| “Stars of Lyric Opera at Grant Park” Free Concert
will not be offered in 2004 --
special 50th-anniversary commitments
fill Lyric Opera of Chicago calendar
Lyric Opera of Chicago’s annual “Stars of Lyric Opera
at Grant Park” Free Concert will not take place this year due to the rehearsal
demands and time constraints of the company’s 50th anniversary season.
The first of Lyric’s annual free concerts in Grant Park was performed in
September of 2000.
Lyric’s 50th anniversary season begins Saturday, September
18 with Mozart’s Don Giovanni and concludes on Saturday,
March 26, 2005, with Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung.
Beginning Monday, March 28, three complete cycles of Wagner’s four-part
Der Ring des Nibelungen will be performed. In 2004-05 the company will
present 94 performances – the
most of any Lyric Opera
season. In addition to the usual opening-night Gala
and Opera Ball on Saturday, September 18), there will be a special Gala
Concert on Saturday, October 30, an extraordinary “family reunion” of Lyric
Opera stars present and past.
“We have always been pleased to present the ‘Stars
of Lyric Opera at Grant Park’ Free Concert to Chicago-area music lovers,”
said Lyric Opera of Chicago general director
William Mason. “In each of the past four years this
has made it possible for thousands of Chicagoans to
ome of the great opera stars of our time with the
Lyric Opera Orchestra. But because of the abundance of performances for
our 50th anniversary season and the formidable rehearsal
schedule necessary to prepare for them, we simply
repeat this memorable event in 2004.”
International stars such as Renée Fleming, Ben
Heppner, Samuel Ramey, and Susan Graham have appeared at Lyric’s Grant
Park concerts along with the Lyric Opera Orchestra conducted by music director
Sir Andrew Davis and artistic director emeritus Bruno Bartoletti. More
than 20,000 opera
fans attended each of the annual presentations.
“The concerts certainly were well received,” Mason
said. “Each September the audience seemed larger and more enthusiastic.
We enjoyed working with the City of Chicago and the Grant Park Music Festival,
and we look forward to returning there
in the future.”
As part of this summer’s Grant Park Music Festival,
the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists (Richard Pearlman, director)
and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hannu Lintu will perform
a concert version of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in Millennium Park’s Pritzker
Pavilion on Wednesday, August 4 at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and open
to the public.
For more information on Lyric’s regular season, Gala
Concert and Ring cycles, visit the company’s website,