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updated: 6/18/2013 8:41 AM

Lyric Opera: Ticket sales up thanks to new patrons

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The Lyric Opera of Chicago says ticket sales were up during the most recent fiscal year, thanks in part to new fans.

The opera says it sold 264,000 tickets during the year, a 15 percent increase from 2012. That helped the season's overall ticket revenue climb more than 6 percent.

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General Director Anthony Freud says about 27,000 people bought tickets to Lyric performances who'd never been to the opera, a fact he attributes to the company's efforts to become relevant to more patrons.

In addition to its nine operas, the Lyric staged "Oklahoma!," a family event called "Popcorn and Pasquale," recitals and a cabaret-style show developed with Chicago's famous improv company, The Second City.

The opera says it has operated in the black for 25 of the past 26 years.

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