Chicago Fringe Opera Announces 2021-22 Season

By Chris Ruel

Chicago Fringe Opera (CFO) has announced its 2021-22 season, featuring a mix of in-person and virtual productions. Here’s what audiences have to look forward to this coming season.

First up is a hip-hop twist on Rossini’s comedic masterpiece, “The Barber of Seville.” For the third straight year, “The Rosina Project” will feature hip-hop and opera artists performing an original, female-driven story set at a 21st-century house party.

Performance Date: Aug. 4, 5, 6, and 8, 2021

Next is a reprise of “Moods+Foods,” an outdoor Performance Series held at Woodward Plaza combining music and food.

Performance Date: Aug. 26, 2021

Heading into the fall, CFO will put on “Songs from Letters” at the 2021 Ear Taxi Festival. The performance will feature song cycles by Gwyneth Walker, Libby Larsen, and Dominick Argento. Performing artists include singers Jennifer Schuler, Bridget Skaggs, and David Govertsen, with pianist Mark Bilyeu. The George Cederquist directed presentation is inspired by opera’s letter scenes.

Performance Date: Sept. 25, 2021

CFO will present the world premiere of “The Widow’s Will,” by Elizabeth Rudolph and Bilal Dardai. CFO partnered with opera companies across the U.S. for Decameron Opera Coalition’s second film series, “The Heroes Project.” CFO’s contribution to the 10 original films showcasing unsung American heroes celebrates environmental rights pioneer, activist Hazel M. Johnson.

Performance Date: Oct 1, 2021

The 2021 programming concludes with “Sounds of Pride.” The show returns for the third year in a row and celebrates the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. The pride festivities will feature cocktails and a short musical program featuring two pieces commissioned for Sounds of Pride over the last two years, including the first live performance of “My Love Is Less for Thee” by composer/conductor, Brandon Williams, and the reprise of “Song of Myself” by Chicago composer, Kyra Leigh.

Performance Date: Oct. 9, 2021

CFO’s spring 2022 programming will feature the Chicago premiere of Jake Heggie’s latest opera, “Two Remain (Out of Darkness).” Heggie’s collaboration with librettist Gene Scheer centers on the separate journals of two Holocaust survivors: Krystyna Zywulska, a political prisoner at Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Gad Beck, who was interned in a Jewish transit camp in Berlin. The film was directed by Derek Van Barham and designed by Brad Caleb Lee.

Performance Date: Spring 2022