Lyric Opera unveils next season with new 'Faust,' 'Jesus Christ Superstar'

  • Bizet's Sri Lankan-set romance "The Pearl Fishers" returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a colorful production created by British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes as part of the 2017-18 season.

    Bizet's Sri Lankan-set romance "The Pearl Fishers" returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in a colorful production created by British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes as part of the 2017-18 season. Courtesy of Ken Howard/San Diego Opera

  • Milwaukee-born Hamburg Ballet director John Neumeier, right, helms a new coproduction of "Orphée et Eurydice" as a collaboration between the Joffrey Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

    Milwaukee-born Hamburg Ballet director John Neumeier, right, helms a new coproduction of "Orphée et Eurydice" as a collaboration between the Joffrey Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Courtesy of Kiran West/Hamburg Ballet

 
 
Updated 2/7/2017 5:24 PM

The Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced its 2017-18 season of eight operas and extra performances, including a postseason production of the rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar."

The lineup features:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Gluck's "Orphée et Eurydice" returns in a new coproduction with the Joffrey Ballet. Milwaukee-born choreographer and Hamburg Ballet director John Neumeier helms the Greek mythological love story. Harry Bicket conducts. Seven performances between Sept. 23 and Oct. 15.

• Lyric Ryan Center alum Quinn Kelsey stars in the title role of Verdi's revenge tragedy "Rigoletto" with Evanston native Matthew Polenzani as the lascivious Duke. The new-to-Chicago production is conducted by Marco Armiliato. Eight performances between Oct. 7 and Nov. 3.

• Director David Pountney's second installment in the Lyric's new Wagner Ring Cycle continues with "Die Walküre" featuring acclaimed soprano Christine Goerke as the headstrong Brünnhilde. Sir Andrew Davis conducts. Seven performances between Nov. 1 and 30.

• British fashion designer Zandra Rhodes' colorful and well-traveled production of Bizet's Sri Lankan-set "The Pearl Fishers" makes its Chicago debut. Sir Andrew Davis conducts. Seven performances between Nov. 19 and Dec. 10.

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• Lyric Ryan Center alumna Amber Wagner portrays the title icy Chinese princess in Puccini's "Turandot" in director Rob Kearley's production borrowed from Dallas Opera. Sir Andrew Davis conducts most of the run. Ten performances between Dec. 5 to Jan. 27.

• Bellini's romantic drama "I Puritani" set during the 1640s English Civil War returns in a traditional 1976 production borrowed from New York's Metropolitan Opera. Russian soprano Albina Shagimuratova stars as Elvira, the bride who briefly goes mad. Enrique Mazzola conducts. Seven performances between Feb. 4 and 28.

• Mozart's romantic comedy "Così fan tutte" is revived in director John Cox's World War I-set production. James Gaffigan conducts. Seven performances between Feb. 17 to March 16.

• Director Kevin Newbury ("Bel Canto," "Norma") helms a new production of Gounod's "Faust" with tenor Benjamin Bernheim making his Lyric debut in the title role. Emmanuel Villaume conducts. Seven performances between March 3 and 21.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar" is the Lyric's postseason musical theater offering beginning in April 2018. It will be adapted from London's recent outdoor production at The Regent's Park Theatre.

The Lyric Unlimited program also features the local premiere of Gregory Spears and Greg Pierce's 2016 chamber opera "Fellow Travelers" about McCarthyism and homosexuality in 1950s Washington, D.C. It runs four performances only in March 2018 at Chicago's Athenaeum Theatre.

Season subscriptions are on sale now. For more information, call (312) 827-5600 or visit lyricopera.org.

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