Lyric Opera of Chicago will showcase eight spectacular operas as part of its 2013/14 season. World-class artists, several making their Lyric Opera debut, will be featured in seven new productions that feature some of the greatest opera works. General Director Anthony Freund, along with Music Director Sir Andrew Davis and Creative Consultant Renée Fleming, has assembled a sensational season certain to please Lyric’s audience.
Opening the season is Verdi’s masterpiece Otello featuring an all-star cast. South African tenor Johan Botha sings the title role having recently performed it at the Met. Puerto Ricano soprano Ana María Martínez sings the doomed Desdemona and German bass-baritone Falk Struckmann embodies the sinister Iago. Italian tenor Antonio Poli as Cassio and conductor Betrand de Billy make their Lyric Opera debuts.
The season continues with Puccini’s tragic Madama Butterfly. Sopranos Patricia Racette, a Lyric Opera favorite and debutante Amanda Echalaz , who will later sing the role at the Met, share the title role. American tenor James Valenti and Italian tenor Stefano Secco make their Lyric Opera debuts as Pinkerton. American mezzo Mary Ann McCormick as Suzuki, British baritone Christopher Purves as Shaprless and Lyric Opera Ryan Center alum David Cangelosi as Goro complete the highly accomplished cast.
Wagner’s Parsifal makes it way to the Lyric stage and features the debut of Paul Groves in the title role. American mezzo and 2008 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Daveda Karanas, makes her Lyric debut as Kundry. Superstar baritone Thomas Hampson sings Amfortas and bass Kwangchul Youn makes his Lyric Opera debut as Gurnemanz. Lyric Opera Music Director Sir Andrew Davis conducts and Icelandic baritone Tómas Tómásson as Klingsor and Faroese bass Rúni Brattaberg as Titurel also star.
Latvian soprano Marina Rebeka makes her debut as Violetta in Verdi’s tragic La Traviata. Singing Alfredo is Maltese tenor Joseph Cajella whose made waves at major opera houses throughout the world and Lyric Ryan Opera Center alum Quinn Kelsey, an exciting up-and-coming Verdi baritone, sings Germont. Massimo Zanetti conducts.
Comedy reigns supreme as Lyric Opera mounts Strauss’ bubbly Die Fledermaus and Rossini’s effervescent Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Die Fledermaus stars Lyric Opera debutantes Juliane Banse as Rosalinda and Daniela Fally as Adele as well as baritone Bo Skovhus as Eisenstein and Adrian Eröd as the revenge-seeking Falke. Rounding out the cast is tenor Michael Spyres as Alfred in his Lyric Opera debut, former Ryan Opera Center artist Emily Fons as Prince Orlofsky, and baritone Andrew Shore as Frank. American Ward Stare conducts. Nathan Gunn, a frequent Figaro, sings the title role while mezzo Isabel Leonard makes her Lyric Opera debut as Rosina. Tenor Alex Shrader, a 2007 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, sings Almaviva while Italian baritone Alessandro Corbelli and bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen sing Dr. Bartolo and Don Basilio respectively. Conductor Michele Mariotti makes his conducting debut.
Returning to the Lyric Opera stage, Ana María Martínez takes on the title role of Dvorak’s Rusalka after receiving critical acclaim for her Glyndebourne performances. The all-star cast includes American tenor Brandon Jovanovich as the Prince, mezzo-soprano Jill Grove as Ježibaba, bass-baritone Eric Owens as Vodnik and making her Lyric Opera debut Russian mezzo Ekaterina Gubanova as the Foreign Princess. Sir Andrew Davis leads the Lyric Opera of Chicago orchestra.
Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito ends the Lyric Opera season and stars Mattew Polenzani in the title role. Superstar mezzo Joyce DiDonato sings Sesto and Ryan Center alums Amanda Majeski as Vitellia, Cecelia Hall as Annio and Christian Van Horn as Publio also star. Current Ryan Opera Center member Emily Birsan sings Servilia.
Special events at Lyric Opera include the Opening Night Opera Ball on October 5 with a pre-performance reception at 4:00 pm and the performance at 5:00 pm. Guests may then attend the Opera Ball at the Chicago Hilton. On March 19, 2014, Lyric presents two of the most exciting artists in opera, soprano Renee Fleming and tenor Jonas Kaufmann in concert with the Lyric Opera Orchestra led by Sir Andrew Davis.
Lyric Opera of Chicago has a proven track record for presenting many of the world’s best singers alongside some of the most exciting emerging talents in exciting, fresh productions. With a season ranging from Verdi to Johann Strauss opera will reign supreme at Lyric Opera in productions filled with passion, redemption, comic hijinks and gorgeous singing.