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 “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 concert 
has made it possible for thousands of Chicagoans to hear s
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 cannot 
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, 
www. lyricopera.org.