Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Shape of Things to Come: Lyric Opera of Chicago Cancels Fall Performances

Back of the Civic Opera Building
View from Chicago River
November, 2016
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

Another fall performance season is canceled in light of the obvious difficulty of safe performances: Lyric Opera of Chicago's season. This would have included the U.S. premiere of George Benhamin's Lessons in Love and Violence, the ROH premiere of which was broadcast in 2018.

One can only wonder which season will be canceled next.

Their email:

As a valued part of Lyric’s audience, we wanted to inform you that Lyric Opera of Chicago’s performances from September through December 2020 have been canceled as a result of public health policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have come to this decision based on the best information currently available. In this uncertain environment, we must put the safety of our guests, artists, and company first, respecting the policies implemented by the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. As we move through our state’s five-phase plan of reopening, performing arts companies on Lyric’s scale are still slated to be part of the final phase. Operating on anything close to a normal basis until that phase is reached is simply not possible.

Canceling the opening months of the season — which included the operas Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, Lessons in Love and Violence, Tosca, and Attila — is heartbreaking. Our staff continues to work on the productions and special events scheduled from January through June of 2021, which we expect to proceed as planned. The previously announced renovation project for the Ardis Krainik Theatre, including new seats and improved sightlines, is also proceeding under stringent safety and health protocols.

We are so very sorry to be sharing this news — and we have never been more grateful to all of the members of the Lyric community. Live performances will return. In the meantime, we’ll continue to be in touch, not only through our regular emails and social media channels but as we share our plans for exciting new artistic activities we’ll be bringing to you through the fall. We all need music in our lives, now more than ever, and here at Lyric, we will be working hard to make sure the music continues.


Anthony Freud
General Director, President & CEO
The Women’s Board Endowed Chair

I note two items: their general director's title is less unwieldy than that of Matthew Shilvock, and they've got their seat replacement project scheduled so that it can proceed.

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