Lyric Opera’s 2020-21 season offers a host of new works, the arrival of the Joffrey, and ‘state-of-the-art seats’

The 2020-21 season marks the beginning of the Joffrey Ballet’s seven-year residency at the Lyric Opera House.

SHARE Lyric Opera’s 2020-21 season offers a host of new works, the arrival of the Joffrey, and ‘state-of-the-art seats’
“Cavalleria rusticana” (pictured) is part of the double bill with “Pagliacci,” which open the Lyric Opera’s 2020-21 season.

“Cavalleria rusticana” (pictured) is part of the double bill with “Pagliacci,” which open the Lyric Opera’s 2020-21 season.

Dan Rest

Eight new-to-Chicago productions, including three local premieres and two original productions mark Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020-21 season, it was announced Wednesday by general director Anthony Freud and music director Sir Andrew Davis.

“We are thrilled to offer so many new-to-Chicago productions to our audiences next season, with world-class casts and creative teams collaborating in a wide range of musical and dramatic styles,” said Freud in the official announcement.

The 2020-21 season also marks the beginning of the Joffrey Ballet’s seven-year residency at the Lyric Opera House, which includes the company’s annual production of “The Nutcracker.” Speaking of the new partnership, Freud in 2017 said: “With The Joffrey’s arrival at the start of the 2020/21 season, the Lyric Opera House will take its rightful place among the great opera houses of the world which frequently are home to magnificent ballets as well as thrilling opera productions.”

Here’s the lineup for Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 66th season:

  • “Cavalleria rusticana” (Mascagni) & “Pagliacci” (Leoncavallo) — double bill, original Lyric production 7 performances, September 17, 20, 26 and October 1, 4, 7, 10. Sung in Italian with projected English titles
  • “Lessons in Love and Violence” (Benjamin/Crimp) – North American premiere, Lyric cocommission and coproduction 5 performances, September 27, 30 and October 3, 6, 9 Sung in English with projected English titles
  • “Tosca” (Puccini) – new-to-Chicago production 9 performances, November 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 29 Sung in Italian with projected English titles
“Tosca” (shown at the San Diego Opera) will combine scenery from a classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production with costumes designed by Marcel Escoffier for a legendary Franco Zeffirelli production in its Lyric Opera staging.

“Tosca” (shown at the San Diego Opera) will combine scenery from a classic Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production with costumes designed by Marcel Escoffier for a legendary Franco Zeffirelli production in its Lyric Opera staging.

Ken Howard

● “Attila” (Verdi) — New-to-Chicago production; 5 performances in 2020: Nov. 15, 18, 21, 24, 27. Sung in Italian with projected English titles.

● “Proving Up” (Mazzoli/Vavrek) — Midwest premiere; 4 performances in 2021: Jan. 16, 17, 22, 23. Sung in English with projected English titles. Presented at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier, 800 E. Grand Ave.

● “Samson and Delilah” (Saint-Saëns) — New-to-Chicago production; 7 performances in 2021: Jan.23, 29 and Feb. 1, 4, 7, 10, 13 Sung in French with projected English titles.

● “The Elixir of Love” (Donizetti) — New-to-Chicago production; 6 performances in 2021: Jan. 30 and Feb. 3, 6, 9, 12, 14. Sung in Italian with projected English titles.

● “The Marriage of Figaro” (Mozart) — Original Lyric production; 10 performances in 2021: March 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 30 and April 1, 7, 9, 11. Sung in Italian with projected English titles.\

“The Rake’s Progress,” one of the 20th century’s greatest masterpieces and a charming, whimsical, and moving eighteenthcentury pastiche, returns to the Lyric Opera repertoire for the first time in nearly 25 years.

“The Rake’s Progress,” one of the 20th century’s greatest masterpieces and a charming, whimsical, and moving eighteenthcentury pastiche, returns to the Lyric Opera repertoire for the first time in nearly 25 years.

Courtesy Karen Almond/Portland Opera

● “The Rake’s Progress” (Stravinsky) — New-to-Chicago production; 6 performances in 2021: March 21, 24, 27, 31 and April 3, 6. Sung in English with projected English titles.

● “Singin’ in the Rain” (Comden/Green/Freed/Brown) — Lyric premiere, new-to-Chicago production; 26 performances in 2021: June 4-27

Lyric Opera will be presenting the Théâtre du Châtelet production of “Singin’ in the Rain” in 2021.

Lyric Opera will be presenting the Théâtre du Châtelet production of “Singin’ in the Rain” in 2021.

Courtesy Théâtre du Châtelet/Marie-Noëlle Robert

Other highlights include the annual “Sunday in the Park with Lyric’s Rising Stars” in Millennium Park on July 26; “A Knight to Celebrate,” featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 conducted by Davis on April 10; and the annual charity Wine Auction 2021 on May 8 (proceeds supporting the productions and community-engagement programs of Lyric).

The Lyric also announced details about some cosmetic changes to the theater, notably the new seats that will be installed over the summer. According to the official statement, “plush state-of-the-art seats with a pleasing ergonomic design will be installed throughout the auditorium. On the main floor, a new staggered configuration will result in better sightlines, widened aisles, and increased wheelchair accessibility.”

Series subscription tickets only will go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 13. Single tickets for individual operas and special events go on sale June 22 to Lyric donors; June 25 to the general public. Single tickets for “Singin’ in the Rain” will go on sale March 3. Call (312) 827-5600 or visit lyricopera.org for ticket purchases.

For the complete season schedule and more information, visit lyricopera.org.

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