CHICAGO– Lyric Opera of Chicago announced today that film star Richard E. Grant and Broadway standout Lisa O’Hare will star as Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle in Lyric Opera’s grand-scale production of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady, April 28-May 21, 2017 (press opening April 29). Richard E. Grant is widely recognized as one of the great character actors of his generation, appearing in numerous films and television series including Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, and Girls. He portrays journalist Bill Walton in the recently released film Jackie. Lisa O’Hare originated the role of Sibella Hallward in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical, and starred in the title role of Mary Poppins on the West End. Her television credits include guest-starring roles on TNT’s The Closer, ABC’s Castle, and NBC’s Undercovers.
Lyric’s company premiere of My Fair Lady also features Bryce Pinkham as Freddy Eynsford-Hill, Donald Maxwell as Alfred Doolittle, and Nicholas Le Prevost as Colonel Pickering.
“All of us at Lyric are thrilled to introduce our audiences to such a distinguished group of performers in the principal roles,” says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, president & CEO. “Our Higgins, Richard E. Grant, has achieved extraordinary international renown for his brilliant portrayals in theater, on film, and on television. Opposite him will be our Eliza, Lisa O’Hare, one of Britain’s most captivating musical-theater leading ladies, and the elegant Nicholas Le Prevost, ideally cast as Colonel Pickering. Donald Maxwell, whose exceptional artistry I’ve admired for many years, will no doubt stop the show in Alfred Doolittle’s big numbers, and Bryce Pinkham, our Freddy, is a Tony-nominated actor of captivating charm. I can’t imagine a more remarkable quintet to lead Lyric’s My Fair Lady.”
My Fair Lady is the fifth installment of Lyric’s American Musical Initiative. Robert Carsen directs the American debut of the grand production from Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris with an all-new cast. The creative team also includes choreographer Lynne Page, scenic designer Tim Hatley and costume designer Anthony Powell.
Richard E. Grant (Henry Higgins) has proven to be one of the great character actors of his generation since appearing in his first film as the perpetually inebriated title character in Withnail and I. Some of his most memorable credits include Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Henry & June, L.A. Story, The Player, The Age of Innocence, The Portrait of a Lady, Spice World, Gosford Park, and The Iron Lady. He has countless television credits, including featured roles on Girls, Downton Abbey, and Game of Thrones. In 2008, Grant performed the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady with Opera Australia. Following the recent release of the acclaimed film Jackie starring Natalie Portman, he has several other films scheduled for release in 2017, including the romantic comedy Their Finest, and Logan, the latest installment in the X-Men series.
Lisa O’Hare (Eliza Doolittle) was originally trained as a ballet dancer, performing in London at Sadler’s Wells and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, before making the transition to musical theater. Most recently, O’Hare originated the role of Sibella Hallward in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway. O’Hare has played the title role in Mary Poppins in Australia, on the UK tour, and at Prince Edward Theatre in London, Eliza Doolittle on the US and UK national tours of My Fair Lady (Elliot Norton and Denver Post Ovation Award winner), the title role in Gigi at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, and Sally Bowles in Cabaret for the Reprise Theatre Company in Los Angeles. She has several television credits, including roles in Castle, The Closer, and Undercovers.
Bryce Pinkham (Freddy Eynsford-Hill) is an American stage and screen actor. Pinkham is most widely known for originating the role of Monty Navarro in the Tony Award-winning production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, for which he was nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk awards. He appeared in the Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles as Peter Patrone, for which he was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance in 2015. His other Broadway credits include Carl Bruner in Ghost the Musical and Henry Clay in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Pinkham’s television appearances include The Good Wife (CBS), Person of Interest (CBS), and the PBS miniseries God in America. His upcoming on-screen appearances include Baz Lurman’s Netflix series The Get Down, Robert DeNiro’s The Comedian, and the second season of PBS’s Civil War drama series Mercy Street. Pinkham is currently starring in Holiday Inn on Broadway with the Roundabout Theatre Company.
Donald Maxwell (Alfred Doolittle) has appeared with the Royal Opera, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, and all the other major British companies, as well as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, and the leading houses of Paris, Brussels, Berlin, and Zurich. He has excelled in both comic and tragic parts, with a repertoire of nearly 100 roles ranging from the protagonists of Don Pasquale and Falstaff to those of The Flying Dutchman and Wozzeck, along with major roles of Rossini, Donizetti, Gilbert & Sullivan, Massenet, Janáček, Puccini, Stravinsky, and Britten. Engagements in 2016 have included Tosca at the Royal Opera, Iain Bell’s In Parenthesis (world premiere, Welsh National Opera), and The Marriage of Figaro at Scottish Opera.
Nicholas Le Prevost (Colonel Pickering) was nominated for a 2002 Olivier Award for the West End production of My Fair Lady. Other major achievements in theater range stylistically from Much Ado About Nothing (Royal Shakespeare Company), Man and Superman (National Theatre), and Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound and Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Critic (Minerva Theatre, Chichester) to most recently Alan Ayckbourn’s How The Other Half Loves (London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket). Le Prevost has appeared in many popular television dramas, including The Jewel in the Crown, Brideshead Revisited, Inspector Morse, Foyle’s War, and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Among his films have been Shakespeare in Love, Clockwise, and The Girl in a Swing. Since 2003, Le Prevost has portrayed Georges Simenon’s fictional detective Jules Maigret for BBC Radio.
About Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.
Founded in 1954, Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.
Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.