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Saturday, May 21 at 1 p.m. – Lyric Opera of Chicago

(Rochester, NY) – This year The Matthew Bucksbaum Family presents eight operas from the Lyric Opera of Chicago – airing on Classical 91.5/FM-HD 91.5-1 on Saturdays at 1 p.m., beginning on May 21. Regarded as one of the top three opera companies in the United States, LOC has sold out its box office for every performance for the last decade.

Chicago boasts an opera company that’s second to none, with a box office exceeding 100 percent of capacity each year for the last decade, thanks to subscribers who give their tickets back for resale when they cannot attend a performance.

The series kicks off with Giuseppe Verdi's Macbeth on Saturday, May 21 at 1 p.m. Premiered in 1847 and significantly revised in 1865, Macbeth combines the magnificent and irresistible vigor of early Verdi with the probing psychological depth of the composer's later works. Shakespeare's taut tragedy is distilled to its absolute essentials, concentrating on the Scottish play's unforgettable central couple: the title character (baritone Thomas Hampson), Thane of Cawdor, who the witches predict will ascend to the throne of Scotland; and his wife, Lady Macbeth (soprano Nadja Michael, debut), whose consuming desire for power pushes her husband towards murder. Other characters are the noble Macduff (tenor Leonardo Capalbo, debut), who finally triumphs over Macbeth; Banquo (bass Štefan Koćan, debut), originally Macbeth's friend but eventually his victim; Malcolm (tenor Konstantin Stepanov, debut), the son of the murdered king, who eventually is restored to the throne; and the Lady-in-Waiting (soprano Carter Scott, debut), who witnesses Lady Macbeth's descent into madness.

On Saturday, May 28 at 1 p.m. Classical 91.5 presents Lyric Opera's production of Carmen by Georges Bizet. Carmen (1875), long one of the most popular operas in the entire repertoire, returns to Lyric with the title role of the free-spirited gypsy played by Nadia Krasteva. Carmen works her wiles on the corporal Don José (tenor Brandon Jovanovich), whose jealousy erupts when Carmen rejects him in favor of the toreador Escamillo (bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen). Micaëla, the village girl who loves José, will be portrayed by soprano Nicole Cabell.

Pictured: Lyric Opera entrance

 

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