Soprano Elizabeth Futral is a rising star in the operatic firmament; she recently scored a major triumph as Lakme with the New York City Opera, made a recording with baritone Thomas Hampson, and sang in an arena concert with Placido Domingo, all to enthusiastic critical acclaim. She has gained this recognition so quickly due (along with some hard work) to her lustrous voice with its seemingly unlimited high notes, her superb musicianship, and her fine acting ability. She’s currently back in Chicago, her home for the last half dozen years, to headline as Cunegonde in the Lyric’s production of Candide. But anyone with a lunch hour to spare can hear her at no charge in recital this Monday at the Chicago Cultural Center. Futral will be joined by fellow Lyric Opera Center for American Artists alumna Tracy Mould Watson, a fine mezzo-soprano recently returned from singing in several German opera houses; they’ll be accompanied by the Lyric’s Robert Tweten. The program includes two excerpts from Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, the famous duet from Delibes’ Lakme, and various songs in English by Brad Cresswell (who happens to be married to Futral), David Diamond, Theodore Chanler, and Tom Stevens. Monday, 12:15 PM, Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington; 744-6630.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Christian Steiner.