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Lyric Opera of Chicago Announces New Production Additions to Current 2020/21 Season

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Lyric’s upcoming offerings and experiences for audiences around the world include Pasión Latina, Creating The Factotum, Sole e Amore (Sun and Love) and more.

Lyric Opera of Chicago Announces New Production Additions to Current 2020/21 Season

Anthony Freud, Lyric Opera of Chicago's general director, president & CEO, announced additional new programming today following the cancellation of all 2020/21 Season live mainstage performances, in accordance with ongoing 2020 health considerations and regulations. "In this unusual and challenging year, I am proud that Lyric has continued to find ways to innovate and reach our audiences virtually," says Freud. "Each of our presentations this season reflect components of Lyric's past, present, and future, and have successfully allowed us to remain in the hearts and minds of our Lyric family amidst global tragedy."

In addition to the previously announced drive-through immersive experience Twilight: Gods (inspired by Richard Wagner's opera Götterdämmerung, conceived and directed by Yuval Sharon, in partnership with Michigan Opera Theatre), Lyric will also premiere several other virtual concerts and programs.

Lyric's upcoming offerings and experiences for audiences around the world include:

Pasión Latina - The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center will present a free concert celebrating music of the Spanish-speaking world, with acclaimed Puerto Rican-born soprano Ana María Martínez serving as artistic advisor, host, and principal guest artist. Pasión Latina will also feature prominent Ryan Opera Center alumni-Mexican-American tenor René Barbera, Mexican-American tenor David Portillo, Mexican tenor Mario Rojas, and Mexican-American bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba-along with two current Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members-Mexican soprano Denis Vélez and Puerto Rican baritone Ricardo José Rivera. The concert repertoire includes a wide range of selections from across the globe chosen by the artists, including music from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Argentina, and Spain. The singers will perform with Craig Terry, the Grammy-Award winning pianist and music director of the Ryan Opera Center; Chris Reynolds, current Ensemble pianist; and members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, who will participate in the concert finale. (Premiering December 13, 2020, at 6:00 pm CT on Lyric's YouTube and Facebook. Note that this was the original date for Attila Highlights in Concert: Explore More with Enrique Mazzola, which has been moved to 2021.)

Creating The Factotum - Lyric is thrilled to follow the development of a new opera that transcends the limits of traditional repertoire. Over the past few months, Ryan Opera Center alumnus Will Liverman and DJ/recording artist K. Rico have been completing the first draft of The Factotum, a reimagining of Rossini's The Barber of Seville that places the story in a present-day Black barbershop in Chicago, combining operatic singing with hip-hop, barbershop, gospel, funk, neo soul, and R&B. Lyric's Ryan Opera Center will workshop The Factotum in December; the behind-the-scenes process of creating the new work will be documented by Chicago filmmaker Raphael Nash and shared with audiences in early 2021.

Sole e Amore (Sun and Love) - This engaging virtual recital will be curated, hosted, and accompanied by Enrique Mazzola, Lyric's music director designate, in collaboration with The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Featuring songs by beloved Italian opera composers, including Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, Puccini, and Mascagni, Sole e Amore is a tremendously special opportunity for the members of the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble to perform with Maestro Mazzola at the piano. "I couldn't be more thrilled to present these lesser-known songs from some of my favorite Italian composers with the incredibly gifted Ryan Opera Center artists," says Mazzola. "It's a joy to discover and share musical gems by composers whose operas we know and love so well. These are works that have helped shape me into the conductor and music lover that I am today." (Premiering Sunday, February 21 at 6:00 pm CT on Lyric's YouTube and Facebook.)

Additionally, audiences may continue to enjoy content from our ongoing digital programs Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter (available through 1/31/21); For the Love of Lyric (available through 12/13/20); Breaking Down the Score with Maestro Enrique Mazzola; and a series of Master Classes with Music Director Sir Andrew Davis and members of the Ryan Opera Center.

There will be additional programming to come in Lyric's current season; announcements and opportunities to enjoy more music and behind-the-scenes content will be coming soon. "Our adapted season has been made possible, in part, by the generous support of Lyric's subscribers, donors, and production sponsors, which has enabled us to pivot our programming and keep music and opera alive," says Freud. "Stay tuned for more from Lyric."

Production Details

Pasión Latina

Free Virtual Concert celebrating music of the Spanish-speaking world
Presented by The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center
Performed in Spanish with English and Spanish closed captions
Host, Artistic Advisor, Principal Guest Artist: Ana María Martínez
Music Director and Pianist: Craig Terry
Ensemble Pianist: Chris Reynolds *
With members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra
Featuring:

Soprano Denis Vélez *
Tenor René Barbera †
Tenor David Portillo
Tenor Mario Rojas †
Baritone Ricardo José Rivera *
Bass-baritone Richard Ollarsaba †

Premiering Sunday, December 13, 2020, at 6:00 pm CT

* Current Ryan Opera Center Ensemble member
† Ryan Opera Center alumnus

Creating The Factotum

Documenting the creative process of a newly developed opera, The Factotum
Presented by The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center
Music and libretto/text by Will Liverman † and K. Rico
Story Consultant: Mary Birnbaum
Film documentary by Raphael Nash
Documentary premiering in early 2021

† Ryan Opera Center alumnus

Creating The Factotum is generously sponsored by the Eisen Family Foundation.

Sole e Amore (Sun and Love)

Free Virtual Concert celebrating the songs of beloved Italian opera composers
Presented by The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center
Performed in Italian with English closed captions
Host and Pianist: Enrique Mazzola
Featuring members of the 2020/21 Ryan Opera Center Ensemble

Twilight: Gods

3 drive-through performances, April/May 2021 | Performed in English
Concept, direction, and English translation by Yuval Sharon
Production Design: PXT Studios (Jason Thompson and Kaitlyn Pietras)
Sound Artist: Lewis Pesacov
Musical Arrangement: Ed Windels
With new narrative poetry by avery r. young
Performance location will be announced at a later date.


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