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Lyric Opera of Chicago cancels 2020 fall season due to pandemic

The Lyric has canceled the fall portion of its 2020-21 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, a move that eliminates four of its 10 productions and delays opening night from Sept. 17, 2020, to Jan. 15, 2021.

The Lyric Opera House is located at 20 N. Wacker Drive in Chicago.
The Lyric Opera House is located at 20 N. Wacker Drive in Chicago.
Victor Hilitski/Sun-Times

CHICAGO — The Lyric Opera of Chicago has canceled the fall portion of its 2020-21 season due to the new coronavirus, a move that eliminates four of its 10 productions and delays opening night from Sept. 17, 2020, to Jan. 15, 2021.

General director Anthony Freud said Tuesday he hopes to reschedule the missed stagings for future seasons: a double bill of Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci;” what was to have been the North American premiere of George Benjamin’s “Lessons in Love and Violence;” Puccini’s “Tosca;” and Verdi’s “Attila.”

Twenty-six performances in all were canceled.

The Lyric plans to resume its 2020-2021 season with Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Chicago premiere of “Blue,” beginning Jan. 15, 2021, presented at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The opera house’s main auditorium, where renovation continues during the pandemic, is to open Jan. 23, 2021, with Saint-Saëns’ “Samson et Dalila.”

The cancellations also include the inaugural season for the Joffrey Ballet, which was to begin a new seven-year residency at Lyric. The Joffrey on Tuesday announced it was canceling the remainder of its 2020 performances.

“The decision to cancel our fall productions is only one piece of the elaborate array of work still underway, which includes ongoing discussions with our union groups,” said Lyric’s general director, president and CEO, Anthony Freud, via statement. “Our goal is, and always has been, to find a balance between protecting the individuals and protecting our company.”

More information can be found at lyricopera.org.

Contributing: Miriam Di Nunzio, Chicago Sun-Times