My family and I have had partial season tickets to Lyric Opera of Chicago for the past 8 years and I’m glad I tried opera. I am now a huge fan.
The new season begins in the fall and one of the ways I get my opera fix during the summer is the Lyric Opera rebroadcasts on WFMT-FM 98.7 in Chicago and on wfmt.com. WFMT broadcasts live the opening night of each opera it presents during a particular season and then airs those broadcasts again on Saturdays during the summer.
The following is a list of when the operas of the 2014-15 season will be played again beginning Saturday (May 16). All of them begin at noon with the exception of “Tannhauser” which WFMT.com lists as starting at 5:45 p.m.
Our season ticket plan has been for four performances. Unfortunately, this season I was ill the day I was to see “Anna Bolena.” I will comment on the three I did see and add a thought or two on the others.
May 16: Don Giovanni (Mozart) — Obviously, opera on the radio is all about the music. But when Don Giovanni, wonderfully sung by Mariusz Kwiecien, pays at the end for a life of evil, you’ll know.
May 23: Capriccio (Strauss)
May 30: Il Trovatore (Verdi) — The opera equivalent of a 15-round heavyweight boxing match from Las Vegas. The opponents are Manrico and Count di Luna. A thrilling moment for me was hearing the Anvil Chorus live for the first time.
June 6: Anna Bolena (Donizetti)
June 13: Carousel — This season’s edition of Lyric Opera’s presentations of the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein.
June 20: Tannhauser (Wagner)
June 27: The Passenger (Weinberg)
July 4: Porgy and Bess (Gershwin) — I saw this at Lyric a few years ago. Even if you are not an opera fan, I encourage you to see this.
July 11: Tosca (Puccini) — I have been going to Lyric long enough for some operas to make another appearance. But I have learned that just because you’ve seen something once, doesn’t mean you should not see it again. A new director’s take on the opera, new production design and a new cast can make it seem like you haven’t seen the opera before. I felt this way about Tosca this season.
UNTIL NEXT TIME. . .