Lyric Opera of Chicago | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Lyric Opera of Chicago

by

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

comment

To open its 50th season the Lyric chose Don Giovanni, that rare unclassifiable opera from its time: equal parts comedy, drama, and tragedy. The philandering don and his story appealed to Mozart, who loved dirty wordplay, but he gave equal attention to his portraits of the other characters: the long-suffering servant Leporello, the wronged women, the peasants. The Lyric spent five years assembling this high-octane cast and production. The versatile Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is Don Giovanni; he's been both Giovanni and Leporello, which undoubtedly gives him extra insight into the characters' relationship. Mezzo Susan Graham, who has a voice like butter and a remarkable ability to inhabit a character, is making her first appearance as Donna Elvira. The cast also includes Karita Mattila as Donna Anna, Ildebrando D'Arcangelo as Leporello, Isabel Bayrakdarian as Zerlina, Kyle Ketelsen as Masetto, and Kurt Streit as Don Ottavio. This is the first U.S. opera directed by the legendary Peter Stein, who staged Pierre Boulez's landmark 1992 Pelleas and Melisande. He collaborated closely on this production with conductor Christoph Eschenbach, who's been performing Mozart most of his life. Tonight's show is sold-out, but there are still a few tickets left for the October 4 and 22 performances. Sunday 26, 7:30 PM, Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker, 312-332-2244, $29-$160.

Add a comment