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Subject: lyric opera of chicago finally discovers michael fabiano - what took so long?
From: k youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:k youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 7 Feb 2018 09:37:57 -0600

text/plain (47 lines)

LOC has announced it’s 2018/2019 season.

“La Boheme” will open the season in a staging by British director Richard Jones co- produced with London’s Royal Opera House and Madrid’s Teatro Real. The lovers Mimi and Rodolfo will be sung by Maria Agresta and Michael Fabiano (Lyric debut). The other Bohemians are Danielle de Niese as Musetta, Zachary Nelson as Marcello, Adrian Sampetrean as Colline and Jake Gardner as Benoit/Alcindoro. Domingo Hindoyan, new to the roster, will conduct. Eleven performances, divided between October and January segments.

“Idomeneo,” which Lyric last produced in the 1997-98 season, is one of three shows Davis will conduct here next season. Matthew Polenzani will take the title role, with Erin Wall as Elettra, Janai Brugger as Ilia, Angela Brower (debut) as Idamante and David Portillo as Arbace. Director-designer Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s 1982 Metropolitan Opera production will be seen here for the first time. David Kneuss will be the revival director. Six performances, Oct. 13-Nov. 2.

Lyric will continue its David Pountney “Ring” cycle with “Siegfried,” the third music drama of Wagner’s epic tetralogy. Taking on the formidable title role for the first time in Chicago, also the first time in his career, will be the German heldentenor Burkhard Fritz, a Daniel Barenboim protege who sang in the conductor’s final concerts as Chicago Symphony music director here in 2006.

Christine Goerke and Eric Owens will return as Brunnhilde and the Wanderer/Wotan, respectively. Other cast members will include Matthias Klink (debut) as Mime, Samuel Youn as Alberich, Ronnita Miller (debut) as Erda and Andrii Goniukov (debut) as Fafner. Davis conducts. Pountney’s production team will be unchanged from the two previous “Ring” segments. Four performances, Nov. 3-16.

David McVicar’s production of “Il Trovatore,” last mounted here in 2014-15, will return with a mostly American cast — Tamara Wilson (debut) as Leonora, Russell Thomas as Manrico, Jamie Barton as Azucena and George Petean (debut) as Count di Luna. Pacing all that Verdian blood and thunder in the pit will be conductor Marco Armiliato. The revival director is Roy Rallo. Seven performances, Nov. 17-Dec. 9.

“Cendrillon,” Jules Massenet’s Gallic take on the Cinderella fairy tale, will enter the Lyric repertory for the first time, in a production from Santa Fe Opera, with direction and costume design by Laurent Pelly (debut). Davis will conduct a cast headed by Alice Coote as Prince Charming, Siobhan Stagg (U.S. debut) as Cinderella and Marie-Eve Munger (debut) as the Fairy Godmother. Lyric is sharing production costs with companies in London, Barcelona, Spain, Brussels and Lille, France. Six performances, Dec. 1-Jan. 20.

The big news of Lyric’s revival of “Elektra” will be the long-awaited company debut of the acclaimed Swedish dramatic soprano Nina Stemme, as the titular antiheroine. Elza van den Heever will portray Chrysothemis and Michaela Martens will sing Klytemnestra, with house debuts by Ian Paterson and Robert Brubaker as Orest and Aegisth, respectively. The company’s 2012-13 production will be led by Donald Runnicles (debut). Nicolas Sandys will direct the revival. Six performances, Feb. 2-22.

Never long absent from the Lyric repertory, “La Traviata” will be revived for a new romantic duo, Albina Shagimuratova as Violetta and Giorgio Berrugi (debut) as Alfredo, with Zeljko Lucic as the elder Germont. Conductor Michael Christie will preside over his first show at the Lyric. The production, which dates from the 2013-14 season, will be staged by Arin Arbus. Ten performances, Feb. 16-March 22.

The season’s final main stage show will be the Lyric premiere of Handel’s “Ariodante,” with Richard Jones directing a Lyric co-production with companies in France, Holland and Canada. Lyric’s international cast includes such eminent Handelians as Alice Coote, Brenda Rae (debut), Heidi Stober, Iestyn Davies and Kyle Ketelsen. Baroque specialist Harry Bicket conducts. Six performances, March 2-17.

As a whole, Lyric’s 64th season schedule reflects Freud’s aim to achieve an equitable mix of core repertory, operas the local public doesn’t hear very often, and worthwhile rarities such as “Cendrillon” and “Ariodante.” All this, and with interesting side dishes on the menu.

Not every artistic innovation Freud has initiated since his arrival in 2011 has proved wildly successful (Lyric Unlimited’s collaborations with the Second City troupe, for example), and there’s nothing wrong with that. When a major cultural institution aims no higher than resting on its laurels, it dies. Today’s Lyric is challenging opera’s stuffy old image, and that’s something worth applauding.

Subscriptions will go on sale on the web and at the box office beginning Wednesday. Current subscribers are to receive their renewal packages by mail later this month. For further information, call 312-827-5600 or visit

Kurt Youngmann 

“Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.” - Alan Dundes

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