Tickets Go on Sale for Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2012-13 Season, 8/1


Single tickets go on sale to the general public Wed., Aug. 1, for Lyric Opera of Chicago's 58th season. The internationally renowned company will present grand opera with exceptional casts and productions in its beautiful home, the historic Civic Opera House. Lyric will offer 68 performances of 9 operas in the 25-week season, including 6 new-to-ChicaGo Productions, Saturday, October 6, 2012, through Saturday, April 6, 2013.

The 2012-13 season includes four Italian operas: Verdi's Rigoletto and Simon Boccanegra, Puccini's La Bohème, and Donizetti's Don Pasquale. There are three German operas: Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and R. Strauss's Elektra. The season's French opera is Massenet's Werther, and the American opera is Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.

"Lyric's upcoming season represents a wonderful range of musical and dramatic styles, and an exceptional mixture of well-known and less-often-heard operas," says the company's general director, Anthony Freud. "Whether you know and love opera or are considering your first experience, Lyric has a great variety of exciting entertainment opportunities for you this season – and they're not all opera performances!

"As we've announced previously," Freud continued, "in addition to the operas in our regular season, Lyric will also present the iconic American musical Oklahoma!, a special family performance event – Popcorn & Pasquale; a musical-comedy revue in collaboration with The Second City – The Second City Guide to the Opera; and two incomparable divas in a joint recital – Renée Fleming and Susan Graham. All these performances will take place at the Civic Opera House."

Only subscribers can see A Streetcar Named Desire starring Renée Fleming and the La Bohème performances starring Anna Netrebko. Lyric subscriptions are still available and offer the best value – up to 40 percent off. Four-opera subscriptions are available from just $100.

Starting Wed., Aug. 1, tickets are also on sale for Oklahoma! (May 4-19, $32-$153), Popcorn & Pasquale (Sun., Dec. 2 at 2pm, $10-$20 kids and $20-$40 adults), and The Second City Guide to the Opera (Sat., Jan. 5 at 8pm, $20-$95; adult content, not suitable for children). Lyric subscribers who purchase Oklahoma! by November 1 receive a 10 percent discount in all price ranges.

For the first time, Lyric is offering reduced prices for school-aged children for an opera in Lyric's regular mainstage season. Youngsters (up to age 17) will be able to see regular performances of Hansel and Gretel when accompanied by an adult with a regular-priced ticket. Children's tickets will range from $20 to $50, and will be available to subscribers first.

Tickets for the Renée Fleming and Susan Graham Recital (Thurs., Jan. 24 at 8pm) are still available, with prices starting at $35. Already 70 percent have sold.

Single-ticket buyers who purchase any three operas get a 10 percent discount*. These personalized combos are available online and easy to purchase – the discount is automatically applied at checkout. *excluding Opening Night, A Streetcar Named Desire, and March Bohème performances

To be assured of good seats, the time to reserve is now. Prices for opera performances start at $34 in the upper balcony and $64 on the main floor. Prices for Oklahoma! performances start at $32 in the upper balcony and $54 on the main floor.

English texts are projected above the stage for every opera performance, so it's easy to follow the story no matter what language is being sung.

Free pre-opera lectures will be offered before every performance of every opera in the mainstage season (except Oct. 6, opening night of the season) to enhance the opera-going experience. The informative and entertaining 30-minute talks are presented by members of Lyric's staff and experts from the community.

Visit Lyric's website ( for videos about each production, available for viewing throughout the season, with introductions by Sir Andrew Davis and Renée Fleming, commentaries by Anthony Freud, and interviews with other artists and directors.

Website audio features include Sir Andrew Davis's opera previews; the Discovery Series lectures and panel discussions, available for download on and iTunes as part of Lyric's "Backstage at Lyric" podcast; and the company's in-depth and expertly produced Commentaries, available for streaming and downloading, free of charge. Additional website features include articles, recording and DVD recommendations, and photo galleries.

Lyric's website also includes a customer interface feature allowing patrons to view their upcoming and past performances, exchange tickets, select their own seats, renew their donations, make other contributions, make reservations to The Sarah and Peer Pedersen Room restaurant, and receive special messaging.

