Jerry Hadley and Bo Skovhus

Tenor Jerry Hadley and baritone Bo Skovhus, both regulars with the Vienna State Opera, have performed frequently with the Lyric Opera, though never in the same production. But this week they’ll sing together in a freebie concert at Grant Park offered by the Lyric as a goodwill gesture and a promo for its new season–Hadley will sing the title role in The Great Gatsby, and Skovhus has a role in The Queen of Spades. Hadley, an Illinois native in his late 40s, is a reliable Mozartean who’s also at home in French Romantic and bel canto works, and he knows not to use his shapely if thin voice just for show. Skovhus, a Dane in his 30s who trained in Copenhagen and New York, made lieder his specialty at a young age and has championed some 20th-century trailblazers. He infuses Mahler, one of his favorites, with a sturdy though understated expressivity and conveys Hugo Wolf’s fin de siecle sentiments with immense authority. Skovhus and Hadley will sing the tender, passionate duet “Au fond du temple saint” from Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers; Skovhus will also sing an aria from Don Carlos and Hadley the lament from Cilea’s L’Arlesiana. Other Lyric stars will do snippets from other operas, including a quartet from Rigoletto and the famous drinking song from La traviata. The Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Lyric’s chorus will be conducted by retired music director Bruno Bartoletti. So what if Grant Park’s acoustics are faulty and planes and cars intrude? This is opera in its populist mode. Saturday, 7:30 PM, Petrillo Music Shell, Grant Park, Columbus and Jackson; 312-332-2244.


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