Season of change for Lyric Opera in 2020-21

  • The North American premiere of British composer George Benjamin's 2018 opera "Lessons in Love and Violence" is part of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2020-21 season.

    The North American premiere of British composer George Benjamin's 2018 opera "Lessons in Love and Violence" is part of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2020-21 season. Courtesy of Stephen Cummiskey/Royal Opera, Covent Garden

 
 
Posted2/12/2020 1:43 PM

The Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2020-21 season is full of change.

Before stepping down as music director, Sir Andrew Davis conducts three productions and a special concert of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on April 10, 2021. Meanwhile, incoming music director Enrique Mazzola conducts two new-to-Chicago productions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Lyric opens its season with a special concert starring soprano Renée Fleming on Saturday, Sept. 12. The Joffrey Ballet also officially becomes a co-tenant of the Civic Opera House, which will feature a reconfigured main floor with wider seats and staggered sightlines. The Joffrey's move away from the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University was first announced in 2017.

The Lyric's 2020-21 season features:

• Mascagni's "Cavalleria rusticana" and Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci" (seven performances, Sept. 17-Oct. 10) -- This classic Italian double-bill of jealousy, betrayal and murder is revived in director Elijah Moshinsky's 2002 production. Carlo Rizzi conducts.

Sir Andrew Davis steps down from his position of Lyric Opera of Chicago music director after conducting the North American premiere of "Lessons in Love and Violence," "The Rake's Progress" and "The Marriage of Figaro" during the 2020-21 season.
Sir Andrew Davis steps down from his position of Lyric Opera of Chicago music director after conducting the North American premiere of "Lessons in Love and Violence," "The Rake's Progress" and "The Marriage of Figaro" during the 2020-21 season. - Courtesy of Peter Tarasiuk

• "Lessons in Love and Violence" (five performances, Sept. 27-Oct. 9) -- Sir Andrew Davis conducts British composer George Benjamin and librettist Martin Crimp's 2018 political thriller. This Lyric co-commission receives its North American premiere.

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• Puccini's "Tosca" (nine performances, Nov. 7-29) -- Former St. Charles resident Sondra Radvanovsky stars in this classic melodrama set in 1900 Rome. Giampaolo Bisanti conducts the new-to-Chicago production featuring a traditional set by the late director/designer Jean-Pierre Ponnelle.

• Verdi's "Attila" (five performances, Nov. 15-27) -- Enrique Mazzola conducts director Daniele Abbado's new-to-Chicago production with former Naperville resident Tamara Wilson in the cast as the heroine Odabella.

• Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah" (seven performances, Jan. 23-Feb. 13) -- Emmanuel Villaume conducts this Biblical tale of lust and betrayal in a new-to-Chicago production originally staged by Elijah Moshinsky for The Metropolitan Opera.

Donizetti's romantic comedy "The Elixir of Love" returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in January 2021 in a new-to-Chicago production reset in the 1950s.
Donizetti's romantic comedy "The Elixir of Love" returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in January 2021 in a new-to-Chicago production reset in the 1950s. - Courtesy of David Bachman Photography/Pittsburgh Opera
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

• Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love" (six performances, Jan. 30-Feb. 14) -- Evanston native Matthew Polenzani stars as the lovelorn bumpkin Nemorino in director Daniel Slater's new-to-Chicago production that resets this beloved romantic comedy to the 1950s.

• Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" (10 performances, March 14-April 11) -- Sir Andrew Davis conducts a revival of Chicago Shakespeare Theater artistic director Barbara Gaines's colorful and comic 2015 Lyric production.

Artist David Hockney's iconic 1970s production of Stravinsky's "The Rake's Progress" is part of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2020-21 season.
Artist David Hockney's iconic 1970s production of Stravinsky's "The Rake's Progress" is part of the Lyric Opera of Chicago's 2020-21 season. - Courtesy of Karen Almond/Portland Opera

• Stravinsky's "The Rake's Progress" (six performances, March 21-April 6) -- British artist David Hockney's iconic 1970s production took its inspiration from the engravings of William Hogarth. Sir Andrew Davis set to conduct this production imported from the Glyndebourne Festival.

The Lyric's postseason musical is "Singin' in the Rain," a 1983 stage adaptation of the classic 1952 Hollywood film. Director Robert Carsen's production was first staged in Paris by the Théâtre du Châtelet in 2015, and runs for 26 performances in June 2021.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the 2018 opera "Proving Up" by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek during its 2020-21 season. This Lyric Unlimited presentation about Nebraska homesteaders will be staged at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in January 2021.
The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the 2018 opera "Proving Up" by composer Missy Mazzoli and librettist Royce Vavrek during its 2020-21 season. This Lyric Unlimited presentation about Nebraska homesteaders will be staged at Chicago Shakespeare Theater in January 2021. - Courtesy of Opera Omaha

The Lyric Unlimited program also features the local premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek's "Proving Up." This 2018 chamber opera about Nebraska homesteaders in the 1870s runs for four performances in January 2021 at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

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

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