Lyric Opera of Chicago’s world premiere Bel Canto has first workshop

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Composer Jimmy López and librettist Nilo Cruz heard their music and words come to life recently when members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago sang through portions of Bel Canto backstage at the Civic Opera House on Friday, July 11. Sir Andrew Davis conducted the workshop, with pianists Maureen Zoltek and Craig Terry accompanying 11 singers performing multiple roles.

The new opera Bel Canto, by composer Jimmy López, with libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz, is based on the best-selling novel by Ann Patchett. Sir Andrew Davis is conductor and Kevin Newbury is stage director for the new production. Curated by Renée Fleming, Lyric’s creative consultant, Bel Canto is the seventh world-premiere opera that Lyric Opera of Chicago has commissioned for its mainstage since 1961. It opens in December 2015, as part of Lyric’s 2015-16 season.


Top: Nilo Cruz, Jimmy López, and Kevin Newbury (credit Andrew Cioffi)
Bottom: A view of the July 11 BEL CANTO workshop (credit Todd Rosenberg)

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