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

The artistry of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Lyric Opera Chorus, and Ryan Opera Center Ensemble continue to be a part of many virtual concerts, programs, and offerings.

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

Lyric Opera of Chicago continues to expand its 2020/21 Season with new offerings and virtual performances. Anthony Freud, Lyric's general director, president & CEO, announced additional new programming today that will feature the Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Lyric Opera Chorus, Lyric's Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Ensemble, and well-known artists from around the world.

"As we begin the second half of our 2020/21 Season, we are excited to continue to make Lyric programs accessible to audiences everywhere through these creative efforts," says Freud. "We are eager to return to presenting full productions for live audiences at the Lyric Opera House, and in the meantime we are delighted that during the next couple of months, Lyric will generate some highly innovative, entertaining, and informative programs."

A few previously announced programs will premiere digitally in the coming weeks:

  • The Creating The Factotum documentary will be made available to the public on Lyric's YouTube channel and website starting on Tuesday, February 9. This documentary follows the development and recent music workshop of The Factotum, a new opera inspired by Rossini's The Barber of Seville, created by acclaimed baritone and Ryan Opera Center alumnus Will Liverman and DJ/recording artist K-Rico. Lyric has also committed to continuing to support The Factotum in its next stage of development and to bringing it to the stage in a future Lyric season.
  • Sole e Amore (Sun and Love) will highlight beautiful lesser-known songs with some familiar melodies by beloved Italian opera composers, including Verdi, Puccini, and Bellini. The compelling program is created and presented by Lyric's Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola, engagingly directed by Matthew Ozawa, and stars the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble, with Maestro Mazzola at the piano for most of the selections. Sole e Amore will premiere on Lyric's Facebook and YouTube channels on Sunday, February 21 at 6:00pm CT.
  • Experience the reimagining of the final chapter of Wagner's epic Ring cycle in the Chicago premiere of Twilight: Gods. This drive-through opera, directed and conceived by Yuval Sharon with new narrative poetry by Chicago artist avery r. young, will be presented on April 28, 30, and May 2. Limited tickets will go on sale in late February and additional details about this unique performance will be announced soon.

Lyric's new spring offerings and experiences, all of which will be free for audiences around the world, include:

  • The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Gala: Magical Music Around the World - This annual event, celebrating the talent of the world-renowned Ryan Opera Center Ensemble, will be adapted to the virtual space this year. The Ensemble will be joined by alumni from around the globe sharing how their careers have benefitted from the exceptional training and experiences provided by Lyric's artist-development program. Conceived and hosted by Ryan Opera Center Music Director and Grammy Award winner Craig Terry, with additional accompaniment from the Ryan Opera Center's Ensemble pianist Chris Reynolds, this virtual concert will be similar in format to Lyric's virtual season opener, For the Love of Lyric, with a presentation reserved for sponsors of the Ryan Opera Center Gala, followed by a presentation made available to the general public. (Premiering Sunday, March 21 at 6:00 pm CT on Lyric's YouTube and Facebook channels.)
  • Attila Highlights in Concert: Explore More with Enrique Mazzola - This previously announced program will now be part of Lyric's spring schedule. Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola leads world-renowned principal artists and Lyric favorites-soprano Tamara Wilson/Odabella, tenor Matthew Polenzani/Foresto, baritone Quinn Kelsey/Ezio, and bass-baritone Christian Van Horn/Attila (the latter three are Ryan Opera Center alumni)-in a performance of duo piano-accompanied excerpts from the work, replacing a fully staged production of Attila that was originally programmed as part of Lyric's early Verdi series this season. This performance event will also feature members of the Lyric Opera Chorus, under the direction of Chorus Master Michael Black, and original commentary from Maestro Mazzola. (Premiering Sunday, April 11 at 2:00 pm CT on Lyric's YouTube and Facebook channels.)
  • The Sonata Sessions - In this digital series, Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola will lead an expanded string ensemble featuring members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra in performances of all six of Rossini's String Sonatas, originally written for a string quartet. (Premiering weekly this March/April on Lyric's YouTube and Facebook channels.)
  • The Great Verdi Chorus Showdown - Lyric is excited to engage our audiences in some friendly opera competition for this stirring digital series! The three maestri of Lyric-Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, Music Director Designate Enrique Mazzola, and Chorus Master Michael Black-will each conduct two grand Verdi choruses, performed by the Lyric Opera Chorus, recorded from the safety of the artists' homes. All pieces will be presented on Lyric's website for online audiences to vote for their favorite. Each week of the competition, Lyric will share background through social media and email about a different chorus selection. Choruses are chosen from La traviata, Il trovatore, Otello, Luisa Miller, Nabucco, and Macbeth-with which Lyric will open the 2021/22 Season. (Premiering this April on Lyric's website.)

These programs introduce a wide variety of new music to Lyric audiences, and offer more intimate musical experiences. The artistry of the Lyric Opera Orchestra, Lyric Opera Chorus, and Ryan Opera Center Ensemble continue to be a part of many virtual concerts, programs, and offerings at Lyric this season.

Lyric audiences also have ongoing opportunities to get to know Enrique Mazzola this spring. "Projects like the Attila Highlights in Concert, Sole e Amore, and The Sonata Sessions are true passion projects of mine," says Lyric's music director designate. "While it would be ideal to present these works to live audiences in the magnificent Lyric Opera House, the digital nature and behind-the-scenes looks of these programs offer audiences around the globe a more intimate chance to hear and see the beauty of Lyric and the talents of our company."

For more details on these upcoming Lyric projects and more digital content, visit

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