5 Exciting Singers You Cannot Miss At The 2017-18 Lyric Opera Of Chicago Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Lyric Opera of Chicago announced its 2017-18 Season last week, which included a number of new productions and some of the most exciting singers in the industry. The following is a list of the stars OperaWire suggests audiences should not miss next season.

Ben Bernheim 

Bernheim is easily becoming one of the fastest rising stars in the opera world in Europe and, as noted in a recent interview with OperaWire, the tenor has worked hard to get to where he is. He has sung many leading roles at the Salzburg Festival, Zürich Opera, Dresden Semperoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Paris National Opera. This upcoming season he will make his Lyric Opera and American debut as Gounod’s “Faust,” a work he recently performed at the Latvian National Opera and for which he scored raves. For Chicago and US audiences this will be a chance to discover a new voice that will likely seduce them.

Rosa Feola

The Italian soprano is one of the most enthralling new singers of her generation as she has conquered some of the leading theaters in the world including the Teatro dell’opera di Roma, Wiener Staatsoper, Zürich Opera, Teatro alla Scala and Teatro Colon. A winner of the second prize at the Operalia competition, Feola will make her Lyric Opera debut as Gilda in  Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” This is a role she has already performed numerous times and one that is among her signatures. With her bright coloratura runs, expect some vocal fireworks.

Amber Wagner

A winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Grand Final, Wagner has become one of the most in-demand dramatic sopranos of her generations. Performing Wagner, Verdi and Strauss, the soprano has performed all around the world. Next year she returns to Chicago for her first “Turandot,” one of the most demanding roles in the repertoire and one that should easily fit her dramatic powers. It will be a treat to see her in the new to Chicago production by Rob Kearley.

Marina Rebeka

Is there a more fascinating artist in the world than Marina Rebeka? The Latvian soprano is not only a great singer but a consummate actress who delves deep into her roles. Her prowess in Mozart, Verdi, Rossini and Donizetti shows her diverse approach as well as her virtuosic abilities in the repertoire.  This season she takes on the role of Leila in “The Pearl Fishers” for the first time since 2014, and there is no denying that in four years, her interpretation will have grown in its depth and brilliance.

Eric Owens 

Owens broke out in the operatic world when he sang the role of Alberich in the Metropolitan Opera’s new Ring Cycle. Now at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, audiences will get a chance to hear his Wotan. If there is anything that Met audiences learned from Owens’ interpretation of  Wagner, it was the depth he brought to the villainous role all while building some empathy for the character. With a dramatic voice and his mastery of Wagner’s style, this is a a role that should easily suit the bass.


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