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Lyric Opera of Chicago announces company’s 2024/25 Season

Lyric Opera of Chicago recently announced the company’s 2024/25 Season, a carefully balanced mix of four classic operas, two contemporary works never before performed in Chicago, three unmissable special concerts and recitals, and a festive 50th anniversary celebration of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center artist-development program. 

Lyric also announced the extension of Music Director Enrique Mazzola’s contract for another five-year term through the 2030/31 Season, guaranteeing a continuity of leadership as Lyric continues its search for a successor to retiring General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud.

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Music Director Enrique Mazzola

The company’s 70th anniversary season opens with Verdi’s epic of vengeance: “Rigoletto,” running September 14–October 6, conducted by Maestro Mazzola in his sixth Verdi opera at Lyric. 

Directed by Mary Birnbaum in her Lyric debut, this Lyric production stars Igor Golovatenko in the title role, Mané Galoyan as Gilda and Javier Camarena as the Duke of Mantua in their Lyric debuts, and Soloman Howard as Sparafucile.

The season continues with Beethoven’s timely political opera “Fidelio,” not seen at Lyric in 20 years, on stage from September 26–October 10. “Fidelio” is conducted by Music Director Enrique Mazzola — his first outing with Beethoven’s powerful score — and directed by Matthew Ozawa, whose work as a stage director at Lyric included “Don Quichotte” in the 2016/17 Season and “Nabucco” in the 2015/16 Season and who joined its administration as Chief Artistic Administration Officer in 2022. 

To salute the 2024/25 Season, one of musical theater’s most legendary stars will headline “Patti LuPone: A Life in Notes” on Friday, October 4. This brand new show, never before seen in Chicago, is LuPone’s “personal musical memoir” and will commemorate key moments in her life through song. Following the performance, Lyric’s Season Opening Gala continues the celebratory spirit of the evening.

November brings a pair of operas that celebrate opera’s noble past while pointing to the future of the art form. Mozart’s beloved comic masterpiece “The Marriage of Figaro,” on stage November 9–30, is directed by Chicago Shakespeare Theater founder Barbara Gaines and conducted by Erina Yashima in her Lyric debut. Mozart’s sublime music will be sung by an all-star cast: Peter Kellner in his Lyric debut as Figaro, Ying Fang as Susanna, Federica Lombardi in her Lyric debut as Countess Almaviva, Gordon Bintner in his Lyric debut as Count Almaviva, and Ryan Opera Center alumna Kayleigh Decker as Cherubino.

In repertory with one of opera’s most enduring favorites is one of opera’s newest modern classics: “Blue,” by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist Tazewell Thompson, which was named the Best New Opera of 2019 by the Music Critics Association of North America. The opera, at Lyric November 16–December 1, follows a Black police officer and his wife as they grapple with the killing of their son at the hands of a white police officer. Gospel-influenced music and vivid flashbacks capture the grief of a family and community navigating loss. 

This Lyric co-production, originally scheduled for the conclusion of the 2019/20 Season but postponed due to the pandemic, is conducted by Joseph Young and directed by Thompson, both in their Lyric debuts. “Blue” stars Kenneth Kellogg in his Lyric debut as the Father, Chicago native Zoie Reams as the Mother, and Norman Garrett as the Reverend.

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“BLUE” STARS KENNETH Kellogg, in his Lyric debut as the Father, and Chicago native
Zoie Reams as the Mother. (Photo by Scott Suchman) 

The internationally celebrated (and Berwyn-born) Sondra Radvanovsky is an artist beloved by Lyric audiences. Following the sold-out sensation of her innovative 2019 concert program “The Three Queens” and her season-opening star turn as Lady Macbeth in the 2021/22 Season (as well as many other leading roles at Lyric), Radvanovsky returns to Lyric for another unique project: “Sondra Radvanovsky in Concert: The Puccini Heroines,” featuring the Lyric Opera Orchestra conducted by Music Director Enrique Mazzola, for three performances only, February 8–16, 2025. 

Audiences will hear some of opera’s most popular arias and will discover some of Puccini’s lesser-known gems in a concert event that will redefine the term “show-stopping.”

Other productions after February 2025 include Puccini’s “La Bohème,” the Chicago premiere: “The Listeners,” and the Lyric concludes its regular season with “Lyric in Concert: A Wondrous Sound,” April 16 and 18, 2025. 

Maestro Mazzola will design an original program of some of opera’s choral favorites and most thrilling overtures that shows off the truly grand scale of the more than 100 artists of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Lyric Opera Chorus.

In addition to the two performances at the Lyric Opera House, “Lyric in Concert: A Wondrous Sound” will also have a pair of performances presented at venues around the Chicagoland area, with more details to be announced soon.

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Lyric’s world-class artist-development program, also celebrates its 50th anniversary during the 2024/25 Season. The program’s annual “Rising Stars in Concert” will be on Friday, April 25, 2025. 

“After a very successful ‘season of firsts’ for me, with new repertoire and even a first “Aida,” next season is every bit as exciting. We are once again bringing a wide range of operas and other experiences to Lyric audiences — there are so many ways to experience the joy of live performance together,” says Lyric’s Music Director Enrique Mazzola.

“I am also deeply gratified that my position as Music Director has been extended for another five years. I also look forward to deepening my mentorship work with the artists in our Ryan Opera Center and continuing to forge deeper, long-lasting partnerships with other artists and organizations in town. Now more than ever, this is my ‘Sweet home, Chicago’.”

Lyric’s General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, while sad to be retiring later this year, said he is thrilled with the upcoming season: “I am also certain that with the continuing leadership of Music Director Enrique Mazzola, Lyric audiences and supporters are in very good hands, and that Lyric will continue to be producing consistently world-class seasons, as both a true cultural hub for all of Chicago and one of the world’s great opera companies.”

For more information on Lyric’s 2024/25 Season, visit

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