The opening performance of each opera production is carried live by The Lyric Opera Broadcasts on 98.7WFMT and

Richard Strauss's brilliantly intense tragedy about family dysfunction at its worst, Elektra stars Christine Goerke (debut), Emily Magee, Jill Grove, Alan Held, and Roger Honeywell in a new production conducted by Sir Andrew Davis and staged by Sir David McVicar, with set and costume designs by John MacFarlane and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Chorus master is Martin Wright (debut) and choreographer is August Tye. Seven performances Oct. 6-30, in German with projectEd English texts. Generous sponsors for this new production are The Elizabeth Morse Genius Charitable Trust, The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust, the Abbott Fund, Marlys A. Beider, and Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson.

Verdi's Simon Boccanegra is his musically inspired and dramatically riveting tale of political power struggles and romantic intrigue in 14th-century Genoa, starring Thomas Hampson, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Krassimira Stoyanova (debut), Frank Lopardo, and Quinn Kelsey. Sir Andrew Davis conducts. The director is Elijah Moshinsky, and the designers are Michael Yeargan (sets), Peter J. Hall (costumes), and Duane Schuler (lighting). Martin Wright is chorus master. Production owned by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Eight performances Oct. 15-Nov. 9, in Italian with projectEd English texts. Lyric Opera presentation generously made possible by an Anonymous Donor, Roger and Julie Baskes, and Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin.

Massenet's Werther (pronounced vair-TAIR) is a romantic drama of doomed love between a poet and a beautiful young woman trapped in an arranged marriage to someone else. Matthew Polenzani (role debut), Sophie Koch (debut), Kiri Deonarine, Craig Verm (debut), and Philip Kraus star. Sir Andrew Davis conducts the new production directed by Francisco Negrin, with set and costume designs by Louis Désiré and lighting by Duane Schuler. Six performances Nov. 11-26, in French with projectEd English texts. Werther is a coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera, where this new production was first seen in 2010. New Lyric Opera coproduction generously made possible by Harold Hartshorne, Jr., an Anonymous Donor, Mr. and Mrs. W. James Farrell, and Sidley Austin LLP.

Donizetti's rollicking battle-of-the-sexes-meets-generation-gap comedy about a gentleman of a certain age getting more than he bargained for with a much younger bride, Don Pasquale stars Ildebrando D'Arcangelo, Marlis Petersen, René Barbera, and Corey Crider. Stephen Lord conducts the new-to-Chicago production staged by Sir Thomas Allen (Lyric Opera directorial debut), with sets and costumes by the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle and lighting by Christine Binder. The chorus master is Martin Wright. Six performances Nov. 25-Dec. 15, in Italian with projectEd English texts. Don Pasquale was originally a production of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and is now owned by The Dallas Opera. Lyric Opera presentation generously made possible by the NIB Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Reyes, and Roberta L. and Robert J. Washlow.<

Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel is a familiar fairytale freshly told in this darkly delicious production starring Elizabeth DeShong, Maria Kanyova, Jill Grove, Julie Makerov (debut), and Brian Mulligan. Ward Stare conducts (Lyric podium debut; Stare played trombone in the Lyric Opera Orchestra 2001-07). The Richard Jones production will be staged by Eric Einhorn (debut). John MacFarlane is set and costume designer, with lighting by Jennifer Tipton. Linda Dobell is the original choreographer. Nine performances Dec. 7-Jan. 19, in German with projectEd English texts. Lyric Opera coproduction with Welsh National Opera (commissioned by Anthony Freud during his tenure as WNO's general director) originally made possible by The Vance Family Fund, with additional funding from BP America Inc. Revival generously made possible by ITW, Susan B. and Nicholas Noyes and Make It Better Media, and the Earl and Brenda Shapiro Foundation.

