Lyric Opera of Chicago welcomes the legendary Audra McDonald for a one-night-only concert experience on Friday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m. McDonald joins forces with the Lyric Opera Orchestra, under the musical direction of conductor Andy Einhorn, for a special evening that is a must-see for lovers of the Great American Songbook.
McDonald is a Broadway icon, classically trained singer, and acclaimed actress who has won six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award and a National Medal of Arts.
The star most notably holds the record for the most performance-based Tony Awards and is the only performer to win in all four acting categories.
McDonald has performed with major orchestras across the United States and for renowned companies, including the Houston Grand Opera and the Los Angeles Opera. Now, she’s bringing her vocal power to Lyric Opera of Chicago for her first appearance on Chicago’s largest stage.
In addition to her astounding array of performance credits, both live and on-screen, McDonald is known for her passionate activism, advocating for at-risk youth, LGBTQ+ communities, and equal rights causes.
She is the co-founder of Black Theater United and sits on the Covenant House International Board of Directors, which oversees programs for young people experiencing homelessness. In 2017, she graced the cover of Variety magazine’s “Power of Women” issue and received the Covenant House’s Beacon of Hope Award the following year.
McDonald has also dazzled audiences for three decades on stage and screen with roles in Annie, Porgy and Bess, Carousel, and more. She possesses an exceptional talent for evocative storytelling through her commanding soprano vocals.
“An Evening With Audra McDonald” is a highlight of the start of the 2023/24 cultural season and also serves as Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Season Opening Gala.
“Opera is at a very challenging moment, and I am proud of how our entire company is rising to that challenge every day. Despite the painful new economic realities of producing grand opera, Lyric will present a varied and compelling 2023/24 Season that keeps our main pillars front and center: presenting the best singers in the world, bringing exciting and thought-provoking large-scale productions to the stage, and offering fresh contemporary perspectives that point to the future of our beloved art form,” says General Director, President and CEO Anthony Freud.
“We are keeping our carefully built pipelines strong — both in terms of the artists we continue to mentor in our recently expanded Ryan Opera Center, and the new operas by new creators we continue to commission, workshop, and produce. We have a robust and responsible growth plan in place, and — as evidenced by our 2023/34 Season — artistic excellence will continue to be our guiding principle as we work to find the right balance between market demand and diversity of productions and the number of them on offer in each season,” he said.
For Gala ticketholders, the lavish event includes a red carpet, pre-performance cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, followed by dinner and dancing after the concert, all in support of Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Audiences are invited to join McDonald on a journey through some of the greatest songs ever written, in an elegant evening in one of the country’s most beautiful art deco opera houses.
To purchase single concert tickets, visit lyricopera.org/audra.
To learn more about the Season Opening Gala and to purchase gala seating, visit lyricopera.org/openinggala.