Anna Netrebko, Renée Fleming & Nina Stemme Headline Lyric Opera Of Chicago’s 2018-19 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced its 2018-19 season with a number of the greatest stars performing in new productions. The season will also include two important recitals from two of the world’s greatest sopranos.

Recitals & Concerts

Anna Netrebko returns to Chicago for the first time since 2013 when she performed “La Bohème.” This time she performs some of her favorite repertoire with renowned pianist Malcolm Martineau in an intimate evening.

Performance Date: Dec. 2, 2018

Renée Fleming celebrates her 25th Anniversary with a concert and Gala to celebrate the anniversary of her Lyric debut. The soprano, who is currently the company’s creative consultant, will be joined by several special guest artists (to be announced at a later date) and the Lyric Opera Orchestra.

Performance Date: March 23, 2019


The company opens with Richard Jones’ recent Royal Opera production of Puccini’s “La Bohème.” Conductor Domingo Hindoyan, in his Chicago debut, conducts Maria Agresta in the title role and Michael Fabiano also in his Lyric debut as Rodolfo. Danielle de Niese is Musetta while Zachary Nelson sings the role of Marcello.

Performance Dates: Oct. 6 – 20, 2018; Jan. 10 – 25, 2019 (11 performances)

In October, the Lyric Opera will present Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo.” The original Metropolitan Opera production will star Matthew Polenzani in the title role alongside Erin Wall as Elettra.  Janai Brugger is Illia while Angela Brower in her Lyric debut is Idamante. David Portillo sings the role of Abrace with Sir Andrew Davis conducting.

Performance Dates: Oct. 13 – Nov. 2, 2018 (6 performances)

The company continues Ring Cycle this time showcasing “Siegfried.” Christine Goerke sings Brünnhilde with Burkhard Fritz, in his Lyric debut, singing the title role. Sir Andrew Davis conducts the new production by David Pountney. Eric Owens, Samuel Youn, and Matthias Klink.

Performance Dates: Nov. 3 – 16, 2018 (4 performances)

Tamara Wilson makes her Lyric debut as Leonora in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” David McVicar’s production returns with a cast that also includes Jamie Barton as Azucena, Russell Thomas as Manrico, and George Petean as Di Luna in his Lyric debut. Marco Armiliato conducts.

Performance Dates: Nov. 17 – Dec. 9, 2018 (7 performances)

Laurent Pelly’s production of Massenet’s “Cendrillon” makes its Lyric Premiere. Sir Andrew Davis conducts the Chicago premiere with Siobhan Stagg as Cinderella in her US and Chicago debut. Alice Coote is Prince Charming with Marie -Eve Munger is Fairy Godmother in Chicago debut. Elizabeth Bishop makes her Lyric debut as Madame de la Haltiére.

Performance Dates: Dec. 1, 2018 – Jan. 20, 2019 (6 performances)

Nina Stemme makes her Lyric debut in the title role of Strauss’ “Elektra.” Donald Runnicles also in his company debut also stars Elza van den Heever as Chrysothemis, Michaela Martens as Klytemnestra and Iain Paterson in his debut as Orest.

Performance Dates: Feb. 2 – 22, 2019 (6 performances)

Arin Arbus’ production of Verdi’s “La Traviata” returns Albina Shagimuratova, Giorgio Berrugi in his company debut and Zeljko Lučić. Michael Christie makes his debut conducting the repertoire staple.

Performance Dates: Feb. 16 – Mar. 22, 2019 (10 performances)

Lyric Unlimited 

Lyric Unlimited will present the Midwest premiere of “An American Dream,” by composer Jack Perla and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo. The chamber opera earned national critical acclaim in its world premiere at Seattle Opera in 2015.

Performance Dates: March 2019 (2 performances)

As part of the Lyrics Musical initiative, the company will present a co-production of “West Side Story.”  Francesca Zambello will direct the Lyric premiere, with set designs by Peter J. Davison, costume designs by Jessica Jahn, original choreography by Jerome Robbins, and lighting design by Mark McCullough. Members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus will participate in performing this 20th-century masterpiece with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by Arthur Laurents. The conductor, choreographer, and cast will be announced at a later date.

Performance Dates: May 3 – June 2, 2019.