Puccini's beloved Parisian heartbreaker, La Bohème, returns to Lyric in a new-to-Chicago production starring Ana María Martínez and Dimitri Pittas (debut) as Mimì and Rodolfo in the Jan.-Feb. performances, and Anna Netrebko (debut) and Joseph Calleja as the leading couple for the March dates, with Elizabeth Futral, Lucas Meachem, Andrea Silvestrelli, Joseph Lim, and Dale Travis in all performances. EmManuel Villaume conducts. The director is Louisa Muller (Lyric Opera directorial debut). The designers are Michael Yeargan (sets), the late Walter Mahoney (debut/costumes), and Duane Schuler (lighting). The chorus master is Martin Wright. Eleven performances Jan. 21-Feb. 7 and Mar. 9-28 (March performances available only to subscribers), in Italian with projectEd English texts. The production is owned by the San Francisco Opera Association. Lyric Opera presentation generously made possible by the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation, Exelon, Margot and Josef Lakonishok, and the Mazza Foundation.

Wagner's affectionate portrait of a medieval town caught up in a singing competition will star James Morris, Johan Botha, Amanda Majeski, Bo Skovhus, David Portillo, Jamie Barton, and Dimitry Ivashchenko (debut) in a new production created by Sir David McVicar. Sir Andrew Davis will conduct, and Marie Lambert (debut) will direct the production designed by Vicki Mortimer (debut). Paule Constable is the original lighting designer; Jeremy Turnbull (debut) is lighting designer for the Chicago performances. Martin Wright is chorus master, and Andrew George is choreographer. Seven performances Feb. 8-Mar. 3, in German with projectEd English texts. This is a coproduction of Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera Association, and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, where it was first seen in 2011. New Lyric coproduction generously made possible by the Kenneth L. Harder Trust, Mr. & Mrs. Dietrich M. Gross, Whitney and Ada Addington, Irma Parker, and the Estate of Howard A. Stotler.

Verdi's Rigoletto contains some of the most beautiful, familiar music in opera and tells a horrifying story of a bitter father's attempt to protect his daughter from the world's cruelty and danger. The revival stars Andrzej Dobber (debut, Feb. 25-Mar. 10) and Zeljko Lu?i? (debut, Mar. 14-30), Albina Shagimuratova (debut), Giuseppe Filianoti, Andrea Silvestrelli, Nicole Piccolomini (debut), and Todd Thomas (debut). Evan Rogister (debut) conducts, and Stephen Barlow (debut) provides a brand-new staging for Lyric's production designed by Robert Innes Hopkins (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), and Duane Schuler (lighting). Martin Wright is chorus master. Ten performances Feb. 25-Mar. 30, in Italian with projectEd English texts. Lyric Opera's 2005-06 production was originally made possible by the NIB Foundation and Jim and Vicki Mills/Jon and Lois Mills. This newly directed production generously made possibly by Jim and Kay Mabie, Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel, and Helen and Sam Zell.

André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire will receive its Lyric Opera premiere in a special-presentation staged concert available only to Lyric subscribers. Tennessee Williams's unnerving drama, set in steamy New Orleans, stars Renée Fleming, Susanna Phillips, Teddy Tahu Rhodes (debut), and Anthony Dean Griffey. Evan Rogister conducts, and Brad Dalton (debut) directs. The costume designer and lighting designer will be announced at a later date. Four performances Mar. 26-Apr. 6, in English with projectEd English texts. New Lyric Opera production generously made possible by Mr. and Mrs. J. Thomas Hurvis and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Rodgers and Hammerstein's exuberant American musical, Oklahoma! will receive its Lyric Opera premiere in a new production in May, following Lyric's regular opera season. Gary Griffin will direct the new production, with set designs by John Lee Beatty (debut), costume designs by Mara Blumenfeld, and lighting design by Christine Binder. The famous original choreography by Agnes De Mille will be presented. Conductor and casting will be announced at a later date. New Lyric Opera production generously made possible by an Anonymous Donor, Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison, The Negaunee Foundation, Northern Trust, Mrs. Herbert A. Vance and Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance, and Jim and Vicki Mills/Jon and Lois Mills.

The Renée Fleming and Susan Graham Recital on Thurs. Jan. 24 is generously sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Lyric Opera of Chicago's 58th season runs Oct. 6 through Apr. 6 at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., with spring performances of Oklahoma! May 4-19. Brochures may be requested and single tickets may be purchased by going to (24 hours a day), or by calling 312-332-2244, ext. 5600 (M-F, 9-5; Sa. 10-5). Individual tickets start at $34. Subscription packages are still available, as well. Full cast and sponsor information can be found at, along with articles, videos, podcast interviews, and more.