Lyric Announces Guest Artists for RenÃ©e Fleming 25th Anniversary Concert
Lyric Opera of Chicago is pleased to announce the participation of several outstanding singers in the Renée Fleming 25th Anniversary Concert & Gala*, to honor and celebrate American soprano Renée Fleming's extraordinary commitment to Chicago and her unparalleled contributions to our art form.
Renée Fleming herself will sing, of course, along with a starry roster that includes Sondra Radvanovsky, Susan Graham, Lawrence Brownlee, Quinn Kelsey, Željko Lu?i?, Eric Owens, and Christian Van Horn. They will perform with and pay tribute to their beloved friend and colleague in an unforgettable musical celebration. Patrick Summers will conduct the Lyric Opera Orchestra. Members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center will also participate in the concert.
The evening's emcee, additional artists, and repertoire will be announced at a later date.
- Conductor Patrick Summers debuted at Lyric in 2014/15 leading Anna Bolena. Summers is artistic and music director of Houston Grand Opera and former principal guest conductor at San Francisco Opera. He has previously appeared at the Metropolitan Opera and the major houses of Los Angeles, Dallas, Berlin, Rome, Oslo, and Sydney, among many others.
- Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky has sung seven leading roles at Lyric since 2002, most recently the title roles of Norma (2016/17), Anna Bolena (2014/15), and Aida (2011/12). She is heralded internationally for these and portrayals of many other formidable heroines in the Verdi and Bel Canto repertoire at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opéra National de Paris, and more.
- Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham's collaborations with Renée Fleming include The Marriage of Figaro at Lyric; Alcina in Paris; Der Rosenkavalier at the Met, in Paris, and in concert with the Boston Symphony; and a six-city tour of duo recitals (including Lyric, 2012/13). Graham has triumphed in nine major roles at Lyric since 1989/90, most recently Dinah/Trouble in Tahiti (2017/18), Didon/Les Troyens (2016/17) and Marguerite/La damnation de Faust (2009/10).
- Tenor Lawrence Brownlee starred opposite Renée Fleming in the Metropolitan Opera's company premiere of Rossini's Armida. Brownlee has scored great successes at Lyric in I puritani (2017/18), Charlie Parker's Yardbird (2016/17), and Cinderella (debut, 2015/16), as well as in recital with Eric Owens (2016/17).The tenor is widely regarded as one of the world's leading artists in the Bel Canto repertoire.
- Baritone Quinn Kelsey, a Ryan Opera Center alumnus, has triumphed at Lyric in 17 roles, singing most recently the title role/Rigoletto (lavishly praised in eight major international houses to date) and Enrico/Lucia di Lammermoor (2016/17). Kelsey is one of today's few genuine Verdi baritones, whose 2018/19 season is highlighted by appearances at the Met, the Zurich Opera House, and the Bavarian State Opera.
- Baritone Zeljko Lucic, who will portray Germont/La traviata at Lyric later this season, has starred at Lyric in the title roles/Nabucco (2015/16) and Rigoletto(2012/13). The Serbian artist's eminence internationally in dramatic Italian repertoire is confirmed this season with appearances including Otello (Met), Tosca and La forza del destino (both at the Opéra National de Paris), and Andrea Chénier (Bavarian State Opera).
- Bass-baritone Eric Owens, returning to Lyric this season as the Wanderer/Siegfried, has earned critical praise at Lyric in seven roles, most recently Wotan/Die Walküre (2017/18) and Das Rheingold (2016/17), and in recital with Lawrence Brownlee (2016/17). Owens also serves Lyric as a Community Ambassador. He has created roles in many new works and appears regularly with major orchestras and opera companies internationally.
- Bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, a Ryan Opera Center alumnus and winner of the 2018 Richard Tucker Award, has appeared at Lyric in 15 roles since 2004/05, most recently Mephistophélès/Faust (2017/18), Escamillo/Carmen and Narbal/Les Troyens (both 2016/17). Van Horn stars at the Met this season in the title role/Mefistofele and is also featured at the Opéra National de Paris and San Francisco Opera.
In 1993, Lyric Opera of Chicago audiences first experienced Renée Fleming's incomparable artistry in the title role of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, and have loved her ever since for her spectacular portrayals in Faust, The Marriage of Figaro, Alcina, Otello, Thaïs, La traviata, A Streetcar Named Desire, Capriccio, and The Merry Widow. She has also given brilliant concerts with the Lyric Opera Orchestra (both alone and in collaboration with Jonas Kaufmann and with the late Dmitri Hvorostovsky); and a dazzling recital with Susan Graham. Fleming has also been featured in the company's 50th and 60th anniversary gala concerts, and was central to the triumphant Chicago Voices concert in 2017.
Since 2010, Fleming has served as Lyric's first Creative Consultant. She has fostered emerging artists through important work as Advisor of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, and encouraged a future generation of opera lovers through Lyric Unlimited programs. She has been the driving force behind projects such as Lyric's world-premiere opera Bel Canto, collaborations with The Second City, and the Chicago Voices initiative, which bridged genres and generations in a groundbreaking, multi-faceted series of programs during the past two years. Fleming is a Vice Chair of Lyric's Board of Directors, and an honorary member of the Women's Board of Lyric Opera.
Fleming continues to grace major venues worldwide. Her 2018/19 season began with the opening-night gala at Carnegie Hall, for which she was joined by Audra McDonald and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas. Later this season she will travel to Spain, France, and the Netherlands for recitals, which she will also sing in numerous American venues. In addition, she will return to Paris as a featured soloist in a concert with the Orchestre de Paris under Jaap van Zweden. Last season Fleming was featured on the soundtracks of two Oscar-nominated films, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water. She also earned critical acclaim as Nettie Fowler/Carousel on Broadway, earning a Tony nomination. In conjunction with that success, her latest solo CD, "Renée Fleming: Broadway," was released by Decca Records.
*This one-night-only event will feature an exclusive Gala at The Ritz-Carlton following the performance. To learn more about premiere concert seating and Gala attendance please call 312-827-5682.