Stars of Lyric Opera

Featuring hundreds of free events and exhibitions, May through September, the Millennium Park Summer Celebration gives both Chicagoans and visitors the chance to enjoy the best of summer in one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world. One of the celebration's most anticipated events will hit the stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion on Friday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m.: Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium ParkPack a picnic and spread a blanket out on the lawn for a seriously star-studded evening - both in the sky above and on the stage.

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Now in its 15th year, this annual, free concert launches the Lyric Opera of Chicago's new season. Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric's music director, will lead the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and an array of outstanding soloists: sopranos Christiane Karg and Amanda Majeski; mezzo-sopranos Elizabeth DeShong, Rachel Frenkel, and Katharine Goeldner; tenors Lawrence Brownlee and Keith Jameson; bass-baritones Luca Pisaroni and Adam Plachetka; and bass Brindley Sherratt. Also performing will be current Ryan Opera Center ensemble members Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, soprano, Jonathan Johnson, tenor, and Bradley Smoak, bass. 

"I'm delighted that our exceptional soloists, orchestra, and chorus - conducted by Sir Andrew  -will be heard by an enormous and appreciative audience, both in the beautiful Pritzker Pavilion and Millennium Park grounds and on the radio broadcast," said Anthony Freud, Lyric's general director. "What a wonderful way to start Lyric's 61st season, and also to celebrate the 15th Stars of Lyric Opera concert."

Sir Andrew Davis - Lyric Opera

During the performance, audience members in the Seating Bowl will enjoy projected English translations. Those seated on the lawn or listening to the broadcast on wfmt.com around the world will have access to line-by-line translations in real time on mobile devices, at lyricoperalive.org.

The Stars of Lyric Opera concert program is as follows:

Part 1:
Excerpts from Rossini's Cinderella (La Cenerentola)
Elizabeth DeShong and Lawrence Brownlee with the Lyric Opera Chorus 

Excerpts from Mozart's Idomeneo; Gounod's Romeo and Juliet, and Verdi's La traviata
Lyric Opera Chorus with Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi and Jonathan Johnson

Part 2:
Act II (complete), Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro
Christiane Karg, Amanda Majeski, Rachel Frenkel, Katharine Goeldner, Adam Plachetka, Luca Pisaroni, Keith Jameson, Brindley Sherratt, and Bradley Smoak

The entire concert will be aired live on 98.7WFMT and wfmt.com. 98.7WFMT host Suzanne Nance and Roger Pines, Lyric's dramaturg, will co-anchor the Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park concert broadcast beginning at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11. Lyric will post live updates via social media throughout the evening. Join in the conversation by tagging your posts with #StarsOfLyric on Facebook at facebook.com/lyricopera and on Twitter and Instagram at @LyricOpera.

Lyric Opera of Chicago opens its 61st season on Saturday, Sept. 26. The opera season continues through March 19, 2016, with 67 performances of eight operas: Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro (Sept. 26-Oct. 24), Rossini's Cinderella (Oct. 4-30), Berg's Wozzeck (Nov. 1-21), Lehár's The Merry Widow (Nov. 14-Dec. 13), López's Bel Canto (world premiere Dec. 7-Jan. 17), Verdi's Nabucco (Jan. 23-Feb. 12), R. Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier (Feb. 8-March 13), and Gounod's Romeo and Juliet (Feb. 22-March 19).

Lyric's 2015/16 season will also include 25 performances of Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I (April 29-May 22). Subscriptions are still available, as are tickets for individual performances. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For information on specific performance dates and ticket availability, please call (312) 827-5600 or go to lyricopera.org.

Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park is a Lyric Unlimited event. For more information, visit lyricopera.org/lyricunlimited.

Photos: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Sir Andrew Davis by Dario Acosta