Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center Announces 2022-23 Ensemble Members

By Francisco Salazar

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center has announced the 12 singers who have been selected for its 2022-23 Ensemble at Final Auditions held on Oct. 7 in the Ardis Krainik Theatre.

The new singers who will join the Ensemble are Sopranos Kathryn Henry and Lindsey Reynolds, tenors Ryan Capozzo and Alejandro Luévanos, baritones Laureano Quant and Ian Rucker, and basses Ron Dukes and William Clay Thompson. They will join the four returning members, soprano Denis Vélez, mezzo-soprano Katherine DeYoung, and tenors Martin Luther Clark and Lunga Eric Hallam.

Last spring more than 600 singers applied for consideration with video recordings and, after review, more than 30 were invited to Chicago for live auditions. The Final Auditions were attended by an invited audience of more than 400 Lyric subscribers and donors, who also participated in voting for the Audience Favorite award. The award and $500 cash prize went to tenor Alejandro Luévanos.

Roger Pines served as master of ceremonies for the Final Auditions, and soprano Ann Toomey, a Ryan Opera Center alumna performed during the evening. The panel of judges included Anthony Freud, General Director, President & CEO, Music Director Enrique Mazzola, Vice President, Artistic Planning Andreas Melinat, Vice President and Director of the Ryan Opera Center Dan Novak, Ryan Opera Center Music Director Craig Terry, and Ryan Opera Center Director of Vocal Studies Julia Faulkner. The panel also included Lyric’s casting consultant Evamaria Wieser.

The singers were accompanied by Michael Baitzer, Laurann Gilley, and current Ensemble member Chris Reynolds.

The 2022-23 Ensemble members will begin their tenure in Spring 2022 and will receive advanced instruction in numerous aspects of operatic performance. Current Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members who will depart at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season are sopranos Mathilda Edge and Maria Novella Malfatti, mezzo-sopranos Katherine Beck and Kathleen Felty, baritone Leroy Davis, and basses Rivers Hawkins and Anthony Reed.