Posted inArts & Culture

Lyric Opera’s Proximity

Spectacle? It’s long been the grand opera’s calling card. But never quite like this. Lyric Opera’s world premiere production of Proximity—closer to Immersive Van Gogh or Art on the Mart than to Aida—opened at the opera house last week. Directed and “mixed” by Yuval Sharon (creator of the parking garage Wagner, Twilight: Gods, which he […]

Posted inOn Culture

Spring awakening

Never mind those icy patches on the sidewalk: spring is here, bringing with it our seasonal theater and arts preview issue. Accordingly, while the global banking system teeters, Xi and Vlad (nukes in their back pockets) rendezvous, and Trump seems poised to take the first-ever presidential perp walk, the issue I’m stewing about is this: […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Soul opera

It’s been said that the soul of opera is its music, so in the case of The Factotum—Will Liverman and DJ King Rico’s original piece that is a loose take on Gioachino Rossini’s The Barber of Seville—hip-hop is at its beautiful core.  The MTV generation, or hip-hop fans of a certain age, can recall the […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Grimm and surreal

This surrealistic production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s 1893 opera version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale—seen twice before at Lyric—should probably be a Christmas show. But since Joffrey became Lyric’s roommate, we’re getting it now. Visually it’s nightmarish, claustrophobic, and monochromatic as a gray January day—but also striking: think fish-headed dream-scene maitre d’ overseeing a troop […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The Don and the Count

Deeply committed Verdi fans ought to get themselves to Lyric Opera’s first ever production of Don Carlos, the four-hour, five-act, 1867 French language version of the shorter Verdi opera they already know as the Italian language Don Carlo. This love vs. duty tale of historical fiction, loosely drawn from the life of a 16th-century Spanish […]

Posted inTheater Review

Tradition with a twist

Lyric Opera introduced Chicago audiences to director Barrie Kosky last year, when it brought his production of The Magic Flute—created for Komische Oper Berlin, where he’s been music director for a decade—to the Opera House on Wacker. Kosky staged the Mozart favorite as a silent film. So the announcement that Kosky’s production of Fiddler on […]

Posted inOn Culture

A resonant Tosca

There’s a war raging in Europe. A brutal clash that includes an entrenched repressive autocracy and ordinary civilians determined to fight for their freedom. Tyrannical power is vested in one man—a deranged “security” professional who cares only about his own twisted agenda. He decides who lives and dies; everyone trembles before him. Someone needs to […]