CHICAGO – A season filled with unforgettable music, thrilling singers from around the world, and stirring new productions goes on sale via subscription Wednesday, February 7 at 10 a.m. Seven new and new-to-Chicago productions, including four Lyric premieres, will engage and entertain audiences from October 2018 through June 2019.
New and renewing subscribers have first access to the best seats at the best prices – and for the first time, Lyric is making it possible to purchase customized subscriptions that combine remaining performances of the current 2017/18 Season and performances in the new 2018/19 Season.
General Director Anthony Freud and Music Director Sir Andrew Davis announced today the repertoire and casting for the company’s 2018/19 Season – the fourth season that they have fully planned together.
“I know we say this each year, but it’s true – we are very excited about next season,” said Freud. “Audiences will experience a tremendous variety of musical and theatrical styles. We will present fresh interpretations of familiar works, as well as an opportunity to experience works we have never performed before.”
Freud noted that “several outstanding international artists will make their Lyric debuts in new and new-to-Chicago productions, alongside many fantastic artists who are well known to Lyric audiences. Continuing our new Ring with Siegfried will be a major highlight. Cendrillon, Ariodante, and West Side Story will be seen on our stage for the very first time, along with the Lyric Unlimited premiere of the chamber opera An American Dream at the Harris Theater.”
“This season’s repertoire includes three of the most deservedly popular Italian operas.” said Davis. “I think La Scala West (as Lyric was once known) was due for an overdose and I suspect there are many in our audience who will agree. And alongside them we have both Wagner AND Strauss and three rarities – in which I include Mozart’s Idomeneo – that will astonish and delight.”
The pleasures of familiar melodies permeate the 2018/19 Season. Even opera and musical novices will enjoy the frisson of recognition when they hear Rodolfo’s aria “Che gelida manina” in La bohème, the “Anvil Chorus” in Il trovatore, Violetta and Alfredo’s duet “Libiamo” in La traviata, and Tony and Maria’s soaring “Tonight” in West Side Story.
“In planning our latest season,” Freud said, “we have assembled a truly exceptional roster of well-known singers returning to Lyric, including Maria Agresta, Jamie Barton, Janai Brugger, Alice Coote, Iestyn Davies, Danielle de Niese, Christine Goerke, Kyle Ketelsen, Zeljko Lučić, Michaela Martens, Eric Owens, Matthew Polenzani, Albina Shagimuratova, Heidi Stober, Russell Thomas, Elza van den Heever, Erin Wall, and Samuel Youn.”
Davis noted that “it’s quite a coup to have Alice Coote starring in not one but two company premieres at Lyric next season – Cendrillon and Ariodante. I am tickled pink about this because she’s one of my favorite people!”
“We are also immensely excited to welcome a dazzling array of thrilling artists who will make their Lyric debuts,” Freud continued. “We are pleased to welcome to the Lyric stage for the first time Giorgio Berrugi, Angela Brower, Michael Fabiano, Burkhard Fritz, Matthias Klink, Iain Patterson, George Petean, Brenda Rae, Siobhan Stagg, Nina Stemme, Roberto Tagliavini, and Tamara Wilson.”
“The company debut of Nina Stemme is a special milestone,” said Davis. “We have long sought to engage this outstanding dramatic soprano, and her portrayal of Elektra, one of her signature roles, is something no one should miss.”
Sir Andrew Davis will conduct three operas here next season, beginning with Mozart’s Idomeneo (seen previously at Lyric in 1997 and 1977). He will also return to lead the highly-anticipated continuation of Wagner’s Ring cycle, Siegfried; and the company premiere of Massenet’s Cendrillon. Lyric’s roster of guest conductors for the 2018/19 Season includes Domingo Hindoyan (debut, La bohème), Marco Armiliato (Il trovatore), Donald Runnicles (debut, Elektra), Michael Christie (debut, La traviata), and Harry Bicket (Ariodante).
The 2018/19 Season’s operas will be staged by internationally acclaimed and award-winning directors including Richard Jones (La bohème and Ariodante), David Pountney (Siegfried), Laurent Pelly (Cendrillon), and Arin Arbus (La traviata), along with productions originally directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle (Idomeneo) and Sir David McVicar (Il trovatore and Elektra).
When Lyric first presented Idomeneo in 1977, it was in a different production directed and designed by Ponnelle for the Cologne Opera. The production he created for the Metropolitan Opera will be seen at Lyric for the first time next season.
Lyric Unlimited will present the Midwest premiere of An American Dream, by composer Jack Perla and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo. Inspired by World War II-era events, the chamber opera earned national critical acclaim in its world premiere at Seattle Opera in 2015. Sung in English, An American Dream will have two performances at the Harris Theater in March 2019.
Following the operas of the 2018/19 Season, Lyric will present a new coproduction of West Side Story May 3 – June 2, 2019. Francesca Zambello will direct this Lyric premiere, with set designs by Peter J. Davison, costume designs by Jessica Jahn, original choreography by Jerome Robbins, and lighting design by Mark McCullough. (The conductor, choreographer, and cast will be announced later.) Members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus will participate in performing this 20th-century masterpiece with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by Arthur Laurents.
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.
To learn more about Lyric’s current season, go to lyricopera.org. You can also join the conversation with @LyricOpera on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. #Lyric1819 #LongLivePassion