral, June 21.
  • The Second City Guide to the Opera: Lauren Curnow and Bernard Holcomb with ensemble members from The Second City in opera-inspired cabaret-style sketch-comedy revue, onstage at the Civic Opera House through June 30.
  • Ravinia Festival: Tracy Cantin*, J'nai Bridges*, Julie Anne Miller*, Adam Bonanni*, Anthony Clark Evans*, and Richard Ollarsaba* will join Ensemble Dal Niente and actors from Writers' Theatre for Bernstein's Songfest in a world-premiere chamber arrangement by Alexander Platt, who will also conduct the performance. In the same concert Emily Birsan* will perform Elliott Carter's A Mirror on Which to Dwell. Thurs., July 4, 2pm, Martin Theatre. Nicole Cabell performs songs by Ricky Ian Gordon based on poems by Langston Hughes, with the composer at the piano, July 30, 8pm, Martin Theatre.
  • Grant Park Music Festival: Erin Wall, Britten's War Requiem, Fri., June 28, 6:30pm and Sat., June 29, 7:30pm, Pritzker Pavilion. Emily Birsan*, Julie Anne Miller*, John Irvin*, Adam Bonanni*, and Richard Ollarsaba*, Schubert's Mass in E Flat Major, Fri., Aug. 9, 6:30pm and Sat., Aug. 10, 7:30pm, Pritzker Pavilion.
  • Rush Hour Concerts: J'nai Bridges*, John Irvin*, and Will Liverman* perform "Lyric Shorts: Rossini's The Barber of Seville," Tue., July 30, 5:45pm, broadcast live on 98.7WFMT/, St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron at Wabash.


  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: Meredith Arwady/Kathy Hagen, Champion (world premiere by Terence Blanchard & Michael Christofer), through June 30.
  • San Francisco Opera: Matthew Polenzani/Hoffmann, Christian Van Horn/Four Villains, The Tales of Hoffmann through July 6; Maria Kanyova/Miriam, Stacey Tappan/Seeker, Girl, Brian Leerhuber/Policeman, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene (world premiere by Mark Adamo) through July 7.
  • The Santa Fe Opera: Susanna Phillips/Countess, Emily Fons/Cherubino,The Marriage of Figaro, June 29-Aug. 23; René Barbera/Rodrigo di Dhu, Wayne Tigges/Douglas d'Angus, La donna del lago, July 17-Aug. 14.


  • Glyndebourne Festival, England: James Kryshak/Scaramuccio, Ariadne auf Naxos,through July 11; Amanda Majeski/Countess, Le nozze di Figaro, through Aug. 2.

Recent Performance Highlights:

Scott Ramsay/Mitch, A Streetcar Named Desire, Virginia Opera, February-March, Lyric Opera of Chicago, April (Student Night at the Opera).

Susanna Phillips/Stella, A Streetcar Named Desire, Carnegie Hall and Lyric Opera of Chicago, March-April.

Stacey Tappan/Clorinda, La Cenerentola at LA Opera, March-April.

Angela Mannino/Zerlina, Don Giovanni, Madison Opera, April.

Erin Wall/Countess, Le nozze di Figaro, Arizona Opera, April; Donna Anna, Don Giovanni, Bayerische Staatsoper, May; Mahler Second Symphony, Houston Symphony, May; Mahler Eighth Symphony, Frankfurt Sinfonie Orchester, May;Britten War Requiem European tour with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, May-June.

Matthew Polenzani/Duke, Rigoletto, Vienna Staatsoper, April; soloist, A Child of Our Time, Berlin Philharmonic, April.

Tracy Cantin* and John Irvin*, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, April.

Wayne Tigges/Pharaoh, Mosè in Egitto, New York City Opera, April.

Joseph Kaiser/Aspern, The Aspern Papers, Dallas Opera, April.

Franco Pomponi/Prince Metternich, L'Aiglon, Opéra de Lausanne, April, Opéra de Tours, May.

David Portillo/Tonio, The Daughter of the Regiment, Ft. Worth Opera, April-May.

Marjorie Owens/title role, Ariadne auf Naxos, Ft. Worth Opera, May.

Cecelia Hall/Composer, Ariadne auf Naxos, Ft. Worth Opera, May.

Paul La Rosa/Jud, Oklahoma!, Lyric Opera of Chicago, May.

Craig Irvin/1st Nazarene, Evan Boyer/1st Soldier, Salome, April-May; Evan Boyer/2ndCommissioner, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Canadian Opera Company, May.

Elizabeth DeShong/1st Norn, Götterdämmerung, Metropolitan Opera, Apr.-May; Martha, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, June.

Levi Hernandez/Guglielmo, Le Villi, Spoleto Festival USA, May-June.

Nicole Cabell/Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni, Cincinnati Opera, June

Additionally, Ryan Opera Center music director Craig Terry, an accomplished pianist who frequently partners with renowned singers, had the following recent engagements: "Celebration: Stephanie Blythe meets Kate Smith," Live from Lincoln Center on PBS in April and recitals in Dayton, Ohio, and Potsdam, New York, in May; and "Diva on Detour" with Patricia Racette, Martin Theatre at Ravinia Festival, June 22.


  • Kiri Deonarine, J'nai Bridges*, and Cecelia Hall were awarded first, second and third prize, respectively, in the Musicians Club of Women Competition.
  • Will Liverman* received a 2013 Sara Tucker Study Grant.
  • Anthony Clark Evans* was the top winner in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Vocal Competition.
  • J'nai Bridges* receieved first prize in women's voice in the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Competition.

In the 2012-2013 Lyric season current Ryan Opera Center members sang 31 roles and understudied 39 roles; alumni members sang 16 roles and understudied five roles.

In the 2013-2014 Lyric season current Ryan Opera Center members are scheduled to sing 33 roles and understudy 43 roles; alumni are scheduled to sing 12 roles and understudy four roles.

Each year The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, the professional artist-development program of Lyric Opera of Chicago, selects gifted young singers from some 400 applicants. Soon after arriving at Lyric in May, incoming Ryan Opera Center members begin an intensive full-year residency under the guidance of the program's director Dan Novak, music director Craig Terry, vocal consultant Gianna Rolandi, and numerous other opera professionals. Coaching sessions and master classes are augmented by performance and understudy experience in productions mounted by Lyric Opera of Chicago, including the operas of Lyric's regular season.

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