Everything You Need to Know About Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2017-18 Season

By David Salazar

10 operas. Six New Productions. A Classic Musical and a new chamber opera.

The Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced its new season and it is full of a balanced repertory selection.

Orphée et Eurydice – Sept. 23, 27, Oct. 1, 6, 9, 12, 15 (2017)

The new season kicks off with a new production of Gluck’s “Orphée et Eurydice” on Sept. 23, 2017. The run lasts seven performances, the last one on Oct. 15, 2017. Dimtry Korchak and Andriana Chuchman lead the cast with Lauren Snouffer as Amour. Harry Bicket conducts a production directed by John Neumeier.

Rigoletto – Oct. 7, 11, 14, 19, 22, 26, 30, Nov. 3 (2017)

A new-to-Chicago production of Verdi’s seminal masterpiece arrives with a cast that includes Quinn Kelsey in the title role, Rosa Feola as Gilda and Matthew Polenzani as the Duke. Marco Armiliato conducts.

Die Walküre – Nov. 1, 5, 10, 14, 18, 26, 30 (2017)

The second opera in Wagner’s famous cycle gets a new production starring Christine Goerke as Brünhilde, Elisabet Strid in her Chicago debut as Sieglinde, Brandon Jovanovich as Siegmund, Eric Owens as Wotan, Tanja Ariane Baumgartner as Fricka and Ain Anger, also a debutant, as Hunding. Sir Andrew Davis conducts a production by David Poutney.

The Pearl Fishers – Nov. 19, 22, 25, 29, Dec. 4, 7, 10 (2017)

The Bizet work, which grows in popularity with each passing year gets a new-to-Chicago production featuring an all-star cast that includes Marina Rebeka, Matthew Polenzani and Mariusz Kwiecien. Sir Andrew Davis conducts the production by Andrew Sinclair.

Turandot – Dec. 5, 8, 11, 14, 17 (2017), Dec. 10, 13, 17, 21, 27 (2018)

Rob Kerley directs his production of Puccini’s final opera for the first time at Chicago. Sir Andrew Davis conducts a cast that includes Amber Wagner in the title role, Stefano La Colla making his Chicago debut, Maria Agresta and Andrea Silvestrelli. Janai Brugger steps in for Agresta as Liu in January while Robert Tweten conducts the performance on Jan. 27.

I Puritani – Feb. 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 24, 28 (2018)

Albina Shagimuratova stars as Elvira opposite Lawrence Brownlee as her lover Arturo. Anthony Clark Evans and Adrian Sampetrean round out the cast. Eric Einhorn directs while Enrique Mazzola conducts.

Così Fan Tutte – Feb. 17, 21, 26, March 4, 8, 13, 16, 18 (2018)

John Cox directs the opera’s revival with a cast that includes Ana María Martinez, Marianne Crebass, Antonio Poli, Joshua Hopkins, Alessandro Corbelli and Elena Tsallagova, who is making her debut. Conduct James Gaffigan also makes his company debut.

Faust – March 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 (2018)

Benjamin Bernheim makes his company debut in the title role while Erin Wall and Ana María Martinez alternate the role of Marguerite. Christian Van Horn plays Méphistophélès and Edward Parks takes on Valentin. Emmanuel Villaume leads from the pit while Kevin Newbury will sit in the director’s chair.

Fellow Travelers – March 17, 21, 23, 25 (2018)

The contemporary work by Gregory Spears will be performed at the Athenaeum Theatre in a production by Kevin Newbury.

Jesus Christ Superstar (2018)

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s famous rock opera appears with the company for the first time for a whopping 25 performances, every day from April 27 through May 20; the only days that show is not presented will be on May 1, 7 and 14. Timothy Sheader will direct the production.

Other events include a recital on Feb. 25, 2018 by famed tenor Piotr Beczala and a 100th birthday celebration of conductor Leonard Bernstein on March 10, 2018.