Lyric Opera of Chicago to Present Family Opera ‘Earth to Kenzie’

By David Salazar

The Lyric Opera of Chicago is set to present “Earth to Kenzie” starting on Nov. 9, 2019 with a subsequent showcase one day later. Both performances are set to take place at Chicago’s Vittum Theater.

The work, which was commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, was created for children of ages 7-12 by composer Frances Pollock and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo. The work was co-commissioned with the Seattle Opera and will be directed by Jess McLeod. Kateri Gormley will take on the role of Jenzie with Emma Ritter as her mother. Christina Pecce will place Edwin / Eddie while baritone Keanon Kyles will place the Teacher / Taxi Driver. The music supervisor for the production will be Yasuko Oura, who will also perform at the piano.

The opera tells the story of Kenzie, a fifth grader with a big imagination who finds refuge in the world of video games when her family is forced to move to a family shelter.

“Lyric is excited to present this new opera, created especially for young audiences and their adults, following last season’s opera for families, ‘Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt,’” said Cayenne Harris, vice president of Lyric Unlimited, in a press release. “Introducing children to the art form of opera using a story that is relevant to today’s audiences is an important part of our mission.”