CHICAGO – Chicago Opera Theater (COT) blends beer, Shakespeare’s sonnets and opera at “Beers & Baritones: A Bar Night with the Bard,” at Mad Mouse Brewery (724 W Maxwell St.) on October 20 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The third annual performance of “Beers & Baritones” will feature Chicago Opera Theater’s bass-baritone Zacharias Niedzwiecki and bass Samuel Weiser, along with select performances by Chicago College of Performing Arts students Richard Hatcher and Liz Lengyel. Tickets ($35 to the general public; $30 for subscribers and Opera Underground members) can be purchased online here and includes three beers and appetizers. Mad Mouse Brewery is located inside Moxee’s Brewpub, which features barbeque and Cajun cuisine.
“COT’s ‘Beers and Baritones’ is an event that our Opera Underground group looks forward to every year, featuring opera in a fun, relaxed setting—especially at Mad Mouse Brewery,” said Chicago Opera Theater’s Director of Marketing Andy Sheagren. “These events allow younger audiences to experience performances among their friends and colleagues, which only helps promote COT’s mission to cultivate immersive and thought-provoking opera experiences.”
Opera Underground (OU), COT’s young professionals group, works to make opera more accessible to younger audiences, providing opera experiences in casual settings such as pubs and breweries. OU offers discounted tickets to COT’s productions for young professionals, including mainstage tickets for $40, a $30 Opera Flex Pass with pre-show receptions and a free mainstage ticket after attending five COT events. OU’s next event, “Mezzos & Malbec” at The Twisted Vine Chicago (3530 N Halsted), takes place on November 16 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. including wine-tasting, cocktails and a performance. Tickets ($20 for OU members; $25 for general tickets) include the wine-tasting and two cocktails and can be purchased online here.
Zacharias Niedzwiecki – Baritone
Niedzwiecki is a Michigan State University graduate with experience in performances by Michigan State University Opera Theater, Spiro Productions and The Other Mirror, and Opera Grand Rapids. He appeared in Michigan State University Opera Theater’s productions of Ricky Ian Gordon’s “The Grapes of Wrath” as Connie Rivers, Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” as The Pirate King, Puccini’s “La Bohème” as Colline, and several of their other productions. Niedzwiecki also appeared in Spiro Productions and The Other Mirror’s partnership production of Claude-Michel Schönberg’s “Les Misérables” as Javert, as well as appearing with Opera Grand Rapids in its Emerging Artist Program. He is in his first year as a member of the Professional Diploma in Opera Program at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts in conjunction with Chicago Opera Theater. He recently appeared in COT’s production of Frank Martin’s “The Love Potion” and covering Ron/Oberon in the production of Henry Purcell’s “The Fairy Queen,” as well as appearing in the US premiere of Phillip Glass’s “The Perfect American.”
Samuel Weiser – Bass
Weiser graduated from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a cum laude B.S. Ed in Music Education. He is a current student at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. Recently, Weiser was chosen as a Gerdine Young Artist and appeared with Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the summer of 2016. In St. Louis, he appeared as the Valet in “Macbeth,” Sergeant in “La Bohème,” and as Clumsy God in the world premiere of “Shalimar the Clown.” Weiser also covered Truffaldino in “Ariadne auf Naxos” and Banquo in “Macbeth.” He was most recently seen at COT in “The Love Potion.” Weiser’s other roles have included Colline in Puccini’s “La Bohème,” Sarastro in “Die Zauberflöte,” Sicario in “Macbeth,” and Dr. Caius in “Falstaff” and many others. Weiser was chosen as the first place winner of the student division in Monastero’s Bel Canto Contest in April of 2016.
About Mad Mouse Brewery
Chicago’s Moxee Brewpub & Mad Mouse Brewery weaves together the best traditions of American cooking with small-batch brewery and craft cocktail bar. 30 years in the restaurant business and miles traveling through all corners of America have led to the Moxee menu. In a way, it’s an open love letter to great, authentic American cooking.
Mad Mouse Brewery is a Chicago brewery located in Moxee Brewpub. The recipes are developed and executed by our resident brewer, Phillip Zelewsky. The bar menu includes a rotating selection of the world’s finest beers on 24 taps, an array of carefully selected wines, and top-notch classic and contemporary craft cocktails. For more information about Mad Mouse Brewery, click here.
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. General Director Andreas Mitisek is known for his adventurous repertory, visionary leadership, fundraising skills and innovative audience-building initiatives.
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 www.chicagooperatheater.org.