CHI: Lyric Opera of Chicago launches 2016/2017 Season with new Ring Cycle

Bass-baritone Eric Owens will star as Wotan in the "Rheingold" in October 2016

The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s general director Anthony Freud and music director Sir Andrew Davis announced on January 14, 2016 the repertoire and casting for the company’s 2016/17 season – the second season that they have fully planned together.

Bass-baritone Eric Owens will star as Wotan in the "Rheingold" in October 2016
Bass-baritone Eric Owens will star as Wotan in the “Rheingold” in October 2016

“Musical glory and magnificent storytelling – that’s what the operas in Lyric’s 2016/17 season have in common, and it’s what makes this a truly monumental season,” said Freud. “Whether French, German, Italian, or Russian, the masterworks you’ll enjoy were conceived by composers whose gifts for creating compelling drama through the singing voice are beyond compare. Our first production of the season, Das Rheingold, begins the Ring cycle series and serves as a starting point for a season full of really terrific music.”

“We also have many artists making their Lyric debuts,” the general director noted. “We are thrilled to welcome Samuel Youn, Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, Okka von der Damerau, Wilhelm Schwinghammer, Tobias Kehrer, Adrian Sâmpetrean, Nicola Alaimo, Clementine Margaine, Kathryn Lewek, Andrew StaplesChristof Fischesser, Anita Rachvelishvili, Eleonora Buratto, andAlisa Kolosova.”

Lyric’s music director Sir Andrew Davis will conduct three operas next season, beginning with Das Rheingold on October 1, 2016, which will be sung in German.

Christine Goerke will star as Cassandre in Berlioz's "Les Troyens" in the Lyric Opera.
Christine Goerke will star as Cassandre in Berlioz’s “Les Troyens” in the Lyric Opera.

He will return to lead Les Troyens (Lyric premiere) and Don Quichotte. Conductors making their Lyric debuts include Enrique Mazzola (Lucia di Lammermoor), Ricardo Frizza (Norma), Ainars Rubikis (Carmen, Mar. 16 – 25), and Alejo Perez (Eugene Onegin). Returning conductors are Rory Macdonald (The Magic Flute) and Harry Bicket (Carmen, Feb. 11 – Mar. 6).

The season’s operas will be staged by internationally acclaimed and award-winning directors including David Pountney (Das Rheingold/new coproduction), Graham Vick (Lucia di Lammermoor/new-to-Chicago production), Tim Albery (Les Troyens /new production), Matthew Ozawa (Don Quichotte), Neil Armfield(The Magic Flute/new production), Kevin Newbury (Norma/new coproduction),Rob Ashford (Carmen/new coproduction), and Robert Carsen (Eugene Onegin).

Lyric will present My Fair Lady (in the Robert Carsen production from Théâtre du Chatelet) as the fifth installment in Lyric’s American Musical Initiative April 28 – May 21, 2017, featuring an all-star cast, along with the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. South Pacific, which was previously announced for next season, will be presented in the spring of 2018.

Lyric will celebrate the legendary Plácido Domingo Mar. 9 and 13, 2017, with special performances showcasing his acclaimed artistry.

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee and bass-baritone Eric Owens will perform a Subscriber Appreciation Concert on April 9, 2017. Violinist Itzhak Perlman will give a recital at Lyric on April 23, 2017.

Lyric Unlimited will host the Chicago Voices Gala Concert, a musical celebration featuring Renée Fleming and guest artists on Sat. Feb. 4, 2017, and will also present the Chicago premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in partnership with the Harris Theater on March 24 and 26, 2017.

More information at