DON QUICHOTTE Returns to Lyric Starring the Incomparable Ferruccio Furlanetto

Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the delightful and touching tale ofDon Quichotte by French Romantic composer Jules Massenet in a new-to-Chicago production, opening Saturday, November 19. Lyric will offer six performances throughDecember 7. Performance dates are November 19 and 28, and December 1 and 7 at 7:30pm; and November 23 and December 4 at 2:00pm. Performances are in French with English subtitles at Lyric's Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago. Tickets start at $34 and are available now at lyricopera.org/Quichotte or at 312-827-5600.

Lyric's music director Sir Andrew Davis conducts the atmospheric production directed byMatthew Ozawa and designed by Ralph Funicello (sets), Missy West (costumes), andChris Maravich (lighting). Michael Black is chorus master.

Legendary bass Ferruccio Furlanetto sings the title role of Don Quichotte, the eccentric idealist who seeks to win the hand of the beautiful Dulcinée (Clémentine Margaine/Lyric debut). Sancho Panza, his loyal sidekick, portrayed by Nicola Alaimo (Lyric debut).

"There aren't many star basses in the world, and fewer still have the voice, style, and sheer charisma for the title role of Don Quichotte," says Anthony Freud, Lyric's general director. "Having been thrilled by Ferruccio Furlanetto's previous performances at Lyric, and knowing of his devotion to this particular opera, we are delighted to present his towering portrayal, which does honor to both the composer and to the great writer Cervantes. We're also excited to welcome two marvelous new artists to Lyric, Clémentine Margaine and Nicola Alaimo."

Lyric's music director Sir Andrew Davis has collaborated memorably with Furlanetto in Lyric's productions of Boris Godunov and Simon Boccanegra. "I love great literature and I love French opera, so Don Quichotte - based on Cervantes's immortal novel - is a great pleasure," declares Davis, who has previously conducted the composer's Thaïs and Werther at Lyric. "This style that can mesmerize an audience with its beauty and elegance. Massenet was also a true man of the theater, and there's a theatricality to Don Quichotte - along with an enchanting faux-Spanish flavor - that will be a joy to experience in performance."

The opening-night performance of Don Quichotte can be heard live locally on 98.7WFMTand globally on wfmt.com, beginning at 7:15pm on Nov. 19. Listeners will have access to line-by-line translations in real time online at lyricoperalive.org.

About Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago's mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

To learn more about Lyric's new season, go to lyricopera.org. You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1617 #LongLivePassion

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