CHICAGO – Chicago Opera Theater (COT) announced plans for the 2017/2018 season, including a modern opera, a world-premiere co-production from a Pulitzer Prize-winning duo and a groundbreaking double-bill. At the announcement, Andreas Mitisek, COT’s Stefan Edlis & Gael Neeson Artistic Director together with Douglas Clayton, COT’s Executive Director, detailed the intriguing season with all productions staged at the historic Studebaker Theater (410 S. Michigan).
“As we embark on our on our 44th season at COT, we looked to curate a season that combines new and rarely-performed works that surprise and challenge, from a thrilling, mysterious world-premiere to a double-bill that spans the career of a great composer,” said Clayton. “This season, we’ll continue to engage current opera audiences while constantly striving to cultivate new patrons, and warmly welcoming them into the beautiful Studebaker Theater where they can view opera in unparalleled intimacy. COT endeavors to be a platform for exceptional artistry, experimentation and a showcase for new talent, and our 2017/2018 season will be no different with these remarkable operas.”
“This upcoming season is created in collaboration between Doug and myself, selecting productions that both celebrate and expand the boundaries of the opera experience,” said Mitisek. “I look forward to returning to COT as guest director for “The Consul” to kick off another groundbreaking season here at COT under my successor’s leadership.”
The season begins with “The Consul” by Gian Carlo Menotti, starring famed soprano Patricia Racette (COT’s “La Voix Humaine”) as Magda, a woman in danger and desperately seeking a visa to flee to safety. As the walls close around her, she must plea for an audience of the consul before it’s too late. Directed by COT’s Andreas Mitisek and conducted by Kristof Van Grysperre, this essential modern opera and co-production with Long Beach Opera will be performed at the Studebaker Theater November 4, 10 and 12, 2017.
For the second production of the 2017/2018 season, COT presents “Elizabeth Cree,” a suspenseful and thrilling tale set in Victorian London and based on the novel “The Trial of Elizabeth Cree” by Peter Ackroyd. Pulitzer Prize-winning duo Kevin Puts (composer) and Mark Campbell (librettist) come together again for this world-premiere co-production with Opera Philadelphia and Hackney Empire of one woman on trial for her husband’s grisly murder. “Elizabeth Cree” is directed by David Schweizer and will be performed at the Studebaker Theater February 10, 16 and 18, 2018.
The season culminates with “Il Pigmalione” and “Rita” by Gaetano Donizetti, spanning the life and career of opera’s premier bel canto composer and framed in the world of Italian cinema. The two works—Donizetti’s first work and one of his last—are presented together as an exploration of love, fantasy and the blurry lines between them. “Il Pigmalione” and “Rita” are directed by Amy Hutchison and conducted by Francesco Milioto. Performances will be staged at the Studebaker Theater April 14, 20 and 22, 2018.
About Chicago Opera Theater’s 2017/2018 Season
Co-Produced by Long Beach Opera
Composer and Librettist: Gian Carlo Menotti
Starring: Patricia Racette
Conductor: Kristof Van Grysperre
Stage Director: Andreas Mitisek
Performance dates: Saturday, Nov. 4; Friday, Nov. 10; Sunday, Nov.12, 2017
Hailed by The New York Times as “an opera of eloquence, momentousness, and intensity of expression… written from the heart,” “The Consul” is an essential modern opera. Starring legendary soprano Patricia Racette in her role debut as Magda, this production of “The Consul” will be a new interpretation of a beloved opera.
World-Premiere Co-Production with Opera Philadelphia and Hackney Empire
Based on the novel “The Trial of Elizabeth Cree” by Peter Ackroyd
Composer: Kevin Puts
Libretto: Mark Campbell
Director: David Schweizer
Performance dates: Saturday, Feb. 10; Friday, Feb. 16; Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018
Fact and fiction blur in “Elizabeth Cree, a suspenseful and thrilling tale set against the gaslit backdrop of Victorian London. On trial for her husband’s murder, Elizabeth weaves the story of her days in an English music hall and the grisly slayings surrounding it.
“Il Pigmalione” & “Rita”
Composer: Gaetano Donizetti
“Il Pigmalione” Libretto: Unknown
“Rita” Libretto: Gustave Vaëz
Conductor: Francesco Milioto
Director: Amy Hutchison
Performance dates: Saturday, April 14; Friday, April 20; Sunday, April 22, 2018
This double bill spans the life and career of opera’s premiere bel canto composer, framed in the world of quintessential Italian cinema. Donizetti’s first work and one of his last, both of which he never lived to see performed, are presented together as an exploration of love, fantasy, and the blurry lines between them.
Subscriptions to Chicago Opera Theater’s 2017/2018 Season are now on sale. Subscriptions are priced from $82 – $375 and can be purchased by calling 312.704.8414 or via cot.org. Single tickets will go on sale August 1.
About Chicago Opera Theater
Chicago Opera Theater is an innovative, nationally recognized opera company that inspires a diverse community through immersive and thought-provoking opera experiences. COT, established in 1974 by Alan Stone, is a founding resident company of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.
Chicago Opera Theater has carved a significant place for itself in the operatic life of Chicago and has reached an audience of hundreds of thousands through its main stage performances, community engagement, education programs in Chicago Public Schools, as well as its renowned Young Artist Program.
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For more information on the Chicago Opera Theater and its programs please visit chicagooperatheater.org.