Based on last night’s Season Preview Concert, this year’s season at Chicago’s Lyric Opera will be spectacular.
Productions include popular favorites such as Aida, (This is the original that inspired Elton John’s hit musical.) and less known works such as Handel’s; Rinaldo. Fans of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream will appreciate The Magic Flute by Mozart. Is Boris Godunov the Russian equivalent of Macbeth? Romeo and Juliet are universally recognized star crossed lovers. What happens when the characters are no longer teenagers, aware that they have fewer choices and slimmer chances for happily ever after: Lucia Di Lammermoor and her forbidden love for Edgardo of Ravenswood?
Comedy? Tragedy? Budget and time constraints require that both are preformed at the same time. One story intrudes on the other. Remind you of recent headlines? Richard Strauss puts it all to music in Ariadne auf Naxos. Hoffmann, a poet, keeps looking for love in all the wrong places. Anyone who’s survived their 20’s will recognize the strong emotion, deception, self deception, family and frenemies that are The Tales of Hoffmann.
Tired of exotic locations, royalty and mythology? Showboat by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II is considered by some to be America’s greatest musical theater masterpiece. Smile to “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”; feel a chill during “Ol’ Man River”. Has America changed since the 1890’s or do we live the same stories in different costumes with better technology?
How did a 40 something, suburban mom with a full time job become a fan? Why drive downtown to listen to vocal acrobatics sung in a foreign language? It’s an escape. During eight performances each season the polite, politically correct world is replaced with the unrestrained emotion and drama on stage. The characters say and do what a middle class person cannot. The combination of costumes, stage sets, music, and drama makes time irrelevant. Except when it doesn’t, and then you decide to stay and be educated or leave. Tickets start at $34.00
The Lyric Opera of Chicago is truly world class. If this is your first time, start with Showboat. New to opera, ease into the art form with the greatest hits: Aida and The Magic Flute. Fans of Baroque music will love Rinaldo. Jump in with a season subscription; buy 3 operas or more and save. Check it out today: 312-332-2244 or lyricopera.org.