Gaetano Donizetti wrote three bel canto operas about three extraordinary women — passionate Anne Boleyn, proud Mary Stuart, and mighty Queen Elizabeth I. Each of these brilliant operas offers a stupendous role for a true singing actress with incredible technique, charisma, and dramatic power. Experience the riveting finales of all three "Tudor Queen" operas as interpreted by soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, a longtime Lyric favorite who is equally acclaimed for her brilliant singing and acting in these roles, among many others internationally.
Magnificent American diva: A Chicago-area native, Sondra Radvanovsky is one of the premier interpreters of bel canto opera and is a globally celebrated artist.
- Sondra has starred in seven Lyric productions to date, most recently in the title roles of Bellini’s Norma (2016|17) and Donizetti’s Anna Bolena (2014|15). Previously at Lyric, she portrayed the leading ladies of Verdi’s Aida (2011|12), A Masked Ball (2010|11), Ernani (2009|10), and Il trovatore (2006|07). She debuted at Lyric in the title role of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (2002|03).
- But wait, there’s more: Sondra was featured in the Renée Fleming 25th Anniversary Gala at Lyric earlier this year and will make her role debut as Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s psychological thriller, The Queen of Spades, at Lyric later this season.
- Royal triumph: Sondra Radvanovsky is the only artist to portray the three Tudor queens of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, and Roberto Devereux in a single New York season since Beverly Sills in the 1970s. Sondra reigned supreme in all three operas at the Metropolitan Opera (2015|16).
- The celebrated Italian conductor Riccardo Frizza, a bel canto specialist, will lead the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus in these performances. Frizza made his triumphant Lyric debut conducting Norma, collaborating with Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role.
- Several artists from the Ryan Opera Center will sing supporting roles: mezzo-soprano Kathleen Felty, contralto Lauren Decker, tenors Eric Ferring and Mario Rojas, baritones Christopher Kenney and Ricardo José Rivera, bass-baritone David Weigel, and bass Anthony Reed.
- The noted director Matthew Ozawa presides over these semi-staged performances. He has previously served as director, associate director, or assistant director on 20 productions and one concert at Lyric.
- Royal attire: Designer Rubin Singer has created distinctive gowns fit for the characters of the three queens. "Rubin is creating masterpieces!" exclaims the soprano. "Honestly, these are pieces of art, and just beautiful gowns!" Singer has designed for Beyoncé, Shakira, Alicia Keys and other major stars.
- Only three performances: December 1, 4 and 7 (performance in bold is a matinee).
- Estimated running time: Two hours, including intermission.
- Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.
- For more information and to order tickets, visit lyricopera.org/threequeens or call 312-827-5600.
- For information about pre-performance dining options at Lyric, visit lyricopera.org/dining to learn about on-site restaurants, beverage service, and more.
Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to redefining what it means to experience great opera. The company is driven to deliver consistently excellent artistry through innovative, relevant, celebratory programming that engages and energizes new and traditional audiences.
Under the leadership of general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, music director designate Enrique Mazzola, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric is dedicated to reflecting, and drawing strength from the diversity of Chicago. Lyric offers, through innovation, collaboration and evolving learning opportunities, ever more exciting, accessible, and thought-provoking audience and community experiences. We also stand committed to training the artists of the future, through The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and to becoming increasingly diverse across our audiences, staff, programming and artists - magnifying the welcoming pull of our art form, our company, and our city.
Through the timeless power of voice, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus, theater, dance, design, and truly magnificent stagecraft, Lyric is devoted to immersing audiences in worlds both familiar and unexpected, creating shared experiences that resonate long after the curtain comes down.
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