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Review: LE COMTE ORY at Lyric Opera House Chicago

Review: LE COMTE ORY at Lyric Opera House Chicago

Production runs through November 26, 2022

It only took 194 years and it was worth the wait.

Such a wonderful comedic opera is Le Comte Ory by Gioachino Rossini at Chicago's Lyric Opera. It's a lusty, bawdy and extremely enjoyable opera. How many operas have you attended where there is ménage a trois on the stage? Since this is a comedy, no one dies.

The players in the ménage a trois are the Comte Ory, portrayed by tenor Lawrence Brownlee with his lush voice. The object of his affection is Adele. The soaring coloratura is Kathryn Lewis. She brings goosebumps with her vocal range. Her comedic timing is impeccable as well. The third member of the ménage is Isolier portrayed by mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker. When this opera was written (1828) Isolier was written as a breaches role, usually portrayed by a mezzo-soprano. The scene occurs in the second act. The Comte has disguised himself as a hermit and then, most hysterically, as a nun. Adele knows that the Comte has been trying to seduce her. She decides to teach him a lesson by also having Isolier in bed as well. Adele makes sure that the first person the Comte touches is Isolier. The bed is in the middle of the stage and is hand cranked up so the audience can see what is occurring. It is a most entertaining and very funny scene.

The second act also has the best nuns' chorus - all men. They are trying to seduce the women of the household while their husbands are away with the Crusades.

Zoie Reams with her lilting mezzo-soprano portrays Ragonde, the lady in waiting (if you will) to Adele. Rounding out the principals is Ian Zucker, bass and understudy for Raimbaud. Bravo!

Musical conductor Enrique Mazzola and the Lyric orchestra are a must to hear. The set was minimal but very effectively set. In period costumes there is a stage crew and prompter. Before Act I and Act II begin, the audience watches the effects being put into place.

This is the opera to see if you have never been. It is fun, lots of laughs and no one dies. The singing and music will move you when least expected. The costumes are colorful. The men, as nuns, is definitely a plus. I suggest treating yourself to an enjoyable experience. After 194 years, the Lyric is showcasing the Comte. Well done!



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From This Author - Tina St. Angelo Wetzel

I live in Naperville IL, a Chicago suburb. Theater and the arts is a passion.  I have been to almost every theater venue in Chicago and the regional theaters including Drury Lane Oakbrook, Mar... (read more about this author)


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